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Refuse to be useful

Andrea Brady: Lisa Robertson Drifts, 4 August 2022

The Baudelaire Fractal 
by Lisa Robertson.
Coach House, 205 pp., £12.99, March 2020, 978 1 55245 390 2
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Anemones: A Simone Weil Project 
by Lisa Robertson.
If I Can’t Dance, 120 pp., £19, December 2021, 978 94 92139 19 1
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by Lisa Robertson.
Coach House, 175 pp., £12.99, September, 978 1 55245 440 4
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... to discover that she is the author of Baudelaire’s complete works. This is the beginning of Lisa Robertson’s The Baudelaire Fractal, which is billed as a novel, but reads more like a combined Bildungsroman, ars poetica and series of essays on clothing, painting, gender and reading. By appropriating Baudelaire’s body of work, ‘by repeating it ...

At Tate Liverpool

Frances Morgan: Turner Prize 2022, 2 March 2023

... rather a charged, almost uncomfortable awareness of surface – something akin to what the poet Lisa Robertson calls ‘soft architecture’ and its preoccupation with ‘shreds of fibre, pigment flakes, the bleaching of light’. Ryan employs discarded materials of all kinds, often items that hold or bind other things: twine, cable ...

Brussels Pout

Ian Penman: Baudelaire’s Bad End, 16 March 2023

Late Fragments: ‘Flares’, ‘My Heart Laid Bare’, Prose Poems, ‘Belgium Disrobed’ 
by Charles Baudelaire, translated by Richard Sieburth.
Yale, 427 pp., £16.99, March, 978 0 300 27049 5
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... isolation, but a hub around which multitudes swarm. In Proverbs of a She-Dandy (2018), the poet Lisa Robertson pinpoints things lost in more theoretical treatments: the body, ageing, sensuality, gender. ‘Here then, in the luxury of my bath, permitting the Baudelairean correspondences between dandy and old woman to drift beyond the margins of his ...

I love grass

Christian Lorentzen: ‘Bewilderment’, 21 October 2021

by Richard Powers.
Heinemann, 278 pp., £18.99, September, 978 1 78515 263 4
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... for Algernon has been reworked many times, including as the movie Charly, which won Cliff Robertson an Oscar for Best Actor in 1968, and an episode of The Simpsons in which Homer has a crayon removed from his brain, becoming as smart as his daughter, Lisa, and turning whistle-blower about the hazards of the ...

What did Freud want?

Rosemary Dinnage, 3 December 1992

Freud’s Women 
by Lisa Appignanesi and John Forrester.
Weidenfeld, 563 pp., £25, October 1992, 0 297 81244 0
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Psychoanalysis in its Cultural Context 
edited by Edward Timms and Ritchie Robertson.
Edinburgh, 209 pp., £30, August 1992, 9780748603596
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... The sharpest comment in Freud’s Women – a huge book, but consistently readable – comes at the end. It would be eccentric, say the authors, to conclude after five hundred-odd pages that Freud’s significance for women lies in his having been the first equal-opportunities employer. Eccentric, but rather tempting because, in his famously ambivalent way, he left such a paradox behind ...

That Wild Mercury Sound

Charles Nicholl: Dylan’s Decade, 1 December 2016

The Bootleg Series, Vol. 12: The Cutting Edge 1965-66 
by Bob Dylan.
Columbia, £60, November 2015
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... images (‘her fog, her amphetamine and her pearls’), its drawled vocal phrasings (‘And Mona Lisa musta had the highway blues, you can tell by the way she smiles’), its unheard-of length (‘Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands’ filling a whole side) and its strange, secretive instrumentation achieving what Dylan would later define as ‘that thin, that ...

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