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4 October 1984
... a ready-made act, and ... thoroughly annoyed with everything’. He won’t therefore accept moral blackmail, or even basic responsibility. ‘I didn’t invent the problem,’ he says; he won’t accept the normal solution even if the refusal bears hard on the woman. Patty has her own theories about that problem: she wants the state to support motherhood, and ...
24 August 1995
F.R. Leavis: A Life in Criticism 
by Ian MacKillop.
Allen Lane, 476 pp., £25, July 1995, 0 7139 9062 7
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... at the time of its submission a Syndic of the Press, and Watson was very rude to me, the publisher Michael Black preferred not to submit a proposal to the Syndicate. I hope and believe this is not true, and that Black, a serious Leavisian with whom I was quite genially associated for a good many years, knew me well ...
12 September 1991
Young Soul Rebels 
directed by Isaac Julien.
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Diary of a Young Soul Rebel 
by Isaac Julien and Colin MacCabe.
BFI, 218 pp., £10.95, September 1991, 0 85170 310 0
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... alternate on the disco deck; punk and soul styles are jumbled on the dance floor. Men and women, black and white, gays and straights, mix easily if loudly, having a good time. Two men are seen kissing, but only a newcomer, and our camera, linger over the event. The general effect is raucous and chaotic, but not strident or violent. The punks don’t really ...

On Michael O’Brien

August Kleinzahler: Michael O’Brien

16 February 2017
... few​ significant American poets called as little attention to themselves in their lifetimes as Michael O’Brien, who died last November at the age of 77. Much as with Lorine Niedecker – whose ‘silences’, he wrote, ‘derive from an intellectual conviction that art, like science, demands total concentration on the object of attention’ – his ...

Three Poems

Michael Hofmann

2 July 1998
... Loves Frank Harris. And a syringe for afters. Parerga In the bedside drawer of a hotel room in the black naugahyde and pigtail German Eighties, I came upon the Yellow Pages and a Gideon Bible, one of them – which one? – pregnant with the local chickenhawk ...

Two Poems

Michael Hofmann

6 May 1982
... scholar. Diablerie Your ringed hands clutch your elbows. In your arms is someone else’s child, a black-eyed baby girl dressed like His Satanic Majesty in a red romper suit: a gleeful crustacean, executing pincer ...

Five Poems

Günter Eich, translated by Michael Hofmann

23 June 2005
... days, blue snow, time tucked away in cut-out arches, time is blue, time is snow, red sleeves, black hat, time is a yellow woman. Angina days, Swiss, blue Devon, black Cambrium, commedia dell’arte time, slipper red and Silurian red, wall map of England yellow and time. Angina days, blue Kent, time so yellow that none ...

Welcome Home

Sukhdev Sandhu: Memories of Michael X

4 February 1999
Windrush: The Irresistible Rise of Multiracial Britain 
by Mike Phillips and Trevor Phillips.
HarperCollins, 422 pp., £16.99, May 1998, 0 00 255909 9
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... if that myth has become entrenched in the wake of last year’s 50th-anniversary celebrations. Black people had lived here for years: in addition to the long-established communities in Liverpool and Cardiff, thousands of Caribbean men and women had served in the RAF and worked as technicians and electricians in factories in the North-West during World War ...

Digital Recordings

Michael Hofmann

20 June 1985
... security guard at HMV and abject night-time guitarist, tapping his foot into a pile of blankets, black-and-blue notes whimpering through the floor ... My fingers whiten as they bunch themselves to grip my father’s pen. Silver and surgically thin, taken in error, its ink is thicker than ...

Lament for Crassus

Michael Hofmann

26 October 1989
... Crassus, whose standards wouldn’t rise on the final day, who came out of his corner in careless black, whose head, when severed, was a day younger than his ...

Two Poems

Michael Hofmann

30 August 2018
... her mystery rucksack and impenetrable wraparounds, her superbly articulated deltoids under the black wife-beater –     to iodine from ...

Two Poems

Durs Grünbein, translated by Michael Hofmann

4 November 2004
... mole on the edge of a wheat field is deceptive. Under it is a rendezvous for beetles, armed and in black. Above it wheels a hawk with ruffled wings, till he veers away. Like sappers at the double, ants dig a trench along the spine. On its inside the wires are glowing, nervous maggots on the ticker tape. From the stomach lining traders in coloured jackets (or ...


Michael Rogin

5 September 1996
Imagineering Atlanta 
by Charles Rutheiser.
Verso, 324 pp., £44.95, July 1996, 1 85984 800 1
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... was sung to open the games. Only Americans – Dennis Mitchell after winning a 100-metres heat and Michael Johnson after taking the 200-metre gold – puffed out their chests and pulled their jerseys to display the national emblem. Only Americans accused an Irish swimmer of using drugs when she won the Olympic gold. Only an eliminated American boxer, Fernando ...

Blame it on the boogie

Andrew O’Hagan: In Pursuit of Michael Jackson

6 July 2006
On Michael Jackson 
by Margo Jefferson.
Pantheon, 146 pp., $20, January 2006, 0 375 42326 5
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... Since being acquitted of child molestation charges last summer, Michael Jackson has been hanging out in Bahrain, enjoying the hospitality of the ruler’s poptastic son Sheikh Abdullah. Jackson is said to have become a Muslim (which is sure to please his critics on Good Morning America), but evidence would suggest he has yet to get the hang of Islamic custom ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘12 Years a Slave’

6 February 2014
12 Years a Slave 
directed by Steve McQueen.
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... but an art exhibition or a class in design. The frame fills with colours and lines, gold, green, black, yellow, dusty grey, sharp, blurry, fading. The effect is one of pure abstraction, and very beautiful. This effect remains even when the colours and lines resolve into figures, landscapes, objects. Now we see a river, a meadow, a line of trees, the churning ...

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