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Diary

John Jones: Iris, Hegel and Me, 18 December 2003

... of throwing high-sounding philosophical phrases at each other. (I think this was a hint taken from John Buchan’s autobiography, where he links stretches of countryside with metaphysical systems.) Iris said into my ear: ‘The teleological suspension of the ethical.’ I shouted over my shoulder: ‘The transcendental unity of apperception.’ And then we ...

How did he get it done?

John Jones: Leigh Hunt’s sense of woe, 22 September 2005

Fiery Heart: The First Life of Leigh Hunt 
by Nicholas Roe.
Pimlico, 428 pp., £14.99, January 2005, 0 7126 0224 0
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The Wit in the Dungeon: A Life of Leigh Hunt 
by Anthony Holden.
Little, Brown, 448 pp., £20, January 2005, 0 316 85927 3
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... Byron in particular, were damaged and distorted, although the saddest story is that of his brother John. They both went to prison for libelling the prince regent, John as publisher and Leigh as editor of the Examiner. Politically, John was as radical as Leigh, and they were very close. (In ...

Improving the Plays

Frank Kermode, 7 March 1996

Shakespeare at Work 
by John Jones.
Oxford, 293 pp., £35, December 1995, 0 19 811966 6
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... John Jones, sometime Professor of Poetry at Oxford, has written a number of good, idiosyncratic books on topics as diverse as Greek tragedy and Wordsworth, together with an excellent novel, The Same God, published in 1972 and apparently without a successor. He has now produced a good, idiosyncratic book on Shakespeare ...

Shatost

John Bayley, 16 June 1983

Dostoevsky and ‘The Idiot’: Author, Narrator and Reader 
by Robin Feuer Miller.
Harvard, 296 pp., £16, October 1981, 0 674 21490 0
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Dostoevsky 
by John Jones.
Oxford, 365 pp., £15, May 1983, 9780198126454
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New Essays on Dostoyevsky 
edited by Malcolm Jones and Garth Terry.
Cambridge, 252 pp., £25, March 1983, 0 521 24890 6
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The Art of Dostoevsky: Deliriums and Nocturnes 
by Robert Louis Jackson.
Princeton, 380 pp., £17.60, January 1982, 0 691 06484 9
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... always turn parody into new reality and the Gothic into his own version of the electrically banal. John Jones may be right to write off The Idiot in his study and leave it out of discussion. Even its humour is disproportionate, and it is peculiarly difficult to separate in it the essential from the inessential, the blind alley (Myshkin) from the ...

Gods and Heroes

Hugh Lloyd-Jones, 18 December 1980

Sophocles: An Interpretation 
by R.P. Winnington-Ingram.
Cambridge, 346 pp., £25, February 1980, 0 521 22672 4
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... he offers us a study of Sophocles that is not likely to be improved upon for many years. John Jones has rightly protested against the mistranslation of Aristotle that gave authority to the opinion that each tragedy must have a single ‘hero’, in the sense of a central character in relation to whom the whole action must be viewed. But each ...

Short Cuts

Rosemary Hill: Shakespeare’s Faces, 7 January 2016

... that if something is believed in or wanted for long enough, it will eventually materialise. From John Aubrey’s passing remark in 1665 that Stonehenge might have been built by druids, through William Stukeley’s obsessively detailed and almost entirely invented account of the druidic religion it took another hundred and fifty years, but in the early 20th ...

Sergeant Farthing

D.A.N. Jones, 17 October 1985

A Maggot 
by John Fowles.
Cape, 460 pp., £9.95, September 1985, 0 224 02806 5
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The Romances of John Fowles 
by Simon Loveday.
Macmillan, 164 pp., £25, August 1985, 0 333 31518 9
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... skinhead, did not his clothes deny it.’ That quotation well illustrates the style in which John Fowles begins this historical novel, or mystery story, lingering over his descriptions. The reviewer-like use of the present tense, the schoolmasterly ‘not what it means today’, and the reference to ‘a modern skinhead’, invite readers to visualise ...

