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Better than the Greeks

Martin Goodman, 30 January 1992

The Cambridge History of Judaism. Vol. II: The Hellenistic Age 
edited by W.D. Davies and Louis Finkelstein.
Cambridge, 738 pp., £65, March 1990, 0 521 21929 9
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... As The Cambridge History of Judaism crawls ponderously towards the end of its huge task of charting the history of Judaism from 539 BC to circa AD 250, it continues to raise many questions. On a practical level the reader is left wondering about the wisdom of embarking on ambitious projects of this kind, in which the open-mindedness of the editors, commendable in other contexts, leaves unresolved such dramatic divergences between the different chapters that even the most intelligent neophyte will be left flummoxed ...

Living on Apple Crumble

August Kleinzahler: James Schuyler, 17 November 2005

Just the Thing: Selected Letters of James Schuyler 1951-91 
edited by William Corbett.
Turtle Point, 470 pp., £13.99, May 2005, 1 885586 30 2
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... was determined not to poeticise the material. In a piece about Porter in the journal Arts in 1976, Louis Finkelstein wrote: ‘Subject-matter must be normal in the sense that it does not appear sought after so much as simply happening to one.’ This sums up Schuyler’s poetry too. Fairfield Porter died suddenly in 1975, the one person, Schuyler ...


Liam McIlvanney: The House of Blackwood, 5 June 2003

The House of Blackwood: Author-Publisher Relations in the Victorian Era 
by David Finkelstein.
Pennsylvania State, 199 pp., £44.95, April 2002, 0 271 02179 9
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... At the tail-end of 1892 Robert Louis Stevenson was working on a novel. The book was going well but one thing was bothering him. Serial publication, he felt, might be difficult to secure, since ‘The Justice Clerk’ – it would eventually be published as Weir of Hermiston – was both ‘queer’ and ‘pretty Scotch ...

Take out all the adjectives

Jeremy Harding: The poetry of George Oppen, 6 May 2004

New Collected Poems 
by George Oppen, edited by Michael Davidson.
Carcanet, 433 pp., £14.95, July 2003, 1 85754 631 8
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... Great Lakes, into the Erie Canal and down towards the mouth of the Hudson. In New York, Oppen met Louis Zukofsky, who had already been published by Pound, and Charles Reznikoff, an attorney at work on a law encyclopedia. The three poets, grown uneasy with Imagism and keen to distinguish themselves, conceived a publishing venture which was very much in the ...

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