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Pavements Like Jelly

Jeremy Harding: Paris Under Water, 28 January 2010

Paris Under Water: How the City of Light Survived the Great Flood of 1910 
by Jeffrey Jackson.
Palgrave, 262 pp., £20, January 2010, 978 0 230 61706 3
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Paris Inondé 1910 
Galerie des Bibliothèques, Paris, until 28 March 2010Show More
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... described the flooded square as ‘a Dead Sea’. In a wonderful passage in Paris Under Water, Jeffrey Jackson retraces the itinerary of the Daily Telegraph’s man in Paris, Laurence Jerrold, whose first thought on seeing the lake at St Lazare was not Venice, but Sicily, where he’d witnessed the effects of the tidal wave in Messina in 1908. Coming ...

A Pride of Footnotes

Robert M. Adams, 17 November 1983

The Collected Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Vol. VII: ‘Biographia Literaria’ 
edited by James Engell and Walter Jackson Bate.
Routledge/Princeton, 306 pp., £50, May 1983, 0 691 09874 3
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... collected works edges, with the Biographia Literaria edited by James Engell and Walter Jackson Bate, a bit past its halfway point. Nine of the projected 16 volumes are now in print. In addition, three of the projected five volumes of the private Notebooks have appeared. (They are a separate Bollingen project, though Kathleen Coburn is in command of ...

Who’s sorry now?

Andrew O’Hagan: Michael Finkel gets lucky, 2 June 2005

True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa 
by Michael Finkel.
Chatto, 312 pp., £15.99, May 2005, 0 7011 7688 1
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Burning Down My Master’s House 
by Jayson Blair.
New Millennium, 288 pp., $24.95, March 2004, 9781932407266
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The Journalist and the Murderer 
by Janet Malcolm.
Granta, 163 pp., £8.99, January 2004, 1 86207 637 5
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... as he was dishonest before, in an attempt to improve his career. This brings me to Michael Jackson. The trial currently taking place in Santa Monica is totemic, not only for reasons to do with race and celebrity and gladiatorial combat, but as an essay in the terrors of modern journalism. Jackson made the standard ...

Having Fun

Ben Jackson: Online Shaming, 9 April 2015

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed 
by Jon Ronson.
Picador, 277 pp., £16.99, March 2015, 978 0 330 49228 7
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... in question hadn’t violated Twitter’s terms of use; they weren’t shut down. In 2013, Jeffrey Rosen argued in the New Republic that the reason Twitter doesn’t take action in these cases is that it conforms to ‘the American free-speech ideal’ and has ‘explicitly concluded that it wants to be a platform for democracy rather than ...

Running on Empty

Christopher Hitchens: The Wrong Stuff, 7 January 1999

A Man in Full 
by Tom Wolfe.
Cape, 742 pp., £20, November 1998, 0 224 03036 1
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... I remember one night – when was it? – ’87 – ’88 – you made so much fun of Jesse Jackson and his “African-American” pronouncement at that press conference – you remember? – wherever it was – Chicago, I think – that press conference where he started everybody using “African-American” instead of “black”? – you remember ...

All Monte Carlo

James Francken: Malcolm Braly, 23 May 2002

On the Yard 
by Malcolm Braly.
NYRB, 438 pp., £8.99, March 2002, 9780940322967
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... it, it was so nauseating.’ Others fared better: Caryl Chessman, Eldridge Cleaver and George Jackson let rip in books which offered brawny rejections of disciplinary thinking. American publishers developed a taste for prison writing and newspapers responded: the New York Times Book Review noticed Braly in its column on detective fiction, ‘Criminals at ...

The Medium is the Market

Hal Foster: Business Art, 9 October 2008

... Bob Hope, from the folk figure of Kiepenkerl (a travelling pedlar in medieval Germany) to Michael Jackson and his pet chimp Bubbles, showed a canny sense of the capaciousness of kitsch. But the social unease produced by a conscious display of bad taste wasn’t at all the point for Koons, who, in Warholian fashion, insisted on the sincerity of his ...

Flat-Nose, Stocky and Beautugly

James Davidson: Greek Names, 23 September 2010

A Lexicon of Greek Personal Names. Vol. V.A Coastal Asia Minor: Pontos to Ionia 
edited by T. Corsten.
Oxford, 496 pp., £125, March 2010, 978 0 19 956743 0
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... Nellie, a name-form that peaked in the 1880s and 1890s. Orthography became important: Geoffrey or Jeffrey, Ann or Anne, Stephen or Steven. Girls’ names were especially given to whim and proliferation. In the 1930s, my mother was christened Doreen because a Russian acquaintance of my grandfather said that was the name of the nicest girl he had ever ...

Fiery Participles

D.A.N. Jones, 6 September 1984

Hazlitt: The Mind of a Critic 
by David Bromwich.
Oxford, 450 pp., £19.50, March 1984, 0 19 503343 4
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William Godwin: Philosopher, Novelist, Revolutionary 
by Peter Marshall.
Yale, 496 pp., £14.95, June 1984, 0 521 24386 6
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Burke, Paine, Godwin and the Revolution Controversy 
edited by Marilyn Butler.
Cambridge, 280 pp., £25, June 1984, 0 521 24386 6
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... disobedient, Parson Horne reminded them that he was in holy orders. (Very like the Rev. Jesse Jackson, he presented himself as one commanded to support the afflicted.) Horne Tooke followed ‘the laws of human nature’ (‘law’ being an Anglo-Saxon passive participle) and these ‘must proceed from God: and upon these are founded the rights of man, or ...

House of Miscegenation

Gilberto Perez: Westerns, 18 November 2010

Hollywood Westerns and American Myth 
by Robert Pippin.
Yale, 198 pp., £25, May 2010, 978 0 300 14577 9
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... to a Darwinian struggle for survival and power. Ford’s Westerns are in line with Frederick Jackson Turner’s historical account of the frontier, or rather the successive frontiers in the national movement westward, not as a natural affair but as an encounter between culture and nature, a transaction between civilised order and the loosening, levelling ...

The Party in Government

Conor Gearty, 9 March 1995

... no suggestion that Mr McGregor was involved in the decision. Other former ministers such as Robert Jackson, Tim Yeo and Robert Key have obtained jobs since leaving the government. Earlier this year, the current Conservative Party Deputy Chairman and MP, Dame Angela Rumbold, was forced vigorously to defend her £12,000 salary with a commercial lobbyist, after ...

Ruthless and Truthless

Ferdinand Mount: Rotten Government, 6 May 2021

The Assault on Truth: Boris Johnson, Donald Trump and the Emergence of a New Moral Barbarism 
by Peter Oborne.
Simon and Schuster, 192 pp., £12.99, February 2021, 978 1 3985 0100 3
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Political Advice: Past, Present and Future 
edited by Colin Kidd and Jacqueline Rose.
I.B. Tauris, 240 pp., £21.99, February 2021, 978 1 83860 120 1
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... at least six books now in print with the words ‘Assault on Truth’ in their titles: Oborne’s; Jeffrey Masson’s polemic against the slipperiness of Sigmund Freud, which after more than thirty years retains its power to enrage Freudians; a book by the fact-checkers of the Washington Post listing the lies of Donald Trump (the only instance I can think of ...

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