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4 October 1984
... The whole text of Mr Noon has now been published for the first time, as a volume in the Cambridge Edition of the Letters and Works of D.H. Lawrence.* It is an unfinished novel of 292 pages, of which only the first 93 have previously been printed. Lawrence wrote the book between May 1920, when he had just finished The Lost Girl, and some time in ...

Callaloo

Robert Crawford

20 April 1989
Northlight 
by Douglas Dunn.
Faber, 81 pp., £8.95, September 1988, 0 571 15229 5
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A Field of Vision 
by Charles Causley.
Macmillan, 68 pp., £10.95, September 1988, 0 333 48229 8
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Seeker, Reaper 
by George Campbell Hay and Archie MacAlister.
Saltire Society, 30 pp., £15, September 1988, 0 85411 041 0
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In Through the Head 
by William McIlvanney.
Mainstream, 192 pp., £9.95, September 1988, 1 85158 169 3
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The New British Poetry 
edited by Gillian Allnutt, Fred D’Aguiar, Ken Edwards and Eric Mottram.
Paladin, 361 pp., £6.95, September 1988, 0 586 08765 6
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Complete Poems 
by Martin Bell, edited by Peter Porter.
Bloodaxe, 240 pp., £12.95, August 1988, 1 85224 043 1
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First and Always: Poems for Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital 
edited by Lawrence Sail.
Faber, 69 pp., £5.95, October 1988, 0 571 55374 5
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Birthmarks 
by Mick Imlah.
Chatto, 61 pp., £4.95, September 1988, 0 7011 3358 9
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... Where do you come from?’ asks one of the most important questions in contemporary poetry – where’s home? Answering the pulls and torsions of that question produces much of the verse of Heaney, Harrison and Dunn, but it also produces very different kinds of poetry. Martianism had nothing to do with Mars, everything to do with home, the place where Craig Raine (like Murray or Dunn) feels richest ...

Diary

Lawrence​ Hogben: Sinking the ‘Bismarck’

19 April 2001
... as possible. He hoped to skirt the Norwegian coast, unseen, and filter through the Denmark Strait, north of Iceland. From there, the Atlantic and its convoys would be wide open. Lutjens had to sail without the battlecruisers Gneisenau and Scharnhorst, both of which were being repaired at Brest, and the Bismarck’s sistership, the Tirpitz, which wasn’t yet ready. He told a friend: ‘In this ...
26 September 1991
Joseph Conrad: A Biography 
by Jeffrey Meyers.
Murray, 320 pp., £20, July 1991, 0 7195 4910 8
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Joseph Conrad and the Modern Temper 
by Daphna Erdinast-Vulcan.
Oxford, 218 pp., £30, August 1991, 9780198117858
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... good sandwiches’ which the soon-to-be-cast-off Hadley Hemingway promised to make for her husband’s outing to the races at Longchamps; ‘black-eyed Susan’, the New Mexican cow beloved by D.H. Lawrence: these are the things that stay in the mind when diagnoses and depreciations are forgotten. Jeffrey Meyers, who has done solid biographies of Lawrence and Hemingway and has now done one for Conrad ...
8 March 2001
The Loss of the Ship ‘Essex’, Sunk by a Whale 
by Thomas Nickerson and Owen Chase, edited by Nathaniel Philbrick and Thomas Philbrick et al.
Penguin, 231 pp., £7.99, June 2000, 0 14 043796 7
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... The ship’s captain and 19-man crew were left with only their whaleboats and scant provisions, two and a half thousand miles from the South American coast in the vast, empty Pacific. They did not sail for the nearest land – the Marquesas, Tuamotu and Tahitian islands – which stretched from several hundred to two thousand miles away under their lee and would have made for easy downwind sailing ...

Diary

Lawrence​ Hogben: The Most Important Weather Forecast in the History of the World

26 May 1994
... on Sunday morning, faced by a unanimous prediction of strong winds, low cloud and rough seas for the Monday, Ike postponed the operation for 24 hours, only two hours before the main body was due to sail. So Monday was out, and the troops in their landing-craft tossed uncomfortably at moorings. The decision had been an emotional drain on all the participants, military and meteorological, and the ...

Sink or Skim

Michael Wood: ‘The Alexandria Quartet’

1 January 2009
Justine 
by Lawrence​ Durrell.
Folio Society, 203 pp., £19.95, January 2009
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Balthazar 
by Lawrence​ Durrell.
Folio Society, 198 pp., £19.95, January 2009
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Mountolive 
by Lawrence​ Durrell.
Folio Society, 263 pp., £19.95, January 2009
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Clea 
by Lawrence​ Durrell.
Folio Society, 241 pp., £19.95, January 2009
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... At night,’ Roland Barthes once wrote, ‘the adjectives come back.’ It’s an eerie and sobering thought for writers who have been trying to clean up their act during the day, but for Lawrence Durrell as for Conrad adjectives don’t come back because they never left. If there is a mystery in Conrad it’s inscrutable, if there’s a tangle in Durrell it’s inextricable. And to stay with ...
18 December 1986
Between the Woods and the Water 
by Patrick Leigh Fermor et al.
Murray, 248 pp., £13.95, October 1986, 0 7195 4264 2
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Coasting 
by Jonathan Raban.
Collins, 301 pp., £10.95, September 1986, 0 00 272119 8
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The Grand Tour 
by Hunter Davies.
Hamish Hamilton, 224 pp., £14.95, September 1986, 0 241 11907 3
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... mind, and a persuasive style, of course, you can stimulate them by going for a walk along the local beach or by taking minor trips or otherwise agreeable spells abroad: Henry James in France, D.H. Lawrence in New Mexico, Lawrence Durrell in Corfu, Michel Butor in Istanbul, Henry Miller in Greece. In December 1933, leaving his father in Simla and his mother in London, Patrick Leigh Fermor set off to ...

