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Böllfrischgrasshandke

David Midgley: Martin Walser, 8 August 2002

Tod eines Kritikers 
by Martin Walser.
Suhrkamp, 219 pp., €19.90, June 2002, 3 518 41378 3
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... at the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, declared in an open letter that he had refused to serialise Martin Walser’s novel Tod eines Kritikers, or ‘Death of a Critic’, on the grounds that it was a ‘document of hatred’, a fantasy ‘execution’ of the literary critic Marcel Reich-Ranicki. In Walser’s book a ...

Getting back

Adrian Poole, 1 July 1982

A crowd is not company 
by Robert Kee.
Cape, 240 pp., £7.50, May 1982, 9780224020039
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Bedbugs 
by Clive Sinclair.
Allison and Busby, 109 pp., £6.95, May 1982, 0 85031 454 2
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New Writing and Writers 19 
John Calder, 262 pp., £6.95, April 1982, 0 7145 3811 6Show More
Zhenia’s Childhood 
by Boris Pasternak, translated by Alec Brown.
Allison and Busby, 115 pp., £6.95, May 1982, 0 85031 466 6
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... Blessed You.’ The only extended piece other than Mulisch’s is a dreary novella by the German Martin Walser. ‘Antique Air’ is built on a wry conceit. Arnold, a chemical engineer, is struck with the idea that the air sealed in a rubber tyre or a ping-pong ball or a hollow decanter stopper is literally air that belongs to the past, arrested and ...

Still Superior

Mark Greif: Sex and Susan Sontag, 12 February 2009

Reborn: Early Diaries, 1947-64 
by Susan Sontag, edited by David Rieff.
Hamish Hamilton, 318 pp., £16.99, January 2009, 978 0 241 14431 2
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... as much as Les Misérables, which she had read before she was nine. She also read Jack London’s Martin Eden, a book about a self-taught writer which she later suspected had given her inspiration for her future life. A schoolteacher called Mr Starkie, recognising an unusual capacity in the girl, lent her The Sorrows of Young Werther. She started keeping a ...

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