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Short Cuts

Sheng Yun: ‘Finnegans Wake’ in China

2 April 2014
... the 2000 Penguin Classics edition, essentially the 1939 text – why not the 1950 Faber edition? – and was already a good way in by 2012, when the ‘restored’ Penguin edition by Danis Rose and John O’Hanlon came out, with more than 9000 corrections. How much of a difference this will make to readers in China isn’t obvious: the linguistic complexity of the work is probably lost for ever in ...
7 December 1989
In Trouble Again: A Journey between the Orinoco and the Amazon 
by Redmond O’Hanlon.
Penguin, 368 pp., £3.99, October 1989, 0 14 011900 0
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Our Grandmothers’ Drums: A Portrait of Rural African Life and Culture 
by Mark Hudson.
Secker, 356 pp., £12.95, June 1989, 0 436 20959 4
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Borderlines: A Journey in Thailand and Burma 
by Charles Nicholl.
Secker, 320 pp., £12.95, October 1988, 0 436 30980 7
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... back-garden he hangs an image of his ex-wife which he periodically shoots at with a cross-bow. He addresses his girlfriend as Angel Drawers. In other words, he’s a cross between Keith Talent and John Self, a London yob whose conflict with the South American wilds is bound to produce much mirthful copy and rich scope for fatso-baiting. Stockton certainly lives up to his role, screaming for tomato ...

Quashed Quotatoes

Michael Wood: Finnegans Wake

16 December 2010
Finnegans Wake 
by James Joyce, edited by Danis Rose and John​ O’Hanlon.
Houyhnhnm, 493 pp., £250, March 2010, 978 0 9547710 1 0
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Joyce’s Disciples Disciplined 
edited by Tim Conley.
University College Dublin, 185 pp., £42.50, May 2010, 978 1 906359 46 1
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... Deux mots pour Joyce’) put himself in this category, and for such a reader the scepticism about grand schemes or total understanding that we find in the best recent criticism is very attractive. John Bishop, for example, says ‘the only way not to enjoy Finnegans Wake is to expect that one has to plod through it word by word making sense of everything in linear order.’ This is a brave claim ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: 10,860 novels

23 August 2001
... who are not in the window-cleaning business – and if they are excluded from the ‘literary scene’, I’d like to think it doesn’t bother them unduly. As Browning put it, ‘What porridge had John Keats ...

Behind the Waterfall

Lorna Scott Fox

16 November 1995
The Creature in the Map: A Journey to El Dorado 
by Charles Nicholl.
Cape, 396 pp., £18.99, May 1995, 0 224 03333 6
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... dorado, the gilded one) who was daily powdered with gold after his bath encouraged hundreds to sign up for fresh marches of conquest. The ensuing adventures were narrated with devastating flatness by John Hemming in The Search for El Dorado. The gold-hunters got lost, ate grubs, grass and one another, were plagued by bugs and vampires, swelled or shrivelled or turned orange, devoured sweaty saddles in ...

Narco Polo

Iain Sinclair

23 January 1997
Mr Nice: An Autobiography 
by Howard Marks.
Secker, 466 pp., £16.99, September 1996, 0 436 20305 7
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Pulp Election: The Booker Prize Fix 
by Carmen St Keeldare.
Bluedove, 225 pp., £12.99, September 1996, 0 9528298 0 0
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... for MI6 was to seduce a female employee of the Czechoslovakian Embassy ... the party took place in Highgate.’ He adapts the tone and texture of other ex-spooks who ‘went over’: Ian Fleming, John le Carré. He admits that his dialogue is invented, all his East End villains are squeezed into one composite character, Mickey Williams. MI6 became nervous of the Marks connection in the wake of the ...

Best Remain Seated

Jeremy Harding: Travel guides

1 January 1998
by Hugh Finlay and Geoff Crowther.
Lonely Planet, 376 pp., £11.99, April 1997, 0 86442 460 4
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by Robert Pelton Young.
Fielding, 632 pp., £13.95, December 1995, 1 56952 026 7
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Asia's Top Dive Sites 
edited by Fiona Nichols and Michael Stachels.
Fielding, 228 pp., £13.95, December 1996, 1 56952 129 8
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South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland 
by Jon Murray et al.
Lonely Planet, 658 pp., £13.99, January 1998, 0 86442 508 2
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Southern Africa 
by Richard Cox.
Thornton Cox, 474 pp., £11.95, July 1995, 0 7818 0388 8
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The World's Most Dangerous Places 
by Robert Pelton Young.
Fielding, 1048 pp., £13.95, December 1997, 1 56952 104 2
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South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland 
by Barbara McCrea et al.
Rough Guides, 697 pp., £12.99, October 1997, 1 85828 238 1
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The Good Honeymoon Guide 
by Lucy Horne.
Trailblazer, 320 pp., £11.95, March 1997, 1 873756 12 7
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Amnesty International Report 1997 
Amnesty International, 378 pp., £18, June 1997, 0 86210 267 7Show More
by Barnaby Rogerson.
Cadogan, 596 pp., £12.99, December 1997, 1 86011 043 6
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... the proper circulation of air around the male genital area is regarded as a vital contribution to the moral and physical welfare of the tropical traveller. No recent guide has surpassed the excellent John Hatt’s remarks on underwear in The Tropical Traveller (1982). Hatt insists that this ‘must be of pure cotton’ and urges a change of attitude, or perhaps a readjustment, for anyone foolish ...

Wrong Again

Bruce Cumings: Korean War Games

4 December 2003
... rapprochement between Pyongyang and Tokyo, and providing a weapon with which to pressure Roh Moo Hyun back into the fold. I was in Seoul when Koizumi’s summit was announced, a day or two after John Bolton (the so-called ‘Under-Secretary of State for Arms Control’ in an Administration that has wrecked arms control) arrived to denounce Kim Jong Il personally and his regime more generally as ...

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