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Bedbugs and Broomsticks

Joyce Chaplin: Disease Goes Global

6 June 2013
Contagion: How Commerce Has Spread Disease 
by Mark Harrison.
Yale, 376 pp., £25, August 2012, 978 0 300 12357 9
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... medicine to argue that things don’t inevitably get better over time, and that medical experts (including doctors) aren’t always agents of progress. In Contagion: How Commerce Has Spread Disease, MarkHarrison confronts two narratives of modern history: the consolidation of professionalised medicine, and the spread of Western economic ideas, including commerce in its capitalist incarnation. He ...

Harrison​ Rex

Carey Harrison

7 November 1991
Conversations with Marlon Brando 
by Lawrence Grobel.
Bloomsbury, 177 pp., £14.99, September 1991, 9780747508168
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George Sanders: An Exhausted Life 
by Richard Vanderbeets.
Robson, 271 pp., £15.95, September 1991, 0 86051 749 7
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Rex HarrisonA Biography 
by Nicholas Wapshott.
Chatto, 331 pp., £16, October 1991, 0 7011 3764 9
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Me: Stories of my Life 
by Katharine Hepburn.
Viking, 418 pp., £16.99, September 1991, 0 670 83974 4
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... to this, to the recognition of what has happened, that we have disappeared. It doesn’t happen all at once, of course, but slowly and painfully, as these biographies of George Sanders and Rex Harrison confirm, amid binges of mingled self-seeking and self-obliteration. Along the way, idolatry brings out the bully in us all, and provokes rage at so much unbridled permission – which isn’t love ...
8 December 1994
Colonising the Body: State Medicine and Epidemic Disease in 19th-Century India 
by David Arnold.
California, 354 pp., £40, September 1993, 0 520 08124 2
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Public Health in British India: Anglo-Indian Preventive Medicine 1815-1914 
by Mark Harrison.
Cambridge, 324 pp., £19.95, March 1994, 0 521 44127 7
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... closely tied to British perceptions of their own power in the subcontinent. It offered, as Arnold argues in Foucauldian vein, a mode of controlling and ‘knowing’ the body of the Indian subject. MarkHarrison’s book concentrates on the later 19th and early 20th centuries. He carefully charts the origins and organisation of the IMS and its relationship with colonial government. Despite the ...
25 October 1979
The Second Coming: Popular Millenarianism 1780-1850 
by J.F.C. Harrison.
Routledge, 277 pp., £9.95
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... consequences to themselves and others. Persistent, dangerous as well as very interesting, it is a faith that invites more seductively than most the attention of the historian, and Professor Harrison, noting some very peculiar manifestations of it in the period of the Napoleonic wars and the succeeding years, has found himself a very good subject. He speaks of himself as writing ‘popular ...

The Authentic Snarl

Blake Morrison: The Impudence of Tony Harrison

30 November 2017
The Inky Digit of Defiance: Selected Prose 1966-2016 
by Tony Harrison, edited by Edith Hall.
Faber, 544 pp., £25, April 2017, 978 0 571 32503 0
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Collected Poems 
by Tony Harrison.
Penguin, 464 pp., £9.99, April 2016, 978 0 241 97435 3
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... If​ his English teacher hadn’t been so snootily discouraging, it’s unlikely that Tony Harrison would have gone on to write as much as he has: by my calculation, 13 plays, 11 films and twenty or more poetry collections and pamphlets, not to mention the essays and addresses assembled in Edith ...

