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Goings-On at Eagle Lake

Christopher Tayler: Barry Hannah, 29 November 2001

Yonder Stands Your Orphan 
by Barry Hannah.
Atlantic, 336 pp., £9.99, September 2001, 1 903809 16 9
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... than the other Eagle Lake inhabitants who populate Barry Hannah’s new novel. They include Max Raymond, a melancholy saxophonist looking for a vision of God; Byron Egan, a preacher and ex-biker, tattooed on the cheek with a Maltese cross and given to injecting himself with holy water at the pulpit; Melanie Wooten, a beautiful widow in her seventies ...

God wielded the buzzer

Christian Lorentzen: The Sorrows of DFW, 11 October 2012

Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace 
by D.T. Max.
Granta, 352 pp., £20, September 2012, 978 1 84708 494 1
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... misremembering or paraphrasing a line of Virginia Woolf’s about Henry James) grew out of D.T. Max’s post-mortem profile of Wallace for the New Yorker, and is very much the version of his life as seen from Times Square. ‘Every story has a beginning and this is David Wallace’s’ is Max’s first sentence. It’s a ...

Stuck with Your Own Face

Bee Wilson: The Beauty Industry, 8 July 2010

Beauty Imagined: A History of the Global Beauty Industry 
by Geoffrey Jones.
Oxford, 412 pp., £25, February 2010, 978 0 19 955649 6
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... her; her grooming consisted of Pond’s Cold Cream, a spritz of L’Air du Temps and a dab of Max Factor’s Truly Fair Crème Puff. Still, when judging others, she clung to the old rules: top lid, good; lower lid, bad. Given how fierce and how conservative our ideas about looks and personal hygiene tend to be, the growth of the global beauty industry ...

At the Malin Gallery

Adam Shatz: Oliver Lee Jackson, 5 March 2020

... National Gallery in Washington, the painter Oliver Lee Jackson recalled hearing Charlie Parker and Max Roach play at nightclubs in the 1950s. Jackson, who was born in 1935, grew up during the Bebop revolution, and the kinetic language of his canvases echoes the freedom and spontaneity of jazz performance. But what most impressed him about the musicians he ...

At the Hydropathic

T.J. Binyon, 6 December 1984

Agatha Christie 
by Janet Morgan.
Collins, 393 pp., £12.95, September 1984, 0 00 216330 6
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... madcap elder sister Madge once came down to dinner at Cheadle Hall ‘dressed as a cricketer, in black breeches, cricket cap and shorts’. Even while boggling at Ms Morgan’s conception of a cricketer’s normal attire, one realises that she hasn’t addressed herself to the really important question: how on earth did Madge manage to get her shorts on over ...

Short Cuts

Sadiah Qureshi: Black History, 22 November 2018

... scholar of British and French colonialism who teaches at Bath Spa University – became the first black woman to be appointed to a chair in history at a UK university, and only the second black academic (the first was Hakim Adi, who teaches the history of Africa and the African diaspora at the University of ...


Patrick Hughes: What do artists do?, 24 July 1986

... in Edmund Leach’s review of Lévi-Strauss’s latest, The View from Afar, that ‘the essay on Max Ernst contains an analysis of that artist’s celebrated construction of a sewing-machine and an umbrella on a dissection table.’ It does not. I have been to the British Library and looked at The View from Afar. The essay in question refers, and presumes ...

Having taken off my wheels

Martin Elliott, 30 December 1982

... same principle do hens take dust-baths. As a result her hair is fine but faded, a dry umbrella-black. Her skirts and dresses she mostly buys in brooch-like shops in suburbs and small towns. As for her physical measurements, Celia would not mind my telling that she is five foot four on her naked soles. Her sectional dimensions, though, I shall not ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: Max Ophuls, 9 October 2008

... Lovers of the films of Max Ophuls always return to La Ronde (1950). Its intricate, revolving story, visually represented by a highly stylised carousel, is certainly gracefully told. Each character in the film moves on from one partner to another, prostitute to soldier to servant to rich young man to erring wife to worldly husband to midinette to writer to actress to foppish aristocrat and back to the prostitute, and the narrative seems full of wisdom about the shallows of the human heart ...

Heart of Darkness

Christopher Hitchens, 28 June 1990

Not Many Dead: Journal of a Year in Fleet Street 
by Nicholas Garland.
Hutchinson, 299 pp., £16.95, April 1990, 0 09 174449 0
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A Slight Case of Libel: Meacher v. Trelford and Others 
by Alan Watkins.
Duckworth, 241 pp., £14.95, June 1990, 0 7156 2334 6
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... Alexander reminded me that Black once said that he was prepared to let his editors have a completely free hand except on one subject. He forbade attacks on American Presidents in general and President Reagan in particular. Entry for 18 April 1986, Not Many Dead The success of Michael Moore’s film about Roger Smith and General Motors has aroused an envious spirit of emulation in my breast ...

End of Story

Robert Taubman, 20 November 1980

A Humument 
by Tom Phillips.
Thames and Hudson, 367 pp., £12, October 1980, 0 500 09146 3
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The Past 
by Neil Jordan.
Cape, 232 pp., £6.50, October 1980, 0 224 01845 0
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Black Tickets 
by Jayne Anne Phillips.
Allen Lane, 194 pp., £5.95, October 1980, 0 7139 1354 1
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... or isthmuses that stand out to be read as words. If there’s a connection with games played by Max Beerbohm and Joe Orton in ‘treating’ a printed text, A Humument is never merely subversive or facetious, and pictorially is highly effective. There are pages that suggest soil profiles as used by ecologists, or Matisse cut-outs or Pop Art fashions: but ...

Aryan Warlords in their Chariots

Edmund Leach, 2 April 1987

Black Athena: The Afro-Asiatic Roots of Classical Civilisation. 
by Martin Bernal.
Free Association, 575 pp., £30, March 1987, 0 946960 55 0
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... to the south of Crete. Everything to the north was European and White; everything to the south was Black or Semitic. Since the first millennium BC everything that had ever come out of Egypt or Palestine or Arabia was utterly contemptible. That was what we learned on weekdays: on Sundays Palestine became the Holy Land and St Paul’s misadventures in Asia Minor ...

Zimbabwe is kenge

J.D.F. Jones, 7 July 1983

Under the Skin 
by David Caute.
Allen Lane, 447 pp., £14.95, February 1983, 0 7139 1357 6
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The K-Factor 
by David Caute.
Joseph, 216 pp., £8.95, May 1983, 0 7181 2260 7
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... field). The South Africans have meddled, because Mugabe to them is the Antichrist and a successful black government cannot be endured, least of all on the north bank of the Limpopo. But it wasn’t Pretoria’s mischief that caused Zimbabwe to split open along the fundamental tribal divide of Shona and Ndebele, as everyone forecast though many deceived ...

At the V&A

Peter Campbell: Yohji Yamamoto, 14 April 2011

... immaculate finish. Fashion, like architecture, shapes materials to protect us. Take W23: long black silk dress with button-down sides. It hangs straight; the long rows of small, black, almost-touching buttons that hold it together – like, but also very unlike, Versace’s gold safety pins – reveal almost nothing. It ...

Uncle Zindel

Gabriele Annan, 2 September 1982

The Collected Stories of Isaac Bashevis Singer 
Cape, 610 pp., £10.50, July 1982, 0 224 02024 2Show More
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... parapsychology. All this gives him an opportunity to exercise his underexploited gift for Jewish black humour. In a technically brilliant, very short story, Max Greitzer goes to the funeral of a former mistress. At the funeral parlour he is taken to see her lying in her coffin, ‘all fixed up’ by the mortician. A woman ...

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