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Canons

Frank Kermode, 2 February 1984

Holy Scripture: Canon, Authority, Criticism 
by James Barr.
Oxford, 181 pp., £13, June 1983, 0 19 826323 6
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Structuralist Interpretations of Biblical Myth 
by Edmund Leach and D. Alan Aycock.
Cambridge, 170 pp., £15, September 1983, 0 521 25491 4
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... row going on among the professionals who deal with the real thing. This powerfully written book by James Barr is for the most part a polemic against a new wave of Biblical criticism called by its proponents ‘canonical criticism’, and to get the hang of Barr’s book one needs some idea of what he is ...

Short Cuts

David Bromwich: Mueller Time, 18 April 2019

... 2016 election and its possible connection with the Trump campaign, submitted his report to William Barr, the US attorney general. Two days later, Barr sent a letter to Congress summarising the two main conclusions of the report. First, he quoted Mueller’s conclusion that the inquiry ‘did not establish that members of the ...

Britishmen

Tom Paulin, 5 November 1981

Too Long a Sacrifice: Life and Death in Northern Ireland since 1969 
by Jack Holland.
Columbus, 217 pp., £7.95, July 1981, 0 396 07934 2
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A History of Northern Ireland 
by Patrick Buckland.
Gill and Macmillan, 195 pp., £3.95, April 1981, 0 7171 1069 9
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... the idea of an independent Northern Ireland. In a discussion with two American Congressmen, Glen Barr, until recently the chief UDA theorist, explained the reasons for his organisation’s change of attitude: On the Loyalist side, the Loyalist politicians have manipulated the Protestant people, who believed the Unionists. And we also believe that on the ...

Seeing double

Patrick Hughes, 7 May 1987

The Arcimboldo Effect 
by Pontus Hulten.
Thames and Hudson, 402 pp., £32, May 1987, 0 500 27471 1
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... enlarged photographs, in the exhibition ‘Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism’, organised by Alfred Barr at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1936. Margaret Barr remembers: Alfred and I were in Paris in 1931, going around to the galleries. We went to the Pierre Colle Gallery in the Rue de la Boétie where there was a ...

Keeping up the fight

Paul Delany, 24 January 1991

D.H. Lawrence: A Biography 
by Jeffrey Meyers.
Macmillan, 446 pp., £19.95, August 1990, 0 333 49247 1
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D.H. Lawrence 
by Tony Pinkney.
Harvester, 180 pp., £30, June 1990, 0 7108 1347 3
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England, My England, and Other Stories 
by D.H. Lawrence, edited by Bruce Steele.
Cambridge, 285 pp., £37.50, March 1990, 0 521 35267 3
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The ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ Trial (Regina v. Penguin Books Limited) 
edited by H. Montgomery Hyde.
Bodley Head, 333 pp., £18, June 1990, 0 370 31105 1
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Boy 
by James Hanley.
Deutsch, 191 pp., £11.99, August 1990, 0 233 98578 6
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D.H. Lawrence: A Literary Life 
by John Worthen.
Macmillan, 196 pp., £27.50, September 1989, 0 333 43352 1
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... close-mouthed about the hard facts of her marriage. Meyers relies on her daughter, Barbara Barr, for two bold claims: that Lawrence was sterile from about the age of 16, and that he had a physical affair with William Henry Hocking in 1917. Yet when Barr denies something that Meyers wants to believe – Frieda’s ...

Short Cuts

August Kleinzahler: Ubu Unchained, 5 March 2020

... over!’ When I turned on the computer I discovered that much of the commentariat felt the same. James Carville, Bill Clinton’s former attack dog, was behaving as if his own pet dog had just been run over by a bread truck.It got worse. Why are Republican operatives in South Carolina telling registered Republicans, who are allowed to vote in the state’s ...

House-Cleaning

David Bromwich: I met a Republican, 7 March 2019

... the scale of the thing dwarfs every preceding instance. On 20 December the secretary of defence, James Mattis, resigned after Trump tweeted his vow to withdraw from Syria. This led to a reiteration, by policy experts along with many Democrats and almost all the mainstream media, of the moral importance of staying in Syria. Solemn admonitions were combined ...

