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In Praise of Mess

Richard Poirier: Walt Whitman, 4 June 1998

With Walt Whitman in Camden. Vol. VIII: 11 February 1891-30 September 1891 
by Horace Traubel, edited by Jeanne Chapman and Robert MacIsaac.
Bentley, 624 pp., $99.50, November 1996, 0 9653415 8 5
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With Walt Whitman in Camden. Vol. IX: 11 February 1891-30 September 1891 
by Horace Traubel, edited by Jeanne Chapman and Robert MacIsaac.
Bentley, 624 pp., £99.50, November 1996, 0 9653415 9 3
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... With the publication of Volumes VIII and IX, some ninety years after the appearance in 1906 of the first volume, all two and a half million words of Horace Traubel’s Walt Whitman in Camden are now in print. Altogether the volumes cover the last four years of Whitman’s life, from 1888 to 1892, and consist of nearly day by day renditions of Whitman’s conversations, correspondence, and such activities as he was still up to, along with reports of his last illnesses and lingering death ...

Everybody’s Joan

Marina Warner, 6 December 2012

... goes: Fiers enfants de la Lorraine Des montagnes à la plaine, Sur nous, plane ombre sereine, Jeanne d’Arc, vierge souveraine! Marjorie Annan Bryce in a Suffragette procession to mark George V’s coronation in 1911. The song was adopted by the Resistance during World War Two, because Domrémy, Joan of Arc’s birthplace, stood in the part of ...

Walking backward

Robert Taubman, 21 August 1980

Selected Works of Djuna Barnes 
Faber, 366 pp., £5.50, July 1980, 0 571 11579 9Show More
Black Venus’s Tale 
by Angela Carter.
Next Editions/Faber, 35 pp., £1.95, June 1980, 9780907147022
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The Last Peacock 
by Allan Massie.
Bodley Head, 185 pp., £5.95, April 1980, 0 370 30261 3
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The Birds of the Air 
by Alice Thomas Ellis.
Duckworth, 152 pp., £6.95, July 1980, 0 7156 1491 6
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... all along withholds more than it reveals. T. S. Eliot maintained: ‘As with Dostoevski and George Chapman, one feels that the action is hardly more than the shadow-play of something taking place on another plane of reality.’ I can’t see any grounds for positing another plane of reality, except the sheer vagueness of what takes place on this one. There are ...

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