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A Toast at the Trocadero

Terry Eagleton: D.J. Taylor

18 February 2016
The Prose Factory: Literary Life in England since 1918 
by D.J. Taylor.
Chatto, 501 pp., £25, January 2016, 978 0 7011 8613 5
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... an ‘ideological crusade’. He is not himself, need one say, an ideological critic: he is a card-carrying middle-class liberal, which is not a question of ideology but of common sense. Ideology, like bad breath, is what the other guy has. The far left is the prisoner of its own rigid egalitarian dogma, whereas middle-class liberals adhere in more moderate ...
22 May 1980
How far can you go? 
by David Lodge.
Secker, 244 pp., £5.95, April 1980, 0 436 25661 4
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Life before Man 
by Margaret Atwood.
Cape, 317 pp., £5.95, March 1980, 0 224 01782 9
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Desirable Residence 
by Lettice Cooper.
Gollancz, 191 pp., £5.50, April 1980, 0 575 02787 8
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A Month in the Country 
by J.L. Carr.
Harvester, 110 pp., £6.50, April 1980, 0 85527 328 3
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... are left to suppose that they might sometime begin to work. By a strange synchronistic phenomenon J.L. Carr’s A Month in the Country is like Paul Bailey’s latest novel, a short admirably written story about two survivors from World War One. But they are not old soldiers: it is set in the summer of 1920. Birkin, who tells his own tale, has been hired ...

Whakapapa

D.A.N. Jones

21 November 1985
The Prague Orgy 
by Philip Roth.
Cape, 89 pp., £5.95, October 1985, 0 224 02815 4
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Loyalties 
by Raymond Williams.
Chatto, 378 pp., £9.95, September 1985, 0 7011 2843 7
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Cousin Rosamund 
by Rebecca West.
Macmillan, 295 pp., £9.95, October 1985, 0 333 39797 5
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The Battle of Pollocks Crossing 
by J.L. Carr.
Viking, 176 pp., £8.95, May 1985, 0 670 80559 9
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The Bone People 
by Keri Hulme.
Hodder, 450 pp., £9.95, July 1985, 0 340 37024 6
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... keeps effing-and-blinding in a supposedly American style, trying to persuade him to marry her and carry her off to the States. He meets her at an apology for an ‘orgy’ in a 17th-century palazzo frequented by Czech dissidents and thoroughly bugged by Czech Security. When Zuckerman gets hold of the good Yiddish stories, the security men confiscate them and ...

Flying the flag

Patrick Parrinder

18 November 1993
The Modern British Novel 
by Malcolm Bradbury.
Secker, 512 pp., £20, October 1993, 0 436 20132 1
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After the War: The Novel and English Society since 1945 
by D.J. Taylor.
Chatto, 310 pp., £17.99, September 1993, 9780701137694
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... But the Orwellian echo is too grandiose for the occasion, and as for the pastoral novelists – J.L. Carr and the late Don Bannister – one must hope that they are not unceremoniously ditched in Taylor’s next volume. Is modern fiction inadequate because the modern world is too complex for the novelist to grasp? Taylor took this view in A Vain ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: My 2006

4 January 2007
... rather Buñuelesque) by Duff C. and Lady W. being so middle-aged and ultra respectable. John Julius Norwich puts his father’s sexual success down to his ability to write bad sonnets to his lady-friends but one wonders if it was a more basic attraction. The moustache is hardly a plus, the photograph on the book jacket making him look like a 1940s cinema ...

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