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On the Feast of Stephen

Karl Miller: Spender’s Journals, 30 August 2012

New Selected Journals, 1939-95 
by Stephen Spender and Lara Feigel, edited by John Sutherland.
Faber, 792 pp., £45, July 2012, 978 0 571 23757 9
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... himself the luckiest of his writer companions, happy in his personal life, ‘made up by Natasha, Matthew, Lizzie – by all of these’. This might sound faintly protesting. It also sounds like the persuasive voice of a family member. This new edition of his diaries, 1939 to 1995, has abundant evidence of his conflicting qualities, and is enough to suggest ...

Some people never expect to be expected

Penelope Fitzgerald: Omitted from ‘Innocence’, 19 December 2019

... English friend has fallen in love at last, ‘and so unsuitably’, with an art historian called Matthew Massini. But Massini, it becomes clear, is not in love with her. He has merely used her to gain an introduction to Chiara’s father, Count Ridolfi, in whose library Massini hopes to find Botticelli’s annotated herbal, the key to identifying the ...

How Movies End

David Thomson: John Boorman’s Quiet Ending, 20 February 2020

by John Boorman.
Faber, 237 pp., £20, February, 978 0 571 35379 8
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... He was still editing the Faber series Projections (13 volumes in all, aided by the late Matthew Evans and Walter Donohue), which was an unprecedented forum for filmmakers to talk at length about what they do. I co-edited Volume 4, with Tom Luddy, only because Boorman was occupied at the time shooting Beyond Rangoon (1995).Boorman may have seemed ...
The John Marsh Journals: The Life and Times of a Gentleman Composer (1752-1828) 
edited by Brian Robins.
Pendragon, 797 pp., $76, December 1998, 0 945193 94 7
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... giant foot of the statue of Constantine, is simply absent from contemporary musical culture. While Reynolds, in the Discourses, grapples with ‘the energy of Michaelangelo, and the beauty and simplicity of the antique’, and Wordsworth, in the preface to Lyrical Ballads, is in mortal combat with Milton and Pope, Haydn and Mozart are concentrating on purely ...

The Tower

Andrew O’Hagan, 7 June 2018

... together and are buried together.’ Nura had her books with her for her exams. Her chemistry, her Matthew Arnold, all of it going with her, as ‘the moon lies fair/Upon the straits’.Many of the Muslim women I spoke to weren’t keen on retribution. Most of them had no interest in apportioning blame or fighting over compensation. ‘It is all in the hands ...

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