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What Family Does to You

Eleanor Birne: Anne Enright, 18 October 2007

The Gathering 
by Anne Enright.
Cape, 261 pp., £12.99, May 2007, 978 0 224 07873 3
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... The Gathering – Anne Enright’s fourth novel, and her best – is aware of its heritage, of the books that have gone before it. It makes use of familiar signals and motifs. It is centred on a wake for a man who has died early: an alcoholic who was betrayed as a child, part of a large, chaotic family. So far so Irish ...

The Land of Serendipity

D.J. Enright, 23 September 1993

The True Paradise 
by Gamini Salgado.
Carcanet, 192 pp., £14.95, May 1993, 1 85754 007 7
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... and finally, in 1977, as Professor of English at Exeter. He died in 1985, at the age of 56. As Michael Schmidt remarks in his preface, posthumous publication often has an air of piety about it. Not in this case. The pieces in The True Paradise have been sparely and efficiently edited by Salgado’s widow, Fenella Copplestone, who has had the ...

The German Ocean

D.J. Enright: Suffolk Blues, 17 September 1998

The Rings of Saturn 
by W.G. Sebald, translated by Michael Hulse.
Harvill, 296 pp., £15.99, June 1998, 1 86046 398 3
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... the fetching. More engaging is a visit to the village of Middleton, and to the poet and critic Michael Hamburger, whose dreams and memories might have been created expressly for this book. ‘Why it was that on my first visit to Michael’s house I instantly felt as if I lived or had once lived there, in every respect ...

Self-Positioning

Stefan Collini: The Movement, 25 June 2009

The Movement Reconsidered: Essays on Larkin, Amis, Gunn, Davie and Their Contemporaries 
edited by Zachary Leader.
Oxford, 336 pp., £18.99, May 2009, 978 0 19 955825 4
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... wider public attention, its defining genre was the anthology. Poets of the 1950s, edited by D.J. Enright, appeared in 1955, followed a year later by New Lines, edited by Robert Conquest. Enright’s volume contained work by eight poets: Robert Conquest, D.J. Enright, Kingsley ...

Christ’s Teeth

C.K. Stead, 10 October 1991

Studies in the Ezra Pound 
by Donald Davie.
Carcanet, 388 pp., £25, April 1991, 0 85635 850 9
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Poems 1963-1983 
by Michael Longley.
Secker, 205 pp., £8, August 1991, 0 436 25676 2
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Under the Circumstances 
by D.J. Enright.
Oxford, 64 pp., £5.99, May 1991, 0 19 282834 7
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In the Echoey Tunnel 
by Christopher Reid.
Faber, 73 pp., £12.99, September 1991, 0 571 16252 5
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A Cold Coming 
by Tony Harrison.
Bloodaxe, 16 pp., £2.95, July 1991, 1 85224 186 1
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... them. It must also mean constant expectations and pressures that have constantly to be resisted. Michael Longley has acknowledged that a poet ‘would be inhuman if he did not respond to tragic events in his own community, and a poor artist if he did not seek to endorse that response imaginatively’ – and if the latter part of that sentence means ‘if he ...

Much to be endured

D.J. Enright, 27 June 1991

Samuel Johnson in the Medical World: The Doctor and the Patient 
by John Wiltshire.
Cambridge, 293 pp., £30, March 1991, 0 521 38326 9
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... it must be true that few human minds are in their right state! – though barely visible since Michael Johnson’s poverty prevented the imagination ‘from playing such tricks as riches and leisure encourage’. It was ‘the perpetual pressure of his pecuniary affairs’ and the ensuing need to concentrate on business that kept his father’s melancholy ...

Diary

Anne Enright: Boys’ Aliens and Girls’ Aliens, 21 September 1995

... Channel 4 on 28 August, which showed autopsy footage of aliens who crashed in New Mexico in 1947, Michael Moore’s TV Nation described the Jerusalem Syndrome, which affects a similar kind of banana, in a different kind of way. Visitors to the Holy City dress up as characters from the Bible and stay on in town waiting for the end of the world. ‘The Lord ...

The Thing

Michael Wood: Versions of Proust, 6 January 2005

In Search of Lost Time: Vol. I: The Way by Swann’s 
by Marcel Proust, edited by Christopher Prendergast, translated by Lydia Davis.
Penguin, 496 pp., £8.99, October 2003, 0 14 118031 5
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In Search of Lost Time: Vol.II: In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower 
by Marcel Proust, edited by Christopher Prendergast, translated by James Grieve.
Penguin, 576 pp., £8.99, October 2003, 0 14 118032 3
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In Search of Lost Time: Vol. III: The Guermantes Way 
by Marcel Proust, edited by Christopher Prendergast, translated by Mark Treharne.
Penguin, 640 pp., £8.99, October 2003, 0 14 118033 1
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In Search of Lost Time: Vol. IV: Sodom and Gomorrah 
by Marcel Proust, edited by Christopher Prendergast, translated by John Sturrock.
Penguin, 576 pp., £8.99, October 2003, 9780141180342
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In Search of Lost Time: Vol. V: ‘The Prisoner’ and ‘The Fugitive’ 
by Marcel Proust, edited by Christopher Prendergast, translated by Carol Clark and Peter Collier.
Penguin, 720 pp., £8.99, October 2003, 0 14 118035 8
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In Search of Lost Time: Vol. VI: Finding Time Again 
by Marcel Proust, edited by Christopher Prendergast, translated by Ian Patterson.
Penguin, 400 pp., £8.99, October 2003, 0 14 118036 6
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The Proust Project 
edited by André Aciman.
Farrar, Straus, 224 pp., $25, November 2004, 0 374 23832 4
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... for an edition of 1981 (in relation to the Pléiade text of 1954), and revised again by D.J. Enright in 1993 (in response to what Prendergast calls ‘the curiously monstrous 1987 Pléiade edition’). Along the way the Shakespearean title Remembrance of Things Past turned into the more literal, and less literary, In Search of Lost ...

