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Doing blow

Michael Wood, 25 July 1991

You’ll never eat lunch in this town again 
by Julia Phillips.
Heinemann, 650 pp., £15.99, June 1991, 0 434 58801 6
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... we were too self-absorbed to notice. Our nostalgia is really going to have to work hard here. For Julia Phillips, and for everyone else, she says, ‘who thought they were young, decadent and rich in the Seventies’, the Seventies were the Eagles song ‘Life in the Fast Lane’, and a style modelled on the song. ‘The Seventies ... pot ...

What is there to lose?

Adam Phillips, 24 May 1990

Black Sun: Depression and Melancholia 
by Julia Kristeva, translated by Leon Roudiez.
Columbia, 300 pp., $33.50, October 1989, 0 231 06706 2
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Surviving trauma: Loss, Literature and Psychoanalysis 
by David Aberbach.
Yale, 192 pp., £16.95, February 1990, 0 300 04557 3
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... extremely tricky). And yet it is surely at its most compelling, as it is in the work of Julia Kristeva – who came to psychoanalysis from linguistics – when it knows itself to be in a world of complementary and not only competitive languages. In Kristeva’s writing, despite the sometimes tortuous difficulty of her style, hero-worship and ...

Dive In!

Bruce Robbins: Hegelian reflections, 2 November 2000

Subjects of Desire: Hegelian Reflections in 20th-Century France 
by Judith Butler.
Columbia, 268 pp., £12, June 1999, 0 231 06451 9
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... to say about bondage in the recreational sense and, aside from a few pages at the end about Julia Kristeva and Simone de Beauvoir, was mostly indifferent to questions of sexuality. It is sexual politics that has generated Butler’s present celebrity, however, which no doubt helps explain the republication of the Hegel book – unchanged, except for an ...


Sarah Perry: Victorian ‘Hospitalism’, 5 July 2018

The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister’s Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine 
by Lindsey Fitzharris.
Allen Lane, 304 pp., £16.99, October 2017, 978 0 241 26249 8
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... surgeon John Abernethy concluded his lectures with a resigned ‘God help you all.’ When John Phillips Potter nicked his knuckle anatomising – at the dead man’s request – the circus performer the ‘Gnome Fly’, he swiftly succumbed to pyaemia, a kind of blood poisoning caused by the spread of pus-forming organisms which cause abscesses. The pus ...

Swaying at the Stove

Rosemary Hill: The Cult of Elizabeth David, 9 December 1999

Elizabeth David: A Biography 
by Lisa Chaney.
Pan, 482 pp., £10, September 1999, 0 330 36762 5
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Waiting at the Kitchen Table. Elizabeth David: The Authorised Biography 
by Artemis Cooper.
Viking, 364 pp., £20, November 1999, 0 7181 4224 1
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... before John Lehmann, the editor of New Writing, took it on at the recommendation of his assistant, Julia Strachey, Lytton Strachey’s niece. So it was as a literary work, with a lingering glow of Bloomsbury behind it, that David’s first book made its appearance. To draw the jacket and illustrations Lehmann chose John Minton. It was a good ...

Where will we live?

James Meek: The Housing Disaster, 9 January 2014

... than £200,000. In 2010, the association Housing 21 gave its retiring chief executive, Melinda Phillips, a package worth more than half a million pounds – salary and pension worth £207,000, and what was effectively a farewell gift of £300,000. In August this year, Great Places Housing Group showed similar generosity to its retiring chief, Stephen ...

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