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Bourgeois Masterpieces

Julian Symons, 13 June 1991

Literature and Liberation: Selected Essays 
by Arnold Kettle, edited by Graham Martin and W.R. Owens.
Manchester, 231 pp., £9.95, February 1991, 9780719027734
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... caste antagonism and snobbery. Some of his points have been made before, by that erratic genius Jack Lindsay in his undervalued study of Dickens, but others are new and pungently put, like the offhand observation that the corrupting force in Our Mutual Friend ‘is not money but bourgeois attitudes to it’. The whole article is vitiated, however, by ...

Althusser’s Fate

Douglas Johnson, 16 April 1981

The Long March of the French Left 
by R.W. Johnson.
Macmillan, 345 pp., £20, March 1981, 0 333 27417 2
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One-Dimensional Marxism 
by Simon Clarke and Terry Lovell.
Allison and Busby, 256 pp., £9.95, June 1980, 0 85031 367 8
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Communism and Philosophy 
by Maurice Cornforth.
Lawrence and Wishart, 282 pp., £8.95, July 1980, 0 85315 430 9
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The Crisis of Marxism 
by Jack Lindsay.
Moonraker, 183 pp., £7.95, March 1981, 0 239 00200 8
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Class in English History 1680-850 
by R.S. Neale.
Blackwell, 250 pp., £12, January 1981, 0 631 12851 4
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... to the profit of all men, cannot follow him in schematic ventures into would-be Marxist theory. Jack Lindsay believes that Althusser’s use of structuralism caused him to read into Marx what Marx did not write, and caused him to reject the unity of theory and practice. R.S. Neale, in a wide-ranging and stimulating examination of the ways in which ...

Just Like Cookham

Neal Ascherson: Stanley Spencer in China, 19 May 2011

Passport to Peking: A Very British Mission to Mao’s China 
by Patrick Wright.
Oxford, 591 pp., £20, October 2010, 978 0 19 954193 5
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... were right for the wrong reasons. Neither side could match the wisdom of a man like Michael Lindsay, guide and adviser to Attlee’s group. Lindsay had lived with Mao and Zhou as a friend and comrade through the years of struggle in Yenan, but saw clearly, at an early stage, the fatal signs of growing dogmatism and ...

My Books

Ian Patterson, 4 July 2019

... Books bought in Cambridge from the libraries of Raymond Williams, Dadie Rylands, Tony Tanner, Jack Lindsay and other luminaries. Even the most unassuming books prompted recollections. They composed a sort of biography, each one acting like a door in an advent calendar, opening on to some moment in the past.Still, they had to go. From a dozen shelves ...


Alan Bennett: Fresh Revelations, 20 October 1994

... 13 January. Having supper in the National Theatre restaurant are Lindsay Anderson and Gavin Lambert. ‘I suppose you like this place,’ says Lindsay. I do, actually, as the food is now very good. I say so and Lindsay, who judges all restaurants by the standard of the Cosmo in Finchley Road, smiles wearily, pleased to be reassured about one’s moral decline ...


Jonathan Barnes, 9 July 1987

Philoponus and the Rejection of Aristotelian Science 
by Richard Sorabji.
Duckworth, 253 pp., £29.50, February 1987, 0 7156 2089 4
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... Ioannes Philoponus – Industrious Jack – was a Christian Neoplatonist who worked in Greek Alexandria in the sixth century AD. He was a tireless author. His vast oeuvre, considerable portions of which survive, included commentaries on Aristotle, philosophical treatises, and works of Christian theology and Christian polemic ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Hatchet Jobs, 11 September 2003

... is sometimes prepared to find fault (assuming this is done with a modicum of intelligence). Ian Jack, the editor of Granta, writing in the Guardian last year, came up with the following paradox: ‘Nobody who has struggled in front of a screen or paper for three years deserves a pasting written in half a day by a 23-year-old, though the pasting might be ...

Looking back in anger

Hilary Mantel, 21 November 1991

Almost a Gentleman. An Autobiography: Vol. II 1955-66 
by John Osborne.
Faber, 273 pp., £14.99, November 1991, 0 571 16261 4
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... Throughout both books Osborne reproduces letters sent to him by his mother and relatives. Uncle Jack writes to him: ‘There is nothing to report, only I have lost the sight of one eye.’ If the Osborne family had lived, say, in Lancashire instead of London, such a letter would have made Jack a local celebrity; a turn of ...


Duncan McLean: Frank Sargeson, 7 June 2018

... sign is invisible. A fortnight later I was in Wellington, drinking craft beer in a pub with Hera Lindsay Bird, the most successful young poet in New Zealand. Her work is funny, vivid and provocative, and flows like a late-night conversation. Surely she must have drawn on the example of Sargeson and his demotic narration? ‘I know virtually nothing about ...

How does one talk to these people?

Andrew O’Hagan: David Storey in the Dark, 1 July 2021

A Stinging Delight: A Memoir 
by David Storey.
Faber, 407 pp., £20, June, 978 0 571 36031 4
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... appeared in 1960 and he continued to write novels while turning to the theatre, encouraged by Lindsay Anderson, who was looking for a version of cinéma vérité, a documentary realism, or a theatre of facts, that would upset the drawing-room culture of English drama. Storey had enormous success, but, for all of it, there was a psychological regress, the ...

Karel Reisz Remembered

LRB Contributors, 12 December 2002

... later became a teacher and a writer for film journals, one of which, Sequence, he co-founded with Lindsay Anderson and Gavin Lambert. Along with Anderson and Tony Richardson, Reisz aimed to bring a version of auteurism to British film, and they did as much with the documentary movement Free Cinema. In 1959, Reisz directed We Are the Lambeth Boys, and he made ...


Alan Bennett: Where I was in 1993, 16 December 1993

... the moral issues. Nobody points this out, least of all to her.18 April. A 70th-birthday party for Lindsay Anderson in St Mary’s Church Hall, Paddington. Lindsay in one of his presents, a silk dressing-gown (‘I’m wearing it to show that I am quite happy to direct Noël Coward if asked’). A wheelchair has been ...


Edward Pearce, 26 July 1990

A Sparrow’s Flight: Memoirs 
by Lord Hailsham.
Collins, 463 pp., £17.50, July 1990, 0 00 215545 1
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... her mistress. But when she smelt those suitcases with the familiar scents, little Mini, the Jack Russell bitch, nearly went mad with joy and had almost forcibly to be removed from the room.’ Hailsham the private man, son, husband, even father of the egregious Douglas, is very lovable, so much so that the Hogg of the two ...

What’s not to like?

Stefan Collini: Ernest Gellner, 2 June 2011

Ernest Gellner: An Intellectual Biography 
by John Hall.
Verso, 400 pp., £29.99, July 2010, 978 1 84467 602 6
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... because of his war service), and then, through the patronage of Balliol’s Scottish master, A.D. Lindsay, was immediately appointed as an assistant lecturer in moral philosophy at Edinburgh. After two years, he moved to the London School of Economics, where he was to stay for the next 35 years. A photograph of the 26-year-old Gellner, three years into his ...


Alan Bennett: A Shameful Year, 8 January 2004

... it even when I was a part of it.16 March. One of the lowest moments this year was Tony Blair and Jack Straw misrepresenting the French and German position on Iraq in order to encourage xenophobia and get more support from the Murdoch papers.17 March. A bin Laden associate reported as being ‘quizzed’ by American agents in Pakistan. Were suspects ...

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