Swift radiant morning

D.J. Enright, 21 February 1991

The Collected Letters of Charles Hamilton Sorley 
edited by Jean Moorcroft Wilson.
Cecil Woolf, 310 pp., £25, November 1990, 9780900821547
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Ivor Gurney: Collected Letters 
edited by R.K.R Thornton.
Mid-Northumberland Arts Group/Carcanet, 579 pp., £25, February 1991, 0 85635 941 6
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... Both of them were careful to spare the susceptibilities of their correspondents back at home. Michael Hurd (The Ordeal of Ivor Gurney) may well be right in contending that Gurney’s madness cannot simply be traced to his experiences in the trenches, horrible though they were. At the Front he seems to have been ...

What’s left of Henrietta Lacks?

Anne Enright: HeLa, 13 April 2000

... about the biology of good old HeLa. I’m delighted, of course, and note the recommended book by Michael Gold, A Conspiracy of Cells: One Woman’s Immortal Legacy and the Medical Scandal it Caused (1986). As so often on the Internet, the easy information comes first. This is perhaps all I need to know about HeLa, but if I want to get a fix on Henrietta I ...

Diary

Anne Enright: Censorship in Ireland, 21 March 2013

... remembered, ‘and quickly conceded they could not arrest all of us, and let us through’. Michael Adams writes in his 1968 guide to Irish censorship that the officials who examined parcels of posted books in their office in Parnell Square sometimes took them home to be read at greater leisure. This arrangement had the advantage that a man could ‘ask ...

On the horse Parsnip

John Bayley, 8 February 1990

Boris Pasternak: The Tragic Years 1930-1960 
by Evgeny Pasternak.
Collins Harvill, 278 pp., £15, January 1990, 0 00 272045 0
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Boris Pasternak 
by Peter Levi.
Hutchinson, 310 pp., £17.95, January 1990, 0 09 173886 5
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Boris Pasternak: A Literary Biography. Vol.I: 1890-1928 
by Christopher Barnes.
Cambridge, 507 pp., £35, November 1989, 0 521 25957 6
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Poems 1955-1959 and An Essay in Autobiography 
by Boris Pasternak, translated by Michael Harari and Manya Harari.
Collins Harvill, 212 pp., £6.95, January 1990, 9780002710657
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The Year 1905 
by Boris Pasternak, translated by Richard Chappell.
Spenser, £4.95, April 1989, 0 9513843 0 9
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... edition, with a translation in similar rhythms opposite the Russian. Equally valuable are Michael Harari’s Russian plus English translation of the poems written between 1955 and 1959, published in the same paperback with Manya Harari’s translation of Pasternak’s Essay in Autobiography. As Craig Raine points out in a witty and penetrating ...

Last Exit

Murray Sayle, 27 November 1997

The Last Governor: Chris Patten and the Handover of Hong Kong 
by Jonathan Dimbleby.
Little, Brown, 461 pp., £22.50, July 1997, 0 316 64018 2
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In Pursuit of British Interests: Reflections on Foreign Policy under Margaret Thatcher and John Major 
by Percy Cradock.
Murray, 228 pp., £18.99, September 1997, 0 7195 5464 0
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Hong Kong Under Chinese Rule: The Economic and Political Implications of Reversion 
edited by Warren Cohen and Li Zhao.
Cambridge, 255 pp., £45, August 1997, 0 521 62158 5
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The Hong Kong Advantage 
by Michael Enright, Edith Scott and David Dodwell.
Oxford, 369 pp., £20, July 1997, 0 19 590322 6
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... Sovereignty: supremacy in respect of power, domination or rank; supreme dominion, authority, or rule. OED Without conflicting mental reservations, international agreements would be impossible. French diplomatic maxim Christopher Francis Patten, Hong Kong’s last governor, famously wept just before he left aboard the royal yacht Britannia at midnight on 30 June, while sirens whooped and rockets soared over Asia’s most stunning harbour ...

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 enough to understand that such a ...

Social Arrangements

John Bayley, 30 December 1982

The Penguin Book of Contemporary British Poetry 
edited by Blake Morrison and Andrew Motion.
Penguin, 208 pp., £1.95, October 1982, 0 14 042283 8
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The Rattle Bag 
edited by Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes.
Faber, 498 pp., £10, October 1982, 0 571 11966 2
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... itself – the incisively intelligent ‘academic-administrative’ verses of Larkin, Wain and Enright – could not help endorsing the most negative feedback of all – English gentility, the ‘decency and other social totems’ that ‘muddle through’. New poetry had to have ‘a new seriousness; the new poet must face the full range of his ...

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