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A Lot to Be Said

Stefan Collini: Literary Criticism

2 November 2017
Literary Criticism: A Concise Political History 
by Joseph North.
Harvard, 272 pp., £31.95, May 2017, 978 0 674 96773 1
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... Scanning​ recent academic literary studies for examples of what he calls ‘a genuinely critical impulse’, JosephNorth picks out D.A. Miller’s subtle analysis of Jane Austen’s prose. ‘The critical voice speaking here is quite remarkable for the finesse with which it mimics the rhetorical effect it is describing ...
7 April 1994
Joseph​ Scaliger: A Study in the History of Classical Scholarship. Vol II: Historical Chronology 
by Anthony Grafton.
Oxford, 766 pp., £65, December 1993, 0 19 920601 5
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... elder Scaliger’, there must have been readers who asked themselves whether he wasn’t confusing Julius Caesar Scaliger, one of the 16th century’s most formidable literary scholars, and his son Joseph, who, as it happens, was successor to Lipsius at Leiden. And if their distinctive styles of pedantry make the two of them discernible to connoisseurs of these things, there remains the fact that they ...
5 November 1981
British Industry and the North​ Sea: State Intervention in a Developing Industrial Sector 
by Michael Jenkin.
Macmillan, 251 pp., £20, May 1981, 0 333 25606 9
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... that is) has turned into tenners. What a triumph for supply-side economics! The trouble, as Michael Jenkin tells us, is that there have not been enough Steve Buxtons hovering over the rigs in the North Sea. And in the absence of a sufficient number of home-grown entrepreneurs, ministers and civil servants have felt obliged to see if they could force a few into life with a bucket of departmental ...

Diary

Anneke Van Woudenberg: Congo

19 October 2006
... the July poll to take place. Three weeks after election day, on the night the first-round results were to be announced, gun battles broke out in Kinshasa between the Republican Guard of President Joseph Kabila and the troops of his main challenger, Vice-President Jean-Pierre Bemba. United Nations peacekeeping troops had to evacuate the president of the Independent Electoral Commission when the ...

Once a Syrian, always a Syrian

Maria Margaronis: Joseph​ O’Neill

8 March 2001
Blood-Dark Track: A Family History 
by Joseph​ O'Neill.
Granta, 338 pp., £16.99, February 2001, 1 86207 288 4
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... Joseph O’Neill’s grandfathers, one Irish, the other Turkish, were both imprisoned without trial during World War Two. Jim O’Neill was arrested in 1940, when Eamon de Valera’s Government, fearful ...

Voyagers

James Paradis

18 June 1981
Sir Joseph​ Banks 
by Charles Lyte.
David and Charles, 248 pp., £10.50, October 1980, 0 7153 7884 8
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The Heyday of Natural History: 1820-1870 
by Lynn Barber.
Cape, 320 pp., £9.50, October 1980, 9780224014489
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A Vision of Eden 
by Marianne North.
Webb and Bower, 240 pp., £8.95, October 1980, 0 906671 18 3
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... of detailed systems of knowledge. Even Darwin, who drew from the traditions of both the amateur and the specialist, wrote for circles of experts. The decline in reputation of amateurs such as Sir Joseph Banks and James Audubon, both of whom had counted themselves as naturalists, was largely the result of their failure to contribute to the growing body of specialist literature. Coleridge, a careful ...
5 March 1987
Hotel Savoy 
by Joseph​ Roth, translated by John Hoare.
Chatto, 183 pp., £9.95, November 1986, 0 7011 2879 8
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... When Joseph Roth was asked once to write about his earliest memory, he described how as a baby he had seen his mother strip his cradle and hand it over to a strange woman, who ‘holds it to her chest, as though ...

