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Jacqueline Rose: My Evening with Farage

23 October 2013
... I dreamed I was at an event to remember Frank Kermode and then found myself in the dark basement of a London restaurant, or rather a deep cellar adjoining a basement in which some kind of political party seemed to be taking place. Although it was hard to see and even harder to hear, the figure of Nigel Farage could be glimpsed standing in a corner at the far side of the gathering ...

At the Donmar

Jacqueline Rose

4 December 2014
... In the latest Coors Light Ice Bar cinema advertisement, Jean-Claude Van Damme slices through enormous ice blocks with his bare hands and shatters them with a single thrust of his legs. Perhaps it was because I saw the ad within 24 hours of Phyllida Lloyd’s extraordinary all-female production of Shakespeare’s Henry IV, which ends its sell-out London run on 29 November, that the play struck me as an object lesson in masculinity for our times ...


Terry Eagleton

20 June 1996
States of Fantasy 
by Jacqueline Rose.
Oxford, 183 pp., £20, March 1996, 0 19 818280 5
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... the Third World. Post-Structuralists have turned to Africa and the Caribbean; the feminist critic Jacqueline Rose, who is also Jewish, has turned in this collection of Clarendon Lectures to Israel and South Africa; and the odd middle-aged Marxist has discovered a stomping-ground in Ireland, which if not exactly Third World hovers somewhere around the ...

Deadly Embrace

Jacqueline Rose: Suicide bombers

4 November 2004
My Life Is a Weapon: A Modern History of Suicide Bombing 
by Christoph Reuter, translated by Helena Ragg-Kirkby.
Princeton, 246 pp., £15.95, May 2004, 0 691 11759 4
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Army of Roses: Inside the World of Palestinian Women Suicide Bombers 
by Barbara Victor.
Robinson, 321 pp., £8.99, April 2004, 1 84119 937 0
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... Or, in the words of the psychologist Shafiq Masalha, interviewed by Barbara Victor in Army of Roses, ‘to be tempted to go to Paradise means that life on earth is hell.’ On the one hand, suicide bombers are beyond any understanding. On the other, the mind of Islam can be uncovered in its most intimate detail. Reuter opens his book by asking: what ...
19 October 1995
Christina Rossetti: A Literary Biography 
by Jan Marsh.
Cape, 634 pp., £25, December 1994, 0 224 03585 1
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... One of the problems for right-wing promoters of ideal family life is that there is no way of predicting its outcome. It is as if those who confidently assert that absent fathers spell delinquency for the children, inadequate mothers addiction, divorce an incapacity to hold onto relationships or to love in a sustained way, never stop to ask why it is that the most stable and long-lasting of family unions can produce offspring who run wild, turn to drugs, contract out of loving, who seem, often perversely and inexplicably, to be committed to the most extreme forms of gratifying and/or punishing themselves ...


Jacqueline Rose: ‘Specimen Days’

22 September 2005
Specimen Days 
by Michael Cunningham.
Fourth Estate, 308 pp., £14.99, August 2005, 0 00 715605 7
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... At the centre of Michael Cunningham’s new novel, in the second of its three tales, Cat, a black woman police investigator in New York, has the job of receiving and recording the calls of people threatening to blow themselves and others to pieces. Only because these deranged stories have become too familiar does she miss the one who really means it, a young boy, who, without forewarning or apparent motive, goes up to a stranger in Central Park, embraces him and explodes ...

Corkscrew in the Neck

Jacqueline Rose: Bad Summer Reading

9 September 2015
The Girl on the Train 
by Paula Hawkins.
Doubleday, 320 pp., £12.99, January 2015, 978 0 85752 231 3
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Gone Girl 
by Gillian Flynn.
Weidenfeld, 512 pp., £8.99, September 2014, 978 1 78022 822 8
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... the swish of, say, Fay Weldon’s clipped, often brutal but hilarious advertisement-copy polished prose (she worked in an ad firm before writing her first novel). One of the reasons for the success of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train may be that they make violence not just compelling, like any horror story, nor just manageable, like detective stories (which ...

‘This is not a biography’

Jacqueline Rose: Sylvia Plath

22 August 2002
... because it is internalised in such a vulnerable way in the sexual identities of the children. Ms Rose will surely agree with this. After all, there are still countries where speculation about somebody’s mother’s sexual life is grounds for homicide.’ To which he adds: ‘Ms Rose thought that she was writing a book ...

What more could we want of ourselves!

Jacqueline Rose: Rosa Luxemburg

16 June 2011
The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg 
edited by Georg Adler, Peter Hudis and Annelies Laschitza, translated by George Shriver.
Verso, 609 pp., £25, February 2011, 978 1 84467 453 4
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... of a reader of her work by Duke University Press and of this essay, Paul Myerscough interviewed Jacqueline Rose in front of an audience at the London Review Bookshop. An audio recording of the interview can be found here. We live in revolutionary times. I cannot imagine now what it would have been like to be thinking about Rosa Luxemburg if the ...

Agents of Their Own Abuse

Jacqueline Rose: The Treatment of Migrant Women

10 October 2019
... at Europe’s door are its ghosts (exactly the return of the repressed). In 1994, the lawyers Jacqueline Bhabha and Sue Shutter described the dire record on migration of ‘Fortress Europe’: 1.3 million refugees were living in Europe at a time when there were two million in Sudan, one of the poorest countries in the world. In May 1993, the German ...

‘J’accuse’: Dreyfus in Our Times

Jacqueline Rose: A Lecture

10 June 2010
... stop there, and certainly reach British shores. On grounds of national security, the state prosecutors argued that the most incriminating evidence against Dreyfus, which in fact did not exist, could not be revealed in court. David Miliband recently used exactly the same argument to justify withholding details of Great Britain’s policy on and, the ...

A Mere Piece of Furniture

Dinah Birch: Jacqueline Rose’s take on Proust

7 February 2002
by Jacqueline Rose.
Chatto, 205 pp., £14.99, October 2001, 0 7011 6976 1
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... the 20th century the more intellectual Hamlet was identified as the central text. Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead enacts a bleaker Shakespearean inheritance. No touch of immortality or hope of salvation for these helpless courtiers. This is a drama preoccupied with its own fixed conclusion: ‘In our experience, most things end with ...

Going underground

Elaine Showalter

12 May 1994
The Silent Woman: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes 
by Janet Malcolm.
Knopf, 208 pp., $23, April 1994, 0 679 43158 6
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... is a fiercely loyal Cerberus at the entrance to the cave, who warns Malcolm of the ‘awful’ Jacqueline Rose and her forthcoming book, The Haunting of Sylvia Plath; but agrees to show Malcolm the house in which Plath committed suicide. Its very ordinariness brings powerfully to her mind ‘the tension between time and history’ – time which ...

Smashing the Teapots

Jacqueline Rose

23 January 1997
Virginia Woolf 
by Hermione Lee.
Chatto, 722 pp., £20, September 1996, 0 7011 6507 3
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... large. Not just because of the homosexuality (barely concealed behind the earlier Victorian heterosexual constraint), but because of the strange mixture of opposites in them, which Woolf often found maddening but which she herself sometimes shared: free speech and chronic inhibition, liberal and socialist politics alongside a blinding contempt for the rest ...

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