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Going Electric

Patrick McGuinness: J.H. Prynne

7 September 2000
by J.H. Prynne.
Bloodaxe/Folio/Fremantle Arts Centre, 440 pp., £25, March 2000, 1 85224 491 7
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Pearls that Were 
by J.H. Prynne.
Equipage, 28 pp., £4, March 1999, 1 900968 95 9
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by J.H. Prynne.
Barque, 42 pp., £4, December 1999, 9781903488010
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Other: British and Irish Poetry since 1970 
edited by Richard Caddel and Peter Quartermain.
Wesleyan, 280 pp., $45, March 1999, 0 8195 2241 4
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... remotely similar, and no more that a handful of whom can be found in the Penguin, Picador, Harvill or Faber anthologies. The editors give us a spread of generations, from Brian Coffey (1905-95) and JonathanGriffin (1906-90) to Catherine Walsh (b. 1964) and Fred D’Aguiar (b. 1960), and represent a wide diversity of poetic practices. They also tell us the names of another fifty-odd poets they would ...

Is it a crime?

P.N. Furbank

6 June 1985
Peterley Harvest: The Private Diary of David Peterley 
edited by Michael Holroyd.
Secker, 286 pp., £8.95, April 1985, 0 436 36715 7
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... effect, by another person. I may add that there really was a Czech Association and it did, as Peterley Harvest relates, publish four broadsheets or pamphlets, three by R.W. Seton-Watson and one by JonathanGriffin. They may be ‘extremely rare’, as Peterley informs us, but this time the British Library has them safely. Also, the Association’s founder and Honorary Secretary was Richard Pennington ...
17 July 1997
A Centenary Pessoa 
edited by Eugénio Lisboa and L.C. Taylor.
Carcanet, 335 pp., £25, May 1995, 9780856359361
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The Keeper of Sheep 
by Fernando Pessoa, translated by Edwin Honig and Susan Brown.
Sheep Meadow, 135 pp., $12.95, September 1997, 1 878818 45 7
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The Book of Disquietude 
by Fernando Pessoa, translated by Richard Zenith.
Carcanet, 323 pp., £9.95, January 1997, 1 85754 301 7
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... author of paradoxes clear as water and, as water, dizzying; to pretend is to know yourself, mysterious man who does not cultivate mystery. Pessoa, who has been blessed by his translators – JonathanGriffin in the Penguin Selected Poems, Keith Bosley, Richard Zenith, Edwin Honig, Susan Brown – seems to prompt curiously unguarded responses in his readers. ‘I’m the living stage,’ his ...

Au revoir et merci

Christopher Tayler: Romain Gary

6 December 2018
The Roots of Heaven 
by Romain Gary, translated by Jonathan Griffin.
Godine, 434 pp., $18.95, November 2018, 978 1 56792 626 2
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Promise at Dawn 
by Romain Gary, translated by John Markham Beach.
Penguin, 314 pp., £9.99, September 2018, 978 0 241 34763 8
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... We are​ in the African bush, at night, in the mid-1950s. At a campfire Father Tassin, a Jesuit palaeontologist, is questioning Saint-Denis, the French colonial administrator of this corner of Chad. Tassin is looking for information about a mysterious figure called Morel, whose recent activities have scandalised all of French Equatorial Africa. Saint-Denis begins to recount lengthy conversations he ...

What the Public Most Wants to See

Christopher Tayler: Rick Moody

23 February 2006
The Diviners 
by Rick Moody.
Faber, 567 pp., £12.99, January 2006, 0 571 22946 8
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... and Don DeLillo. That might not sound hard if you think of R&D as a matter of surface effects: pop-cultural references, metafictional gestures, glazed irony and so on. But for Moody (b.1961), as for Jonathan Franzen (b.1959) and David Foster Wallace (b.1962), the previous generation’s experimentalism was as much a way of looking at society as a renovation of novelistic technique. Writers their ...


Susan Pedersen

6 October 2011
Structures and Transformations in Modern British History 
edited by David Feldman and Jon Lawrence.
Cambridge, 331 pp., £50, January 2011, 978 0 521 51882 6
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The Peculiarities of Liberal Modernity in Imperial Britain 
edited by Simon Gunn and James Vernon.
California, 271 pp., £20.95, May 2011, 978 0 9845909 5 7
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Classes, Cultures and Politics: Essays on British History for Ross McKibbin 
edited by Clare Griffiths, John Nott and William Whyte.
Oxford, 320 pp., £65, April 2011, 978 0 19 957988 4
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... book. The reader is warned not only against ‘the instinctive assumptions of … politicised history’ (the editors again) but, it sometimes seems, against strong arguments of any kind. Emma Griffin examines the transformation of civic marketplaces to conclude that claims of a Georgian ‘urban renaissance’ are not so much ‘wrong’ as ‘partial’; Joanna Innes cautions against drawing ...

Look beyond the lips

Bee Wilson: Hedy Lamarr

28 July 2011
Hedy Lamarr: The Most Beautiful Woman in Film 
by Ruth Barton.
Kentucky, 281 pp., £25.95, May 2011, 978 0 8131 2604 3
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... got worse. In the 1950s, she didn’t get so many parts, her plans to move to film production fizzled out, and she turned to TV, appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show, The Colgate Comedy Hour, The Merv Griffin Show and others. The small screen can be more exposing than the big, however. ‘Hedy’s television appearances,’ Barton writes, ‘are notable for her look of bemusement. She often seems hardly ...

Who Are They?

Jenny Turner: The Institute of Ideas

8 July 2010
... Marxism, the magazine: campaigns against gun control, against banning tobacco advertising and child porn; campaigns in favour of global warming and freedom for corporations. Monbiot also follows Jonathan Matthews of Lobbywatch in reporting curious clusters of former LM contributors now working in public science education. For example, according to Monbiot the educational charity Sense about Science ...

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