Bottoms Again

Jerry Fodor

19 June 1997
The Woman and the Ape 
by Peter Høeg, translated by Barbara Haveland.
Harvill, 229 pp., £15.99, January 1997, 1 86046 254 5
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Great Apes 
by Will Self.
Bloomsbury, 404 pp., £14.99, May 1997, 0 7475 2987 6
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... is an ape. Not like an ape, mind you; an ape sans phrase. Surely, you will say, this can only be the stuff of parody, and pretty heavy-handed parody. Lots of it reads indeed like an attempt at a Lawrence pastiche. Language lesson: ‘She nodded in the direction of its [the ape’s] penis. “Cock,” she said. The ape stretched out an arm ... and eased it under her dress. “Pussy,” she said ...

Entrepreneurship

Tom Paulin: Ted Hughes and the Hare

29 November 2007
Letters of Ted Hughes 
edited by Christopher Reid.
Faber, 756 pp., £30, November 2007, 978 0 571 22138 7
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... skyfulls of blazing thorns, & continuous overhead thunder, with great long swells coming along the gunwales, pouring in on both sides, one man bailing like mad, the rest paddling & yelling, & our sail like a map of the world in giant rips and holes, and those fish, unbelievable, their eyes glaring like orange torches – colour of the orange on traffic lights & just as bright, actually lit from ...
2 February 1984
Come aboard and sail​ away 
by John Fuller.
Salamander, 48 pp., £6, October 1983, 0 907540 37 6
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Children in Exile 
by James Fenton.
Salamander, 24 pp., £5, October 1983, 0 907540 39 2
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‘The Memory of War’ and ‘Children in Exile’: Poems 1968-1983 
by James Fenton.
Penguin, 110 pp., £1.95, October 1983, 0 14 006812 0
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Some Contemporary Poets of Britain and Ireland: An Anthology 
edited by Michael Schmidt.
Carcanet, 184 pp., £9.95, November 1983, 0 85635 469 4
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Nights in the Iron Hotel 
by Michael Hofmann.
Faber, 48 pp., £4, November 1983, 0 571 13116 6
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The Irish Lights 
by Charles Johnston and Kyril Fitzlyon.
Bodley Head, 77 pp., £4.50, September 1983, 0 370 30557 4
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Fifteen to Infinity 
by Ruth Fainlight.
Hutchinson, 62 pp., £5.95, September 1983, 0 09 152471 7
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Donald Davie and the Responsibilities of Literature 
edited by George Dekker.
Carcanet, 153 pp., £9.95, November 1983, 9780856354663
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... to us over the head of literature. They are appealing to our sense of fact, and our pleasure in it – fact that comes through poetry but is not just concocted in its context. Come aboard and sail away is as zestful as all John Fuller’s collections, but like his novel in verse, The Illusionists, it delights anyone with an ear and a taste for poetry rather than for truths and tales that short ...

Why do I have to know what McDonald’s is?

Patricia Lockwood: Rachel Cusk takes off

10 May 2018
Outline 
by Rachel Cusk.
Faber, 249 pp., £8.99, May 2018, 978 0 571 34676 9
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Transit 
by Rachel Cusk.
Faber, 260 pp., £8.99, May 2018, 978 0 571 34674 5
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Kudos 
by Rachel Cusk.
Faber, 232 pp., £16.99, May 2018, 978 0 571 34664 6
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... damsel’. That is, in the language of one of the places where Cusk grew up (LA), ‘way harsh, Tai’. Cusk has glimpsed the central truth of modern life: that sometimes it is as sublime as Homer, a sail full of wind with the sun overhead, and sometimes it is like an Ikea where all the couples are fighting. ‘I wonder what became of the human instinct for beauty,’ she writes in The Last Supper ...
28 May 1992
Outerbridge Reach 
by Robert Stone.
Deutsch, 409 pp., £14.99, May 1992, 0 223 98774 3
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... to Anne, a scribbler for the kind of ‘slick yuppie’ periodicals her husband detests, and Mags, an adolescent daughter who treats him with undisguised contempt, persuades Owen to set off to sail single-handed round the world in a gimcrack boat built for weekend jaunts. Some Emersonian strain is obviously intended here, some evocation of the venerable American cultural myth of continuous ...

Ackerville

Gary Indiana: Nymphomania, antic incest and metaphysical torment

14 December 2006
Lust for Life: On the Writings of Kathy Acker 
edited by Amy Scholder, Carla Harryman and Avital Ronell.
Verso, 120 pp., £10.99, May 2006, 9781844670666
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... mediating between the reader and the text … Writing sex as Kathy does also works to bring the reader back to her body in a way no other literary strategy quite does. The voices of Ronell and Lawrence Rickels are the driest in Lust for Life: Ronell’s because she articulates her grief over a friend’s loss in etiolated academic language interspersed with lachrymose, though sincere, intertitles ...
22 August 1996
... or failed to get home again. It is fairly much a private occasion and has taken some time to come about: the wonder is that it has come about at all. Fifty-eight years have passed since Major Lawrence Grand launched his ‘Section D’ in a niche of the old War Office, which had concluded, quite privately in the wake of the Munich sell-out of the Czechs, that a war with Hitler’s Germany would be ...

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