Us and Them

Robert Taubman

4 September 1980
The Secret Servant 
by Gavin Lyall.
Hodder, 224 pp., £5.50, June 1980, 0 340 25385 1
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The Flowers of the Forest 
by Joseph​ Hone.
Secker, 365 pp., £5.95, July 1980, 0 436 20087 2
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A Talent to Deceive: An Appreciation of Agatha Christie 
by Robert Barnard.
Collins, 203 pp., £5.95, April 1980, 0 00 216190 7
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Enter the Lion: A Posthumus Memoir of Mycroft Holmes 
by Michael Hodel and Sean Wright.
Dent, 237 pp., £4.95, May 1980, 0 460 04483 4
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Dorothy I. Sayers: Nine Literary Studies 
by Trevor Hall.
Duckworth, 132 pp., £12.50, April 1980, 9780715614556
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Milk Dime 
by Barry Fantoni.
Hodder, 192 pp., £5.50, May 1980, 0 340 25350 9
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... past that gives this story an extra dimension and makes the Wordsworth quotation sit comfortably in place. It’s true that the main reference back is to more violence, a long-range desert patrol in North Africa in 1943, which Lyall brings to life as vividly as Popski once did in Private Army. Lyall has a feeling for battles long ago and knows his World War Two, which he has used in this way before ...

Carved Cosmos

Tom Lowenstein

5 August 1993
Amaravati: Buddhist Sculpture from the Great Stupa 
by Robert Knox.
British Museum, 247 pp., £40, November 1992, 0 7141 1452 9
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... the Buddha, whose system was non-theistic, did not disbelieve in gods and spirits. The devatas were simply part of cosmological society, and the non-Buddhist shrines in the forest clearings of his north Indian territory were part of his aesthetic if not devotional landscape. ‘How delightful the Capala shrine is!’ he said during his terminal illness – an expression of pleasure of a kind which ...

Night Jars

Thomas Jones: ‘The North​ Water’

13 July 2016
The North​ Water 
by Ian McGuire.
Scribner, 326 pp., £14.99, February 2016, 978 1 4711 5124 8
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... and the presence of such subtle effects beneath the surface gloss of gore. Another dialectical metaphor, deployed as the Volunteer is leaving the ‘broad brown murk’ of the Humber – ‘To north and south, a scanty shoreline welds the rusted steel of estuary and sky’ – welds the supposed opposites of nature and industry (and the rust is a reminder that industry is not immune to nature ...

Imperial Project

Richard Drayton

19 September 1996
Kew: The History of the Royal Botanic Gardens 
by Ray Desmond.
Harvill/Royal Botanical Gardens, 466 pp., £25, November 1995, 1 86046 076 3
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... that ‘the Exotick Garden at Kew is by far the richest in Europe ... getting plants and seeds from every Corner of the Habitable world.’ George III fostered this programme and in 1773 turned to Joseph Banks for assistance. In the half-century between the end of the Seven Years’ War and Waterloo, the East India Company took control of Moghul India, the Royal Navy began its hydrological survey of ...

Diary

August Kleinzahler: Too Bad about Mrs Ferri

20 September 2001
... of Murder Incorporated and capo of the Mangano family, had been assassinated that morning at 10.20 while getting a shave at the Park Sheraton Hotel on Seventh Avenue. The Gallo brothers made the hit: Joseph ‘Crazy Joe’, Larry, and Albert ‘Kid Blast’. They were accompanied by an ugly little torpedo named Joseph ‘Joe Jelly’ Giorelli, who finished the job with a bullet to the back of Anastasia ...

Memories of Brodsky

Anatoly Naiman: Akhmatova, Brodsky and Me

13 May 1999
... When Joseph Brodsky died in January 1996, there was in Russia a strong tendency to oversimplify his life, to reduce it to an outline, and at the same time to mythologise it as Pushkin’s life has been ...

Jingo Joe

Paul Addison

2 July 1981
Joseph​ Chamberlain: A Political Study 
by Richard Jay.
Oxford, 383 pp., £16.95, March 1981, 0 19 822623 3
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... A century ago Joseph Chamberlain was the Tony Benn of his time, the bogeyman of moderate and conservative opinion. The point is familiar to historians of the period, but never easy to convey. Why, after all, should the ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: The Ryanverse

11 July 2002
... too Updiked, though Clancy didn’t mention that. So the stylised definite article has been dropped, and Red Rabbit will be hopping its way up the bestseller lists in a matter of weeks (Michael Joseph, £18.99). Clancy rocketed to fame – the cliché isn’t inapt for such a notorious gizmologist, though he’d no doubt give you the make and serial number of the rocket in question – in the mid ...

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