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No nation I’ve ever heard of

Garth Greenwell: Matthew Griffin’s ‘Hide’, 19 January 2017

by Matthew Griffin.
Bloomsbury, 272 pp., £16.99, August 2016, 978 1 4088 6708 2
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... At the beginning​ of Matthew Griffin’s novel, Wendell, his eighty-something narrator, finds his partner collapsed in their garden, face up in the North Carolina sun. Frank will recover from the immediate effects of his stroke, but the book charts his decline into physical debility and dementia, as well as Wendell’s increasingly desperate efforts to care for him ...

Homer’s Gods

Colin Macleod, 6 August 1981

Homer on Life and Death 
by Jasper Griffin.
Oxford, 218 pp., £12.50, July 1980, 0 19 814016 9
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by Jasper Griffin.
Oxford, 82 pp., October 1980, 0 19 287532 9
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Homer: The Odyssey 
translated by Walter Shewring.
Oxford, 346 pp., £7.95, September 1980, 0 19 251019 3
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... Germany and Austria, in the last forty years a body of writing has grown up there which, in Mr Griffin’s phrase, makes ‘intellectually respectable the instinctive response of the audience’. Mr Griffin brings English scholarship up to date by bringing it firmly back to Homer. He generously acknowledges his debt to ...

People Like You

David Edgar: In Burnley, 23 September 2021

On Burnley Road: Class, Race and Politics in a Northern English Town 
by Mike Makin-Waite.
Lawrence and Wishart, 274 pp., £17, May, 978 1 913546 02 1
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... exploitation of the right to free speech (at the 2001 general election, the party leader, Nick Griffin, appeared at the Oldham West and Royton count wearing a gag) expanded the boundaries of what was allowed to be said about immigration. The assertions of special treatment for Asians helped build resentment that would fester for the next two decades. In ...


Tom Shippey: The Druids, 9 July 2009

Blood and Mistletoe: The History of the Druids in Britain 
by Ronald Hutton.
Yale, 491 pp., £30, May 2009, 978 0 300 14485 7
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... copying each other or sources now lost, that Pliny appears to have been ready to believe anything, griffin-robbing Arimaspians included, that Caesar in particular had an evident agenda of imperial self-justification, and that some of the things reported of druids are not very different from the behaviour of Roman haruspices. As for the Celtic evidence, none of ...

Like a Meteorite

James Davidson, 31 July 1997

Homer in English 
edited by George Steiner.
Penguin, 355 pp., £9.99, April 1996, 0 14 044621 4
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Homer’s ‘Iliad’ 
translated by Stanley Lombardo.
Hackett, 584 pp., £6.95, May 1997, 0 87220 352 2
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Homer’s ‘Odyssey’ 
translated by Robert Fagles.
Viking, 541 pp., £25, April 1997, 0 670 82162 4
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... dominated student bibliographies; but in the lecture-halls there were signs of a reaction. Jasper Griffin and Oliver Taplin in particular drew attention to the imaginative world of the poet, emphasising unity, humanity and narrative complexity. This seemed a much more rewarding approach to those for whom the most remarkable feature of the epics had always ...

The Empty Bath

Colin Burrow: ‘The Iliad’, 18 June 2015

Homer: ‘The Iliad’ 
translated by Peter Green.
California, 560 pp., £19.95, May 2015, 978 0 520 28141 7
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... the how and the when and who it takes with it are not certain. In​ ‘On Translating Homer’ Matthew Arnold described Homer as ‘eminently noble’, ‘eminently rapid’ and ‘eminently plain and direct’ in style and ideas. Homer ‘has, besides, the pure lines of an Ionian horizon, the liquid clearness of an Ionian sky’. These assertions are ...

How far shall I take this character?

Richard Poirier: The Corruption of Literary Biography, 2 November 2000

Bellow: A Biography 
by James Atlas.
Faber, 686 pp., £25, November 2000, 0 571 14356 3
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... not only in a letter to Bellow’s editor but, afterwards, in his encomium to the novel in the Griffin, a readers’ subscription newsletter. Despite this, Bellow insisted on believing that Trilling (as he complained to William Phillips) had been conspiring against him and the book, and was responsible even for arranging the negative review of Augie March ...

Who Are They?

Jenny Turner: The Institute of Ideas, 8 July 2010

... with, in open debate. For example, the Battle of Ideas I attended took place the week after Nick Griffin’s turn on Question Time, so there was lots of talk about ‘the right to be offensive’ and ‘illiberal liberalism’, while at the same time it was made clear that the principle of free speech was being defended, not the views of the BNP. The pairing ...

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