The Powyses

D.A.N. Jones, 7 August 1980

After My Fashion 
by John Cowper Powys.
Picador, 286 pp., £2.50, June 1980, 0 330 26049 9
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Weymouth Sands 
by John Cowper Powys.
Picador, 567 pp., £2.95, June 1980, 0 330 26050 2
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Recollections of the Powys Brothers 
edited by Belinda Humfrey.
Peter Owen, 288 pp., £9.95, May 1980, 0 7206 0547 4
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John Cowper Powys and David JonesA Comparative Study 
by Jeremy Hooker.
Enitharmon, 54 pp., £3.75, April 1979, 0 901111 85 6
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The Hollowed-Out Elder Stalk 
by Roland Mathias.
Enitharmon, 158 pp., £4.85, May 1979, 0 901111 87 2
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John Cowper Powys and the Magical Quest 
by Morine Krissdottir.
Macdonald, 218 pp., £8.95, February 1980, 0 354 04492 3
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... B. Priestley, G. Wilson Knight, George Steiner, Angus Wilson) have been booming the name of John Cowper Powys for many years, outraged that other big guns will not join the salute. In the first number of the Powys Review, in 1977, George Steiner blamed Dr Leavis for praising Theodore Francis Powys above ...

Drink it, don’t eat it or smoke it

Mike Jay: De Quincey, 13 May 2010

The English Opium-Eater: A Biography of Thomas De Quincey 
by Robert Morrison.
Weidenfeld, 462 pp., £25, November 2009, 978 0 297 85279 7
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... of dream and reverie was already familiar. As far back as 1701, the doctor and opium enthusiast John Jones said of the intoxicated (and intoxicating) state it brought about that ‘people do commonly call it a heavenly condition, as if no worldly Pleasure was to be compared with it’; and indeed Jones went further ...

Diary

Karl Miller: Balance at the BBC, 9 October 1986

... now doing less. In particular, the excellence of the BBC has broken down. The former BBC executive John Gau has alleged, in these columns, a monopolistic, dinosauric gigantism. And as Gau conveyed, this tendency is linked to a reluctance to risk the unpopular and the unusual (as distinct from the routinely scandalous and untoward) in giving opportunities to ...

Diary

John Henry Jones: At Home with the Empsons, 17 August 1989

... in bed, dying of flu, William Empson burst into my room, very sprightly, saying: ‘Now come along Jones, you must get up and come to Stonehenge.’ I croaked an apology and claimed an imminent, prior appointment with the Lord God Almighty. ‘Oh dear. I am sorry,’ he said. ‘But you would do much better to come to Stonehenge.’This was Empson at ...

Tough Morsels

Peter Rudnytsky, 7 November 1991

The Freud-Klein Controversies 1941-45 
edited by Pearl King and Riccardo Steiner.
Routledge, 958 pp., £100, December 1990, 0 415 03170 2
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... Klein, bereft of intellectual support in Berlin after the death of Karl Abraham, accepted Ernest Jones’s invitation (mediated by Alix Strachey) and settled in London, where her ideas gained a sympathetic hearing. When in 1927 Anna Freud published a book on child analysis, it was sharply criticised by Klein, whose doubts were shared by other London ...

Nothing in a Really Big Way

James Wood: Adam Mars-Jones, 24 April 2008

Pilcrow 
by Adam Mars-Jones.
Faber, 525 pp., £18.99, April 2008, 978 0 571 21703 8
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... that, being broken, was only fit for abuse.’ In his new novel, Pilcrow, Adam Mars-Jones slips in a quick reference to ‘One Arm’, when the narrator, a disabled boy called John Cromer, tells us that he and a schoolfriend ‘wept together over “One Arm” – Jimmy’s tears the more surprising since he ...

Hazlitteering

John Bayley, 22 March 1990

Hazlitt: A Life. From Winterslow to Frith Street 
by Stanley Jones.
Oxford, 397 pp., £35, October 1989, 0 19 812840 1
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Shakespearean Constitutions: Politics, Theatre, Criticism 1730-1830 
by Jonathan Bate.
Oxford, 234 pp., £27, September 1989, 0 19 811749 3
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... imaginary past, an epoch of freedom and justice. The phrase is not Hazlitt’s but Stanley Jones’s, and gives an idea of the crispness of Jones’s style, as the instance does of the erudition with which he has reached into every cranny of Hazlitt’s distracted polemical existence. His book is a monument of ...

Round Things

T.J. Binyon, 24 October 1991

Maurice Baring: A Citizen of Europe 
by Emma Letley.
Constable, 269 pp., £18.95, September 1991, 0 09 469870 8
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... John Vavassour de Quentin Jones, Belloc tells us in his Cautionary Tales, Was very fond of throwing stones At Horses, People, Passing Trains But specially at Window-panes. Like many of the Upper Class, He liked the sound of Broken Glass. To this last line is appended the footnote: A line I stole with subtle daring From Wing-Commander Maurice Baring ...

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