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Michael Neve, 17 October 1985

Hamlet Closely Observed 
by Martin Dodsworth.
Athlone, 316 pp., £18, July 1985, 0 485 11283 3
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edited by Philip Edwards.
Cambridge, 245 pp., £15, June 1985, 9780521221511
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The Renaissance Hamlet: Issues and Responses in 1600 
by Roland Mushat Frye.
Princeton, 398 pp., £23.75, December 1983, 0 691 06579 9
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... only if long enough to mourn his own life. Of course, he will do more than that, and it is part of Martin Dodsworth’s task in Hamlet Closely Observed to examine the code of conduct, and the place of honour, in the life of the Prince and others, to bring out what might be called the under-examined social history of the play. But Hamlet, one way or ...

Out of the blue

Mark Ford, 10 December 1987

Meeting the British 
by Paul Muldoon.
Faber, 53 pp., £9.95, May 1987, 0 571 14858 1
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Partingtime Hall 
by James Fenton and John Fuller.
Salamander, 69 pp., £7.50, April 1987, 0 948681 05 5
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Private Parts 
by Fiona Pitt-Kethley.
Chatto, 72 pp., £4.95, June 1987, 9780701132064
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Bright River Yonder 
by John Hartley Williams.
Bloodaxe, 87 pp., £4.95, April 1987, 1 85224 028 8
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... the book is a Geoffrey Hill parody which pictures Hill playing tennis against his devoted admirer Martin Dodsworth: Who crouches at the net, his mouth compressed Severely to a little Gothic slit? On the whole, though, the book falls well short of its pre-match billing. Most of the poems are too long, and too many of the jokes fall flat. Humour supposed ...

Textual Harassment

Claude Rawson, 5 April 1984

The World, the Text and the Critic 
by Edward Said.
Faber, 327 pp., £15, February 1984, 0 571 13264 2
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The Deconstructive Turn: Essays in the Rhetoric of Philosophy 
by Christopher Norris.
Methuen, 201 pp., £4.95, December 1983, 0 416 36140 4
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The New Pelican Guide to English Literature. Vol. VIII: The Present 
edited by Boris Ford.
Penguin, 619 pp., £3.50, October 1983, 0 14 022271 5
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... into mere interpretative novelty’: it’s a relief to hear that somebody dislikes it. Actually, Martin Dodsworth dislikes it too. He contributes a primly disapproving piece on formalism, structuralism and post-structuralism to the latest volume of Boris Ford’s ‘Pelican Guide’. It’s one of three essays broadly surveying the ...

A Susceptible Man

Ian Sansom: The Unhappy Laureate, 4 March 1999

Living in Time: The Poetry of C. Day Lewis 
by Albert Gelpi.
Oxford, 246 pp., £30, March 1998, 0 19 509863 3
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... have been, according to A. Alvarez, ‘a professional patrician’, but he was also, according to Martin Dodsworth, guilty of ‘artistic parasitism’. In his capacity as Poet Laureate, according to Julian Symons, even ‘the task of producing semiofficial occasional poems that were also of poetic interest defeated him.’ The Times obituary summed him ...

On a Chinese Mountain

Frank Kermode, 20 November 1986

The Royal Beasts 
by William Empson.
Chatto, 201 pp., £12.95, November 1986, 0 7011 3084 9
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Essays on Shakespeare 
by William Empson.
Cambridge, 246 pp., £25, May 1986, 0 521 25577 5
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... then, the apparent romanticism achieved, they become scientific again.’ Much later, Empson told Martin Dodsworth that the structural idea had been ‘to take a story and interpose a scene of apparently total irrelevance in the middle’: we can now confirm the accuracy of that recollection as well as offering belated congratulations to the Granta ...

You Muddy Fools

Dan Jacobson: In the months before his death Ian Hamilton talked about himself to Dan Jacobson, 14 January 2002

... a coeditor? No, I was the editor. We had a committee consisting of John Fuller, Francis Hope, Martin Dodsworth, Colin Falck, Michael Fried and Gabriel Pearson. We never had meetings or anything like that. There was a lot of correspondence, because John went to Buffalo for a year. So he wrote to me a lot from there. And Michael and Colin had already ...

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