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Mike Jay: Why do we sleep?, 4 April 2024

Mapping the Darkness: The Visionary Scientists Who Unlocked the Mysteries of Sleep 
by Kenneth Miller.
Oneworld, 330 pp., £18.99, October 2023, 978 0 86154 516 2
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... against danger. It was this trouble making sense of sleep in Darwinian terms which, in Kenneth Miller’s account, marginalised the topic of sleep in medical science until the 20th century. There was rather more investigation of these questions earlier than he implies, especially in Germany, but it’s a striking fact that a hundred years ago ...

Et in Alhambra ego

D.A.N. Jones, 5 June 1986

Agate: A Biography 
by James Harding.
Methuen, 238 pp., £12.95, April 1986, 0 413 58090 3
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Subsequent Performances 
by Jonathan Miller.
Faber, 253 pp., £15, April 1986, 0 571 13133 6
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... though they will seem truisms to many actors, are distanced, as in a time-warp, from Jonathan Miller’s handsome, thoughtful book about ‘directors’ theatre’, Subsequent Performances. This book is, among other things, an apologia for Miller’s own work as a drama director and an essay on the effects of Time upon ...


Jane Miller: On the National Curriculum, 15 October 1987

... children and go into schools have been astonishingly foolish. We thought that others listening to Kenneth Baker’s pronouncements as they tumbled out before, during and after the election would be bound to doubt his wisdom and good faith. We thought that other people would laugh, too, at his picture of all those classrooms in ‘loony left’ boroughs where ...

Back to Reality

David Edgar: Arthur Miller and the Oblong Blur, 18 March 2004

Arthur MillerA Life 
by Martin Gottfried.
Faber, 484 pp., £25, October 2003, 0 571 21946 2
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... In his 1987 autobiography, Arthur Miller tells of a conversation with a Kentucky farmer about the Holy Ghost. Pressed to give a definition of the most mysterious element in the Trinity, the farmer replied: ‘I figure it’s sort of an oblong blur.’ In a later interview, Miller used the same phrase to describe the political mood of the late 1970s: ‘We were living in what to me was a kind of oblong blur ...

We’ve done awfully well

Karl Miller: The Late 1950s, 18 July 2013

Modernity Britain: Opening the Box, 1957-59 
by David Kynaston.
Bloomsbury, 432 pp., £25, June 2013, 978 0 7475 8893 1
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... Forsyth are vignetted time and again. The theatre critic Alan Brien makes more appearances than Kenneth Tynan, but is worth his place. He once accompanied Mr and Mrs Macmillan on a visit to Tyneside, to the North Sands shipyard. The ‘bronchial blast’ of a hooter sounded, startling Macmillan. ‘Lady Dorothy was quicker on the uptake. “When the whistle ...

Mortal Beauty

Paul Delany, 21 May 1981

Feminine Beauty 
by Kenneth Clark.
Weidenfeld, 199 pp., £10, October 1980, 0 297 77677 0
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Of Women and their Elegance 
by Norman Mailer.
Hodder, 288 pp., £12.50, March 1981, 0 340 23920 4
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Nude Photographs 1850-1980 
edited by Constance Sullivan.
Harper and Row, 204 pp., £19.95, September 1981, 0 06 012708 2
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... uneasiness about its very concrete power to inspire action: an uneasiness that is pervasive in Kenneth Clark’s latest book. Feminine Beauty insists on the ethereal or strictly formal qualities of beauty, continuing the same line of argument as Clark’s magisterial earlier work, The Nude. The introduction to Feminine Beauty takes us on a lightning tour ...

This Charming Man

Frank Kermode, 24 February 1994

The Collected and Recollected Marc 
Fourth Estate, 51 pp., £25, November 1993, 1 85702 164 9Show More
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... the Sunday Times Colour Supplement, as well as supplying pocket cartoons for several dailies. Karl Miller, who knew him well both at Cambridge and in London, describes Boxer in his autobiography as ‘both Figaro and the Count’, which may suggest not a blend of patrician wilfulness and backstairs cunning but internal strife between the two. Presumably you ...

