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In a Spa Town

James Wood: ‘A Hero of Our Time’, 11 February 2010

A Hero of Our Time 
by Mikhail Lermontov, translated by Natasha Randall.
Penguin, 174 pp., £8.99, August 2009, 978 0 14 310563 3
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... this valley! On every side there are unassailable mountains and reddish promontories, high with green ivy and crowned with clumps of plane trees.’ He marvels at the purity of the mountain air, and the welcome sense of withdrawing from the world and being born anew. But like Dr Johnson, Lermontov’s narrator seems as much alarmed as delighted by the ...

Hedonistic Fruit Bombs

Steven Shapin: How good is Château Pavie?, 3 February 2005

by Robert Parker.
Dorling Kindersley, 1244 pp., £45, December 2003, 1 4053 0566 5
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The Wine Buyer’s Guide 
by Robert Parker and Pierre-Antoine Rovani.
Dorling Kindersley, two volumes, £50, December 2002, 0 7513 4979 8
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directed by Jonathan Nossiter.
November 2004
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... box’ and ‘lead pencil’ are pretty straightforward ways of describing what a nice St-Julien or Pauillac tastes like. Some people who seem to know what they’re talking about say that Rieslings are ‘petrolly’; others prefer ‘plasticine’ for what they agree to be – but which may not be – ‘the same’ smell. ‘Lanolin’ is a ...
... principled heroes of 19th-century fiction who end up on the wrong side of the law: Jean Valjean, Julien Sorel, Raskolnikov, Nekhludov in Resurrection, who joins the woman he has wronged – the prostitute Maslova – in the convict gang travelling to Siberia. No reflection, however, precedes the decision that leads Felix unintentionally to take a man’s ...

The European Coup

Perry Anderson, 17 December 2020

... Politicide) on the historically unique character of the polis (the other two have to make do with Julien Benda and Monty Python). Here, it could be thought, democracy would at last acquire its place, hitherto all but entirely absent, in the problematic of The Passage to Europe. What part does van Middelaar accord it? Since the Greek public was at once ...

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