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Apartheid gains a constitution

Keith Kyle, 1 May 1980

Ethnic Power Mobilised: Can South Africa change? 
by Heribert Adam.
Yale, 308 pp., £14.20, October 1979, 0 300 02377 4
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Transkei’s Half Loaf: Race Separatism in South Africa 
by Newell Stultz.
Yale, 183 pp., £10.10, October 1979, 0 300 02333 2
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Year of Fire, Year of Ash The Soweto Revolt: Roots of a Revolution? 
by Baruch Hirson.
Zed, 348 pp., £12.95, June 1979, 0 905762 28 2
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The past is another country: Rhodesia 1890-1979 
by Martin Meredith.
Deutsch, 383 pp., £9.95, October 1979, 0 233 97121 1
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... Joshua Nkomo to the assumption of the premiership by the first black African occupant, is told by Martin Meredith, a British journalistwho worked in Southern Africa for the Observer and afterwards forthe Sunday Times, in a book with the curious title The past is another country. The misleading subtitle Rhodesia 1890-1979 suggests that the past is ...

Ripping Yarns

John Sutherland, 8 April 1993

Tennyson 
by Michael Thorn.
Little, Brown, 566 pp., £18.99, October 1992, 0 316 90299 3
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Tennyson 
by Peter Levi.
Macmillan, 370 pp., £20, March 1993, 0 333 52205 2
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... publishers have found it pays to have five separate editions of Barchester Towers in print, but no Meredith or Lytton, so it pays to commission the same big familiar lives time and again. Because of the duplication biographers are keener than ever to find fresh angles. Few have new evidence, everyone has a new line. What emerges is less a contest as to which ...

Bourgeois Masterpieces

Julian Symons, 13 June 1991

Literature and Liberation: Selected Essays 
by Arnold Kettle, edited by Graham Martin and W.R. Owens.
Manchester, 231 pp., £9.95, February 1991, 9780719027734
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... or delight me as much as I feel it ought to’. And, again very convincingly, Kettle suggests that Meredith’s barbed-wire fence of extravagant style was a desperate attempt to conceal his lack of belief in the standpoint he had adapted, as he had adapted much in his style, from Carlyle. There is a fine essay here on the liberating quality of ...

Fitz

John Bayley, 4 April 1985

With Friends Possessed: A Life of Edward FitzGerald 
by Robert Bernard Martin.
Faber, 313 pp., £17.50, February 1985, 0 571 13462 9
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... is sui generis in the same way. It also seems to stand outside its author. Although Professor Martin does the best that can be done with him, FitzGerald was not, from the literary point of view, a particularly interesting man. He lacks the artistic quiddity of even such minor Victorian figures as Coventry Patmore or Francis Thompson. He is cousin to ...

Dancing and Flirting

Mark Ford: Apollinaire, 24 May 2018

Zone: Selected Poems 
by Guillaume Apollinaire, translated by Ron Padgett.
NYRB, 251 pp., £9.99, January 2016, 978 1 59017 924 6
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Selected Poems 
by Guillaume Apollinaire, translated by Martin Sorrell.
Oxford, 281 pp., £9.99, November 2015, 978 0 19 968759 6
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... other translators have attempted to replicate in various ways: ‘Decapitated sun’ (William Meredith); ‘Sun slit throat’ (Anne Hyde Greet); ‘The sun a severed neck’ (Roger Shattuck); ‘Sun neck cut’ (Beverley Bie Brahic); ‘Let the sun beheaded be’ (David Lehman); ‘Sun sundered head’ (...

Sheets

Robert Bernard Martin, 4 April 1985

The Collected Letters of William Morris. Vol. I: 1848-1880 
edited by Norman Kelvin.
Princeton, 626 pp., £50.30, April 1984, 0 691 06501 2
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... Kelvin, who has written on Forster and is the author of an indispensable critical book about Meredith, has apparently been at work on this correspondence for a long time, and his familiarity shows, for the notes are admirably concise and relevant. Inevitably, in a book of this size, there are a few unimportant errors, such as the misspelling of the name ...

Likeable People

John Sutherland, 15 May 1980

Book Society 
by Graham Watson.
Deutsch, 164 pp., £6.50, April 1980, 0 233 97160 2
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The Publishers Association Annual Report 1979-80 
73 pp.Show More
Private Presses and Publishing in England since 1945 
by H.E. Bellamy.
Clive Bingley, 168 pp., £15, March 1980, 0 85157 297 9
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... sodality which flourished in the golden age between author and publisher. We are told that Scott Meredith, the most dynamic of contemporary American agents, will put a ‘hot’ book out for auction to thirty or forty publishers simultaneously. Partners thus brought together are unlikely to love or even trust one another. In this way, it is argued, agents ...

Lord Fitzcricket

P.N. Furbank: The composer’s life, 21 May 1998

Lord Berners: The Last Eccentric 
by Mark Amory.
Chatto, 274 pp., £20, March 1998, 1 85619 234 2
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... composed on it, deriving motifs from the countryside through which he drove.’ In Meredith Etherington-Smith’s Dalí (1992), this becomes: ‘When Dalí met him he was the First Secretary at the British Embassy in Rome, and excited a good deal of interest by driving about the city in a Rolls-Royce specially adapted to take a spinet on which ...

My Old, Sweet, Darling Mob

Iain Sinclair: Michael Moorcock, 30 November 2000

King of the City 
by Michael Moorcock.
Scribner, 421 pp., £9.99, May 2000, 0 684 86140 2
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Mother London 
by Michael Moorcock.
Scribner, 496 pp., £6.99, May 2000, 0 684 86141 0
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... that it would not otherwise espouse. Here is the unreconstructed ‘engine of comedy’, Rex Martin (‘the famous farting novelist’) and his diminutive son, Felix. Here is ‘Jillian Burnes’, a transsexual romancer. But these knockabout cartoons are absorbed into a chiaroscuro of the forgotten, denizens of the deep recalled and re-remembered. The ...

Starting over

Malise Ruthven, 9 July 1987

Cities on a Hill 
by Frances FitzGerald.
Picador, 414 pp., £4.50, March 1987, 0 330 29845 3
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... occurred in response to the Civil Rights movement of the Sixties, when liberal preachers followed Martin Luther King’s use of religious vocabulary to challenge the status quo: the success of the movement demonstrated to conservatives like Falwell that preachers could be politically effective. Intelligently, the preachers of the New Right saw that they would ...

The Hell out of Dodge

Jeremy Harding: Woodstock 1969, 15 August 2019

Woodstock: Three Days of Peace and Music 
by Michael Lang.
Reel Art Press, 289 pp., £44.95, July 2019, 978 1 909526 62 4
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... didn’t make it onto the stage until Monday morning; most of the crowd had already left. With Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy assassinated, Nixon in the White House, the Salt I treaty still a few years off and nearly half a million troops in Vietnam, three of those memorable turns were in ‘protest’ mode: Havens’s sampling of the 19th-century ...

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