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Shovelling Clouds

Adam Mars-Jones: Fred Vargas, 23 April 2015

Temps glaciaires 
by Fred Vargas.
Flammarion, 490 pp., €19.90, March 2015, 978 2 08 136044 0
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... in the 1920s and 1930s was primitive in its sexual psychology, never more so than in the novels of John Dickson Carr. Carr, a naturalised American, could ventriloquise British understatement almost too well, as his biographical note on the back of vintage green Penguins demonstrates, noting his ‘slight difficulty that during the blitz our house was twice ...

Grim Eminence

Norman Stone, 10 January 1983

The Twilight of the Comintern 1930-1935 
by E.H. Carr.
Macmillan, 436 pp., £25, December 1982, 0 333 33062 5
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... of the Bolshevik Autocracy (1952). As a publisher’s reader, he tried to prevent acceptance of John Erickson’s Soviet High Command. In the days of Times Literary Supplement anonymity Carr saw to it that he himself, Isaac Deutscher and, where needed, the wife of the Moscow journalist, Victor Louis, were employed as reviewers. He and Deutscher would ...


A.J.P. Taylor: Death of a Historian , 30 December 1982

... zone when she is shot by a frontier guard. Before this I had tried Reds, a film allegedly about John Reed. This film had only normal intercourse. It also had a good deal of political nonsense and little hint that Reed wrote the finest account there is of the Bolshevik revolution. I have been cured of film-going for a long time. I have not done much better ...


A.J.P. Taylor: Hungarians and Falklanders, 17 February 1983

... on the Times in the London Library. The name that stirred my memories and regrets most was Canon John Collins, who died on New Year’s Eve. John Collins was that very rare thing: a good man. He was not particularly a rebel or a radical. He was very conventional in many of his ways, as in being a Canon of St Paul’s. But ...


J. Hoberman: Did the Jews invent Hollywood?, 7 March 2002

Hollywood and Anti-Semitism: A Cultural History up to World War Two 
by Steven Alan Carr.
Cambridge, 342 pp., £42.50, July 2001, 9780521798549
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... afraid of things that may possibly happen in this country to them,’ the Los Angeles Archbishop John Cantwell observed in a letter to the Archbishop of Cincinnati in July 1933. The Hollywood Question was now a political matter. Anti-semitic stereotypes were employed by both supporters and opponents of Upton Sinclair’s campaign for Governor of ...

Little Philadelphias

Ange Mlinko: Imagism, 25 March 2010

The Verse Revolutionaries: Ezra Pound, H.D. and the Imagists 
by Helen Carr.
Cape, 982 pp., £30, May 2009, 978 0 224 04030 3
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... in this drama: the Imagists – H.D. (Hilda Doolittle), Richard Aldington, T.E. Hulme, F.S. Flint, John Gould Fletcher, Amy Lowell – as well as scores more who had a stake in the continuing vitality of literature, including Yeats, Lawrence, Ford Madox Ford, Wyndham Lewis and Henri Gaudier-Brzeska. The writers, clustered in clubs or ‘gangs’, wanted to ...

You are the we of me

Joyce Carol Oates: The Autobiography of Carson McCullers, 2 September 1999

Illumination and Night Glare: The Unfinished Autobiography of Carson McCullers 
edited by Carlos Dews.
Wisconsin, 256 pp., £19.95, September 1999, 0 299 16440 3
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... In the massive, magisterial The Best American Short Stories of the Century edited by John Updike, Flannery O’Connor is included with one of her much anthologised stories, ‘Greenleaf’, while McCullers and Capote are not only absent, but their absences have gone unremarked by reviewers. Fifty years ago, such a state of affairs would have been ...

Short Cuts

Chase Madar: Human Rights Window Dressing, 2 July 2015

... United Nations to investigate atrocities committed during Israel’s 2008-9 assault on Gaza. Or John Prendergast, a former Human Rights Watch researcher and co-founder of Enough, an anti-genocide group affiliated with the Centre for American Progress, who has called for military intervention to oust Robert Mugabe. It’s not just Americans: Michael ...


