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Gentlemen Travellers

D.A.N. Jones, 15 September 1983

George Borrow: Eccentric 
by Michael Collie.
Cambridge, 275 pp., £19.50, November 1982, 0 521 24615 6
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A World of his Own: The Double Life of George Borrow 
by David Williams.
Oxford, 178 pp., £7.95, September 1982, 0 19 211762 9
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Eothen: Traces of Travel Brought Home from the East 
by Alexander Kinglake and Jan Morris.
Oxford, 279 pp., £2.95, November 1982, 0 19 281361 7
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by Alexander Kinglake and Jonathan Raban.
Century, 226 pp., £6.95, September 1982, 0 7126 0031 0
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... aged 78, Kinglake in 1891, aged 82) but play very different roles in the 20th-century imagination. Michael Collie, the more severe of Borrow’s new biographers, notes the instructions Borrow’s publisher gave him when he was writing The Bible in Spain: he was told to report his remarkable achievements, experiences and skills ‘in a natural manner, as ...


Nicholas Penny, 3 November 1983

Constable: The Painter and his Landscape 
by Michael Rosenthal.
Yale, 255 pp., £15.95, April 1983, 0 300 03014 2
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Constable’s England 
by Graham Reynolds.
Weidenfeld, 184 pp., £12.95, September 1983, 0 297 78359 9
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... A good pile of muck was a glad sight to the farmer. And Constable was careful to paint, as Michael Rosenthal points out, not only the way it is shovelled and carried off, but, in a delightful miniature scene in the middle distance, the way it is ploughed in. This was a surprising wedding present, we may suppose, to paint for the daughter of a local ...


Iain Sinclair: Ferlinghetti, 17 December 2015

I Greet You at the Beginning of a Great Career: The Selected Correspondence of Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Allen Ginsberg, 1955–97 
edited by Bill Morgan.
City Lights, 284 pp., £11.83, July 2015, 978 0 87286 678 2
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Writing across the Landscape: Travel Journals 1960-2010 
by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, edited by Giada Diano and Matthew Gleeson.
Liveright, 464 pp., £22.99, October 2015, 978 1 63149 001 9
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... George Harrison at the dawn of Swinging London. When I interviewed one of the Six Gallery poets, Michael McClure, in 2011, he recalled earlier episodes of Dionysian frenzy with Gerd Stern and a thrash of ‘belly dancers and bongo drums’. Nights that were much closer to Ranald MacDougall’s Hollywood travesty of Kerouac’s San Francisco novella The ...

I am a severed head

Colin Burrow: Iris Murdoch’s Incompatibilities, 11 August 2016

‘The Sea, the Sea’; ‘A Severed Head’ 
by Iris Murdoch.
Everyman, 680 pp., £14.99, March 2016, 978 1 84159 370 8
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... English tutor at Christ Church in the 1950s and 1960s, J.I.M. Stewart, wrote detective fiction as Michael Innes, and Edmund Crispin took his pseudonym from one of his novels) could be regarded as Murdoch without the metaphysics. But of course Murdoch without the metaphysics would not quite be Murdoch. Her chief contribution to the English novel was to create ...

The Special Motion of a Hand

T.J. Clark: Courbet and Poussin at the Met, 24 April 2008

... reckoned with. The writer who has entered most deeply into this moment of Courbet’s imagining is Michael Fried. The material world in Courbet, Fried persuades us, is not to be thought of as something separate from the body that encounters it. Painting consists in finding a way of intimating the deep continuity between body (meaning the body’s experience of ...


David Craig: Barra Microcosm, 24 May 2001

... the day on Vatersay to the south. I went there with my wife in 1988 on a wee ferry shared with a collie dog, a bag of potatoes and a bag of onions. Now the narrows of the kyle are bridged by a causeway. Petrol, building materials and animal feed can be shifted over in minutes. The village used to look like an abandoned film set. One house had tattered tin ...

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