Heavy Sledding

Chauncey Loomis, 21 December 1989

The Arctic Grail: The Quest for the Northwest Passage and the North Pole, 1818-1909 
by Pierre Berton.
Viking, 672 pp., £16.95, May 1989, 0 670 82491 7
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Overland to Starvation Cove: With the Inuit in Search of Franklin 1878-1880 
by Heinrich Klutschak and William Barr.
Toronto, 261 pp., £17.50, February 1988, 0 8020 5762 4
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Frozen in Time: The Fate of the Franklin Expedition 
by Owen Beattie and John Geiger.
Bloomsbury, 180 pp., £12.95, November 1987, 0 7475 0101 7
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... the names of explorers, famous in their day, but now known only to Arctic buffs, such as John and James Clark Ross, Rae, Pullen, Collinson, M’Clure, Austin, Ommanney, Richardson, Penny, DeHaven, Kane, Forsyth, Bellot, Kennedy, Belcher, Inglefield, M’Clintock – and names of ships, such as ...

Mr Trendy Sicko

James Wolcott, 23 May 2019

White 
by Brett Easton Ellis.
Picador, 261 pp., £16.99, May 2019, 978 1 5290 1239 2
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... by Paul Schrader, a Hollywood thriller pairing the improbable team of Lindsay Lohan and porn stud James Deen. Deen acquitted himself quite well, giving a more convincing, noirish performance than Lohan, whose tardiness and wayward lurches were chronicled in an on-set report by Stephen Rodrick for the New York Times magazine titled ‘Here Is What Happens When ...

It’s Modern but is it contemporary?

Hal Foster, 16 December 2004

... roller-skating than to art (it is hung, somewhat lazily, with a few giant works such as F-111 by James Rosenquist), but it will be divided up for future shows. It is on the fifth floor that Taniguchi scales the architecture down, proportions the galleries nicely, and allows the collection of the Painting and Sculpture Department (P&S) to take over. The ...

Baudelairean

Mary Hawthorne: The Luck of Walker Evans, 5 February 2004

Walker Evans 
by James Mellow.
Perseus, 654 pp., £15.99, February 2002, 1 903985 13 7
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... A decade-long resuscitation began with the 1960 reissue of his collaborative effort with James Agee, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, which galvanised a new generation of social idealists and photographers. Then came the reissue of his book American Photography in 1962; a MoMA exhibition, in 1966, of subway photographs he’d taken in the 1930s and ...

Short Cuts

Mattathias Schwartz: John Bolton’s Unwitting Usefulness, 16 July 2020

... rounds that he might be restrained by an ‘axis of adults’: Tillerson, as secretary of state; James Mattis, as secretary of defence; and John Kelly, Trump’s chief of staff. Bolton wants to place himself outside this particular axis. He blames his colleagues for the administration’s chaotic lack of process, and for engaging in ‘transparently ...

Mother

Wendy Steiner, 19 October 1995

Gertrude Stein in Words and Pictures 
by Renate Stendhal.
Thames and Hudson, 286 pp., £14.95, March 1995, 0 500 27832 6
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‘Favoured Strangers’: Gertrude Stein and Her Family 
by Linda Wagner-Martin.
Rutgers, 346 pp., $34.95, August 1995, 0 8135 2169 6
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... legend; she pleased herself, and others came round. When she wrote in a final exam for William James, ‘I am so sorry but really I do not feel a bit like an examination paper in philosophy today,’ James understood, and gave her the highest grade in the class. She eventually graduated from Radcliffe magna cum ...

White Hat/Black Hat

Frances Richard: 20th-Century Art, 6 April 2006

Art since 1900: Modernism, Antimodernism, Postmodernism 
by Hal Foster, Rosalind Krauss, Yve-Alain Bois and Benjamin H.D. Buchloh.
Thames and Hudson, 704 pp., £45, March 2005, 0 500 23818 9
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... Modernism of automobiles and television. New names will appear: Clement Greenberg, Alfred Barr, Josef Albers, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Francis Bacon. All but the stodgiest departments – though this exempts many – will make gestures towards what has for the last thirty years been referred to, again tautologically, as ‘Theory’. Somewhere ...

The Misery of Not Painting like others

Peter Campbell, 13 April 2000

The Unknown Matisse: Man of the North, 1869-1908 
by Hilary Spurling.
Penguin, 480 pp., £12.99, April 2000, 0 14 017604 7
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Matisse: Father and Son 
by John Russell.
Abrams, 416 pp., £25, May 1999, 0 8109 4378 6
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Ruthless Hedonism: The American Reception of Matisse 
by John O’Brien.
Chicago, 284 pp., £31.50, April 1999, 0 226 61626 6
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Matisse and Picasso 
by Yve-Alain Bois.
Flammarion, 272 pp., £35, February 1999, 2 08 013548 1
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... below and green above. The right-hand figure has something of the rubbery smugness of one of James Thurber’s femmes fatales. The trees – orange, green, pink, yellow – are a little like those in Gauguin’s Tahitian landscapes. Matisse had become a law unto himself. He had learnt to follow his own responses to his ‘crude’ colour, to his ...

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