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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 sentences as a ploughman is with his latest furrow ...

Mallarmé gets a life

Barbara Johnson, 18 August 1994

Mallarmé: A Throw of the Dice 
by Gordon Millan.
Secker, 389 pp., £16.99, March 1994, 9780436270963
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... Jean-Pierre Richard, Robert Greer Cohn, Julia Kristeva, Jacques Derrida, Paul de Man, Leo Bersani, Malcolm Bowie 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 the Dice. Millan notes in his Introduction that ...

The Shock of the Old

Adam Phillips, 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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... For Freud these repetitions are the consequences of a failure to remember. Psychoanalysis, as Malcolm Bowie writes, ‘is overwhelmingly concerned with the production and transformation of meaning’. Whatever cannot be transformed, psychically processed, reiterates itself. A trauma is whatever there is in a person’s experience that resists useful ...

‘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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... It is a pleasure, and we shouldn’t pass it up; or if we do, we should know what we are missing. Malcolm Bowie’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 close readings of many passages of ...

Cambridge Theatre

Donald Davie, 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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... stay for such pedantries anyway? Who holds off from the lyrical afflatus, when it happens? Not Malcolm Bowie 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’); not Elaine Feinstein, from Cambridge (‘the ...
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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... incomprehensible book, Ecrits. To read Dan Sperber on Lévi-Strauss, Hayden White on Foucault, or Malcolm Bowie 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 traveller at just the conceptual altitude where he will ...

Above the Consulting-Room

John Sturrock, 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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... it is by his standards plainly written. Even so, there is everything to be said for first going to Malcolm Bowie’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, clear, judicious and economical in argument, and ...

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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... and parasitically on the outer surface of an implacable unconscious had its grandeur,’ Malcolm Bowie 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’s defence of science and reason, for science, even ...

Punk Counterpunk

Bee Wilson, 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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... 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 style, Westwood had her ...

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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... In his remarkable Proust among the Stars, the one study of A la recherche equal to its splendours, Malcolm Bowie 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 restless detail of Proust’s writing’ in ways that ...

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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... 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 the rise of the Sex Pistols. In the British 1970s, even ...

Crossing the Border

Emily Witt, 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 2019, 978 0 00 829002 3
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... 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 parents’ oral histories of the Apaches and getting ...

Four Moptop Yobbos

Ian Penman, 17 June 2021

One Two Three Four: The Beatles in Time 
by Craig Brown.
Fourth Estate, 642 pp., £9.99, March, 978 0 00 834003 2
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The Beatles and Sixties Britain 
by Marcus Collins.
Cambridge, 382 pp., £90, March 2020, 978 1 108 47724 6
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The Beatles in Context 
edited by Kenneth Womack.
Cambridge, 372 pp., £74.99, January 2020, 978 1 108 41911 6
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... Back; a new documentary about Mark David Chapman; an article trailed as ‘the inside story of how Bowie met John Lennon’; a lockdown viewing of the dreary Richard Curtis film Yesterday; a mystifying Japanese tweet, apparently about Ringo.And those are just the ones I remembered to jot down. Then there was the dream I had in which a snatched photo of the ...

Time Unfolded

Perry Anderson: Powell v. the World, 2 August 2018

... glance around the society of the spectacle is a sufficient reminder – pays. So too, sex. Malcolm Bowie’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 desire, naturally, pre-existed Proust – Laclos and ...

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