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... the Whips – and destroy him in an instant.​Linda Colley, 7 September 2000 Westminster, in Alan Clark’s diary portrayal, was peopled almost wholly by buffoons and crooks. The Laird of Saltwood, it was evident, had no need to spend his days doing what they did: sucking up to Thatcher, plotting the downfall of mediocre rivals, pretending to take an interest ...

Muldoon – A Mystery

Michael Hofmann, 20 December 1990

Madoc – A Mystery 
by Paul Muldoon.
Faber, 261 pp., £14.99, October 1990, 0 571 14489 6
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... United States, as Muldoon works in (I’m not always sure how) some of the pioneers, the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the (Celtic) Indian Wars, eventually returning home in the person of the 19th-century (Irish?) artist and painter of ‘native Americans’, George Catlin, whose Rushes through the Middle graces the cover of Madoc. Oh, and one other thing. The ...

It’s Modern but is it contemporary?

Hal Foster, 16 December 2004

... Yayoi Kusama and Lee Bontecou; and others were rarely seen at all, such as Romare Bearden, Richard Hamilton and R.B. Kitaj in the Pop gallery, and Eva Hesse, Lygia Clark and Hélio Oiticica in the Minimalist and Post-Minimalist rooms. Some practices are still not an easy fit: an alcove of Conceptual and institution-critical ...

Wobble in My Mind

Colm Tóibín: Lizzie, Cal and Caroline, 7 May 2020

The Dolphin Letters, 1970-79: Elizabeth Hardwick, Robert Lowell and Their Circle 
edited by Saskia Hamilton.
Faber, 560 pp., £35, January, 978 0 571 35741 3
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The Dolphin: Two Versions, 1972-73 
by Robert Lowell, edited by Saskia Hamilton.
Farrar, Straus, 224 pp., £11.99, December 2019, 978 0 374 53827 9
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... 38 at the time and the mother of three daughters. Blackwood told Lowell’s biographer, Ian Hamilton, that after the party Lowell moved into her London house – ‘I mean instantly, that night.’On 27 April, three days before the party, Lowell had written to Hardwick: ‘I miss you both every minute. I may telephone for you to come and get me.’ The ...

MacDiarmid and his Maker

Robert Crawford, 10 November 1988

MacDiarmid 
by Alan Bold.
Murray, 482 pp., £17.95, September 1988, 0 7195 4585 4
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A Drunk Man looks at the Thistle 
by Hugh MacDiarmid, edited by Kenneth Buthlay.
Scottish Academic Press, 203 pp., £12.50, February 1988, 0 7073 0425 3
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The Hugh MacDiarmid-George Ogilvie Letters 
edited by Catherine Kerrigan.
Aberdeen University Press, 156 pp., £24.90, August 1988, 0 08 036409 8
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Hugh MacDiarmid and the Russian 
by Peter McCarey.
Scottish Academic Press, 225 pp., £12.50, March 1988, 0 7073 0526 8
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... without unnecessary gloating. Still, one can’t help feeling at times that, understandably, the Clark Kent figure of Grieve is lost among the chorus of Stalinist MacDiarmidian Supermen. At those moments one is grateful for quotations from Valda Grieve, the poet’s widow. Her remarks can sketch a ‘Christopher’ whose human scale counterpoints the ...

On Thatcher

Karl Miller, 25 April 2013

... the Whips – and destroy him in an instant.Linda Colley, 7 September 2000 Westminster, in Alan Clark’s diary portrayal, was peopled almost wholly by buffoons and crooks. The Laird of Saltwood, it was evident, had no need to spend his days doing what they did: sucking up to Thatcher, plotting the downfall of mediocre rivals, pretending to take an interest ...

The Party in Government

Conor Gearty, 9 March 1995

... for questions’ controversy also later accounted for two senior ministers, Tim Smith and Neil Hamilton, who had to leave their posts at the Northern Ireland Office and the Department of Trade respectively. The paradox behind this extraordinary succession of resignations is that none of them has been for what traditional constitutional law would suggest ...

Carnival Time

Peter Craven, 18 February 1988

The Remake 
by Clive James.
Cape, 223 pp., £10.95, October 1987, 0 224 02515 5
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In the Land of Oz 
by Howard Jacobson.
Hamish Hamilton, 380 pp., £12.95, September 1987, 0 241 12110 8
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... which I happen to co-edit), has an interest in the writers he mentions, if only because Ian Hamilton said so in the pages of the London Review. He forgets (he is not very careful about these matters) that it was in the letters pages of this journal that The Night-markets was described as having nothing ‘remotely Poundian or Objectivist’ about it. Of ...

