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Tall, Slender, Straight and Intelligent

Philip Kitcher: Cloning and reprogenetics, 5 March 1998

Clone: The Road to Dolly and the Path Ahead 
by Gina Kolata.
Allen Lane, 218 pp., £15.99, November 1997, 0 7139 9221 2
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Remaking Eden: Cloning and Beyond in a Brave New World 
by Lee Silver.
Weidenfeld, 315 pp., £20, January 1998, 0 297 84135 1
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... gestures. Under what circumstances, if any, should the cloning of human beings be permitted? Lee Silver in his admirable book understands that the most important issue doesn’t centre on cloning but on the possibilities opened up by a field he calls ‘reprogenetics’. Reprogenetics draws on knowledge derived from developing techniques of assisted ...

The Trouble with Nowhere

Martin Jay, 1 June 2000

The End of Utopia: Politics and Culture in an Age of Apathy 
by Russell Jacoby.
Basic Books, 256 pp., £17.95, April 1999, 0 465 02000 3
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Utopias: Russian Modernist Texts 1905-40 
edited by Catriona Kelly.
Penguin, 378 pp., £9.99, September 1999, 0 14 118081 1
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The Faber Book of Utopias 
edited by John Carey.
Faber, 560 pp., £20, October 1999, 9780571197859
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The Nazi War on Cancer 
by Robert Proctor.
Princeton, 390 pp., £18.95, May 1999, 0 691 00196 0
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... one sort or another, ending with a 1998 projection of the consequences of genetic engineering by Lee Silver called Remaking Eden. In addition to all of the usual suspects – More, Campanella, Bacon, Rousseau, Mercier, Saint-Simon, Cabet, Owen, Fourier, Morris, Bellamy, Wells, Skinner – and some unexpected alternatives – Dickens (oddly represented ...

Diary

Jonathan Lethem: My Marvel Years, 15 April 2004

... complete run of The Fantastic Four, the famous 102 issues drawn by Jack Kirby and scripted by Stan Lee, a defining artefact (I now know) of the Silver Age of comics.Luke was precocious, worldly, full of a satirical brilliance I didn’t always understand but pretended to, as I pretended to understand his frequent references ...

Shaviana

Brigid Brophy, 2 December 1982

Bernard Shaw: The Darker Side 
by Arnold Silver.
Stanford, 353 pp., $25, January 1982, 0 8047 1091 0
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Bernard Shaw and Alfred Douglas: A Correspondence 
edited by Mary Hyde.
Murray, 237 pp., £15, November 1982, 0 7195 3947 1
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... me.’ Although he makes no mention of it, this is the fair but discouraging challenge that Arnold Silver has taken up. The ‘darker side’ alluded to by his title consists not, as Shaw himself might have expected, of the ‘crudely erotic’ but of the violent aspect of Shaw’s imagination. This is precisely the point where, I argued twenty years ago in a ...

A Hit of Rus in Urbe

Iain Sinclair: In Lea Valley, 27 June 2002

... factories, gunpowder mills, chemical and electrical industries. The documents put out by the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority dazzle with their high gloss. They confuse weight with importance. Lee Valley Regional Park Plan, Part One: Strategic Policy Framework runs to 180 pages – with ...

Your life depends on it

Thomas Jones: Jonathan Raban, 19 October 2006

Surveillance 
by Jonathan Raban.
Picador, 327 pp., £16.99, September 2006, 0 330 41338 4
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... yourself to be. On the way to her first meeting with Vanags, Lucy witnesses a car accident. A silver sedan crawling along in front of her swerves inexplicably into the path of an oncoming lorry. Later, a policeman tells her that the car was pulling out to pass a pickup truck that was turning right. Her memory of the crash seemed already old, like a ...

Short Cuts

Paul Laity: Worst case scenarios, 6 October 2005

... If you’re feeling vulnerable in these cataclysmic times, stay clear of Lee Clarke, the Eeyore of American sociology and author of the forthcoming study of disaster, Worst Cases (Chicago, £16). ‘Doom is everywhere,’ he says, ‘catastrophes are common.’ Viruses as deadly as Ebola could circle the globe in 24 hours, ‘on the planes that don’t crash ...

Bewitchment

James Wood, 8 December 1994

Shadow Dance 
by Angela Carter.
Virago, 182 pp., £9.99, September 1994, 1 85381 840 2
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Flesh and the Mirror: Essays on the Art of Angela Carter 
edited by Lorna Sage.
Virago, 358 pp., £8.99, September 1994, 1 85381 760 0
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... know, silent women.’ Indeed, on Sundays, the sinister uncle forces his wife to wear a monstrous silver choker that he made, in case we were disinclined to believe Finn. We hope, in the fairy-tale way, that good will triumph and that the little girl will escape from the nasty house on the hill (several times likened to Bluebeard’s Castle). She does. Of ...

