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Bad Nights

D.A.N. Jones, 23 October 1986

The Casualty 
by Heinrich Böll, translated by Leila Vennewitz.
Chatto, 189 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 9780701129286
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by Allan Massie.
Bodley Head, 339 pp., £9.95, September 1986, 0 370 30757 7
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Gabriel’s Lament 
by Paul Bailey.
Cape, 331 pp., £9.95, September 1986, 0 224 02823 5
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The Mind and Body Shop 
by Frank Parkin.
Collins, 221 pp., £9.95, September 1986, 0 00 217695 5
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... with scholarly confidence. Allan Massie has produced such a stage-pedant, named Aeneas Fraser-Graham, Quondam Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge: this figure of fun prefaces the first section of the narrative with an account of the discovery of Augustus’s autobiography and an admission ‘that Mr Massie’s version is indeed, in the event, too ...


Jeremy Treglown, 6 August 1992

Writers on World War Two: An Anthology 
edited by Mordecai Richler.
Chatto, 752 pp., £18.99, February 1992, 0 7011 3912 9
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Legacies and Ambiguities: Post-war Fiction and Culture in West Germany and Japan 
edited by Ernestine Schlant and Thomas Rimer.
Woodrow Wilson Center Press/Johns Hopkins, 323 pp., $35, February 1992, 0 943875 30 7
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... extract from Staring at the Sun by Julian Barnes (b. 1946), although nothing from Shuttlecock, by Graham Swift (b. 1949), which gives the best description I know of the territory, real and psychological, in which his generation grew up in Britain: What attracted me then about Camber was less its whispering billows of sand and wheeling black-headed gulls ...

You better not tell me you forgot

Terry Castle: How to Spot Members of the Tribe, 27 September 2012

All We Know: Three Lives 
by Lisa Cohen.
Farrar Straus, 429 pp., £22.50, July 2012, 978 0 374 17649 5
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... with them; but what about Djuna Barnes or Janet Flanner? Carrington or Eileen Gray? Mina Loy or Martha Graham? The activity of juxtaposition and judgment, once initiated, may well be ever renewing and unlikely to lead to any final rankings. But something will be clarified over time; some intellectual or aesthetic ground gained; some deeper sense of ...

Candle Moments

Andrew O’Hagan: Norman Lewis’s Inventions, 25 September 2008

Semi-Invisible Man: The Life of Norman Lewis 
by Julian Evans.
Cape, 792 pp., £25, June 2008, 978 0 224 07275 5
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... found their way into his stories and into the grist of his sentences. I once had dinner with Martha Gellhorn; there was a candle between us, and she told me that the point about Hemingway was that he was the sort of man who could insist there were two candles on the table, that nothing could change his mind about what he believed: ‘Two candles – that ...

Adieu, madame

Terry Castle: Sarah Bernhardt, 4 November 2010

Sarah: The Life of Sarah Bernhardt 
by Robert Gottlieb.
Yale, 233 pp., £18.99, October 2010, 978 0 300 14127 6
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... Bernhardt in Victorien Sardou’s Théodora and gushed about it to his long-suffering fiancée, Martha Bernays: How that Sarah plays! After the first words of her lovely, vibrant voice I felt I had known her for years. Nothing she could have said would have surprised me; I believed at once everything she said … I have never seen a more comical figure ...

Death (and Life) of the Author

Peter Wollen: Kathy Acker, 5 February 1998

... in Students for a Democratic Society and also worked as a teaching assistant for Marcuse, as did Martha Rosler and Alan Sekula, two fellow students who went on to become prominent radical artists, combining photography, conceptual art and political militancy, as Acker combined documentary writing with conceptualism and leftist politics. Equally, if not more ...

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