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This Condensery

August Kleinzahler: In Praise of Lorine Niedecker, 5 June 2003

Collected Works 
by Lorine Niedecker, edited by Jenny Penberthy.
California, 471 pp., £29.95, May 2002, 0 520 22433 7
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Collected Studies in the Use of English 
by Kenneth Cox.
Agenda, 270 pp., £12, September 2001, 9780902400696
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New Goose 
by Lorine Niedecker, edited by Jenny Penberthy.
Listening Chamber, 98 pp., $10, January 2002, 0 9639321 6 0
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... Lorine Niedecker’s poetry, much has been left out, but these few words written to the critic Kenneth Cox in 1966 provide us with the biographical gist. This Collected Works should succeed, at long last, in establishing Niedecker as one of the most important and original poets of this past century and in bringing her work into the mainstream, where ...

All There Needs to Be Said

August Kleinzahler: Louis Zukofsky, 22 May 2008

The Poem of a Life: A Biography of Louis Zukofsky 
by Mark Scroggins.
Shoemaker and Hoard, 555 pp., $30, December 2007, 978 1 59376 158 5
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... work is resistant to that sort of reading, and he held that the meaning was embedded in the sound. Kenneth Rexroth, reviewing Some Time in 1956, wrote that the poems were ‘exercises in absolute clarification, crystal cabinets full of air and angels’. Here, in the first half of a poem for the two-year-old Paul, Zukofsky seems to have had Herrick’s ‘To ...

Pound & Co.

August Kleinzahler: Davenport and Kenner, 26 September 2019

Questioning Minds: Vols I-II: The Letters of Guy Davenport and Hugh Kenner 
edited by Edward Burns.
Counterpoint, 1817 pp., $95, October 2018, 978 1 61902 181 5
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... his writings on poetry: he was one of only two critics Bunting thought any use, the other being Kenneth Cox. Bunting thought I should be in touch with Kenner. ‘But bear in mind, August, he’s an antisemite and quite deaf, but not so deaf now with his second wife as he was with his first.’ I never got any response from Kenner when I sent him this ...

Davie’s Rap

Neil Corcoran, 25 January 1990

Under Briggflatts: A History of Poetry in Great Britain 1960-1988 
by Donald Davie.
Carcanet, 261 pp., £18.95, October 1989, 0 85635 820 7
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Annunciations 
by Charles Tomlinson.
Oxford, 55 pp., £5.95, November 1989, 0 19 282680 8
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Possible Worlds 
by Peter Porter.
Oxford, 68 pp., £6.95, September 1989, 0 19 282660 3
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The boys who stole the funeral: A Novel Sequence 
by Les Murray.
Carcanet, 71 pp., £6.95, October 1989, 0 85635 845 2
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... the ‘distracting sonorities’ of Hill’s prose; in a generously empathetic essay on the critic Kenneth Cox, Davie clearly relishes Cox on Hill’s ‘movement slowed to a processional drag ... all inanimate, embalmed ... like being beaten about the head with balloons’; a by no means uncritical account of Seamus ...

Snarly Glitters

August Kleinzahler: Roy Fisher, 20 April 2006

The Long and the Short of It: Poems 1955-2005 
by Roy Fisher.
Bloodaxe, 400 pp., £12, June 2005, 1 85224 701 0
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... done, and more likely to fall heavily to the floor. The prose alternates with verse. As the late Kenneth Cox said in one of the very few useful pieces on Fisher’s poetry, the verse line slows down the rate of reading and highlights details of movement and texture, as well as allowing a more flexible syntax and looser connections between successive ...

Nationalising English

Patrick Parrinder, 28 January 1993

The Great Betrayal: Memoirs of a Life in Education 
by Brian Cox.
Chapmans, 386 pp., £17.99, September 1992, 1 85592 605 9
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... one of the last bastions of progressive education. So runs the latest episode in what Brian Cox terms ‘the great betrayal’: the betrayal of teachers and their pupils over the last thirty years by government interference, false ideologies and starvation of resources. The current cast of this depressing production seems to have wandered off the set of ...

Blackfell’s Scarlatti

August Kleinzahler: Basil Bunting, 21 January 1999

The Poet as Spy: The Life and Wild Times of Basil Bunting 
by Keith Alldritt.
Aurum, 221 pp., £19.95, October 1998, 1 85410 477 2
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... criticism after Dante’s De Vulgari Eloquentia. The contemporary critic he most admired was Kenneth Cox, who wrote two of the finest essays on Bunting. Remarkably, there has never been a collection of Cox’s essays published. Donald Davie addressed the neglect of both the poet and essayist in his collection ...

Wild Hearts

Peter Wollen, 6 April 1995

Virginia Woolf 
by James King.
Hamish Hamilton, 699 pp., £25, September 1994, 0 241 13063 8
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... silence and at the end I had tears in my eyes.’ Among the Bloomsbury ‘items’ commissioned by Kenneth and Jane Clark was a grand Wedgwood dinner service created by Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant in 1935. The two artists chose to paint the 48 plates (out of 140 pieces) with a series of portraits of great women, including Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf ...

Lost Jokes

Alan Bennett, 2 August 1984

... actors and I had begun to think there was something wrong with the play (there was: too long) when Kenneth More’s name came up. Kenneth More was, to say the least, not an obvious choice. As an actor and a man he had a very conservative image and to many of my generation he was identified with one of his most famous ...

Aliens

John Sutherland, 21 January 1982

Brave Old World 
by Philippe Curval, translated by Steve Cox.
Allison and Busby, 262 pp., £6.95, November 1981, 0 85031 407 0
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The Insider 
by Christopher Evans.
Faber, 215 pp., £6.95, November 1981, 0 571 11774 0
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Genetha 
by Roy Heath.
Allison and Busby, 185 pp., £6.95, November 1981, 0 85031 410 0
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From the Heat of the Day 
by Roy Heath.
Allison and Busby, 159 pp., £6.50, October 1979, 0 85031 325 2
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One Generation 
by Roy Heath.
Allison and Busby, 202 pp., £2.50, March 1981, 9780850312546
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Sardines 
by Nuruddin Farah.
Allison and Busby, 250 pp., £7.95, November 1981, 0 85031 408 9
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... above where the eagles soared.’ A main problem for the West Indian novelist, according to Kenneth Ramchand, is how to handle the ‘language of the master’ – the white predecessor who stands ambivalently as former slave-owner and literary source. Heath’s method is to thin his style to a minimum, owing the least possible debt. At times this is ...
... two nominated by Lonrho – on the advice of Lord Shawcross (of whom more later) – are Geoffrey Cox, a former editor and chief executive of Independent Television News, and Dame Rosemary Murray, a former Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University and a director of the Midland Bank. The two nominated by the staff are Lord Windlesham, a former Tory Minister and ...

Blood for Oil?

Retort: The takeover of Iraq, 21 April 2005

... then successfully rigged a plebiscite with the assistance of the new high commissioner, Sir Percy Cox. In 1925, with a little help from the League of Nations, Britain struck a deal with the French to ensure that the oil-rich Mosul Province – ‘Nebuchadnezzar’s furnace’ – was formally incorporated within Iraq. In short order, a Principal Agreement was ...

Criminal Justice

Ronan Bennett, 24 June 1993

... the British legal system. At least that is one point of view. Another – shared by the police, by Kenneth Clarke and by Sir Hugh Annesley, the Chief Constable of Northern Ireland – is that it is outmoded and favours the guilty, and should be scrapped because it is routinely exploited by clever criminals and terrorists. (Annesley has even suggested that ...

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