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The Crystal Palace Experience

E.S. Turner: The Great Exhibition of 1851

25 November 1999
The Great Exhibition of 1851: A Nation on Display 
by Jeffrey Auerbach.
Yale, 280 pp., £25, October 1999, 0 300 08007 7
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... by machines, ennobled by art and wrapped in universal law. In this fantasy the workers were expected to play their part. It need not cause them undue expense, if they went on a shilling day. As JeffreyAuerbach reveals, a decent frugal Yorkshireman could travel by night train to London, tour the ‘long laborious miles’ taking his fill of 100,000 uplifting exhibits, and then, spurning the paltry ...

Pork Chops and Pineapples

Terry Eagleton: The Realism of Erich Auerbach

23 October 2003
Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature 
by Erich Auerbach.
Princeton, 579 pp., £13.95, May 2003, 9780691113364
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... necessarily the same as ‘non-realist’. You can have a work of art which is non-realist in the sense of being non-representational, yet which paints a convincing picture of the world. Conversely, Jeffrey Archer’s novels are representational but unconvincing. Jane Austen’s novels are realist, but you could claim that the spooky Gothic fiction she disliked so much reflects more of the anxiety and ...

Falling in love with Lucian

Colm Tóibín: Lucian Freud’s Outer Being

10 October 2019
The Lives of Lucian Freud: Youth, 1922-68 
by William Feaver.
Bloomsbury, 680 pp., £35, September, 978 1 4088 5093 0
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... bed. Domestic chores were not, and would never be, Freud’s thing. His laundry was done by a friend called Jane all his life. ‘I don’t think he had the faintest idea what laundry was,’ Frank Auerbach said. ‘He put it into this basket and it came back from Jane immaculately laundered.’ After he left school, his father took a piece of sculpture – a sandstone horse, almost two feet high ...

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