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17 November 1983
The Collected Letters of Joseph Conrad. Vol. I: 1861-1897 
edited by Frederick Karl and Laurence Davies.
Cambridge, 446 pp., £19.50, September 1983, 0 521 24216 9
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... proved an impracticable luxury to include letters written to Conrad: since he usually threw them away, however, there can’t be many of them. This first volume, which has a sprightly introduction by LaurenceDavies, opens with a letter written to his father when Conrad was three, his hand guided by his mother, and ends four hundred pages later when the author was 40 and very pleased with the recently ...

Doughy

John Sutherland: Conrad’s letters

4 December 2003
The Collected Letters of Joseph Conrad. Vol. VI: 1917-19 
edited by Laurence Davies, Frederick R. Karl and Owen Knowles.
Cambridge, 570 pp., £80, December 2002, 0 521 56195 7
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... the correspondence does not fill in the earlier years with any greater precision, it does inform every aspect of his writing life. The first volume of the Collected Letters, edited by Karl and LaurenceDavies (who has assumed first billing in the sixth volume), came out four years later. If one compares the contents of this sixth volume with the corresponding section of Karl’s Life it is clear ...
9 October 1986
The Collected Letters of Joseph Conrad. Vol. II: 1898-1902 
edited by Frederick Karl and Laurence Davies.
Cambridge, 483 pp., £27.50, August 1986, 0 521 25748 4
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... I want to make, rather, is that Conrad’s ‘writer’s block’ could almost as well be called his inspiration and the deepest source of his power. Thus I’m not sure that we need go along with LaurenceDavies’s reference in his Introduction to these Letters to ‘the curse of a manic-depressive temperament’. For one gets the impression that Conrad needed his writer’s block: it was a necessary ...
15 September 1988
Bernard Shaw. Vol. I: The Search for Love, 1856-1898 
by Michael Holroyd.
Chatto, 486 pp., £16, September 1988, 0 7011 3332 5
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Bernard Shaw: Collected Letters. Vol. IV 
edited by Dan Laurence.
Bodley Head, 946 pp., £30, June 1988, 0 370 31130 2
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Shaw: The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies. Vol. VIII 
edited by Stanley Weintraub.
Pennsylvania State, 175 pp., $25, April 1988, 0 271 00613 7
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Shaw’s Sense of History 
by J.L. Wisenthal.
Oxford, 186 pp., £22.50, April 1988, 0 19 812892 4
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Collected Letters of Joseph Conrad. Vol. III: 1903-1907 
edited by Frederick Karl and Laurence Davies.
Cambridge, 532 pp., £35, April 1988, 0 521 32387 8
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Joseph Conrad: ‘Nostromo’ 
by Ian Watt.
Cambridge, 98 pp., £12.50, April 1988, 0 521 32821 7
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... Disciple. The wives would usually be attracted, but he seems not to have seduced them. In a well-known letter, used by Frank Harris in his biography and now given in its original form by Dan Laurence, Shaw claims to have no scruples in matters of sex, but at once goes on to admit he has two: he will take care not to get women into trouble, and he will refrain from cuckolding his friends. Here as ...

Their Mad Gallopade

Patrick McGuinness: Nancy Cunard

25 January 2018
Selected Poems 
by Nancy Cunard.
Carcanet, 304 pp., £12.99, October 2016, 978 1 78410 236 4
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... Man Ship Tank Gun Plane’. Thompson (father of E.P. Thompson) was a historian and editor of the Augustan Books of Modern Poetry series, which published, among others, Walter de la Mare, W.H. Davies and Laurence Binyon. Thompson was editing Cunard’s Selected Poems, and the two worked closely on its composition. His sudden death in 1946 put an end to the project, and it was never revived. It ...

Quite a Night!

Michael Wood: Eyes Wide Shut

30 September 1999
Eyes Wide Open: A Memoir of Stanley Kubrik and ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ 
by Frederic Raphael.
Orion, 186 pp., £12.99, July 1999, 0 7528 1868 6
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Dream Story 
by Arthur Schnitzler, translated by J.M.Q. Davies.
Penguin, 99 pp., £5.99, July 1999, 0 14 118224 5
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... could sum up the master’s film style by saying: ‘Stanley Kubrick didn’t hint.’ Dogged tracking shots through the French trenches of World War One, an elegant ball on the eve of an execution; Laurence Olivier as a Roman patrician in the bathtub suggesting the joys of sex and power to the slave Tony Curtis; a cowboy riding a hydrogen bomb as if in a rodeo, an American strategy expert whose ...

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