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Princess Diane

Penny Boumelha, 21 February 1985

Diane Arbus: A Biography 
by Patricia Bosworth.
Heinemann, 367 pp., £14.95, January 1985, 0 434 08150 7
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Inside the Onion 
by Howard Nemerov.
Chicago, 63 pp., £8.45, April 1984, 0 226 57244 7
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... tracks, holding the hand of one’s governess’. Her closest relationship was with her brother Howard Nemerov, who was to become a distinguished poet. The younger sister Renée seems an isolated figure by comparison. There appear to have been incipiently incestuous tensions within the family; in Howard’s poem ...

Buy birthday present, go to morgue

Colm Tóibín: Diane Arbus, 2 March 2017

Diane Arbus: Portrait of a Photographer 
by Arthur Lubow.
Cape, 734 pp., £35, October 2016, 978 0 224 09770 3
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Silent Dialogues: Diane Arbus and Howard Nemerov 
by Alexander Nemerov.
Fraenkel Gallery, 106 pp., $30, March 2015, 978 1 881337 41 6
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... a world as distant as possible from the one in which she was raised. Arbus’s brother, the poet Howard Nemerov, wrote that her ‘pictures are spectacular, shocking, dramatic and concentrate on subjects perverse and queer (freaks, professional transvestites, strong men, tattooed men, the children of the very rich)’. He and Diane were the children of ...

Ever so comfy

James Wood, 24 March 1994

Collected Poems 1953-1993 
by John Updike.
Hamish Hamilton, 387 pp., £20, October 1993, 0 241 00167 6
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Dante’s Drum-Kit 
by Douglas Dunn.
Faber, 145 pp., £6.99, November 1993, 0 571 17055 2
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Old Men and Comets 
by D.J. Enright.
Oxford, 64 pp., £6.99, November 1994, 0 19 283176 3
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Plato’s Ladder 
by Stephen Romer.
Oxford, 79 pp., £6.99, November 1992, 0 19 282986 6
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The Country at My Shoulder 
by Moniza Alvi.
Oxford, 56 pp., £6.99, September 1993, 0 19 283125 9
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British Subjects 
by Fred D’Aguiar.
Bloodaxe, 64 pp., £5.95, July 1993, 1 85224 248 5
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Night Photograph 
by Lavinia Greenlaw.
Faber, 54 pp., £5.99, October 1993, 0 571 16894 9
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Nil Nil 
by Don Paterson.
Faber, 53 pp., £5.99, April 1993, 0 571 16808 6
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Out of Danger 
by James Fenton.
Penguin, 103 pp., £7.50, December 1993, 0 14 058719 5
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... our flesh’s sextant sets ... This churning is our journey. But we already have the wonderful Howard Nemerov – whose voice is heard throughout – for this kind of mild civic editorial. Updike may not, in truth, know how to write poetry; but his deep talent is such that even the slightest poem rarely flows away without leaving some valuable ...
... disorder more firmly and poignantly than anything else can do, even while containing it. Howard Nemerov has said: ‘There is no thought so secret or so unique, so wicked or shameful or sublime, that the same has not quietly occurred to many others. Poetry is a realm in which such thoughts, such feelings may be tested without imprecating ...

Dye the Steak Blue

Lidija Haas: Shirley Jackson, 19 August 2010

Shirley Jackson: Novels and Stories 
edited by Joyce Carol Oates.
Library of America, 827 pp., $35, May 2010, 978 1 59853 072 8
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... hostess, and threw raucous parties. Stanley had weekly all-night poker games with Kenneth Burke, Howard Nemerov (who recorded them in his poetry) and other Bennington friends. This sort of entertaining wasn’t incompatible with lax housekeeping; on one occasion the men ran out of booze and trawled the house for half-empty glasses, pouring the contents ...

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