A Model Science

George Miller, 3 November 1983

Mental Models: Towards a Cognitive Science of Language, Inference and Consciousness 
by P.N. Johnson-Laird.
Cambridge, 513 pp., £27.50, August 1983, 0 521 24123 5
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... well prepared for the task. His starting-point is a suggestion put forward forty years ago by Kenneth Craik, the brilliant Cambridge psychologist whose life was cut tragically short in 1945. ‘My hypothesis,’ Craik wrote, ‘is that thought models, or parallels, reality – that its essential feature is ... symbolism.’ Anyone who takes Craik’s ...

Peter Campbell

Mary-Kay Wilmers: On Peter Campbell, 17 November 2011

... no sense of his importance to the paper. As much as the original editors and the founder, Karl Miller, Peter shaped the LRB. Unlike us, he never lost his temper. More adjusted than most to his own wants and necessities, and so better able to accommodate other people’s, he was an exemplary person to work with.He was born in New Zealand in 1937 (in a taxi ...


Frank Kermode: Being a critic, 27 May 1999

... BBC producers, all anxious about the way one used one’s voice, but I returned to print when Karl Miller took over at the Spectator, then at the New Statesman, then at the Listener, and then right here. I wrote occasionally for the Sundays and quite often for American journals, so I suppose I am or was one of the race of grubbing professors, though a very ...

On Richard Hollis

Christopher Turner: Richard Hollis, 24 May 2018

... in 1971 when, as an exhibitions officer at the Arts Council, he helped install a retrospective of Kenneth and Mary Martin. In 1976, after a stint as director of the Museum of Modern Art in Oxford (where he worked on graphics with Hollis’s student Peter Miller), he took over the helm of the Whitechapel, and rehired Hollis ...

Soul Bellow

Craig Raine, 12 November 1987

More die of heartbreak 
by Saul Bellow.
Alison Press/Secker, 335 pp., £10.95, October 1987, 0 436 03962 1
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... in the dramatic forms supplied by Tennessee Williams, Clifford Odets, Eugene O’Neill and Arthur Miller, Fugard found what he needed in Camus’s treatment of Algeria: ‘when I first encountered the articulation of that almost pagan, sensual life lived out in the sun, next to a sea, with warm rocks being, in a sense, the ultimate reality, it struck a ...

Looking back in anger

Hilary Mantel, 21 November 1991

Almost a Gentleman. An Autobiography: Vol. II 1955-66 
by John Osborne.
Faber, 273 pp., £14.99, November 1991, 0 571 16261 4
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... it in his stead. Osborne as the fourth intern in Doctor in the House, alongside Dirk Bogarde, Kenneth More and Donald Sinden ... Osborne as a Spartan, as a rugby fan, as Dr Watson ... He would, you feel, have snarled a hole in the screen. A Better Class of Person is written with the tautness and power of a well-organised novel. It is a ferociously ...

Loitering in the Piazza

Stephen Greenblatt, 27 October 1988

Inheriting Power: The Story of an Exorcist 
by Giovanni Levi, translated by Lydia Cochrane.
Chicago, 209 pp., £21.50, June 1988, 0 226 47417 8
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... and Natalie Zemon Davis’s The Return of Martin Guerre – succeed in making their stories what Kenneth Burke calls ‘representative anecdotes’, reflections of reality that are inevitably selections of reality. The selections work if they manage to convey a sense of both resonance and particularity. The particularity functions rhetorically to persuade ...

At the Centre Pompidou

Jeremy Harding: Beat Generation, 8 September 2016

... of City Lights bookstore, and publisher of City Lights editions, gave him a warm welcome; Kenneth Rexroth, older by twenty years than Ginsberg and the New York crew, was briefly a mentor. The poet Gregory Corso came out west and joined Ginsberg. Neal Cassady, the movement’s mascot/muse, whom Ginsberg and Kerouac had met in the 1940s in New York ...

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