David Edgar: The Angry Brigade, 16 December 2004

The Angry Brigade: The Cause and the Case 
by Gordon Carr.
ChristieBooks, 168 pp., £34, July 2003, 1 873976 21 6
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Granny Made Me an Anarchist 
by Stuart Christie.
Scribner, 423 pp., £10.99, September 2004, 0 7432 5918 1
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... called the Angry Brigade, the language of whose communiqués (identified by a stamp made from a John Bull printing set) led the Met Bomb Squad to Ian Purdie and Jake Prescott (the former a left-wing activist, previously convicted for throwing a petrol bomb at the Ulster Office during a demonstration; the latter a drug-user and small-time criminal who’d ...

Walsingham’s Plumber

Patrick Collinson: John Bossy, 5 July 2001

Under the Molehill: An Elizabethan Spy Story 
by John Bossy.
Yale, 189 pp., £18.95, May 2001, 0 300 08400 5
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... Court of Elizabeth I, Michel de Castelnau, seigneur de Mauvissière, an establishment described by John Bossy as ‘zany, convivial and leak-ridden’. Bossy asks us to take our places at the dinner table at Salisbury Court in November 1583, ‘as in a late novel by Henry James’: ‘who had done what, who knew who had done what, and who knew who knew who had ...

At the Centre Pompidou

Jeremy Harding: Beat Generation, 8 September 2016

... Kerouac, ‘On the Road’ (original typescript, 1951) Jack Kerouac, ‘The Slouch Hat’ (c.1960) John Cohen, ‘Robert Frank, Alfred Leslie, Gregory Corso’ (1959) Wallace Berman, Untitled (Allen Ginsberg, c.1960)PreviousNext These names belong to the original small group of friends who met in New York in the early 1940s. Within ten years Ginsberg had moved ...


Susan McKay: The Irish Border, 30 March 2017

... as a border poll, as permitted under the Good Friday Agreement, is being discussed.The artist John Byrne used to sell replicas of the British army watchtowers that bristled up from the hill tops of Armagh. The fortifications have long gone, and there’s a world of difference between the frightening place Colm Tóibín explored in 1987 in Bad Blood: A ...


Stephen Fender, 3 April 1980

The London Yankees: Portraits of American Writers and Artists in England, 1894-1914 
by Stanley Weintraub.
W.H. Allen, 408 pp., £7.95, November 1979, 0 491 02209 3
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The Americans: Fifty Letters from America on our Life and Times 
by Alistair Cooke.
Bodley Head, 323 pp., £5.95, October 1979, 0 370 30163 3
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... was to further his own work.’ But those who stayed behind were even more remote from reality. ‘John Sargent, painting in the Austrian Tyrol, continued undisturbed.’ Pound carried on fighting for T.S. Eliot. Jacob Epstein told his patron John Quinn: ‘My business as I see it is to get on with my work ... Everybody here ...

In Pursuit of an Heiress

Nicholas Penny: Hermann von Pückler-Muskau, 16 June 2016

Letters of a Dead Man 
by Hermann von Pückler-Muskau, edited and translated by Linda Parshall.
Dumbarton Oaks, 753 pp., £55.95, May 2016, 978 0 88402 411 8
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... extraordinary Chinese dairy at Woburn, approached through massed azaleas and rhododendrons, and of John Nash’s elegant gallery in Regent Street with its models and plaster casts – two other buildings that no longer survive. When Pückler retells stories told him by others we begin to suspect that some scepticism might have been appropriate. At ...

A Toast at the Trocadero

Terry Eagleton: D.J. Taylor, 18 February 2016

The Prose Factory: Literary Life in England since 1918 
by D.J. Taylor.
Chatto, 501 pp., £25, January 2016, 978 0 7011 8613 5
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... irritated by talk of class conflict, and is not exactly in congratulatory mood when he calls John Carey the most class-conscious critic of the modern age. (The literary hackles raised by Carey’s recent memoir, The Unexpected Professor, which puts the petty-bourgeois boot into patrician dons, revealed just what kind of talk remains unacceptable in a ...

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