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High Punctuation

Christopher Ricks, 14 May 1992

But I digress: The Exploitation of Parentheses in English Printed Verse 
by John Lennard.
Oxford, 324 pp., £35, November 1991, 0 19 811247 5
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... hadn’t read William Percy.’Lennard likewise had the good sense to inquire of Tony Harrison and Jon Stallworthy as to his speculations about their parentheses. (Confirmed, though not thereby proved.) He and we wouldn’t have to take the poets’ word for it, but how odd of differently-minded critics to want to shut their ears to the poets’ words ...

The Ticking Fear

John Kerrigan: Louis MacNeice, 7 February 2008

Louis MacNeice: Collected Poems 
edited by Peter McDonald.
Faber, 836 pp., £30, January 2007, 978 0 571 21574 4
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Louis MacNeice: Selected Poems 
edited by Michael Longley.
Faber, 160 pp., £12.99, April 2007, 978 0 571 23381 6
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I Crossed the Minch 
by Louis MacNeice.
Polygon, 253 pp., £9.99, September 2007, 978 1 84697 014 6
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The Strings Are False: An Unfinished Autobiography 
by Louis MacNeice, edited by E.R. Dodds.
Faber, 288 pp., £9.99, September 2007, 978 0 571 23942 9
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... the imagination. Persons from Porlock was itself the product of elective interruption. As Jon Stallworthy points out, in the 1995 biography that we depend on for MacNeice’s later years, he was ‘making a fresh start at 54’ when he went half-time at the BBC. It was a bold but characteristic step. Auden said in his memorial address that, in ...

Chianti in Khartoum

Nick Laird: Louis MacNeice, 3 March 2011

Letters of Louis MacNeice 
edited by Jonathan Allison.
Faber, 768 pp., £35, May 2010, 978 0 571 22441 8
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... Freddie.) The MacNeice on display in these letters is much more sexually ambiguous than the one in Jon Stallworthy’s fond, donnish 1995 biography: ‘as many of his contemporaries were engaged in what he later called “mild homosexual romances”,’ Stallworthy wrote, ‘he singled out a “dark-haired boy of 16 who ...

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