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5 July 1984
A Mania for Sentences 
by D.J. Enright.
Chatto, 211 pp., £12.50, July 1983, 0 7011 2662 0
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The Mirror of Criticism: Selected Reviews 1977-1982 
by Gabriel Josipovici.
Harvester, 181 pp., £16.95, June 1983, 0 7108 0499 7
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In the Age of Prose: Literary and Philosophical Essays 
by Erich Heller.
Cambridge, 268 pp., £20, January 1984, 0 521 25493 0
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... As I begin to write this, innumerable other reviews are being born. Some are being word-processed in paper-free offices, others handwritten in the Club lounges of intercontinental jets and others still dictated over breakfast on luminous southern terraces. But the reviewer I feel closest to is the lonely midnight scribbler – aching for his bed, dreaming of his cheque and as familiar with his emerging ...
18 August 1994
Mallarmé: A Throw of the Dice 
by Gordon Millan.
Secker, 389 pp., £16.99, March 1994, 9780436270963
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... to structuralism, semiotics and deconstruction. We have had analyses of his work by Charles Mauron, Jean-Pierre Richard, Robert Greer Cohn, Julia Kristeva, Jacques Derrida, Paul de Man, Leo Bersani, MalcolmBowie and others. It might seem surprising, therefore, not to find a single full-length biography published between Henri Mondor’s 1941 Vie de Mallarmé and Gordon Millan’s Mallarmé: A Throw of ...
10 February 1994
Being a Character: Psychoanalysis and Self-Experience 
by Christopher Bollas.
Routledge, 294 pp., £14.99, April 1993, 0 415 08815 1
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Psychoanalysis and the Future of Theory 
by Malcolm Bowie.
Blackwell, 161 pp., £35, October 1993, 0 631 18925 4
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... define the realm of pathology, are extremely durable, unlike the ‘insights’ used to explain them. For Freud these repetitions are the consequences of a failure to remember. Psychoanalysis, as MalcolmBowie writes, ‘is overwhelmingly concerned with the production and transformation of meaning’. Whatever cannot be transformed, psychically processed, reiterates itself. A trauma is whatever there ...

‘Tiens! Une madeleine?’

Michael Wood: The Comic-Strip Proust

26 November 1998
À la recherche du temps perdu: Combray 
by Marcel Proust, edited by Stéphane Heuet.
Delcourt, 72 pp., €10.95, October 1998, 2 84055 218 3
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Proust among the Stars 
by Malcolm Bowie.
HarperCollins, 348 pp., £19.99, August 1998, 0 00 255622 7
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... an implication that actually reading Proust is just too daunting, or not a pleasure at all. It is a pleasure, and we shouldn’t pass it up; or if we do, we should know what we are missing. MalcolmBowie’s remarkable book is about reading in several senses: it rests on a habit of reading Proust, has the easy familiarity with a voluminous text that only many readings could give; it offers brilliant ...
26 March 1992
Le Séminaire, Vol VIII 
by Jacques Lacan.
Seuil, 464 pp., frs 190, March 1991, 2 02 012502 1
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Le Séminaire, Vol XVII 
by Jacques Lacan.
Seuil, 251 pp., frs 140, March 1991, 2 02 013044 0
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by Malcolm Bowie.
Fontana, 256 pp., £5.99, February 1991, 0 00 686076 1
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Return to Freud: Jacques Lacan’s Dislocation of Psychoanalysis 
by Samuel Weber.
Cambridge, 184 pp., £30, November 1991, 0 521 37410 3
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... would be no bad point of entry to the imbroglio of Lacan’s thought; its topic is fascinating and it is by his standards plainly written. Even so, there is everything to be said for first going to MalcolmBowie’s ‘Modern Master’ on Lacan, for which we have had to wait almost as long as for the volumes of the Séminaìres. The wait has paid off, for this is an astonishing feat of exposition ...
19 August 1982
by Sue Lenier.
Oleander Press, 80 pp., £7.50, April 1982, 9780906672044
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Collected Poems 
by Sylvia Plath, edited by Ted Hughes.
Faber, 351 pp., £10, September 1981, 0 571 10573 4
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by Clive Wilmer.
Carcanet, 63 pp., £3.25, June 1982, 0 85635 359 0
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... no prizes offered. For there is no answer, as the punctuation – all commas – advertises. Who would stay for such pedantries anyway? Who holds off from the lyrical afflatus, when it happens? Not MalcolmBowie of Queen Mary College, London (‘all in a splendid surge of creativity’); not Claude Rawson of the University of Warwick (‘no doubt of the power ... at the acute cutting edge of feeling ...
5 June 1980
Structuralism and Since: From Lévi-Strauss to Derrida 
edited by John Sturrock.
Oxford, 190 pp., £5.50, January 1980, 0 19 215839 2
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... Choses, and since Lacan published, in the same year, what was agreed on all sides to be an absolutely incomprehensible book, Ecrits. To read Dan Sperber on Lévi-Strauss, Hayden White on Foucault, or MalcolmBowie on Lacan, is to realise that the terrain, until recently so inhospitable, has been expertly mapped, the rough places made plain, and pleasant bowers and seats arranged for the ascending ...

