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D.H. Lawrence and Gilbert Noon

Michael Black, 4 October 1984

... The whole text of Mr Noon has now been published for the first time, as a volume in the Cambridge Edition of the Letters and Works of D.H. Lawrence.* It is an unfinished novel of 292 pages, of which only the first 93 have previously been printed. Lawrence wrote the book between May 1920, when he had just finished The Lost Girl, and some time in 1921 ...

Watching a black man in the shower

Michael Wood, 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 ...

Even paranoids have enemies

Frank Kermode, 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 ...

Michael Hofmann reads his father’s book

Michael Hofmann, 25 June 1987

Our Conquest 
by Gert Hofmann, translated by Christopher Middleton.
Carcanet, 281 pp., £9.95, March 1987, 0 85635 687 5
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... is an unfortunate and an inferior. For all his ‘tall, fair-haired, pristine skull’, he suffers black-outs and headaches and periods of dizziness; indeed, hunger and pallor and loss seem to threaten him with becoming ‘transparent’. I cannot begin to say which predicament is closer to my father’s, Edgar’s or ‘ours’ – or if they are both equally ...

Is Michael Neve paranoid?

Michael Neve, 2 June 1983

... Certainly it doesn’t appear in the striking list of words for mad states reproduced in Michael Macdonald’s Mystical Bedlam, a study of 17th-century English sources. Instead we have ‘mad’, ‘lunatic’, ‘melancholy’, ‘stubborn’, ‘suspicious’, ‘fancies and conceits’, ‘frightening dreams’. This disappearance of the Classical ...

Stories of Black and White

Michael Wood, 4 October 1984

In Love and Trouble: Stories of Black Women 
by Alice Walker.
Women’s Press, 138 pp., £7.50, September 1984, 0 7043 2852 6
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Nights at the Circus 
by Angela Carter.
Chatto, 295 pp., £8.95, September 1984, 0 7011 3932 3
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Democracy 
by Joan Didion.
Chatto, 234 pp., £8.95, September 1984, 0 7011 2890 9
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... and tumbledown shacks. A young girl picking flowers stumbles on the body of a lynched man. An old black lady wanders into a segregated church and is bustled away by the congregation, who project onto her dazed, innocent face all their own mean and multiple fears. Poor blacks move North, become Muslims, and return as tourists to their past; others stay at home ...

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 ...

The Great Copyright Disaster

John Sutherland, 12 January 1995

Authors and Owners: The Invention of Copyright 
by Mark Rose.
Harvard, 176 pp., £21.95, October 1993, 0 674 05308 7
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Crimes of Writing: Problems in the Containment of Representation 
by Susan Stewart.
Duke, 353 pp., £15.95, November 1994, 0 8223 1545 9
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The Construction of Authorship: Textual Appropriation in Law and Literature 
edited by Martha Woodmansee and Peter Jaszi.
Duke, 562 pp., £42.75, January 1994, 0 8223 1412 6
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... the brink of those works entering the public domain, the public whose domain it is was informed by Michael Black of Cambridge University Press that the standard Lawrence texts were culpably imperfect. A new authorised edition was put in hand – and a new copyright thereby created. As I recall, the Lawrence estate’s agents, Laurence Pollinger, initially ...

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 ...

Black Electricities

John Sutherland, 30 October 1997

The Collected Letters of Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle. Vol. XXV: January-December 1850 
edited by Clyde de L. Ryals and K.J. Fielding.
Duke, 364 pp., £52, September 1997, 0 8223 1986 1
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Reminiscences 
by Thomas Carlyle, edited by K.J. Fielding and Ian Campbell.
Oxford, 481 pp., £7.99, September 1997, 0 19 281748 5
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... readers were not deluded). The abolitionists, McQuirk declared, had made of the West Indies ‘a black Ireland’ – with a population which was ‘free’ in name but degraded and destitute in condition. Not that the negroes, any more than the Irish, resented their degradation, so long as they had vegetables (potatoes or pumpkins) to keep the walls of ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: The gangster movie, 13 December 2007

American Gangster 
directed by Ridley Scott.
November 2007
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... 1982, and Scott’s most successful works since then, on any terms, have been Gladiator (2000) and Black Hawk Down (2001). Until now, that is. It’s a pleasure to report that American Gangster is a stylish and intelligent contribution to the genre evoked by the title, a little overhaunted by past masterpieces and in the end perhaps dwarfed by them, but ...

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 ...

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 ...

Crowing

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 ...

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