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Mizzled

Roy Harris, 21 February 1985

Longman Dictionary of the English Language 
by Randolph Quirk.
Longman, 1875 pp., £14.95, October 1984, 0 582 55511 6
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The Private Lives of English Words 
by Louis Heller, Alexander Humez and Malcah Dror.
Routledge, 333 pp., £12.95, May 1984, 0 7102 0006 4
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The Penguin Dictionary of Troublesome Words 
by Bill Bryson.
Viking, 173 pp., £7.95, April 1984, 0 7139 1653 2
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The Origins of English Words: A Discursive Dictionary of Indo-European Roots 
by Joseph Shipley.
Johns Hopkins, 637 pp., $39.95, May 1984, 0 8018 3004 4
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A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English 
by Eric Partidge and Paul Beale.
Routledge, 1400 pp., £45, May 1984, 0 7100 9820 0
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... On 10 May 1933 an undergraduate at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, wrote in her diary a description of the clothes she was wearing on that sultry summer’s day. The description includes the phrase blue celanese trollies. The diary entry in question was not published until 1984, by which time the diarist, Barbara Pym, had become a cult figure in English literary circles ...

Tsk, Ukh, Hmmm

Michael Newton: Forgetting to remember to forget, 23 February 2006

Echolalias: On the Forgetting of Language 
by Daniel Heller-Roazen.
Zone, 287 pp., £18.95, May 2005, 1 890951 49 8
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... servants, had left their mark on him. In Echolalias: On the Forgetting of Language, Daniel Heller-Roazen recounts a parallel story. Elias Canetti grew up in Bulgaria speaking Ladino, the ‘largely medieval Spanish of the Sephardim’. Bulgarian was the language used by the family servants. However, while Canetti, his family and friends spoke ...
... Writings, Flann O’Brien’s The Poor Mouth. Next year’s list will have Good as Gold by Joseph Heller, Kurt Vonnegut’s Jail-bird, Joyce Carol Oates’s Unholy Loves, Michael Korda’s Charmed Lives, Arthur Hailey’s The Moneychangers, Bernard Malamud’s New Life, Richard Brautigan’s Trout Fishing in America, Philip Roth’s The Ghost Writer, John ...

Diary

Jeremy Harding: On the Tyson Saga, 31 August 1989

... he would always look like a killer. Or as he put it ‘I do not come to pitty-patty.’ Peter Heller’s biography of Tyson* is a blend of cool hyperbole and keen insight into the logic of the boxing business: matching your fighter with the right opponents, boosting his prestige by dosing his appearances, nudging up the value of the purses, sewing up ...
The Paradoxes of Delusion: Wittgenstein, Schreber, and the Schizophrenic Mind 
by Louis Sass.
Cornell, 177 pp., £23.50, June 1995, 0 8014 9899 6
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Madness and Modernism: Insanity in the Light of Modern Art, Literature and Thought 
by Louis Sass.
Basic Books, 593 pp., £18.99, November 1993, 0 465 04312 7
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... To understand quite how extensive, and how important, the comparison is, you need to read Louis Sass’s wholly fascinating Madness and Modernism: Insanity in the Light of Modern Art, Literature and Thought, and The Paradoxes of Delusion: Wittgenstein, Schreber, and the Schizophrenic Mind. Sass is a professor of clinical psychology and ...

I am Prince Mishkin

Mark Ford, 23 April 1987

‘Howl’: Original Draft Facsimile 
by Allen Ginsberg, edited by Barry Miles.
Viking, 194 pp., £16.95, February 1987, 0 670 81599 3
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White Shroud: Poems 1980-1985 
by Allen Ginsberg.
Viking, 89 pp., £10.95, February 1987, 0 670 81598 5
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... following. It was Ginsberg’s old Columbia colleagues, John Hollander, Norman Podhoretz and Louis Simpson, all cutting their teeth in the New York literary scene under the approving auspices of Lionel and Diana Trilling, who led the charge against the Beats. ‘It is only fair to Allen Ginsberg to remark on the utter lack of decorum of any kind in his ...

Mediterranean Man

R.W. Johnson, 16 October 1997

Albert Camus: A Life 
by Olivier Todd, translated by Benjamin Ivry.
Chatto, 420 pp., £20, October 1997, 0 7011 6062 4
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... though he knew he was in the Resistance, but the truth was that Gallimard had hobnobbed with Lt Heller of the Nazi Propagandastaffel and put the notorious pro-Nazi Drieu La Rochelle onto the Gallimard editorial committee. In effect, Camus used his own Resistance career and literary fame to get Gallimard off. The final break with Sartre came with the ...

I adore your moustache

James Wolcott: Styron’s Letters, 24 January 2013

Selected Letters of William Styron 
edited by Rose Styron and R. Blakeslee Gilpin.
Random House, 643 pp., £24.99, December 2012, 978 1 4000 6806 7
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... Norman Mailer, James Jones, John Updike, Saul Bellow, Gore Vidal, J.D. Salinger, Joseph Heller, the recently retired Philip Roth), whose ghostly father and bearded Neptune disturbing the liquor cabinet deep into the night was Ernest Hemingway. Even those least influenced by Hemingway’s style couldn’t fail to register the impact of his hold on ...

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