Search Results

Advanced Search

1 to 15 of 19 results

Sort by:

Filter by:


Article Types



Ian Patterson, 13 September 2018

... Empty air is a distraction         cut out of another void                 scissored away from cypress avenues and dusty white roads too far         below to see anything in it                 that feels like thinking or flying. As we could be, now,         through this shiny air swooping                 on details like a camera or a firefly touching down for a moment         on a roof, contact lenses or sunglasses                 pointed at a ridge-tile ...

Saving Time

Ian Patterson, 19 January 2017

... for John Berger It was called a hand as proof, spotless and caught       like watching a false cuff, kind of. It is a pepper mill or a path like a vision along to the glass door. Her will       and the men, hesitating, end up like a house fire. A tight fit bolts and lands in such a way. The shape of hers       seems to me to lament mere shade ...

Two Poems

Ian Patterson, 19 March 2020

... Marsh Air IIts very silhouette was an echo of fancy paintapproached on time, I thought, to drive hands downthe throat in a second with nothing much to tellOff in a whistle soon she was forced to write his typeso what must scarcely exist was drawn and died freeof air and local looks back into the time of this.Better ventures rock in flat belief and he loves thefeeling used by lines to remind him of remains to visit,or to fling as a piece in the sack out on her only ground,yet then talkative in the open window curving downlike a curtain on themselves and a book ...

Plenty of Nothing

Ian Patterson, 29 June 2017

... in memoriam Jenny Diski 1947-2016 Pale duty stamps about in plenty of nothing         like the night when you knew everything to time when each step was beaten off when the rack might add         more glory and I would watch the stars not kin nor proof to rule the sphere to know         by clothes and tea how to cut them out of lino Now see who has the little boat of love and wave         adrift more salt at its best splash scornful enough away on your right to curve well in some hope then         plunge like blame, a hat tossed up and gone and lost wires humming if ever there was one at hand         always apt to walk with me out of my mind’s eye Old china caught to hold as springless nature seeps up         and wells and brims and falls back again in a forest of beasts where silent stories reach an end         or in dark lists above the clause that starts to die left to review by me my kindest cut scabbed as a free         local disguise made naked to suffer for doing just that You could give it up for hope’s always a bit of web to ignore         bound into the relief wire bad as you wish for this lack of a figure in the grip of method on the screen         to burst out of acid to be like last at the spindle instant as a gripping vertigo flash vacuum leaves spores in place         of humanism for us when this frolic unveils payment End a hard time to get enough pink forms to reconcile         two worlds of the mind to say the least and work safe hands on what we know to move abroad like autumn         leaves the trees revealed at last as a mouthpiece for language a copy to taste such stress detail at times of less art chat tangled         to a dead tune in sharp clothes in a space of her own Make one pall as another hand leaves another letter fail to         earth what it says out walking on skin debris from two true stories in matters as if we lavish its fine tip on lungs of art         to put a stop to this tread or peg out between ruts in thin sheen as that eye that glass jar screwed cold and dark in pots         too out all the same with a stump eyed from the window After midnight it was a baffle or a very good copy in some style         stapled deep with a mist full of blood for free detritus flooding slides in capital sequence to watch them drive stout posts         bleak to look at into the dark ground the black lightless fen all about the aims of the whole bound in like a literary theory         snarled in rough cuts to earn a living to repudiate The hoover fades beneath a lethal march off this page         to another partiality from the air against his masks to form him now in terror forays or shape him in dumps         in flame run half afraid on a floor of damp glass a lip at fault speaking idle threads down to the bona fide dress         shirt in hand over fist spooning into his face So would you care to remain here and be consumed         round the neck as the only way downward like a load of light verse enduring through barrage and fancy filaments         twittering in the ceanothus of invention parcels the air bent into aesthetic shapes of this mercy or that or broken         right apart eaten away starved crushed old mad blind and stamped on Late level force embraces anybody it’s true and I must agree         with you out of my hands to where the cities are power splashed out in a witless sense, a complex merit or class say         or ever becoming a kind of work out loud burning it from one end to the other just because of skin declaring decay         that might be a view from nowhere but a day in the country What was made by us is hanging about covered in ribbons and birdshit         and aprons all set on this time of night for any other way through tangles of a seedy mind to hold nothing touched or even true         to the same life just a door step away from a sheepish mouth munching a sliver of something carmine and ludicrously         pastoral as fishpaste or cracks full of dust or an entire bowl Don’t nod or scramble so ruefully for dupes or lying for the poor         furtive moon-blush army come back to try the view a lone odour of almonds: am here am you we’re a monstrous pair of crows         doubting summer’s purchase a blush in a garden of gleams sowing seeds by the ankle path to sow wind in the tender cedar         a charm above the door dilapidated its charm raddled And see off a dumb tally over a long night’s counting till the sun         gilds the new and sole account crowned legendary and lost a film a few saw sheepishly on a blank promise to be better after it         slipped inside to do as we go into the barrier; a face opens the book of wishes and glides illegible as badgers in a complex pattern         buries a bad label a gesture or tab scrawl I’d like to escape from Oh secure fluid relief at your age one exists or leaves and will         dissolve by final flux over you unaided inflicted and not once more be ever one we hear so much and weep at windows in lost sentences         ignored in the rest ...

