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The Partisan Coffee House

Nicholas Faith, 1 June 2017

... came in 1957 after the majority of communism’s finest intellects, headed by Edward Thompson and John Saville, quit the Communist Party following the Soviet invasion of Hungary. As the exhibition’s curator, the historian Mike Berlin, explains in the catalogue, the venture ‘deserves to be celebrated. The Partisan embodied a radical tradition that had ...


Pat Rogers, 6 November 1986

Hume and the Heroic Portrait: Studies in 18th-Century Imagery 
by Edgar Wind, edited by Jaynie Anderson.
Oxford, 139 pp., £29.50, May 1986, 0 19 817371 7
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Augustan Studies: Essays in honour of Irvin Ehrenpreis 
edited by Douglas Lane Patey and Timothy Keegan.
University of Delaware Press, 270 pp., £24.50, May 1986, 9780874132724
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The 18th Century: The Intellectual and Cultural Context of English Literature 1700-1789 
by James Sambrook.
Longman, 290 pp., £15.95, April 1986, 0 582 49306 4
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... could be misleading. This epitaph was written, in fact, by Anna Seward, to the love of her life John Saville, and she told a friend: ‘The last line is Dr Johnson’s. My imagination refused to supply me with one equally applicable, therefore it was adopted.’ Not quite the same as the ‘coincidence and indebtedness’ Miss Lascelles describes as ...

Socialism without Socialism

Peter Jenkins, 20 March 1986

Socialist Register 1985/86: Social Democracy and After 
edited by Ralph Miliband, John Saville, Marcel Liebman and Leo Panitch.
Merlin, 489 pp., £15, February 1986, 9780850363395
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... Mrs Thatcher’s two election victories have prompted a debate on the left at the bottom of which lurks the question: is socialism dead? There are several prongs to the case put forward by the ‘new revisionists’ who, in contrast to the Gaitskell-Croslandite revisionists of the past, are not right-wingers seeking to save the Labour Party from socialism but, for the most part, Marxists who have found it necessary to make a fundamental reappraisal of the socialist project ...

The Unrewarded End

V.G. Kiernan: Memories of the CP, 17 September 1998

The Death of Uncle Joe 
by Alison Macleod.
Merlin, 269 pp., £9.95, May 1997, 0 85036 467 1
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Enemy Within: The Rise and Fall of the British Communist Party 
by Francis Beckett.
Merlin, 253 pp., £9.95, August 1998, 0 85036 477 9
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... the end came she was desperately sorry to be leaving him. Of the younger men coming to the fore, John Gollan, Pollitt’s successor – though the latter continued to dominate, she believes – was a likeable character; and George Matthews (still active today) seemed, as he did to everyone, a man full of ‘earnest honesty’. The Party set up in 1920 was ...

At the Gagosian

Peter Campbell: ‘Crash’, 11 March 2010

... of nudes in a blue room; a Hopper of a woman in an empty theatre; Witness, a smashed face by Jenny Saville; and John Currin’s Rotterdam – pornography as Norman Rockwell might have painted it. There are installations, such as Damien Hirst’s table of surgical instruments below photographs of a smashed eye and smashed ...

On Richard Hollis

Christopher Turner: Richard Hollis, 24 May 2018

... Hollis, also out of a job, created his best-known and most widely disseminated work: the cover for John Berger’s Ways of Seeing (1972), the book that accompanied the documentary series. (Berger had taught Hollis drawing as a student, and Hollis also designed a striking jacket for his novel G.) The first episode opened with Berger wielding a Stanley knife in ...

Home Stretch

John Sutherland: David Storey, 17 September 1998

A Serious Man 
by David Storey.
Cape, 359 pp., £16.99, June 1998, 9780224051583
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by David Storey.
Vintage, 555 pp., £6.99, June 1998, 0 09 927408 6
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... to David Storey?’ The primal scene in Storey’s fiction is to be found in the Booker-winning Saville, in which Colin, the miner’s son, takes his eleven-plus. Storey vividly evokes the huge, echoing, dusty examination rooms, the ink-stained desks, the shepherding, numbering and mysterious instructions, the nervy atmosphere of remembered threats and ...

How does one talk to these people?

