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Mon cher Monsieur

Julian Barnes: Prove your Frenchness, 22 April 2021

Letters to Camondo 
by Edmund de Waal.
Chatto, 182 pp., £14.99, April, 978 1 78474 431 1
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The House of Fragile Things: Jewish Art Collectors and the Fall of France 
by James McAuley.
Yale, 301 pp., £25, March, 978 0 300 23337 7
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... in 1911 and since 1936 the Musée Nissim de Camondo. This is the same opening-point chosen by James McAuley for The House of Fragile Things. Both books also end in the same way: by tracing the fate of Renoir’s famous if winsome 1880 portrait of the eight-year-old Irène Cahen d’Anvers, who was later to marry Moïse de Camondo. The two ...

Marvellous Boys

Mark Ford, 9 September 1993

The Ern Malley Affair 
by Michael Heyward.
Faber, 278 pp., £15, August 1993, 0 571 16781 0
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... complete works were concocted in a single afternoon and evening by two young Australian poets, James McAuley and Harold Stewart, as part of a plot to expose the obscurantism and meaninglessness of what passed for poetry under the aegis of Modernism. The Malley oeuvre was composed, they were later to reveal, with the aid of a chance collection of ...

Damaged Beasts

James Wood: Peter Carey’s ‘Theft’, 8 June 2006

Theft: A Love Story 
by Peter Carey.
Faber, 269 pp., £16.99, June 2006, 0 571 23147 0
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... that Ern Malley’s poems were written by two anti-Modernist pranksters, Harold Stewart and James McAuley. ‘I believed in Ern Malley,’ he wrote: ‘I can still close my eyes and conjure up such a person in our streets.’) So what has Chubb bodied forth? The monster McCorkle recites some of the verse to Chubb, its actual creator, who is ...

Honours for Craziness

Frank Cioffi, 17 June 1982

Psycho Politics 
by Peter Sedgwick.
Pluto, 292 pp., £4.95, January 1982, 0 86104 352 9
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The Voice of Experience 
by R.D. Laing.
Allen Lane, 178 pp., £7.50, April 1982, 0 7139 1330 4
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... offered them his condolences for the death of their ancestor Hector. Charting what William James called ‘the proper bounds of lachry-mosity’ is an enterprise which is unlikely to generate unanimity. The same is true of apprehension. At one end of the continuum we have the Grimm Brothers’ Clever Else overwhelmed by the thought of a domestic mishap ...

Standing up to the city slickers

C.K. Stead, 18 February 1988

Selected Poems 
by Les Murray.
Carcanet, 151 pp., £3.95, April 1986, 0 85635 667 0
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The Daylight Moon 
by Les Murray.
Carcanet, 86 pp., £6.95, February 1988, 0 85635 779 0
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... is usually overlooked or ignored. In his anti-Modernism he shares some ground with his compatriots James McAuley and A.D. Hope: but his advantage over them (apart from sheer talent) is in his practice as a poet. He was never disposed, as they were, to re-enact old laws about rhyme and regular metrics, nor to insist that 20th-century experimentation with ...

Sure looks a lot like conservatism

Didier Fassin: Macronisme, 5 July 2018

Revolution Française: Emmanuel Macron and the Quest to Reinvent a Nation 
by Sophie Pedder.
Bloomsbury, 297 pp., £25, June 2018, 978 1 4729 4860 1
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... minister of transport, at the civil engineering company Eiffage. When the cabinet was announced, James McAuley wrote in the Washington Post that ‘Macron’s “radical centrism” sure looks a lot like conservatism.’ More significant, though less visible, were the choices of chiefs of staff and senior administrators who had occupied similar ...

