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What is concrete?

Michael Wood: Erich Auerbach

5 March 2015
Time, History and Literature: Selected Essays of Erich Auerbach 
by Erich Auerbach, edited by James Porter, translated by Jane Newman.
Princeton, 284 pp., £27.95, December 2013, 978 0 691 13711 7
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... whatever exists or takes place, in the world, in the mind. ‘Whatever happens, happens,’ as Jane Newman, the translator of Time, History and Literature shrewdly renders a difficult German phrase. In a second sense it is whatever piece of the actual or lived, the experienced or the deeply needed, that a writer or thinker has found words for, or a ...

Walls, Fences, Grilles and Intercoms

Andrew Saint: Security and the City

19 November 2009
Ground Control: Fear and Happiness in the 21st-Century City 
by Anna Minton.
Penguin, 240 pp., £9.99, June 2009, 978 0 14 103391 4
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... the American influences, no doubt because they wield so much power today. As long ago as 1961, Jane Jacobs in her Death and Life of Great American Cities presented the case for a free and open security system based on the mutual vigilance of the street. That was partly countered by Oscar Newman, whose Defensible Space of ...

Across the Tellyverse

Jenny Turner: Daleks v. Cybermen

22 June 2006
Doctor Who 
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Doctor Who: A Critical Reading of the Series 
by Kim Newman.
BFI, 138 pp., £12, December 2005, 1 84457 090 8
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... and monsters it’s quite impossible that I ever saw. ‘All lazy writing about Doctor Who,’ Kim Newman writes in his ‘critical reading’ of what he calls ‘the franchise’, ‘trades on the stereotypes of children watching “from behind the sofa”’ – exactly what I remember doing, though in our house we called it the settee. So do I really ...

Heaven’s Gate

Rosemary Hill

8 September 1994
Pugin: A Gothic Passion 
edited by Paul Atterbury and Clive Wainwright.
Yale, 310 pp., £45, June 1994, 0 300 06014 9
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... in an address to the Rambler about plainsong. Such support made the fastidious John Henry Newman shudder. ‘A profound silence’, he suggested, was the only way ‘to bear such blushing honours’. Nothing in Pugin’s life was more dramatic than his own transformation from talented but undirected dilettante to Roman Catholic architect, designer and ...
19 June 1986
The Bourgeois Experience: Victoria to Freud. Vol. II: The Tender Passion 
by Peter Gay.
Oxford, 490 pp., £19.50, June 1986, 0 19 503741 3
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... a proper, placid and pleasant surface may seem to carry us back to ordinary life in the way that Jane Austen did. Our emphasis today on the healthiness of sex, Aids-causing tactics always excluded, and its place in society as a kind of domestic football, narrows a once spacious emotional area. Where the tender passions are concerned almost everything used to ...

Diary

Jane Holland: My Snooker Career

6 February 1997
... and pat you on the head, which is when you move in and take them for every penny. As Paul Newman said, ‘money won is twice as sweet as money earned.’ Winning a game of snooker is not particularly straightforward, especially if you’re afraid of your opponent. A difficult draw can be costly in the opening rounds, when you’re still nervous and ...

Promises

Mary-Kay Wilmers

10 November 1988
The Faber Book of Seductions 
edited by Jenny Newman.
Faber, 366 pp., £12.95, June 1988, 0 571 15110 8
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Journeys to the Underworld 
by Fiona Pitt-Kethley.
Chatto, 226 pp., £10, October 1988, 9780701132231
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... all there was between them then was rain. Brian Patten’s perfunctory verse is included in Jenny Newman’s anthology in order to make the same sort of point: seductions, which begin with fine words and end with desperate recriminations, are a thing of the past. ‘You cannot seduce anyone when innocence is not a value,’ Elizabeth Hardwick said in ...