At the Fitzwilliam

Ian Patterson: A tidying-up and a sorting-out, 11 August 2016

... The Fitzwilliam Museum​ in Cambridge is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year with a series of exhibitions and activities designed to illustrate different aspects of the collection, which since its foundation in 1816 has been wonderfully various: various enough at times in the past to constitute a muddle of badly hung or oddly displayed materials ...

On Keston Sutherland

Ian Patterson: Keston Sutherland, 21 September 2017

... Occasionally,​ really not very often, a translation makes something like a jagged hole in the even surface of literary reception, out of which emerge half-familiar figures, dazzling in their new accessibility. Most translations fail at some point because of the twin principles of fidelity and compromise; too often, especially if they are translations of poems, they are not enough like original writing to carry the conviction they need to embody if they are to come anywhere near the force of the work itself ...

The Method of Drifting

Ian Patterson: John Craske, 10 September 2015

Threads: The Delicate Life of John Craske 
by Julia Blackburn.
Cape, 344 pp., £25, April 2015, 978 0 224 09776 5
Show More
Show More
... In​ the final pages of The Rings of Saturn, W.G. Sebald imagined ‘the depths of despair into which those can be driven who, even after the end of the working day, are engrossed in their intricate designs and who are pursued, into their dreams, by the feeling that they have got hold of the wrong thread’. Sebald was talking about weavers, but the feeling must be common to all sorts of artists, and to researchers, too ...

Sexy Robots

Ian Patterson: ‘Machines Like Me’, 9 May 2019

Machines like Me 
by Ian McEwan.
Cape, 305 pp., £18.99, April 2019, 978 1 78733 166 2
Show More
Show More
... a very short story by Diane Williams which came into my mind while I was reading Machines like Me, Ian McEwan’s 15th novel. It’s called ‘Machinery’ and it’s 104 words long. It ends: ‘For some idea of the full range of tools at his disposal, one would have to know what human longings are all about, a calm voice says calmly.’ McEwan has always been ...

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
Show More
Show More
... There​ is something generational about the recent revival of interest in the novelist Ann Quin. After scarcely even maintaining a cult reputation among writers in the years since her death, she’s reappeared like a revenant who’d been lurking in dark corners, and now everybody’s writing about her. Since the rediscovery of B.S. Johnson (if that’s what it was) that followed Jonathan Coe’s biography a few years ago there’s been a wave of enthusiasm for ‘experimental fiction ...

My Books

Ian Patterson, 4 July 2019

... I’ve always needed​ to have books around me, quantities of them, ever since I can remember. There may be something pathological about it. When I was a boy, the eldest child of literate but not bibliophile parents, in a big enough house in suburban Cheshire, most of my pocket money went on books – Billy Bunter, Jennings, William, War Picture Library, Biggles, Arthur Ransome, bird books ...

Miss Dior, Prodigally Applied

Ian Patterson: Jilly Cooper, 18 May 2017

by Jilly Cooper.
Corgi, 610 pp., £7.99, February 2017, 978 0 552 17028 4
Show More
Show More
... Jilly Cooper​ ’s work is not, so far as I know, much studied in universities. In the Senior Combination Room one lunchtime recently, when I mentioned that I was writing this review, a Very Senior Person slumped forward with his head in his hands, muttering: ‘Oh no, soft porn!’ Other people either laugh, or look quizzically at me and hurry away ...