Missing the Vital Spark

Mark​ Ford: Tony Harrison

13 May 1999
Prometheus 
by Tony Harrison.
Faber, 86 pp., £8.99, November 1998, 0 571 19753 1
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... Two years later, Shelley embarked on his long poetic drama Prometheus Unbound, which celebrated the Titan’s rebellion against Zeus as the original paradigm of all acts of political resistance. Tony Harrison’s first feature film provides a variety of perspectives on this legend, and three different embodiments of the Promethean spirit. It opens in a Yorkshire mining town just as the last pit in the ...
14 May 1992
Addressing Frank Kermode: Essays in Criticism and Interpretation 
edited by Margaret Tudeau-Clayton and Martin Warner.
Macmillan, 218 pp., £40, July 1991, 9780333531372
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The Poverty of Structuralism: Literature and Structuralist Theory 
by Leonard Jackson.
Longman, 317 pp., £24, July 1991, 0 582 06697 2
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Inconvenient Fictions: Literature and the Limits of Theory 
by Bernard Harrison.
Yale, 293 pp., £25, September 1991, 0 300 05057 7
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Reading Minds: The Study of English in the Age of Cognitive Science 
by Mark​ Turner.
Princeton, 298 pp., £18.99, January 1992, 0 691 06897 6
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Mikhail Bakhtin: Creation of a Prosaics 
by Gary Saul Morson and Caryl Emerson.
Stanford, 530 pp., $49.50, December 1990, 0 8047 1821 0
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... them mainly to very recent changes in the lives of women, that is parochial reading. Lisa Jardine’s essay on Othello in Addressing Frank Kermode is a particularly bad case. The books by Jackson, Harrison and Turner exemplify in various ways the kinds of problems which occur in a field where theory is so distant from practical reality. Jackson’s starting-point is his conviction that modern literary ...

At the Atlantis Gallery

Peter Campbell: The Survey of India

6 November 2003
... of metal kept at precise temperatures, or on the division of the cycles – by no means entirely regular – of our gently decelerating planet. The masters of the heroic age of measurement, from Harrison in the second half of the 18th century, to the surveyors who completed the triangulation of India in the later part of the 19th, battled to get their digital information – the figures they used for ...

On Richard Hollis

Christopher Turner: Richard Hollis

24 May 2018
... most memorable pieces of design made here.’ In 1957, Hollis quit Wimbledon Art School to become, in his own description, a ‘freelance dropout’, in thrall to the new avant-garde. A decade later, Mark Glazebrook, the disorganised but incisive new director of the Whitechapel Art Gallery, was wandering around the Central School of Art when he came across Hollis, then a tutor in the graphic design ...
5 January 1989
... the colours needed for the re-depiction of Poetic Justice on her cloud surmounting mortal suffering from opera and play, repainted tales that seem to bear recounting more often than the facts that mark today: the dead Cordelia in the lap of Lear, Lohengrin who pilots his white swan at cascading lustres of bright chandelier above the plush this pantheon shattered on, with Titania’s leashed pards ...

At the Whitechapel

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

6 January 2005
... are not particularly productive visually, but do make you think about what, at a point in time, artists 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 ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: Where was I in 1987?

10 December 1987
... out from underneath, their expressions, insofar as they have expressions, solemn and unsmiling. Except 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 ...

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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... yielded what now seems a masterpiece; and Auden (with Chester Kallman in tow) pressed his suit on whatever 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 ...

Sex’n’Love

Blake Morrison

21 February 1991
The Chatto Book of Love Poetry 
edited by John Fuller.
Chatto, 374 pp., £13.99, August 1990, 0 7011 3453 4
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The Faber Book of Blue Verse 
edited by John Whitworth.
Faber, 305 pp., £14.99, October 1990, 0 571 14095 5
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Self-Portrait with a Slide 
by Hugo Williams.
Oxford, 62 pp., £5.95, June 1990, 0 19 282744 8
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The Virago Book of Love Poetry 
edited by Wendy Mulford.
Virago, 288 pp., £6.99, November 1990, 1 85381 030 4
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Erotica: An Anthology of Women’s Writing 
edited by Margaret Reynolds, foreword by Jeanette Winterson .
Pandora, 362 pp., £19.99, November 1990, 9780044406723
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Daddy, Daddy 
by Paul Durcan.
Blackstaff, 185 pp., £5.95, August 1990, 0 85640 446 2
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... to those who have one without the other. Those who have both will find that, among contemporaries, Christopher Reid and Michael Hofmann are classified as love poets but Craig Raine and Tony Harrison as blue versifiers. Only a few poets make both, including Seamus Heaney, who has two poems unworthy of him in the Whitworth (one about unfreezing a vaginal pump, one about a bride-like, much played ...
9 November 1989
The Blind Victorian: Henry Fawcett and British Liberalism 
edited by Lawrence Goldman.
Cambridge, 199 pp., £25, August 1989, 0 521 35032 8
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... feel at home, into learned societies. H.A.L. Fisher threatened to resign from the British Academy in 1938 if it refused to recommend Winston Churchill for election: such a decision, he said, would ‘mark the triumph of a tendency towards minute specialisation ... which I have long watched with concern, as likely to rob the Academy of its national character’. There is also a party-political reason ...

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