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Pavements Like Jelly

Jeremy Harding: Paris Drowning

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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... positions on cobbled shores, or in high apartments offering bird’s eye views. The Daily Mirror described the flooded square as ‘a Dead Sea’. In a wonderful passage in Paris Under Water, JeffreyJackson 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 ...

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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... The majestic new Bollingen edition of Coleridge’s 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 ...

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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... Longo. And it is this: Longo is being dishonest in an attempt to save his life; Finkel is being dishonest, 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 ...

Having Fun

Ben Jackson: Online Shaming

8 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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...  weren’t specific enough for Twitter. She reported them, but was repeatedly told that the accounts 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 ...

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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... combination: “I used drugs and it put me on Death Row” . . . I’d have to get loaded to write 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 ...

The Medium is the Market

Hal Foster: Business Art

9 October 2008
... wood. Objects in stainless steel and porcelain ranging from a bust of Louis XIV to a statuette of 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 ...

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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... as Roger Too White: ‘But you, Wes? As I remember, you used to laugh at all this Afrocentric business. 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 ...

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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... example. Parents insisted on children being christened with a particular form of name, not Ellen but 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 ...
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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... is such a one as is ordered and commanded.’ When his friends protested that he was himself notoriously 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 ...

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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... been made to stand for different things socially and politically, from a Jeffersonian natural democracy 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 ...
9 March 1995
... the bankers to advise the Government on the highspeed Channel Tunnel rail link, though there was 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 ...

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