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Funny Old Fame

Patrick Parrinder, 10 January 1991

Things: A Story of the Sixties, 
by Georges Perec, translated by David Bellos and Andrew Leak.
Collins Harvill, 221 pp., £12.50, July 1990, 0 00 271038 2
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Parcours Peree 
edited by Mireille Ribière.
Presses Universitaires de Lyon, 162 pp., frs 125, July 1990, 2 7297 0365 9
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Women 
by Philippe Sollers, translated by Barbara Bray.
Columbia, 559 pp., $24.95, December 1990, 0 231 06546 9
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... Once upon a time, before the Channel Tunnel was built, there were two contemporary French novelists. Georges Perec died in 1982 at the age of 45, and nobody in England who was not a French specialist had ever heard of him. With Philippe Sollers it was different. Editor of the avant-garde theoretical journal Tel Quel, and associate of literary and psycho-analytic thinkers such as Barthes, Kristeva and Lacan, his was a name of which no self-respecting British intellectual could afford to remain entirely ignorant – though his novels, so far as I can discover, were neither translated nor read ...

The Genesis of Blame

Anne Enright, 8 March 2018

... it from the first letter from St Paul to Timothy as translated in the late fourth century by St Jerome, whose Latin Vulgate version survived to become the official Bible of the Catholic Church more than a thousand years later. The passage was often used to justify the bar on women priests. ‘I suffer not a woman to ...

Opus Operandi

Ciaran Carson, 27 May 1993

... Tomorrow will be calfskin parchment, then the limitation clauses and the codicils. II Jerome imagined Babel with its laminates and overlapping tongues And grooves, the secret theatre with its clamps and vices, pincers, tongs. It’s like an Ark or quinquereme he prised apart, to find the little oarsmen At their ...

An English Vice

Bernard Bergonzi, 21 February 1985

The Turning Key: Autobiography and the Subjective Impulse since 1800 
by Jerome Hamilton Buckley.
Harvard, 191 pp., £12.75, April 1984, 0 674 91330 2
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The Art of Autobiography in 19th and 20th-Century England 
by A.O.J. Cockshut.
Yale, 222 pp., £10.95, September 1984, 0 300 03235 8
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... or Continental writers but without much discussion of the nature of autobiographical form. Jerome Hamilton Buckley and A.O.J. Cockshut take the discussion further, in complementary studies of developments since 1800. After a brief backward glance to St Augustine and 17th-century writers of spiritual self-examination ...

A Whale of a Time

Colm Tóibín, 2 October 1997

Roger Casement’s Diaries. 1910: The Black and the White 
edited by Roger Sawyer.
Pimlico, 288 pp., £10, October 1997, 9780712673754
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The Amazon Journal of Roger Casement 
edited by Angus Mitchell.
Anaconda, 534 pp., £40, October 1997, 9781901990010
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... Doyle. The signatories included Arnold Bennett, G.K. Chesterton, J.G. Frazer, John Galsworthy, Jerome K. Jerome, John Masefield and Beatrice and Sidney Webb. George Bernard Shaw also petitioned for a pardon – in fact, it would be hard to imagine ...

Things I Said No To

Michael Wood: Italo Calvino, 17 April 2003

Hermit in Paris: Autobiographical Writings 
by Italo Calvino.
Cape, 255 pp., £16.99, January 2003, 0 224 06132 1
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... flattens out the visible differences. If it wasn’t for the lion who traditionally accompanies St Jerome, Italo Calvino suggests in The Castle of Crossed Destinies (1973), you could hardly tell him from St Augustine. Both saints are often pictured as writers, and ‘a man at a desk resembles every other man at a desk.’ By ...

Short Cuts

John Sturrock: Editions de minuit, 14 January 2002

... There’s no question but that the Paris imprint which has for many years past brought out the likeliest new books, novels especially, is the Editions de Minuit. They’ve managed it by being hard to please editorially (as few publishers any longer are in an age of inexplicable hospitality to authorship), the Minuit never having looked to go beyond twenty books a year ...

The Miller’s Tale

J.B. Trapp, 4 November 1993

Erasmus: His Life, Work and Influence 
by Cornelis Augustijn, translated by J.C. Grayson.
Toronto, 239 pp., £16.25, February 1991, 0 8020 5864 7
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Erasmus: A Critical Biography 
by Léon-E. Halkin, translated by John Tonkin.
Blackwell, 360 pp., £45, December 1992, 0 631 16929 6
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Erasmus, Man of Letters: The Construction of Charisma in Print 
by Lisa Jardine.
Princeton, 278 pp., £19.95, June 1993, 0 691 05700 1
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... his way. He would take, he decided, only his New Testament and Paraphrases and his edition of St Jerome, his great mentor. That would be enough for heaven. He could have taken much more. By then, he had also further revised the Adages, his discursive encyclopedia of proverbs, the encapsulated wisdom of the ancients-applied ...

George Crabbe: Poetry and Truth

Jerome McGann, 16 March 1989

George Crabbe: The Complete Poetical Works, Vols I-III 
edited by Norma Dalrymple-Champneys and Arthur Pollard.
Oxford, 820 pp., £70, April 1988, 0 19 811882 1
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... No one who has read Crabbe’s poetry has ever denied the power of his portraits or his stories. ‘Peter Grimes’, one of the embedded sections of his great work The Borough (1810), is justly famous, and, were it better known, the story ‘Delay has danger’, part of the very uneven Tales of the Hall (1819), would be known for what it is, a masterpiece ...

Umbah-Umbah

Jerome McGann, 22 June 1989

Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the 20th Century 
by Greil Marcus.
Secker, 496 pp., £14.95, June 1989, 0 436 27338 1
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... Around 529 BC the armies of the Persian Empire tried to conquer a mysterious and reclusive people who lived somewhere to the east of the Caspian Sea – to this day we do not know exactly where. The Persians acted simply because of Cyrus the Great’s overweening ambition. As it turned out, Cyrus’s armies were defeated and he was killed in the battle ...

Diary

Jérôme Tubiana: In Darfur, 3 June 2021

... Ibegan covering​ Sudan when war broke out in Darfur in 2003, with the repression of a rebellion among non-Arab citizens by Omar al-Bashir’s largely pro-Arab government. I was blacklisted in 2013 for reasons that were never made clear, though my writing wasn’t friendly to the regime. But in the aftermath of Bashir’s removal from power – his trial for the coup that had brought him to power in 1989 began last year – I found I could travel to Sudan again ...

What mattered to Erasmus

James McConica, 2 March 1989

Erasmus’s Annotations on the New Testament. The Gospels: Facsimile of the final Latin text with all earlier variants 
edited by Anne Reeve.
Duckworth, 284 pp., £35, March 1986, 9780715619902
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Erasmus’s Annotations on the New Testament: From Philologist to Theologian 
by Erika Rummel.
Toronto, 234 pp., £24.50, January 1987, 0 8020 5683 0
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A New Rabelais Bibliography: Editions of Rabelais before 1626 
by Stephen Rawles and M.A. Screech.
Droz, 691 pp.
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The Library of Robert Burton 
by Nicholas Kiessling.
Oxford Bibliographic Society, 433 pp., £25, May 1988, 0 901420 42 5
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... New Testament, a study which no doubt began during his initial editorial work on the letters of St Jerome. His quest for the ‘very face’ of Jesus in the Greek text was spurred on by his discovery of Valla’s annotations in 1504, as it was disciplined and enriched by his autodidactic efforts on the epistles of St ...

Infatuated Worlds

Jerome McGann, 22 September 1994

Thomas Chatterton: Early Sources and Responses 
Routledge/Thoemmes, £295, July 1993, 0 415 09255 8Show More
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... The legend named Thomas Chatterton is less marvellous than the boy it glorified, and far less rich or strange than the cultural history that includes the history of the legend itself. Chatterton committed suicide in August 1770. He was not yet 18 years old. With little formal education – seven years in a provincial school, followed by less than three years as a lawyer’s apprentice – he left his native Bristol to make his way as a writer in London, where he died only four months later ...

The Future of John Barth

Michael Irwin, 5 June 1980

Letters 
by John Barth.
Secker, 772 pp., £7.95, May 1980, 0 436 03674 6
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The Left-Handed Woman 
by Peter Handke, translated by Ralph Manheim.
Eyre Methuen, 94 pp., £4.95, April 1980, 0 413 45890 3
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Passion Play 
by Jerzy Kosinski.
Joseph, 271 pp., £5.95, April 1980, 0 7181 1913 4
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... missives from the same seven correspondents: Lady Amherst. Todd Andrews, Jacob Horner, A.B. Cook, Jerome Bray, Ambrose Mensch and the Author. The last-named ‘character’ is the ‘real’ John Barth, and Lady Amherst is a new invention; the other five are protagonists, or the proxies of protagonists, from earlier works ...

Language Writing

Jerome McGann, 15 October 1987

In the American Tree: Language, Poetry, Realism 
by Ron Silliman.
National Poetry Foundation, 628 pp., $34.50, June 1986, 0 915032 33 3
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‘Language’ Poetries: An Anthology 
by Douglas Messerli.
New Directions, 184 pp., $19.95, March 1987, 0 8112 1006 5
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... In 1918, the intensity of Yeats’s fascination with the young American phenomenon Ezra Pound had cooled enough for Jack Butler Yeats to supply his son with some smouldering paternal wisdom: The poets loved of Ezra Pound are tired of Beauty, since they have met it so often ... I am tired of Beauty my wife, says the poet, but here is that enchanting mistress Ugliness ...

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