Mothers

Michael Church, 18 April 1985

Gypsy and Me: At Home and on the Road with Gypsy Rose Lee 
by Erik Lee Preminger.
Deutsch, 277 pp., £9.95, March 1985, 0 233 97736 8
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George Thomas, Mr Speaker: The Memoirs of Viscount Tonypandy 
Century, 242 pp., £9.95, February 1985, 0 7126 0706 4Show More
Toff down Pit 
by Kit Fraser.
Quartet, 129 pp., £8.95, January 1985, 0 7043 2513 6
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Menlove: The Life of John Menlove Edwards 
by Jim Perrin.
Gollancz, 347 pp., £14.95, February 1985, 0 575 03571 4
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... For his 15th Christmas, Erik Lee Preminger’s mother gave him an antique gold watch and two glass eyes set in clay, with a card which said: ‘Remember dear, Mother is always watching.’ She thought it a hysterically funny gift, but he found it strange and unsettling. The last thing he needed, on the brink of manhood, was a symbolic reminder of her domestic omnipotence ...

The Amazing …

Jonathan Lethem: My Spidey, 6 June 2002

Spider-Man 
directed by Sam Raimi.
May 2002
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... has always been, Parker-Spider-Man is always an Other. Spider-Man’s official creator, Stan Lee (typically, for his generation of showmen, a de-Judaicised ‘Stanley Lieber’), has boasted: ‘Spider-Man’s costume covers every inch of his body . . . any reader, of any race’ – if not gender – ‘in any part of the world, can imagine himself ...

In the Potato Patch

Jenny Turner: Penelope Fitzgerald, 19 December 2013

Penelope Fitzgerald: A Life 
by Hermione Lee.
Chatto, 508 pp., £25, November 2013, 978 0 7011 8495 7
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... acquaintances remember a trusty William Morris carrier, and she took a spongebag, Hermione Lee reports, to the Booker dinner. In her letters she uses the dotty-lady schtick for two main purposes. It’s there to entertain and mollify her daughters, on whom she depended for all sorts of things: ‘Marina Warner came to lecture at the Highgate Institute ...

At Tate Britain

Brian Dillon: Queer British Art, 6 September 2017

... Convention’, we find John Singer Sargent’s 1881 portrait of an austerely boyish Vernon Lee, and Alvaro Guevara’s Dame Edith Sitwell from 1916. Laura Knight, three years earlier, had been condemned by the Telegraph for a self-portrait with a nude model that lacked ‘the higher charm of the “eternal feminine”’. A few such notable nudes ...

At the Party

Christopher Hitchens, 17 April 1986

Hollywood Babylon II 
by Kenneth Anger.
Arrow, 323 pp., £5.95, January 1986, 0 09 945110 7
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Hollywood from Vietnam to Reagan 
by Robin Wood.
Columbia, 336 pp., $25, October 1985, 0 231 05776 8
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... books – Washington Confidential, New York Confidential and so on – turned out by Jack Lait and Lee Mortimer. The fearless duo, shrouded in their macintoshes and trilbies, would bring the naive reader the straight dope from the lower depths. They practised the same combination of rough-hewn populism and right-wing politics as a Mickey Spillane thriller or a ...

Petal by Petal

C.K. Stead, 27 May 1993

E.E. Cummings: Complete Poems 1904-1962 
edited by George Firmage.
Liveright, 1102 pp., £33, January 1993, 0 87140 145 2
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... Eliot (Michael Caine) contrives to cross paths on a Manhattan street with his sister-in-law. Lee (Barbara Hershey), with whom he has fallen in love. He pretends to be hunting for a bookshop: she shows him the way to it and there he finds, as if by chance, E.E. Cummings’s Collected Poems, which he insists on buying for her. Putting her into a taxi he ...

Rose’s Rex

David Cannadine, 15 September 1983

King George V 
by Kenneth Rose.
Weidenfeld, 514 pp., £12.95, July 1983, 0 297 78245 2
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... Theodore Martin lavished on the Prince Consort; still less the ‘feline skill’ of Sidney Lee who, disregarding the advice of Edward VII, ‘Stick to Shakespeare, Mr Lee, there’s money in Shakespeare,’ produced a double-decker biography of his late majesty; least of all the flippant irreverences of Lytton ...

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