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Morality in the Oxygen

E.S. Turner: Tobogganing, 14 December 2000

How the English Made the Alps 
by Jim Ring.
Murray, 287 pp., £19.99, September 2000, 0 7195 5689 9
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Killing Dragons: The Conquest of the Alps 
by Fergus Fleming.
Granta, 398 pp., £20, November 2000, 1 86207 379 1
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... and all those Anglican clergymen, doing in the Alps, anyway? If the English, as the title of Jim Ring’s book claims, ‘made’ the Alps, did they not also do much to ruin them? The story of England’s ‘love affair’ with the Delectable Mountains is hardly a new one, but Ring’s book usefully, and ...

Sonny Jim’s House

Hugo Williams, 16 July 1981

... taps are being turned on in obscure regions of the palace, cutting off the water for his tea. Jim forwards her mail to the garden, laughing because he has hidden the marmalade. At nine, they both stay home and do nothing, out of work. The ring in the bath and the hacked loaf prove he is on the track of his elusive ...

At Kettle’s Yard

Eleanor Birne: The Reopening, 22 March 2018

... Jim Ede​ had been living abroad – first Tangier, then the Loire – when he found himself ‘dreaming of the idea of somehow creating a living place where works of art could be enjoyed, inherent to the domestic setting, where young people could be at home unhampered by the greater austerity of the museum or public art gallery, and where an informality might infuse an underlying formality ...

A Town Called Mørk

Adam Mars-Jones: Per Petterson, 6 November 2014

I Refuse 
by Per Petterson, translated by Don Bartlett.
Harvill Secker, 282 pp., £16.99, October 2014, 978 1 84655 781 1
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... recognise each other on the Ulvøya bridge on the outskirts of Oslo and exchange a few words. Jim, long-term unemployed and unable to sleep, is fishing from the bridge, while Tommy is out driving his new grey Mercedes with tinted windows. Jim notices without envy that the car’s paintwork is shiny, ‘as skin can be ...

On Jews Walk

Andrew Saint: Eleanor Marx’s Blue Plaque, 9 October 2008

... lead, stumbling through the text from rain-spattered sheets, we made ‘The Internationale’ ring up and down Jews Walk, as it can hardly have done for a century, then washed it down with ‘The Red Flag’. The sharp-suited Lewisham MP, Jim Dowd, pulled the cord, and the core of the pensioners trooped off to the final ...

I want my wings

Andrew O’Hagan: The Last Tycoons, 3 March 2016

West of Eden: An American Place 
by Jean Stein.
Cape, 334 pp., £20, February 2016, 978 0 224 10246 9
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... handle being young and almost beautiful.’ There’s a moment in Rebel without a Cause, when Jim Stark (played by James Dean), Judy (Natalie Wood) and Plato (Sal Mineo) climb up to an old Hollywood mansion that’s now lying empty. They pretend they’re going to live there together, with Jim and Judy as the ...

Walk Spanish

Christopher Tayler: Joshua Ferris, 19 July 2007

Then We Came to the End 
by Joshua Ferris.
Viking, 387 pp., £14.99, April 2007, 978 0 670 91655 9
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... the discussion by suggesting that it’s time to do some work: a role that’s usually filled by Jim Jackers, office jackass, or Joe Pope, Lynn’s inscrutable deputy. Out of this mass of talk, Ferris quarries a series of running gags and shaggy-dog stories in which ‘we’ become particularised figures as well as types of the American office worker. A huge ...

The Ugly Revolution

Michael Rogin: Martin Luther King Jr, 10 May 2001

I May Not Get there with You: The True Martin Luther King Jr 
by Michael Eric Dyson.
Free Press, 404 pp., £15.99, May 2000, 0 684 86776 1
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The Papers of Martin Luther King Jr. Vol. IV: Symbol of the Movement January 1957-December 1958 
edited by Clayborne Carson et al.
California, 637 pp., £31.50, May 2000, 0 520 22231 8
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... in the thousands of lynchings often advertised in advance as public entertainments; confined to Jim Crow schools, public accommodation, restaurants and hotels (where any were available at all); made involuntary participants in sterilisation and other medical experiments; and confronted with residential apartheid and job discrimination as they moved North. A ...