The Body in the Library Is Never Our Own

Ian Patterson: On Ngaio Marsh, 5 November 2020

... Since this trouble with my back, I’ve read all the detective stories there ever were, I should think,’ a character says in Agatha Christie’s Peril at End House. ‘Nothing else seems to pass the time away so quick.’ My back is OK but I’ve spent the last 15 months reading detective fiction, most of it written between the late 1920s and the mid-1950s, an extended survey of the genre’s ‘golden age ...

The Thing

Michael Wood: Versions of Proust, 6 January 2005

In Search of Lost Time: Vol. I: The Way by Swann’s 
by Marcel Proust, edited by Christopher Prendergast, translated by Lydia Davis.
Penguin, 496 pp., £8.99, October 2003, 0 14 118031 5
Show More
In Search of Lost Time: Vol.II: In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower 
by Marcel Proust, edited by Christopher Prendergast, translated by James Grieve.
Penguin, 576 pp., £8.99, October 2003, 0 14 118032 3
Show More
In Search of Lost Time: Vol. III: The Guermantes Way 
by Marcel Proust, edited by Christopher Prendergast, translated by Mark Treharne.
Penguin, 640 pp., £8.99, October 2003, 0 14 118033 1
Show More
In Search of Lost Time: Vol. IV: Sodom and Gomorrah 
by Marcel Proust, edited by Christopher Prendergast, translated by John Sturrock.
Penguin, 576 pp., £8.99, October 2003, 9780141180342
Show More
In Search of Lost Time: Vol. V: ‘The Prisoner’ and ‘The Fugitive’ 
by Marcel Proust, edited by Christopher Prendergast, translated by Carol Clark and Peter Collier.
Penguin, 720 pp., £8.99, October 2003, 0 14 118035 8
Show More
In Search of Lost Time: Vol. VI: Finding Time Again 
by Marcel Proust, edited by Christopher Prendergast, translated by Ian Patterson.
Penguin, 400 pp., £8.99, October 2003, 0 14 118036 6
Show More
The Proust Project 
edited by André Aciman.
Farrar, Straus, 224 pp., $25, November 2004, 0 374 23832 4
Show More
Show More
... leave it. Translating this sentence in its context, in the last volume of In Search of Lost Time, Ian Patterson has ‘the only true paradise is a paradise that we have lost.’ This is good because idiomatic, and it gets rid of the troubling plural. How many paradises could we bear to lose, and how many chances do we think we have? ‘Only’ seems a ...

She wore Isabel Marant

Joanna Biggs: Literary London, 2 August 2018

by Olivia Laing.
Picador, 140 pp., £12.99, June 2018, 978 1 5098 9283 9
Show More
Show More
... of Kathy Acker for the Guardian; she had been holidaying in Val d’Orcia with her newish husband, Ian Patterson, the Cambridge academic and poet who was Jenny Diski’s husband until her death in April 2016; she was tweeting about Sam Shepard and Brexit and the Booker shortlist and a new Laure Prouvost show and Charlie Gard and Call Me by Your Name and ...

May ’88

Douglas Johnson, 21 April 1988

Les Sept Mitterrand 
by Catherine Nay.
Grasset, 286 pp., frs 96, September 1988, 2 246 36291 1
Show More
France Today 
by John Ardagh.
Secker, 647 pp., £22.50, October 1987, 0 436 01746 6
Show More
Jacques Chirac 
by Franz-Oliver Giesbert.
Seuil, 455 pp., frs 125, April 1987, 2 02 009771 0
Show More
Monsieur Barre 
by Henri Amouroux.
Laffont, 584 pp., frs 125, June 1986, 2 221 04954 3
Show More
The Workers’ Movement 
by Alain Touraine, Michel Wieviorka and François Dubet, translated by Ian Patterson.
Cambridge/Editions de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, 322 pp., £35, October 1987, 0 521 30852 6
Show More
The State and the Market Economy: Industrial Patriotism and Economic Intervention in France 
by Jack Hayward.
Wheatsheaf, 267 pp., £32.50, December 1985, 0 7450 0012 6
Show More
France under Recession 1981-86 
by John Tuppen.
Macmillan, 280 pp., £29.50, February 1988, 0 333 39889 0
Show More
Show More
... In April 1984 President Mitterrand gave a press conference unlike any that had previously been held under the Fifth Republic. He did not sit at a sombre bureau Louis XV decorated with red, white and blue flowers. He was not playing the part of the professor from the Sorbonne, as de Gaulle had so often done, lecturing his audience on the history of France ...

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences