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Lotti’s Leap

Penelope Fitzgerald, 1 July 1982

Collected Poems and Prose 
by Charlotte Mew, edited by Val Warner.
Carcanet/Virago, 445 pp., £9.95, October 1981, 0 85635 260 8
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... Bedford College. Here, at the age of 14, she fell violently in love with her headmistress, Lucy Harrison. Miss Harrison was one of the great educationalists of the turn of the century. ‘There was something royal in her nature,’ Octavia Hill wrote. There was also a strongly masculine element. She was one of the ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: Where was I in 1987?, 10 December 1987

... that Iuh has his left arm round his wife’s shoulder, which is, according to the label, ‘a mark of affection’. It is another version of what inspired Larkin’s poem ‘On an Arundel Tomb’, where the effigies lie hand in hand. That turned out to be a bit of sentimental 19th-century restoration, whereas this husband from the Old Kingdom has had his ...

Callaloo

Robert Crawford, 20 April 1989

Northlight 
by Douglas Dunn.
Faber, 81 pp., £8.95, September 1988, 0 571 15229 5
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A Field of Vision 
by Charles Causley.
Macmillan, 68 pp., £10.95, September 1988, 0 333 48229 8
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Seeker, Reaper 
by George Campbell Hay and Archie MacAlister.
Saltire Society, 30 pp., £15, September 1988, 0 85411 041 0
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In Through the Head 
by William McIlvanney.
Mainstream, 192 pp., £9.95, September 1988, 1 85158 169 3
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The New British Poetry 
edited by Gillian Allnutt, Fred D’Aguiar, Ken Edwards and Eric Mottram.
Paladin, 361 pp., £6.95, September 1988, 0 586 08765 6
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Complete Poems 
by Martin Bell, edited by Peter Porter.
Bloodaxe, 240 pp., £12.95, August 1988, 1 85224 043 1
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First and Always: Poems for Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital 
edited by Lawrence Sail.
Faber, 69 pp., £5.95, October 1988, 0 571 55374 5
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Birthmarks 
by Mick Imlah.
Chatto, 61 pp., £4.95, September 1988, 0 7011 3358 9
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... home? Answering the pulls and torsions of that question produces much of the verse of Heaney, Harrison and Dunn, but it also produces very different kinds of poetry. Martianism had nothing to do with Mars, everything to do with home, the place where Craig Raine (like Murray or Dunn) feels richest. Surely Martianism comes from the ‘Ithaca’ section of ...

True Bromance

Philip Clark: Ravi Shankar’s Ragas, 15 July 2021

Indian Sun: The Life and Music of Ravi Shankar 
by Oliver Craske.
Faber, 672 pp., £12.99, June, 978 0 571 35086 5
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... that, there is something very deep that is yet to be appreciated by Westerners.’ George Harrison and Ravi Shankar at the Royal Albert Hall on 23 September 1974. Images of Shankar – sitting cross-legged on a carpet, playing his sitar – have become synonymous with Indian classical music, yet when his story is told it too often focuses on his ...

At the Whitechapel

Peter Campbell: ‘Faces in the Crowd: Picturing Modern Life from Manet to Today’, 6 January 2005

... have felt they were able, or not able, to do.In an essay in the exhibition catalogue, Charles Harrison describes one kind of artistic inhibition with reference to Mark Rothko. In 1958 Rothko explained that although he belonged ‘to a generation that was preoccupied with the human figure’, and although it was ...

Fenmen

Ronald Hutton, 5 August 1982

Fenland Riots and the English Revolution 
by Keith Lindley.
Heinemann, 259 pp., £16.50, March 1982, 0 435 32535 3
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Commonwealth to Protectorate 
by Austin Woolrych.
Oxford, 433 pp., £22.50, March 1982, 0 19 822659 4
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... ways, the latest developments in the second tradition. Both possess other similarities, which mark them as belonging to the same stage in the life of man as historian. Both are monographs, produced by professionals with a long career of research behind them, basing their work on an analysis of all surviving sources for their ...

Old Verities

Brian Harrison, 19 June 1986

The Industrial Reformation of English Fiction: Social Discourse and Narrative Form 1832-1867 
by Catherine Gallagher.
Chicago, 320 pp., £23.25, September 1985, 0 226 27932 4
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Victorian Prison Lives: English Prison Biography 1830-1914 
by Philip Priestley.
Methuen, 311 pp., £14.85, October 1985, 0 416 34770 3
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The Old Brown Dog: Women, Workers and Vivisection in Edwardian England 
by Coral Lansbury.
University of Wisconsin Press, 212 pp., £23.50, November 1985, 0 299 10250 5
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‘Orator’ Hunt: Henry Hunt and English Working-Class Radicalism 
by John Belchem.
Oxford, 304 pp., £25, October 1985, 0 19 822759 0
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... vain and inconsistent, he was nonetheless always his own man. Energy, courage and resilience mark the whole of his long career; his loyalty to his working-class admirers was complete, nor did prison shake his convictions. Belchem is a child of the 1960s. ‘A change is gonna come’ is his epigraph, and he writes of ‘the exhilarating experience of ...

