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Like Leather, like Snakes

Julian Bell: Vermeer and Leeuwenhoek

29 March 2017
Eye of the Beholder: Johannes Vermeer, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek and the Reinvention of Seeing 
by Laura Snyder.
Head of Zeus, 448 pp., £14.99, December 2016, 978 1 78497 025 3
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... infinitely minute, it remained trenchant and concrete: ‘like leather’, ‘like snakes’.Microbes, along with spermatozoa, proved the most significant of Leeuwenhoek’s discoveries of the 1670s. LauraSnyder opens Eye of the Beholder, her engaging study of Leeuwenhoek and his fellow Delft citizen Johannes Vermeer, with a vivid description of the researcher in his study examining water scooped from ...


Andrew O’Hagan

5 October 1995
Jack Kerouac: Selected Letters 1940-56 
edited by Ann Charters.
Viking, 629 pp., £25, August 1995, 0 670 84952 9
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... before cutting back across and resting in Lexington, Kentucky. We drove around Georgia in a Chevrolet ‘Jimmy’; it belonged to a girl my friend knew from Warren Wilson College, a girl called Laura who was trying to write poems. She spoke of the millions of poets in America now, of how hard it was to be published or to find a teaching job. When we got to her house, a little wooden thing out on ...

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