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Cromwell’s Coven

John Sutherland, 4 June 1987

by Nigel Williams.
Faber, 390 pp., £10.95, May 1987, 0 571 14823 9
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Without Falling 
by Leslie Dick.
Serpent’s Tail, 153 pp., £9.95, May 1987, 1 85242 005 7
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by George V. Higgins.
Deutsch, 360 pp., £10.95, April 1987, 0 233 98110 1
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... falling in love. But while Jong took her inspiration from the hard-boiled egotistic journalism of Henry Miller, Dick has digested new theory to write her novel: ‘When we make love,’ she observes (without apparent facetiousness), ‘the switch of masculine/feminine signifiers is speedy, intricate, overwhelming.’ Deconstruction is an idea that hovers ...


Bernard Knox, 11 May 1995

The Husbands: An Account of Books III and IV of Homer’s ‘Iliad’ 
by Christopher Logue.
Faber, 55 pp., £6.99, October 1994, 0 571 17198 2
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... his teeth, his neck to draw/The head out of the gristle by its stump.’ It is no surprise that Henry Miller contributed a hearty ‘Marvellous!’ to the publisher’s collection of dust-jacket quotes, which also contains a description of the poem as ‘the best translation since Pope’s’. This judgment was made before the appearance of ...

No. 1 Scapegoat

John Foot: Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, 7 February 2002

Senior Service 
by Carlo Feltrinelli, translated by Alastair McEwen.
Granta, 464 pp., £20, November 2001, 1 86207 456 9
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... first time or given a late chance by Feltrinelli. Lampedusa’s Leopard was another bestseller. Henry Miller was published in Italy for the first time, challenging Italian censorship laws, as were such Italian writers as Giovanni Testori, who wrote visionary, poetic novels set in the Milanese industrial suburbs, and Carlo Cassola, whose novels, set in ...

Brooksie and Faust

Angela Carter, 8 March 1990

Louise Brooks 
by Barry Paris.
Hamish Hamilton, 640 pp., £20, February 1990, 0 241 12541 3
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... Bankhead used to go out on the town together, bar-hopping, up to God knows what. Behaviour of Henry Miller buddies. But, however scabrous the circumstances, Brooks never lost a thoroughly un-Millerian elegance and self-irony and when she finally took up her pen and wrote, in her sixties and seventies, she wrote, not about life in the lower ...


John Lanchester, 21 October 1993

United States 
by Gore Vidal.
Deutsch, 1298 pp., £25, October 1993, 0 233 98832 7
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What Henry James Knew, and Other Essays on Writers 
by Cynthia Ozick.
Cape, 363 pp., £12.99, June 1993, 0 224 03329 8
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Sentimental Journeys 
by Joan Didion.
HarperCollins, 319 pp., £15, January 1993, 0 00 255146 2
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... Pearsall Smith, Frederick Prokosch, Edith Wharton, Leonardo Sciascia, Thomas Love Peacock and Henry Miller: ‘If he often sounded like the village idiot, that was because, like Whitman, he was the rest of the village as well.’ But alongside the blessings, kicks and curses is a running lament for the novel, which Vidal sees as being in deep ...

Happy you!

Rosemary Dinnage, 21 July 1994

Intimate Letters: Leoš Janáček to Kamilá Stösslová 
edited and translated by John Tyrrell.
Faber, 397 pp., £25, January 1993, 0 571 14466 7
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Pirandello’s Love Letters to Marta Abba 
edited and translated by Benito Ortolani.
Princeton, 363 pp., £24.95, June 1994, 0 691 03499 0
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Significant Others: Creativity and Intimate Partnership 
edited by Whitney Chadwick and Isabelle de Courtivron.
Thames and Hudson, 256 pp., £14.95, June 1993, 9780500015667
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... angry tenacity prevented her from achieving as she should have done. There are characters, like Henry Miller and Anaïs Nin, who did each other good but – fortunately, no doubt, for them – were much too self-absorbed to ascribe dominance to someone else. One cannot imagine either saying: ‘The one who dictates inside is you.’ More ...

You are the we of me

Joyce Carol Oates: The Autobiography of Carson McCullers, 2 September 1999

Illumination and Night Glare: The Unfinished Autobiography of Carson McCullers 
edited by Carlos Dews.
Wisconsin, 256 pp., £19.95, September 1999, 0 299 16440 3
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... parable-like stories were favourites in the influential Best American Short Stories and The O. Henry Awards yearly anthologies. If American Southern Gothic survives as a literary mode, it’s only as parody. The reputations of McCullers and Capote have severely diminished even as the reputation of O’Connor has steadily risen. McCullers may be perceived ...

Her Body or the Sea

Ian Patterson: Ann Quin, 21 June 2018

The Unmapped Country: Stories and Fragments 
by Ann Quin.
And Other Stories, 192 pp., £10, January 2018, 978 1 911508 14 4
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... true, and in this she is following a tradition that runs from Djuna Barnes and Joyce, say, through Henry Green and Beckett and Robbe-Grillet to Burroughs and Christine Brooke-Rose. The dust jacket flaps of novels published by Calder and Boyars between 1966 and 1972 list their books under the varying heads of ‘Contemporary Fiction’, ‘Fiction’, ‘Modern ...

