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The [ ] walked down the street

Michael Silverstein: Saussure, 8 November 2012

Saussure 
by John Joseph.
Oxford, 780 pp., £30, March 2012, 978 0 19 969565 2
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... distinct as literary criticism, architecture, social anthropology and psychoanalysis. Yet, as John Joseph’s biography shows, Saussure struggled for his entire career to systematise as general theory what he had implicitly understood and put to stunningly successful use at the age of 19: that human language is the prime abstract ...

Opprobrious Epithets

Katrina Navickas: The Peterloo Massacre, 20 December 2018

Peterloo: The Story of the Manchester Massacre 
by Jacqueline Riding.
Head of Zeus, 386 pp., £25, October 2018, 978 1 78669 583 3
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... without representation’ became a political demand for liberty, changed everything. Major John Cartwright (who was later to advise the Manchester radicals) and Thomas Paine were influenced by the American programme in their arguments for domestic reform, Take Your Choice! and Common Sense. Yet it was the French Revolution that made the working classes ...

Diary

Robert Irwin: The Best Thing since Sex, 2 December 1993

... should resist this kind of creeping socialisation. A Belgian musician and designer of automata, John Joseph Merlin, first skated on an early version of roller blades while playing the violin in 1760. But if roller-skating has a long history, it has only a short literature. Unlike cricket, it does not command literary partisans of the calibre of Harold ...

Joseph Jobson

Patrick Wormald, 18 April 1985

Saladin in his Time 
by P.H. Newby.
Faber, 210 pp., £10.95, November 1983, 0 571 13044 5
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Soldiers of the Faith: Crusaders and Moslems at War 
by Ronald Finucane.
Dent, 247 pp., £12.50, November 1983, 0 460 12040 9
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... First Crusade was that the various Islamic powers never realised what was actually happening; and John Gillingham, the Lion-Heart’s biographer, could scarcely complain of his discussion of the Acre massacre (on which Mr Finucane is more lurid). If Newby’s Saladin somehow fails to inspire, this is partly because of his low-key, if agreeable style, but ...

Is he winking?

Joseph J. Ellis: Benjamin Franklin, 20 March 2003

Benjamin Franklin 
by Edmund S. Morgan.
Yale, 339 pp., £19.95, October 2002, 0 300 09532 5
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... the accompanying turf wars that claim so many academic casualties. He has written biographies of John Winthrop, Ezra Stiles, Roger Williams and George Washington; political histories of the Stamp Act crisis and the causes of the American Revolution; social histories of family life in colonial New England and Virginia; intellectual histories of Puritan ...

Under-Labourer

John Mullan, 19 September 1996

The Correspondence of Thomas Warton 
edited by David Fairer.
Georgia, 775 pp., $85, September 1995, 9780820315010
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... assistant. A typical letter from Malone asks where he might find a particular prologue by Sir John Denham, wonders whether Warton has come across any mention of ‘Marocco’ (a famous acrobatic horse exhibited around Europe in the 1590s), enquires about any use of ‘the pun on Ajax and A-jakes previous to Sir ...

Doughy

John Sutherland: Conrad’s letters, 4 December 2003

The Collected Letters of Joseph Conrad. Vol. VI: 1917-19 
edited by Laurence Davies, Frederick R. Karl and Owen Knowles.
Cambridge, 570 pp., £80, December 2002, 0 521 56195 7
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... remains. The problem is compounded in the case of a correspondent as habitually costive as Joseph Conrad. Not that the slice of life covered by this volume is lacking in biographical juice. The novelist is at the threshold of sixty, living his last years as he ruefully says ‘en vieux garçon’. He has only seven years to live. His health is ...

End of the Century

John Sutherland, 13 October 1988

Worlds Apart 
by David Holbrook.
Hale, 205 pp., £10.95, September 1988, 9780709033639
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Story of My Life 
by Jay McInerney.
Bloomsbury, 188 pp., £11.95, August 1988, 0 7475 0180 7
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Forgotten Life 
by Brian Aldiss.
Gollancz, 284 pp., £11.95, September 1988, 0 575 04369 5
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Incline Our hearts 
by A.N. Wilson.
Hamish Hamilton, 250 pp., £11.95, August 1988, 0 241 12256 2
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... and the latest drug culture. It was to cocaine (the snuffed, not the smoked variety) what John Barleycorn was to booze, what Naked Lunch was to heroin and what Dog Soldiers was to hallucinogens. Anyone who read Bright Lights, Big City could feel an expert on the modish drug of choice, even if he had never put anything stronger than Friar’s Balsam up ...

In one era and out the other

John North, 7 April 1994

Joseph Scaliger: A Study in the History of Classical Scholarship. Vol II: Historical Chronology 
by Anthony Grafton.
Oxford, 766 pp., £65, December 1993, 0 19 920601 5
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... Julius Caesar Scaliger, one of the 16th century’s most formidable literary scholars, and his son Joseph, who, as it happens, was successor to Lipsius at Leiden. And if their distinctive styles of pedantry make the two of them discernible to connoisseurs of these things, there remains the fact that they are closely linked in many people’s minds by a ...

JC’s Call

J.I.M. Stewart, 2 April 1981

Joseph Conrad: Times Remembered 
by Joseph Conrad.
Cambridge, 218 pp., £10.50, March 1981, 0 521 22805 0
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... Joseph Conrad died at the age of 67 on 3 August 1924, the day following the 18th birthday of his younger son, John Conrad, the author of the present book. John’s memories, which reach astonishingly far back into his earliest childhood, begin with his family living in poverty in a tiny cottage, ‘a dark and gloomy place’, at Aldington in Kent ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘The Gospel According to Saint Matthew’, 21 March 2013

The Gospel According to Saint Matthew 
directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini.
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... how the screenwriter describes the whole occasion: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he ...

The Week’s Events

John Hollander, 13 September 1990

... Which, on ultimate reflection, appeared to be a sort Of centennial celebration for the author of Joseph and His Brothers And other works, even as it eventually turned out not to be. ‘Let’s have lunch on Tuesday,’ suggested Dubble-Barrell (he Pronounced it ‘Jewsday’, as if there had been inserted into the medieval calendar Another liturgical ...

The Positions He Takes

John Barrell: Hitchens on Paine, 30 November 2006

Thomas Paine’s ‘Rights of Man’: A Biography 
by Christopher Hitchens.
Atlantic, 128 pp., £9.99, July 2006, 1 84354 513 6
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... in France, and Hitchens tells us that among others who wrote replies to Burke, along with Joseph Priestley and Mary Wollstonecraft, was William Godwin, which he wasn’t. He says that, unlike Paine, Wollstonecraft advocated votes for women, which she didn’t. Paine himself, Hitchens says, was not discouraged from writing Part One of Rights of Man by ...

In Cardiff

John Barrell: Richard Wilson, 25 September 2014

... painters of the generation after his were trained in his London studio, including William Marlow, Joseph Farington and, best of all, Thomas Jones and William Hodges. Unlike Gainsborough, who took off from the tradition of Dutch landscape painting, in Rome Wilson became a follower of the school of Claude Lorrain, more classically Arcadian in its subjects and ...

At the Ashmolean

John-Paul Stonard: Joseph Beuys and Jörg Immendorff , 22 May 2014

... series made around the turn of the 1980s, or the intense political works made after studying with Joseph Beuys at the Academy in Düsseldorf in the 1960s. ‘Zwei wird zu einem’ by Jörg Immendorff (1979). ‘Felt Suit’ by Joseph Beuys (1970) ‘Untitled’ by Jörg Immendorff (1974) ‘Die Geschichte der ...

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