Mothers

Michael Church, 18 April 1985

Gypsy and Me: At Home and on the Road with Gypsy Rose Lee 
by Erik Lee Preminger.
Deutsch, 277 pp., £9.95, March 1985, 0 233 97736 8
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George Thomas, Mr Speaker: The Memoirs of Viscount Tonypandy 
Century, 242 pp., £9.95, February 1985, 0 7126 0706 4Show More
Toff down Pit 
by Kit Fraser.
Quartet, 129 pp., £8.95, January 1985, 0 7043 2513 6
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Menlove: The Life of John Menlove Edwards 
by Jim Perrin.
Gollancz, 347 pp., £14.95, February 1985, 0 575 03571 4
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... of all dates from long before the boy from the Rhondda made it to the Speaker’s chair, and shows Jim Callaghan dropping on his knees to pray with Thomas and then, having softened him up, requesting his support for the party leadership. True or false – and who cares? – this is just old-fashioned Parliamentary back-stabbing, and Viscount Tonypandy, with ...

Whisky and Soda Man

Thomas Jones: J.G. Ballard, 10 April 2008

Miracles of Life: Shanghai to Shepperton – An Autobiography 
by J.G. Ballard.
Fourth Estate, 278 pp., £14.99, February 2008, 978 0 00 727072 9
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... Life, I found myself waiting for the moment when Ballard would be separated from his parents, as Jim is in Empire of the Sun. It never came. On the contrary: ‘For me,’ Ballard writes, ‘the most important consequence of internment was that for the first time in my life I was extremely close to my parents. I slept, ate, read, dressed and undressed within ...

My Little Lollipop

Jenny Diski: Christine Keeler, 22 March 2001

The Truth at Last: My Story 
by Christine Keeler and Douglas Thompson.
Sidgwick, 279 pp., £16.99, February 2001, 0 283 07291 1
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... glorified knocking shop with overpriced drinks and rooms to rent upstairs’, Keeler met a Major Jim Eynan. He wanted to go to bed with her in the afternoons, she says, ‘and, for nearly two years, he often did. Ours was a commercial situation for Jim always advanced me some money for rent or helped out financially in ...

‘Someone you had to be a bit careful with’

David Sylvester: Gallery Rogues, 30 March 2000

Groovy Bob: The Life and Times of Robert Fraser 
by Harriet Vyner.
Faber, 317 pp., £20, October 1999, 0 571 19627 6
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... by his assistant, Susan Loppert. When Fraser returned, ‘that was cool for a minute,’ says Jim Dine. ‘But then I think that Robert just lost interest. Like a child, his attention span was not very long.’ Dine is an artist whose judgment is always sharp but sometimes impatient: a number of interesting exhibitions were still put on at the gallery ...

Orphans

Joan Aiken, 17 July 1980

... mortgage on her home. Fleda, in Queechy, had the same problem; the word mortgage had a fearsome ring then, which it may have regained today. There was Anne of Green Gables, straight from the orphanage and received coldly because she had red hair and should have been a boy. There was Tom Sawyer, painting the fence for Aunt Polly. Boys did not seem to work ...

Diary

Tom Crewe: Wrestling Days, 16 December 2021

... He drove us into Middlesbrough and led us, all ignorance, to the town hall. Inside was a wrestling ring, site and symbol of our happiness, lying like a sun-washed tropical island under the lights. The only time I’ve been more surprised is when I accidentally leered at the queen through a train carriage window (LRB, 1 August 2019). Who cared if it was a ...

Wire him up to a toaster

Seamus Perry: Ordinary Carey, 7 January 2021

A Little History of Poetry 
by John Carey.
Yale, 303 pp., £14.99, March 2020, 978 0 300 23222 6
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... Donne, for instance, is celebrated as ‘the greatest English love poet’, and Browning’s The Ring and the Book earns perhaps unexpected praise as ‘one of the all-time wonders of verbal art’.Still, if this book represents a new sort of enterprise for Carey it also brings into play some of his abiding convictions and most characteristic mental ...

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