Presidential Criticism

John Sutherland, 10 January 1991

Victorian Subjects 
by J. Hillis Miller.
Harvester, 330 pp., £30, December 1990, 0 7450 0820 8
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Tropes, Parables, Performatives: Essays on 20th-Century Literature 
by J. Hillis Miller.
Harvester, 266 pp., £30, December 1990, 0 7450 0836 4
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... as they make their way to the annual convention of the Modern Languages Association. J. Hillis Miller is one of the handful who matter. Like those mystic few who know the Coca Cola formula, such people shouldn’t be allowed to travel on the same plane. The collective loss would be irreparable. Harvester Press salutes ...

Thinking Women

Jane Miller, 6 November 1986

... what could be described as my first appearance in print. The actual copy I have belonged to Betty Miller, and it is in her article, which is called ‘Amazons and Afterwards’, that I appear, anonymously and representatively, as Afterwards. The journal’s editorial includes me too, as one of the pony-tailed generation of young women, clones of Francoise ...

Naming of Parts

Patrick Parrinder, 6 June 1985

Quinx or The Ripper’s Tale 
by Lawrence Durrell.
Faber, 201 pp., £8.95, May 1985, 0 571 13444 0
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Helliconia Winter 
by Brian Aldiss.
Cape, 285 pp., £8.95, April 1985, 0 224 01847 7
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Black Robe 
by Brian Moore.
Cape, 256 pp., £8.95, May 1985, 0 224 02329 2
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... ambiguous Grail consists – as befits a banned author of the Thirties and a former associate of Henry Miller – of ‘love-lore’ or the secrets of sex. These, which have something to do with ‘dual control’ in the love-act and simultaneous orgasm, are passed down from master or mistress to hand-picked pupil in certain rare and long-delayed bouts ...

Carry on writing

Stephen Bann, 15 March 1984

The Two of Us 
by John Braine.
Methuen, 183 pp., £7.95, March 1984, 0 413 51280 0
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An Open Prison 
by J.I.M. Stewart.
Gollancz, 192 pp., £7.95, February 1984, 0 575 03380 0
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by Hugh Thomas.
Hamish Hamilton, 263 pp., £9.95, February 1984, 0 241 11175 7
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by David Cook.
Secker, 248 pp., £8.50, February 1984, 0 436 10674 4
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Memoirs of an Anti-Semite 
by Gregor von Rezzori, translated by Joachim Neugroschel.
Picador, 282 pp., £7.95, January 1984, 0 330 28325 1
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It’s me, Eddie 
by Edward Limonov, translated by S.L. Campbell.
Picador, 264 pp., £7.95, March 1984, 0 330 28329 4
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The Anatomy Lesson 
by Philip Roth.
Cape, 291 pp., £8.95, February 1984, 0 224 02960 6
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... a kind of subversive solidarity with the tradition of confessional literature which began with Henry Miller. Edward Limonov is now living in Paris. Perhaps his next work will be a Nouveau Roman. It would be easy to think of this review simply as a prolegomenon to Philip Roth’s new novel, The Anatomy Lesson. This is about history, and Jewishness, and ...

Hitting the buffers

Peter Wollen, 8 September 1994

Early Modernism: Literature, Music and Painting in Europe 1900-1916 
by Christopher Butler.
Oxford, 318 pp., £27.50, April 1994, 0 19 811746 9
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... with the Indian dancer, Dourga, and, later, became a guru for another counter-culture hero, Henry Miller. He translated Dehmel, whose Expressionist poems Schoenberg set to music (as he also did Tagore). Cendrars’s old friend Emil Szittya was well-known to Hugo Ball in Zurich during the Dadaist days, where Ball saw him as a kind of holy fool, akin ...

Embracing Islam

Patrick Parrinder, 4 April 1991

Imaginary Homelands: Essays and Criticism 1981-1991 
by Salman Rushdie.
Granta, 432 pp., £17.99, March 1991, 9780140142242
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... he pours scorn on it – too stridently, he now confesses – in an essay on Orwell and Henry Miller called ‘Outside the Whale’. Arnold visits the monastery of the Grande Chartreuse and contemplates it through the lens of his famous melancholy. The new world powerless to be born was that foreseen in the heroic but failed efforts of the ...


Aaron Matz: Céline, 25 March 2010

by Louis-Ferdinand Céline, translated by Marlon Jones.
Dalkey Archive, 371 pp., £9.99, June 2009, 978 1 56478 525 1
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... He has always had a sizeable Anglophone readership, especially in America, where novelists from Henry Miller (‘I don’t care whether he’s a Fascist … he can write’) to Kurt Vonnegut (‘every writer is in his debt’) to Philip Roth (‘Céline is my Proust!’) have declared their loyalty to his radical voice. Normance was probably unknown to ...

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