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Going Against

Frank Kermode: Is There a Late Style?, 5 October 2006

On Late Style: Music and Literature Against the Grain 
by Edward Said.
Bloomsbury, 176 pp., £16.99, April 2006, 9780747583653
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Late Thoughts: Reflections on Artists and Composers at Work 
edited by Karen Painter and Thomas Crow.
Getty, 235 pp., $40, August 2006, 0 89236 813 6
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... whether it is possible to offer a clear and distinct idea of the subject under discussion. Indeed, Karen Painter, one of the editors of the Getty volume, says right out that ‘late style does not exist in any real sense.’ But she and her colleagues continue to search for distinguishing marks of lateness in the work of major artists in their last ...

At the Courtauld

John-Paul Stonard: Chaïm Soutine, 30 November 2017

... In his biography​ of the painter Chaïm Soutine, Monroe Wheeler tells the story of Soutine’s obsession with Rembrandt’s Woman Bathing of 1654, which shows his wife, Hendrickje Stoffels, standing in a pool of water, gingerly hitching up her skirt. Rather than copy the original, Soutine took the unorthodox approach of restaging the scene and painting his own version first-hand ...

Not Sex, but Sexy

Gabriele Annan: Alma Mahler-Werfel, 10 December 1998

Alma Mahler-Werfel: The Diaries 1898-1902 
translated by Antony Beaumont.
Faber, 512 pp., £25, November 1998, 0 571 19340 4
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... number of major and minor artists, writers and musicians; a major relationship with the major painter Oskar Kokoschka, one of whose major paintings shows both of them sailing through space in a flourish of drapery: it is called Die Windsbraut (‘Bride of the Wind’) – a romantic German term for ‘hurricane’; and finally, she married three famous ...

Form-Compelling

David Matthews: How to Write a Fugue, 21 September 2006

The Art of Fugue: Bach Fugues for Keyboard 1715-50 
by Joseph Kerman.
California, 173 pp., £15.95, August 2005, 0 520 24358 7
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... of some of them played on piano, harpsichord, clavichord and organ by Davitt Moroney and Karen Rosenak) concentrates on analytical detail and does not attempt to put Bach in the wider context of fugal writing throughout musical history. Kerman assumes a fair amount of prior knowledge, including an understanding of the vocabulary of harm-ony; but ...

Into the Underworld

Iain Sinclair: The Hackney Underworld, 22 January 2015

... parts of London agreed to behave as if the fictions of J.G. Ballard were planning documents, the painter Gavin Jones, working covertly and alone, excavated a wartime bunker hidden beneath a grassy mound outside a block of council flats in Bow. He disguised the entrance with an upturned boat, ran out electrical cables and made himself a set of dank ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: Notes on 1997, 1 January 1998

... shrunken creatures still answer to Hannah, Arthur, Peggy and Bill. But soon it will be Melanie and Karen, Dean and Sandra Louise. Somewhere I wrote some half-heard dialogue on the edge of a scene outside an old people’s home: as the middle-aged children of one deceased resident come away carrying his meagre possessions the matron is helping another old man ...

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