The Monster Plot

Thomas Powers: James Angleton, Spymaster

10 May 2018
The Ghost: The Secret Life of CIA Spymaster James Jesus Angleton 
by Jefferson Morley.
Scribe, 336 pp., £20, December 2017, 978 1 911344 73 5
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... several orders of magnitude. Poring through these files in 1994 was a friend of Morley’s, John Newman, who was completing a book called Oswald and the CIA, published in 1995. Among the new files Newman spotted some routing slips from the CI Staff which recorded the arrival of documents circulated by the FBI, the National ...

Flirting

P.N. Furbank

18 November 1982
The English World: History, Character and People 
edited by Robert Blake.
Thames and Hudson, 268 pp., £14.95, September 1982, 0 500 25083 9
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The English Gentleman: The Rise and Fall of an Ideal 
by Philip Mason.
Deutsch, 240 pp., £9.95, September 1982, 9780233974897
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... patriotism of Shelley and Byron, the inability to think logically of John Stuart Mill and Cardinal Newman and Lewis Carroll? No, it won’t do, and Orwell, for once, was talking through his hat – perhaps relaxing in what he considered an ‘English’ manner. It really seems, then, not quite proper that distinguished experts should have contributed to a ...

Eminent Athenians

Hugh Lloyd-Jones

1 October 1981
The Greek Heritage in Victorian Britain 
by Frank Turner.
Yale, 461 pp., £18.90, April 1981, 0 300 02480 0
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... says little about literature, except in connection with Matthew Arnold’s controversy with F.W. Newman over Homer, and not much about aesthetics in general. But he remarks that, in the study of Greek sculpture, Victorian Classicists, down to the brothers Gardner, still active in the Thirties of this century, continued to defend the aesthetics of ...

Surplusage!

Elizabeth Prettejohn: Walter Pater

6 February 2020
The Collected Works of Walter Pater, Vol. III: Imaginary Portraits 
edited by Lene Østermark-Johansen.
Oxford, 359 pp., £115, January 2019, 978 0 19 882343 8
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The Collected Works of Walter Pater, Vol. IV: Gaston de Latour 
edited by Gerald Monsman.
Oxford, 399 pp., £115, January 2019, 978 0 19 881616 4
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Walter Pater: Selected Essays 
edited by Alex Wong.
Carcanet, 445 pp., £18.99, September 2018, 978 1 78410 626 3
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... and Apuleius is unlikely to spot the references, often disguised, to Baudelaire, Schiller and Newman – or vice versa. Who is to say which range of reference is the more important, in any particular case?Take, for example, this sentence from ‘The Genius of Plato’, included in Wong’s collection: ‘Now Plato is one for whom the visible world thus ...

Tantrums

C.K. Stead

22 February 1996
Letters of Claire Clairmont, Charles Clairmont and Fanny Imlay Godwin 
edited by Marion Kingston Stocking.
Johns Hopkins, 704 pp., £45, May 1995, 0 8018 4633 1
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... persisted. Flexibility about names suggests concealment of origins and uncertainty of identity. Jane Clairmont became Clare, then Claire, sometimes Clara, and added Constantia. Her mother married William Godwin twice in an afternoon, once as ‘Jane Clairmont, widow’, a second time as ‘Mary Vial, spinster’. She ...

An Abiding Sense of the Demonic

Stefan Collini: Arnold

20 January 2000
The Letters of Matthew Arnold. Vol. I: 1829-59 
edited by Cecil Lang.
Virginia, 549 pp., £47.50, November 1998, 0 8139 1651 8
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The Letters of Matthew Arnold. Vol. II: 1860-65 
edited by Cecil Lang.
Virginia, 505 pp., £47.95, November 1998, 0 8139 1706 9
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The Letters of Matthew Arnold. Vol. III: 1866-70 
edited by Cecil Lang.
Virginia, 483 pp., £47.95, November 1998, 0 8139 1765 4
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... life, even though some of his sallies made her uncomfortable. The letters to his favourite sister, Jane, constantly invoke, and try against the odds to recreate, the intense intimacy they had shared in childhood, and include an extraordinarily revealing strangulated cry of pain at the news of her engagement. Hardly less intriguing are the numerous letters to ...

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