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Short Cuts

John Sturrock: Blair’s wars, 6 November 2003

... off the projected displacement of warships which, the idea was, would have been approaching the gross dimensions of those American carriers, clips from the life on board which, both indoors and out, we’ve grown all too used to seeing on our screens every time they put to sea to engage in some offshore bombardment of the landmass. As floating icons of ...

Short Cuts

John Sturrock: Plain Sailing, 26 April 2007

... few days of anxiety in Iran were like, in what are laughably called ‘their own words’, is a gross dereliction. As for a government that first gives them permission to take the money and run, and then immediately – and rightly – withdraws it ...

Spaced

Michael Neve, 3 September 1981

The Opium-Eater: A Life of Thomas de Quincey 
by Grevel Lindop.
Dent, 433 pp., £12, July 1981, 0 460 04358 7
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... by a new editor. De Quincey came to see that it was Edinburgh where he had to make his mark, with John Wilson, editor of Blackwood’s, Professor of Moral Philosophy at Edinburgh, and de Quincey’s contact and pal. (In his study of The Rise and Fall of the Man of Letters, John Gross describes Wilson as ‘a ...

Who whom?

Christopher Ricks, 6 June 1985

The English Language Today 
edited by Sidney Greenbaum.
Pergamon, 345 pp., £12.50, December 1984, 0 08 031078 8
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The English Language 
by Robert Burchfield.
Oxford, 194 pp., £9.50, January 1985, 9780192191731
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A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language 
by Randolph Quirk, Sidney Greenbaum, Geoffrey Leech and Jan Svartvik.
Longman, 1779 pp., £39.50, May 1985, 0 582 51734 6
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Words 
by John Silverlight.
Macmillan, 107 pp., £17.50, May 1985, 9780333380109
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Faux Amis and Key Words: A Dictionary-Guide to French Language, Culture and Society through Lookalikes and Confusables 
by Philip Thody, Howard Evans and Gwilym Rees.
Athlone, 224 pp., £16, February 1985, 0 485 11243 4
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Puns 
by Walter Redfern.
Blackwell, 234 pp., £14.95, October 1984, 0 631 13793 9
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Fair of Speech: The Uses of Euphemism 
edited by D.J. Enright.
Oxford, 222 pp., £9.95, April 1985, 0 19 212236 3
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... of its good and bad angels, the authoritative and the authoritarian. Linguistic conservatives like John Simon, who sometimes seem not only not to mind being disliked but to thrive on it, do not shrink from such acts of authority as will promptly be branded authoritarian – a word wielded in Sidney Greenbaum’s tour de task-force The English Language ...

Those Streets Over There

John Connelly: The Warsaw Rising, 24 June 2004

Rising ’44: ‘The Battle for Warsaw’ 
by Norman Davies.
Pan, 752 pp., £9.99, June 2004, 0 330 48863 5
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... of 1941. In July 1941, Poles in Jedwabne murdered Jews in a day-long pogrom, as we know from Jan Gross’s book Neighbours, published in 2001. Since then, Polish researchers have located 23 other towns where Poles massacred Jews. Ignoring this research and citing no sources, Davies claims that ‘the number of reports about massacres with a similar ...

At Tate Britain

John Barrell: Late Turner, 18 December 2014

... Silent with swimming sense; yea, gazing round On the wide landscape, gaze till all doth seem Less gross than bodily; and of such hues As veil the Almighty Spirit, when yet he makes Spirits perceive his presence. In the picture as well as the poem, or so I like to think, the landscape is imagined as becoming ‘less ...

Woman in Love

Brigid Brophy, 7 February 1985

The Life of Jane Austen 
by John Halperin.
Harvester, 400 pp., December 1984, 0 7108 0518 7
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... Two voices are there of Centennial Professor of English at Vanderbilt University John Halperin, whose rank and area of operation are, by what strikes me as a publishing solecism in a book that solicits a general readership, placed in apposition to his name on the title-page. The first voice is scarcely of the deep, but it utters some common sense ...

At the Newport Street Gallery

Ben Eastham: John Hoyland , 7 January 2016

... affront to good taste was his unembarrassed embrace of neoliberal capitalism. In an era of gross inequality he made his money by outsourcing production, globalising his consumer base, and manipulating selected markets. All of which makes Hirst’s reinvention of himself as a kind-hearted philanthropist surprising. Is he trying to flatter ...

A Plumless Pudding

John Sutherland: The Great John Murray Archive Disaster, 18 March 2004

... family, after the takeover of the firm by Smith, Elder & Co (itself soon to be taken over by John Murray). A descendant – loyally named Richard Bentley – had lovingly conserved and catalogued them for posterity. In 1967, the BL acquired a tranche of early Macmillan papers: Harold Macmillan, it seems, was keen that the family firm’s archive should ...