Red makes wrong

Mark Ford: Harry Mathews, 20 March 2003

The Human Country: New and Collected Stories 
by Harry Mathews.
Dalkey Archive, 186 pp., £10.99, October 2002, 1 56478 321 9
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The Case of the Persevering Maltese: Collected Essays 
by Harry Mathews.
Dalkey Archive, 290 pp., £10.99, April 2003, 1 56478 288 3
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... edited by Mathews himself (who also funded it with a legacy from his grandfather), Ashbery, James Schuyler and Kenneth Koch. Like most avant-garde magazines, Locus Solus (named after Roussel’s second prose novel, published in 1914, and with an epigraph from his final long poem, from 1932, Nouvelles impressions d’Afrique), was founded primarily as a ...

Dialect does it

Blake Morrison, 5 December 1985

No Mate for the Magpie 
by Frances Molloy.
Virago, 170 pp., £7.95, April 1985, 0 86068 594 2
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The Mysteries 
by Tony Harrison.
Faber, 229 pp., £9.95, August 1985, 9780571137893
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Ukulele Music 
by Peter Reading.
Secker, 103 pp., £3.95, June 1985, 0 436 40986 0
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Hard Lines 2 
edited by Ian Dury, Pete Townshend, Alan Bleasdale and Fanny Dubes.
Faber, 95 pp., £2.50, June 1985, 0 571 13542 0
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No Holds Barred: The Raving Beauties choose new poems by women 
edited by Anna Carteret, Fanny Viner and Sue Jones-Davies.
Women’s Press, 130 pp., £2.95, June 1985, 0 7043 3963 3
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Katerina Brac 
by Christopher Reid.
Faber, 47 pp., £8.95, October 1985, 0 571 13614 1
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Skevington’s Daughter 
by Oliver Reynolds.
Faber, 88 pp., £8.95, September 1985, 0 571 13697 4
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Rhondda Tenpenn’orth 
by Oliver Reynolds.
10 pence
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Trio 4 
by Andrew Elliott, Leon McAuley and Ciaran O’Driscoll.
Blackstaff, 69 pp., £3.95, May 1985, 0 85640 333 4
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Mama Dot 
by Fred D’Aguiar.
Chatto, 48 pp., £3.95, August 1985, 0 7011 2957 3
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The Dread Affair: Collected Poems 
by Benjamin Zephaniah.
Arena, 112 pp., £2.95, August 1985, 9780099392507
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Long Road to Nowhere 
by Amryl Johnson.
Virago, 64 pp., £2.95, July 1985, 0 86068 687 6
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Mangoes and Bullets 
by John Agard.
Pluto, 64 pp., £3.50, August 1985, 0 7453 0028 6
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Ragtime in Unfamiliar Bars 
by Ron Butlin.
Secker, 51 pp., £3.95, June 1985, 0 436 07810 4
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True Confessions and New Clichés 
by Liz Lochhead.
Polygon, 135 pp., £3.95, July 1985, 0 904919 90 0
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Works in the Inglis Tongue 
by Peter Davidson.
Three Tygers Press, 17 pp., £2.50, June 1985
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Wild Places: Poems in Three Leids 
by William Neill.
Luath, 200 pp., £5, September 1985, 0 946487 11 1
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... ballads were known and loved by lairds as well as ploughmen. According to Lindsay of Pitscottie, James IV ‘wald oftymeis ludge in poore mens houssis as he had bene ane travelland man throw the contre’, in order to understand his subjects’ point of view ... Some of the vitality of even the most courtly poetry of Dunbar comes from its rooting in native ...

Architectures of Containment

Clair Wills: Ireland’s Lost Children, 20 May 2021

Final Report of the Commission of Investigation into the Mother and Baby Homes 
Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Government of Ireland, 2865 pp., October 2020Show More
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... ten thousand paper dolls cut from replica five pound notes carrying an image of Catherine McAuley, the founder of the Sisters of Mercy; glass scissors, spectral copies of the heavy iron scissors used to cut the hair of the women and girls who entered the laundries; embroidered sheets.So light and so heavy, glass offered Lowry an extraordinarily rich ...

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