Talk about doing

Frank Kermode, 26 October 1989

Against Deconstruction 
by John Ellis.
Princeton, 168 pp., £13.70, February 1989, 0 691 06754 6
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The New Historicism 
by H. Aram Veeser.
Routledge, 318 pp., £30, July 1989, 0 415 90070 0
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Rethinking Historicism: Critical Essays in Romantic History 
by Marjorie Levinson, Marilyn Butler, Jerome McGann and Paul Hamilton.
Blackwell, 149 pp., £22.50, August 1989, 0 631 16591 6
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Towards a Literature of Knowledge 
by Jerome McGann.
Oxford, 138 pp., £16.50, May 1989, 9780198117407
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The Stoic in Love: Selected Essays on Literature and Ideas 
by A.D. Nuttall.
Harvester, 209 pp., £25, July 1989, 0 7450 0614 0
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... a plea for a new canonical openness and for the relevance of Southey to the Romantic scene. Paul Hamilton’s ‘Keats and Critique’ argues that ‘the interchangeability in Keats’s poetry of its ideal status and its political reticence gradually begins to expose the contemporary politicising of the ideal and the idealising of the political.’ Jerome ...

Expendabilia

Hal Foster: Reyner Banham, 9 May 2002

Reyner Banham: Historian of the Immediate Future 
by Nigel Whiteley.
MIT, 494 pp., £27.50, January 2002, 0 262 23216 2
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... Group, the extraordinary band of young artists, architects and critics (including Richard Hamilton, Peter and Alison Smithson, and Lawrence Alloway, among others) who developed, from within the Modernist Institute of Contemporary Art, a Pop sensibility of their own. His revised dissertation, Theory and Design in the First Machine Age, made his ...

Behind the Green Baize Door

Alison Light: The Servant Problem, 5 March 2020

Feminism and the Servant Problem: Class and Domestic Labour in the Women’s Suffrage Movement 
by Laura Schwartz.
Cambridge, 248 pp., £75, July 2019, 978 1 108 47133 6
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... between women. Unlike other political struggles in Britain, the actress and playwright Cicely Hamilton claimed, the campaign for women’s suffrage ‘was not a class movement; every rank and grade took part in it.’ As Jill Liddington and others have shown, working women joined the suffrage associations in droves. Servants were there too. Schwartz ...

The Best Stuff

Ian Jack: David Astor, 1 June 2016

David Astor: A Life in Print 
by Jeremy Lewis.
Cape, 400 pp., £25, March 2016, 978 0 224 09090 2
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... did his best, but any warmth he managed to manufacture was never returned. ‘One of the days I’ll murder Garvin,’ David wrote to his father. He was ‘out of date, pompous, dangerous, wrong-headed, hypocritical … a bulgy-eyed old maniac’. There were other things wrong with Garvin: as David pointed out, what kind of editor came into the office for a ...

Narco Polo

Iain Sinclair, 23 January 1997

Mr Nice: An Autobiography 
by Howard Marks.
Secker, 466 pp., £16.99, September 1996, 0 436 20305 7
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Pulp Election: The Booker Prize Fix 
by Carmen St Keeldare.
Bluedove, 225 pp., £12.99, September 1996, 0 9528298 0 0
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... 25-year exemplary sentence. Craig Lovato of the DEA, an authentically ugly American, and ex-LA goon squad wetback chaser, had made it his business to nail this Narco Polo; to introduce Marks to the inalienable rights of US life – envy, conspicuous consumption, God ’n’ Flag fundamentalism. Regular shakedowns: hair, ears, mouth, dental ...

Little England

Patrick Wright: The view through a bus window, 7 September 2006

Great British Bus Journeys: Travels through Unfamous Places 
by David McKie.
Atlantic, 359 pp., £16.99, March 2006, 1 84354 132 7
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... train was heavily congested and the unaccustomed Tory – who may or may not have been Alan Clark – recoiled from the throng revealed by the opening doors, suggesting that they might do better to walk along the platform to the restaurant car. Jeffrey Archer may have dreamed of routes as straight as an executive jet’s runway, but McKie knows that a ...

You Muddy Fools

Dan Jacobson: In the months before his death Ian Hamilton talked about himself to Dan Jacobson, 14 January 2002

... This is the first part of a two-part interview. Part 2: ‘The Price’. Ian Hamilton died of cancer on 27 December 2001, aged 63. It was a death that the ‘LRB’ has especial cause to lament. He was a great support to this paper, helping to get it going in 1979, serving ever since on its editorial board, and above all contributing many exact, unsparing and funny pieces on poetry, on novels – and on football ...

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