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Lacanian Jesuit

David Wootton: Michel de Certeau

4 October 2001
The Possession at Loudun 
by Michel de Certeau, translated by Michael Smith.
Chicago, 251 pp., £27, August 2000, 0 226 10034 0
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The Certeau Reader 
edited by Graham Ward.
Blackwell, 320 pp., £60, November 1999, 0 631 21278 7
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Michel de Certeau: Cultural Theorist 
by Ian Buchanan.
Sage, 143 pp., £50, July 2000, 0 7619 5897 5
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... there are now two collections of selected essays: The Certeau Reader follows Heterologies (1986). Ian Buchanan’s is the second book to have been written about him, and Buchanan’s main fear is not that we will be unfamiliar with Certeau’s work but rather that we will regard him as already out of date; hence his ...

Two Poems

Gavin Ewart

17 March 1988
... the tunes to which the name is given. Beethoven, Chopin and Schubert have left écossaises for piano, and there is nothing Scottish about any of them. Percy Scholes, The Oxford Companion to Music Like Robert Louis Stevenson living in Samoa, like George MacBeth living in Sheffield, like Ian Brady living in Greater ...

Whitlam Fictions

Zachary Leader

16 February 1989
Kisses of the Enemy 
by Rodney Hall.
Faber, 622 pp., £12.95, January 1989, 0 571 15091 8
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Postcards from Surfers 
by Helen Garner.
Bloomsbury, 180 pp., £11.95, January 1989, 0 7475 0272 2
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Forty-Seventeen 
by Frank Moorhouse.
Faber, 175 pp., £10.95, August 1988, 0 571 15210 4
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... The most striking feature of contemporary Australian writing – or so it is now claimed – is the robust health of its fiction, notably of two contrasting fictional modes: the short story and the massive novel of national identity. Poetry, the dominant genre of the late Sixties and early Seventies, no longer holds undisputed pride of place, a development attributed in part to the proliferation of state and academic subsidy, in particular the creation in 1973, by the Whitlam Labour Government, of the Literature Board of the newly-formed Australia Council ...
9 May 1996
John Wayne: American 
by Randy Roberts and James Olson.
Free Press, 738 pp., £17.99, March 1996, 0 02 923837 4
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... Ford’s The Searchers as one of the five best movies ever made; it starred John Wayne, as the Indian-hating Ethan Edwards. John Wayne casts his shadow over far more than Orange County and Hollywood. Eric Bentley, the Brecht scholar and editor of a volume of testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee, has called John Wayne ‘the most ...

Diary

Ian Gilmour: The Terminal 5 Enquiry

19 March 1998
... suffer it have no right of legal action to secure its abatement.’ Needless to say, the politicians and civil servants paid no attention. No action was taken and the sufferers from noise were given no legal rights. In 1979, the Inspector at the Heathrow Fourth Terminal inquiry, Iain Glidewell, made the well-known pronouncement: ‘In my view, the present ...
3 September 1987
Before the oil ran out: Britain 1977-86 
by Ian Jack.
Secker, 271 pp., £9.95, June 1987, 0 436 22020 2
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In a Distant Isle: The Orkney Background of Edwin Muir 
by George Marshall.
Scottish Academic Press, 184 pp., £12.50, May 1987, 0 7073 0469 5
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... The item which seems set to stay longest with me from Ian Jack’s alert and precisely-written record of British life in the Seventies and Eighties comes from the opening memoir of his father, which supplies a deeper soil, or subsoil, to the son’s coverage of more recent matters for the Sunday Times and (since Wapping) the Observer: Few of his workplaces survive ...

Speaking in Tongues

Robert Crawford

8 February 1996
The Poetry of Scotland: Gaelic, Scots and English 1380-1980 
edited and introduced by Roderick Watson.
Edinburgh, 752 pp., £19.95, May 1995, 0 7486 0607 6
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... what stands out is its inclusiveness. Here (in English translation) are the great Latinist George Buchanan and the Gaelic poet Alexander Mac-Donald. Duncan Ban MacIntyre’s expansive 18th-century Gaelic poem on deer (echoes of which can be heard in Crichton Smith and Les Murray) is juxtaposed with John Davidson’s ‘A Runnable Stag’. This should have ...

In Pyjamas

R.W. Johnson: Bill Deedes’s Decency

17 November 2005
Dear Bill: A Memoir 
by W.F. Deedes.
Macmillan, 451 pp., £14.99, July 2005, 9781405052665
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... Bill Deedes is justly celebrated as a nice man and an English archetype, the sort of character Ian Carmichael used to play in Ealing comedies: Woosterish, emollient, never standing on his rank, always accepting Tory family values – usually expressed more forcefully by a fearsome, chauffeur-driven auntie figure, as played by Margaret Rutherford, or, in Deedes’s own life, by Margaret Thatcher ...

Serried Yuppiedromes

Owen Hatherley: What happened to London?

20 August 2014
Guide to the Architecture of London 
by Edward Jones and Christopher Woodward.
Phoenix, 511 pp., £16.99, July 2013, 978 1 78022 493 0
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... some time in the late 1920s, banalised by the combination of aridity and pompous excess in Edwardian and interwar imperial architecture. Jones and Woodward are masterful in capturing the appeal of the rational city as Wren, Hawksmoor, Nash, Smirke and Dance envisaged it, with its clarity, elegance, decorum and gentlemanliness; they are scrupulous in ...

Glaswegians

Andrew O’Hagan

11 May 1995
... off the west of Ireland. A fair number of Scots manned the ship during the closing months of 1940: Ian Affleck used to work in Kalac’s Cycle and Motor Store in Forfar, and felt he’d been born to help power a ship such as this, named after his own town. Angus McInnes’s father had been a fisherman on the Isle of Harris; Angus had sailed with Forfar since ...

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