Like ink and milk

John Bayley, 10 September 1992

‘Sons and Lovers’: The Unexpurgated Text 
by D.H. Lawrence, edited by Helen Baron and Carl Baron.
Cambridge, 675 pp., £70, September 1992, 0 521 24276 2
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D.H. Lawrence: The Early Years, 1885-1912 
by John Worthen.
Cambridge, 464 pp., £14.95, September 1992, 0 521 43221 9
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‘Sons and Lovers’ 
by Michael Black.
Cambridge, 126 pp., £19.95, September 1992, 0 521 36074 9
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... wonders what an editor not privy to Lawrence’s situation as he was writing made of all this. As John Worthen justly observes, ‘it is hard to imagine Lawrence writing like this before meeting Frieda or hearing Frieda talk.’ It is also hard to imagine any biographer telling the tale with more dispassionate sympathy and insight than Worthen does: his ...

Affability

Nicholas Penny, 19 November 1981

Moments of Vision 
by Kenneth Clark.
Murray, 191 pp., £9.50, October 1981, 0 7195 3860 2
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... series and the book which made him a household name. It is not that it contains a number of gross oversimplifications, of which the most astonishing is the observation that Leonardo thought of women ‘solely as reproductive mechanisms’. Nor is it that there is also an occasional failure of the historical imagination: the women on the Romanesque font ...

Imagining the Suburbs

Stan Smith, 9 January 1992

Common Knowledge 
by John Burnside.
Secker, 62 pp., £6, April 1991, 0 436 20037 6
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The Son of the Duke of Nowhere 
by Philip Gross.
Faber, 57 pp., £4.99, April 1991, 0 571 16140 5
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Bridge Passages 
by George Szirtes.
Oxford, 63 pp., £5.99, March 1991, 0 19 282821 5
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Time Zones 
by Fleur Adcock.
Oxford, 54 pp., £5.99, March 1991, 0 19 282831 2
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Selected Poems 
by Fleur Adcock.
Oxford, 125 pp., £6.99, March 1991, 0 19 558100 8
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Spilt Milk 
by Sarah Maguire.
Secker, 50 pp., £6, April 1991, 0 436 27095 1
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The Sirocco Room 
by Jamie McKendrick.
Oxford, 56 pp., £5.99, March 1991, 0 19 282820 7
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Householder 
by Gerard Woodward.
Chatto, 80 pp., £5.99, April 1991, 0 7011 3758 4
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... contemporary English poetry seems to have set itself a Herculean task: one named by the Scot John Burnside in ‘Source Code’ – to ‘imagine the suburbs’, in a déjà vu in which, repeatedly, ‘the same life happens again.’ As the poem’s title suggests, the task requires the encoding of difference, of imaginary origins and ends, rather than ...

Good enough for Jesus

Charlotte Brewer, 25 January 1990

The State of the Language: 1990 Edition 
edited by Christopher Ricks and Leonard Michaels.
Faber, 531 pp., £17.50, January 1990, 9780571141821
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Clichés and Coinages 
by Walter Redfern.
Blackwell, 305 pp., £17.50, October 1989, 0 631 15691 7
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Rhetoric: The Wit of Persuasion 
by Walter Nash.
Blackwell, 241 pp., £25, October 1989, 0 631 16754 4
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... Reagan’s speech-writer, a rant on modern television from Frederic Raphael, and views on editing (John Gross), Post-Structuralism (Alison Lurie) and computers. ‘Art’ in particular contains some notable essays, among them Walter Ong on subway graffiti, and the section opens with a splendidly passionate and ambitious piece by Margaret Doody on the ...

Ravishing Atrocities

Patrick Maynard, 7 January 1988

Realism, Writing, Disfiguration: On Thomas Eakins and Stephen Crane 
by Michael Fried.
Chicago, 215 pp., £23.95, April 1987, 0 226 26210 3
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Iconology: Image, Text, Ideology 
by W.J.T. Mitchell.
Chicago, 226 pp., £7.25, October 1987, 0 226 53229 1
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... from’. Just such a conflict, lying behind the realism of Thomas Eakins’s large portrait The Gross Clinic, forms the main topic of the first of the two essays which constitute Realism, Writing, Disfiguration. The picture was presented at Philadelphia in 1876, the year of the second Impressionist exhibition, which represented artists of a different sort ...

Ashes

Nicholas Spice, 19 December 1985

The Assault 
by Harry Mulisch, translated by Claire Nicolas White.
Collins Harvill, 204 pp., £8.95, November 1985, 0 00 271011 0
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All Our Yesterdays 
by Natalia Ginzburg, translated by Angus Davidson.
Carcanet, 300 pp., £9.95, March 1985, 0 85635 593 3
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Family Sayings 
by Natalia Ginzburg, translated by D.M. Low.
Carcanet, 181 pp., £7.95, May 1984, 0 85635 504 6
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The Little Virtues 
by Natalia Ginzburg, translated by Dick Davis.
110 pp., £6.95, June 1985, 0 85635 553 4
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Strange Loop 
by Amanda Prantera.
Cape, 175 pp., £8.50, June 1984, 0 224 02210 5
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The Cabalist 
by Amanda Prantera.
Cape, 184 pp., £8.95, September 1985, 0 224 02326 8
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... by the end of it the mystery has been cleared up, The Assault has been spoken of by some – by John Gross, for example – as, on one level, like a detective novel. The resemblance, however, is weak. Anton Steenwijk does not seek out explanations for what happened on that terrible January night in 1945, they seek him out, unbidden and, consciously at ...

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