Andrew O’Hagan: David Storey in the Dark, 1 July 2021

A Stinging Delight: A Memoir 
by David Storey.
Faber, 407 pp., £20, June, 978 0 571 36031 4
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... for the Royal Court that changed people’s idea of what theatre was; winning the Booker Prize for Saville; enlarging the scope of British literary culture to encompass working-class life and national malaise and a stymied sense of imperial memory. His influence has never been credited in his afterlife the way it was when he was alive. Other British novels and ...

Well done, you forgers

John Sutherland, 7 January 1993

The Two Forgers: A Biography of Harry Buxton Forman and Thomas James Wise 
by John Collins.
Scolar, 317 pp., £27.50, May 1992, 0 85967 754 0
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Forgers and Critics: Creativity and Duplicity in Western Scholarship 
by Anthony Grafton.
Princeton, 157 pp., £10.75, May 1990, 0 691 05544 0
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... to go into now.’ Recent sleuthing has filled in some of the gaps. Nicholas Barker and John Collins’s A Sequel to ‘An Enquiry’ (1983) clarifies the role of Wise’s reluctant partner, Harry Buxton Forman. The forgers’ liaison is fleshed out further in the biographical The Two Forgers, which offers the fullest and most readable narrative to ...

There is only one Harrods

Paul Foot, 23 September 1993

Tiny Rowland: A Rebel Tycoon 
by Tom Bower.
Heinemann, 659 pp., £16.99, May 1993, 0 434 07339 3
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... an education in England for the son of Samora Machel, President of Mozambique; an account at a Saville Row tailors for President Moi of Kenya; endless favours for former President Kaunda of Zambia and Joshua Nkomo – who, for so long, looked like fulfilling Rowland’s ambition for him to become Prime Minister of Zimbabwe. Nkomo learnt the dangers of this ...

Look me in the eye

James Hall: Self-portraiture, 25 January 2001

The Artist's Body 
edited by Tracey Warr and Amelia Jones.
Phaidon, 304 pp., £39.95, July 2000, 0 7148 3502 1
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Five Hundred Self-Portraits 
edited by Julian Bell.
Phaidon, 528 pp., £19.95, November 2000, 0 7148 3959 0
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Renaissance Self-Portraiture 
by Joanna Woods-Marsden.
Yale, 285 pp., £45, October 1998, 0 300 07596 0
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... Body. The serial stuff-strutters include the photo-artists Gilbert & George, Cindy Sherman and John Coplans; the sculptors Jeff Koons, Antony Gormley and Marc Quinn; the painters Andy Warhol, Francis Bacon and Jenny Saville; the performance and video artists Joseph Beuys, Rebecca Horn, Bruce Nauman, Arnulf Rainer and ...

Thatcher’s Artists

Peter Wollen, 30 October 1997

Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection 
by Norman Rosenthal.
Thames and Hudson, 222 pp., £29.95, September 1997, 0 500 23752 2
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... Other painters adapt traditional Realist or Modernist styles to new subjects or, like Jenny Saville, introduce new stylistic mannerisms – extreme foreshortening and superimposed calligraphy. In fact, there is a rich range of strategies for reinventing painting in a post-Duchampian world. The art world today functions globally. As a result, the same ...

Bloody Sunday Report

Murray Sayle: Back to Bloody Sunday, 11 July 2002

... real Bloody Sunday. Testifying was, as much of modern life, like watching TV. The chairman, Lord Saville, politely introduced himself and his two colleagues of the tribunal, Justices William Hoyt of Canada and John Toohey of New South Wales, the last a member of a well-known Catholic family of lawyers, journalists and ...

Alas! Deceived

Alan Bennett: Philip Larkin, 25 March 1993

Philip Larkin: A Writer’s Life 
by Andrew Motion.
Faber, 570 pp., £20, April 1993, 0 571 15174 4
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... and reads like a Fifties novel of provincial life, though not one written by him so much as by John Wain or Keith Waterhouse. Indeed Ruth sounds (or Larkin makes her sound) like Billy Liar’s unsatisfactory girlfriend, whose snog-inhibiting Jaffa Billy hurls to the other end of the cemetery. Having laid out a grand total of 15s. 7d. on an evening with ...

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