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The German Ideal

Misha Donat, 30 December 1982

Carl Maria von Weber: Writings on Music 
edited by John Warrack, translated by Martin Cooper.
Cambridge, 402 pp., £35, December 1981, 0 521 22892 1
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... age, this collection of essays presents a fascinating document. It has been fluently translated by Martin Cooper, and John Warrack’s copious editorial notes are of enormous help in piecing together a picture of that all but forgotten musical society of which Weber was the guiding ...

Boulez in progress

Paul Driver, 25 June 1987

by Pierre Boulez, edited by Jean-Jacques Nattiez, translated by Martin Cooper.
Faber, 541 pp., £25, July 1986, 9780571138111
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... France in 1981 (revised 1985), is available, in a rearranged format with a translation by the late Martin Cooper, under the title Orientations. It is a pity that we do not have both collections freshly to hand, for any consideration of Boulez’s importance as a composer-writer needs to take into account the major items in Notes of an ...

Turncoats and Opportunists

Alexandra Walsham: Francis Walsingham, 5 July 2012

The Queen’s Agent: Francis Walsingham at the Court of Elizabeth I 
by John Cooper.
Faber, 400 pp., £9.99, July 2012, 978 0 571 21827 1
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... as blunt, uncourtly and dressed always in black, Walsingham has long defied categorisation. John Cooper’s book is a fresh attempt to assess the accuracy of these opposing images. It charts Walsingham’s life from his birth in 1531 or 1532, on the cusp of the Henrician Reformation and the break with Rome, through his education at King’s ...

Corbyn in the Media

Paul Myerscough, 22 October 2015

... on Remembrance Day? Would he kneel to the queen when he was admitted to the Privy Council (see Martin Loughlin’s piece on p. 29)? On the day after he was elected, he spoke at a mental health trust fun day in his constituency instead of going on the Andrew Marr Show. Later that day he was filmed as he hurried along the pavement outside Westminster in ...

America Explodes

Adam Shatz, 18 June 2020

... hours … sort of like going to Central Park’.I thought of Joe when I read about Christian Cooper, the black birdwatcher who crossed paths with a white woman and her dog in Central Park on the morning of 25 May, the same day George Floyd was killed when a police officer in Minneapolis knelt on his neck for nine minutes. There are ‘white spaces’ in ...

Henry Hill and Laura Palmer

Philip Horne, 20 December 1990

... Lynch’s unsettling TV serial Twin Peaks, part of the dream of wholesome investigating agent Dale Cooper, comes when he is kissed full on the mouth by the figure of Laura Palmer, who was a ‘wild girl’ but is now dead and whose murderer he has come to town to detect. The story exerts its spell over television viewers through a combination of gruesome ...

Grateful Dead

John Barrell, 22 April 1993

The Dictionary of National Biography: Missing Persons 
edited by C.S. Nicholls.
Oxford, 790 pp., £80, January 1993, 0 19 865211 9
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... If anyone living in London around 1800 did not know Martin van Butchell by sight, Butchell himself was not to blame, for he used the most elaborate means to make himself conspicuous. At a time when almost no one but Jews wore beards, Butchell wore a long one – ‘full eight inches long’ – and insisted that women thought clean-shaven men were ‘incomplete ...

The Word on the Street

Elaine Showalter, 7 March 1996

Primary Colors: A Novel of Politics 
by Anonymous.
Chatto, 366 pp., £15.99, February 1996, 0 7011 6584 7
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... of politics since Robert Penn Warren’s All the King’s Men’. In the New Republic, Matthew Cooper, after revealing (‘full disclosure’) that he himself is now dating Mandy Grunwald, who held the position in the Clinton campaign of the novel’s sexy heroine Daisy Green, says that ‘finally the modern campaign – and Clinton – have the novelist ...

Whose Body?

Charles Glass: ‘Operation Mincemeat’, 22 July 2010

Operation Mincemeat: The True Spy Story that Changed the Course of World War Two 
by Ben Macintyre.
Bloomsbury, 400 pp., £16.99, January 2010, 978 0 7475 9868 8
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... years after the war ended. Its first exposure came in fictional form in November 1950, when Duff Cooper published a novel, Operation Heartbreak, that barely concealed the actual facts. The next version, released in 1953, was a non-fiction book by the gambit’s architect, Lieutenant Commander Ewen Montagu of naval intelligence. Three years later, his ...

House of Miscegenation

Gilberto Perez: Westerns, 18 November 2010

Hollywood Westerns and American Myth 
by Robert Pippin.
Yale, 198 pp., £25, May 2010, 978 0 300 14577 9
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... big stars, and Walter Wanger, the eventual producer, would have wanted Marlene Dietrich and Gary Cooper in the leads. But Ford insisted on Claire Trevor and John Wayne (who wasn’t a star until this movie made him one). Dietrich and Cooper would have turned Dallas and Ringo into the natural aristocrats that Ford didn’t ...


Sanjay Subrahmanyam: Gabriel García Márquez, 27 August 2009

Gabriel García Márquez: A Life 
by Gerald Martin.
Bloomsbury, 668 pp., £25, October 2008, 978 0 7475 9476 5
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... writers, who has also been an unceasing and relentless manipulator of his own image, Gerald Martin writes of Gabriel García Márquez: ‘Literature and politics have been the two most effective ways of achieving immortality in the transient world that Western civilisation has created for the planet; few would hold that political glory is more enduring ...

Bandini to Hackmuth

Christopher Tayler: John Fante, 21 September 2000

Ask the Dust 
by John Fante.
Rebel Inc, 198 pp., £6.99, September 1999, 0 86241 987 5
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Full of Life: A Biography of John Fante 
by Stephen Cooper.
Rebel Inc, 406 pp., £16.99, May 2000, 9781841950228
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... poet Charles Bukowski mentioned his debt to Fante in his novel Women; Bukowski’s publisher, John Martin of the Black Sparrow Press, set about reprinting Fante’s books. Bukowski, who had been devoted to both books ‘like a man who had found gold in the city dump’ since discovering them by chance in the early 1950s, contributed an autobiographical preface ...

Red Pill, Blue Pill

James Meek, 22 October 2020

... bears similarities to the influential American conspiracist text Behold a Pale Horse by William Cooper (which was published at about the time Icke reinvented himself as a prophet), and to the pseudo-leaks that drive QAnon, though QAnon tends to avoid the extraterrestrial. A cursory and much rationalised summary of Icke’s conspiracy theory goes like ...

A Babylonian Touch

Susan Pedersen: Weimar in Britain, 6 November 2008

‘We Danced All Night’: A Social History of Britain between the Wars 
by Martin Pugh.
Bodley Head, 495 pp., £20, July 2008, 978 0 224 07698 2
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... collapse and supine politics on which a revitalised postwar democracy resolutely turned its back. Martin Pugh will have none of this. Orwell’s text, he writes on the first page of ‘We Danced All Night’, was ‘more a piece of journalistic embellishment than the kind of sober account he was originally commissioned to write’, and the continued ...

Steaming Torsos

J. Hoberman, 6 February 1997

Westerns: Making the Man in Fiction and Film 
by Lee Clark Mitchell.
Chicago, 352 pp., £23.95, November 1996, 0 226 53234 8
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... of English at Princeton, traces the Western’s obsession with masculinity from James Fenimore Cooper through Owen Wister, Zane Grey and John Ford to Sergio Leone and Sam Peckinpah. His subject is the well-known tautology that a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. For Mitchell, the Western novel is essentially theatrical – a stage on which male ...

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