Upstaging

Paul Driver, 19 August 1993

Shining Brow 
by Paul Muldoon.
Faber, 86 pp., £5.99, February 1993, 0 571 16789 6
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... composers he could. Henze accepted it (Elegy for Young Lovers, The Bassarids); Tippett and Harrison Birtwistle resisted. The latter has worked fruitfully (the small-scale pieces Bow Down and Yan Tan Tethera) with Tony Harrison, another poet avid for theatrical and operatic activity; and his most recent full-length ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Blade Runner 2049’, 2 November 2017

Blade Runner 2049 
directed by Denis Villeneuve.
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... a crowded, run-down version of Tokyo. Coca-Cola is advertised, and Rick Deckard (played again by Harrison Ford) still drinks Johnny Walker Black Label, although it now comes in a fancy designer bottle. Replicants are on the loose, a lonely blade runner chases them, and is repeatedly and bloodily beaten up for his pains. The old metaphysical questions ...

Voice of America

Tony Tanner, 23 September 1993

Was Huck Black? Mark Twain and African-American Voices 
by Shelley Fishkin.
Oxford, 270 pp., £17.50, June 1993, 0 19 508214 1
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Black Legacy: America’s Hidden Heritage 
by William Piersen.
Massachusetts, 264 pp., £36, August 1993, 9780870238543
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Black and White Strangers: Race and American Literary Realism 
by Kenneth Warren.
Chicago, 178 pp., £21.95, August 1993, 0 226 87384 6
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... besides a desire to be arresting – lies behind Professor Fishkin’s clearly tendentious title? Mark Twain, Clifton Fadiman wrote, is ‘our Chaucer, our Homer, our Dante, our Virgil, because Huckleberry Finn is the nearest thing we have to a national epic. Just as the Declaration of Independence ... contains in embryo our whole future history as a ...

High Punctuation

Christopher Ricks, 14 May 1992

But I digress: The Exploitation of Parentheses in English Printed Verse 
by John Lennard.
Oxford, 324 pp., £35, November 1991, 0 19 811247 5
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... them – John Lennard proffers, by way of Erasmus, the happy term lunulae, little moons, for this mark itself, the enclosing curves within which these words of mine now come to a close). And second, that for a couple of hours a few years ago, he and I (both then stranded on foreign shores) exchanged thoughts about the ways of his thinking.So there must be no ...

Prize Poems

Donald Davie, 1 July 1982

Arvon Foundation Poetry Competion: 1980 Anthology 
by Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney.
Kilnhurst Publishing Company, 173 pp., £3, April 1982, 9780950807805
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Burn this 
by Tom Disch.
Hutchinson, 63 pp., £7.50, April 1982, 0 09 146960 0
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... shows) Charles Edward Eaton; from William Radice (a beautifully imagined variation on Virgil), and Mark Beeson (a similarly accomplished essay in the Dantesque); from Pauline Rainford, Monica Ditmas, Anne Stevenson (two) and John Whitworth; from Aidan Carl Mathews (another besides ‘Severances’); from Thomas Shapcott (who may be Australian – we aren’t ...

Reasons for Not Going Back

Sheila Fitzpatrick: Displaced by WWII, 11 April 2013

In War’s Wake: Europe’s Displaced Persons in the Postwar Order 
by Gerard Daniel Cohen.
Oxford, 237 pp., £22.50, December 2012, 978 0 19 539968 4
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... as Soviet citizens unviable. A number of DPs told American interviewers that but for such a black mark, whose dire consequences were clear to any Soviet citizen, they would probably not have wanted to leave. But contemporary observers, however well-intentioned, couldn’t be expected to pick up these nuances. Even Eleanor Roosevelt, a US representative at the ...

Cardigan Arrest

Robert Potts: Poetry in Punglish, 21 June 2007

Look We Have Coming to Dover! 
by Daljit Nagra.
Faber, 55 pp., £8.99, February 2007, 978 0 571 23122 5
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... and vogueishness – have been dealt with explicitly by other writers: Douglas Dunn, Tony Harrison, Linton Kwesi Johnson, John Agard, Grace Nichols and Tom Leonard, to name a few. For some, ‘literary art’ is a territory to be attained (Harrison’s ‘we’ll occupy/ your lousy leasehold, poetry’), in others a ...
Selected Poems 1964-1983 
by Douglas Dunn.
Faber, 262 pp., £9.95, November 1986, 0 571 14619 8
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Terry Street 
by Douglas Dunn.
Faber, 62 pp., £3.95, November 1986, 0 571 09713 8
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Selected Poems 1968-1983 
by Paul Muldoon.
Faber, 109 pp., £8.95, November 1986, 0 571 14603 1
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Essential Reading 
by Peter Reading and Alan Jenkins.
Secker, 230 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 436 40988 7
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Stet 
by Peter Reading.
Secker, 40 pp., £5.95, October 1986, 0 436 40989 5
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... last, with its perception of the links between political and cultural power, reminding one of Tony Harrison. There is something, too, of Harrison’s angle on the familiar in Dunn’s arresting four-line poem, ‘Glasgow Schoolboys, Running Backwards’. The ‘Ballad of the Two Left Hands’, on the unemployed, and a fine ...

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