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It’s slippery in here

Christopher Tayler: ‘Twin Peaks: The Return’, 21 September 2017

Twin Peaks: The Return 
created by Mark Frost and David Lynch.
Showtime/Sky Atlantic, 18 episodes, 21 May 2017 to 3 September 2017
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... Wake, and what with one thing and another I’ve sometimes felt the same way, on behalf of Mark Frost and David Lynch, about the news environment that accompanied the broadcast of Twin Peaks: The Return. I say ‘on behalf of’ because I imagine that Lynch couldn’t care less. ‘It’s good to kind of go along with your life,’ he told ...
FrostA Literary Life Reconsidered 
by William Pritchard.
Oxford, 186 pp., £14.95, March 1985, 0 19 503462 7
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... First World War, London still beckoned aspiring American poets. Ezra Pound arrived in 1908, Robert Frost in 1912, and T.S. Eliot in 1914. When Pound arrived he was only 23, Eliot was 26, but Frost was almost 39. He had been writing poetry, most of it unpublished, for some twenty years, and the difference in style was ...

Invisible Hand

Mark Ford, 19 October 2006

... I A white finger of frost along the spine Of the country, and the first rumours of the first Female Archbishop of Canterbury: while still In her cradle the Lord filled Her to the brim, and drove headlong The querulous demons whose riddles End only in debt and pain; her dimpled Right hand seemed to grasp and poise A miniature crozier, and her eyes Peered through tears at the sins of the world ...

Weasel, Magpie, Crow

Mark Ford: Edward Thomas, 1 January 2009

Edward Thomas: The Annotated Collected Poems 
edited by Edna Longley.
Bloodaxe, 335 pp., £12, June 2008, 978 1 85224 746 1
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... some six months before his late efflorescence into verse at the age of 36, he wrote to Robert Frost of his longing to ‘wring all the necks of my rhetoric – the geese’. He was referring to the over-elaborate style of some of his prose writings, but his first poem, ‘Up in the Wind’, composed on 3 December 1914, opens with a version of the same ...


Peter Howarth: Robert Frost’s Prose, 6 November 2008

The Collected Prose of Robert Frost 
edited by Mark Richardson.
Harvard, 375 pp., £25.95, January 2008, 978 0 674 02463 2
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The Notebooks of Robert Frost 
edited by Robert Faggen.
Harvard, 809 pp., £25.95, January 2007, 978 0 674 02311 6
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... Prose have never been reprinted before, but they have a misleadingly familiar ring. In 1891, Frost got himself elected to the editorship of the Lawrence, Massachusetts High School Bulletin, and his opening salute to his classmates insists that ‘this chair, when not acting as a weapon of defence, will be devoted to the caprices of its occupant.’ A ...

Dark and Deep

Helen Vendler, 4 July 1996

Robert FrostA Biography 
by Jeffrey Meyers.
Constable, 424 pp., £20, May 1996, 0 09 476130 2
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Collected Poems, Prose and Plays 
by Robert Frost, edited by Richard Poirier and Mark Richardson.
Library of America, 1036 pp., $35, October 1995, 9781883011062
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... It would be hard,’ Robert Frost wrote, ‘to gather biography from poems of mine except as they were all written by the same person, out of the same general region north of Boston, and out of the same books.’ Frost’s biographers, who began their collective labours well before he died, were not to be put off by such a statement, and the early collections of memoirs and reminiscences culminated in Lawrance Thompson’s three-volume biography published between 1966 and 1976 ...

It is still mañana

Matthew Bevis: Robert Frost’s Letters, 19 February 2015

The Letters of Robert Frost, Vol. 1: 1886-1920 
edited by Donald Sheehy, Mark Richardson and Robert Faggen.
Harvard, 811 pp., £33.95, March 2014, 978 0 674 05760 9
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... Anybody​ want to Hear R. Frost on Anything?’ the poet asked Louis Untermeyer in 1916. Frost was 42 years old and believed he had an impressive list of lectures ‘in stock’. One of them was the ‘True Story of My Life’. It would begin with early signs of temerity and talent – ‘Stealing pigs from the stockyards in San Francisco ...


Andrew Motion, 19 June 1997

... The point is, rather, that once you had shown me the way into those places, perched on slabs of frost-shattered rock then floating on eagle-thermals over the tawny desert, with oasis-lights like embers dying in ash – when that was done you began getting back what was lost: how the Arabic system of counting first made its ...

Short Cuts

Andrew O’Hagan: The Oscars, 26 February 2009

... low-down on the political and moral atmosphere of the period. That, at any rate, is the rubric of Mark Harris’s excellent book Scenes from a Revolution: The Birth of the New Hollywood (Canongate, £8.99), which might justly claim to explain how Hollywood came to be what Hollywood has become. Harris takes the five movies nominated for Best Picture in ...


Jean Sprackland: In the Mud, 6 October 2011

... Nine o’clock on a winter morning. I crunched my way through sand-dunes hardened and sheened with frost, then slithered over a sheet of ice. Under the ice, pale bubbles swelled and skittered away from my tread. The tideline was a sparkling white ribbon of frozen froth, curling away into the distance. I stopped to watch oystercatchers pecking at a frozen pool ...

Short Cuts

Joanna Biggs: Would you whistleblow?, 7 November 2019

... Keira as the once and future whistleblower Katharine Gun, watching Tony Blair explain to David Frost why it was necessary for Britain to go to war. ‘Bloody liar,’ she says. ‘They’re all bloody liars.’ Frost and Bliar don’t react. (I remember this too, the fury and the not-reacting.) Blair leans forward and ...

Glimpsed in the Glare

Michael Neill: Shakespeare in 1606, 17 December 2015

1606: William Shakespeare and the Year of Lear 
by James Shapiro.
Faber, 423 pp., £20, October 2015, 978 0 571 23578 0
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... who had ‘cracked the Tudor code’ was the botanist, horticulturalist and historian of gardening Mark Griffiths: his elaborately illustrated essay, ‘Face to Face with Shakespeare’, focused on John Gerard’s well-known Elizabethan manual of botany, The Herball or, General Historie of Plantes, and purported to demonstrate that one of the four seemingly ...

Taking stock of woods

Douglas Oliver, 17 December 1992

... across stream, a green infanta hawthorn in a clearing; another dwarfed and crazy as a green Jack Frost, insect thin trees, lion mane one whose lower branches show hands sunlit from windows. As many shapes as among shifting clouds: fists and sparklers and fingers and fleurs de lys and candles and fans and umbrella spokes and florid gestures and controlled and ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Buffy!, 7 March 2002

... 1659 (which is when records began), foxing unwary plants into flowering prematurely, to give the frost something to kill. My feelings about the weather are not put into any kind of perspective by the stoicism of Mark Blumberg, a psychologist at the University of Iowa, who says in his new book, Body Heat: Temperature and ...

Enough is enough

Patricia Beer, 26 September 1991

by Antonia White, edited by Susan Chitty.
Constable, 320 pp., £19.95, September 1991, 0 09 470650 6
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... We already have Antonia White’s sequence of unashamedly autobiographical novels, starting with Frost in May in 1933. We have her own straight account of her early life, As once in May. Then there are other autobiographical pieces: short stories and attempts at further novels and, for good measure, a set of highly autobiographical letters, The Hound and the ...

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