There is no cure

Michael Wood: Freud’s Guesswork

6 July 2006
The Penguin Freud Reader 
edited by Adam Phillips.
Penguin, 570 pp., £14.99, January 2006, 0 14 118743 3
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... ruin, but won’t abandon its quest for laws. ‘Freud’s vision of the conscious mind perched precariously and parasitically on the outer surface of an implacable unconscious had its grandeur,’ MalcolmBowie writes in his introduction to An Outline of Psychoanalysis. ‘But the disproportion between the conscious and unconscious components of the mind gives a strange air of self-apology to Freud ...
20 November 2014
Vivienne Westwood 
by Vivienne Westwood and Ian Kelly.
Picador, 463 pp., £25, September 2014, 978 1 4472 5412 6
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... Some time​ in 1979, after the death of Sid Vicious and before the enthronement of Margaret Thatcher, Vivienne Westwood ‘lost interest’ in punk. She and her lover Malcolm McLaren had been at the heart of the British version: they had dreamed up much of the look, the attitude and the lyrics, though not the sound. A full year before David Bowie adopted the same hair ...

Different Speeds, Same Furies

Perry Anderson: Powell v. Proust

19 July 2018
Anthony Powell: Dancing to the Music of Time 
by Hilary Spurling.
Hamish Hamilton, 509 pp., £25, October 2017, 978 0 241 14383 4
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... and death. The mystique of involuntary memory he erected around it was essentially defensive. In his remarkable Proust among the Stars, the one study of A la recherche equal to its splendours, MalcolmBowie observed with justice that while Time in this mode is ‘a “big” controlling theme’, calling forth ‘an impressive philosophical diction’, it ‘levitates too obligingly above the ...

Aunt Twackie’s Bazaar

Andy Beckett: Seventies Style

19 August 2010
70s Style and Design 
by Dominic Lutyens and Kirsty Hislop.
Thames and Hudson, 224 pp., £24.90, November 2009, 978 0 500 51483 2
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... reference was simply that some of punk’s key figures had been trying to make it for a long time, and had been members of a succession of youth tribes themselves. There is a telling photo here of Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood in 1971, posing in their first shop, young and hungry-looking and dressed for attention. But it would be another five years before they became famous, for stage-managing ...

Crossing the Border

Emily Witt: How to Cross the Border

15 August 2019
Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions 
by Valeria Luiselli.
Fourth Estate, 128 pp., £6.99, October 2017, 978 0 00 827192 3
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Lost Children Archive 
by Valeria Luiselli.
Fourth Estate, 385 pp., £16.99, March, 978 0 00 829002 3
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... created a perfect little world. Early in their relationship, the couple move into an apartment together, where they sit around in their underwear and eat pizza. They fix two postcards to the wall, of Malcolm X and Emiliano Zapata. When the kids go to sleep, they drink a bottle of wine and smoke a joint. Their children say cute things and barely ever whine. They are grave and earnest, listening to their ...

Time Unfolded

Perry Anderson: Powell v. the World

2 August 2018
... so won part of his acclaim. Larger than life is, after all, a term of praise. Hyperbole – the briefest glance around the society of the spectacle is a sufficient reminder – pays. So too, sex. MalcolmBowie’s ‘enveloping category of categories’, ‘recklessly exceeding the requirements of the plot’, is another reason for the allure of A la recherche. Novels governed by the dynamics of ...

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