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Sexual Politics

Michael Neve, 5 February 1981

Edward Carpenter, 1844-1929: Prophet of Human Fellowship 
by Chushichi Tsuzuki.
Cambridge, 237 pp., £15, November 1980, 0 521 23371 2
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... asks the question in a striking way. This is Carpenter in 1895, as Bloomsbury (in this case, Roger Fry) captured him. He seems downcast, serious-minded, isolated in a world of glass that reflects him at an odd angle. An awful thought crosses the mind, that Carpenter in fact represents a fastidiousness, an aloofness, a Cambridge donnishness, which, allied to ...

The Hollis Launch

John Vincent, 7 May 1981

Their trade is treachery 
by Chapman Pincher.
Sidgwick, 240 pp., £7.95, March 1981, 0 283 98781 2
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... these geese become swans in Pincher’s skilled hands. How unfair to suggest that they were small fry, dilettanti, wartime temporary agents or upper-class decadents. Blunt, in particular, he praises as an agent of a supreme professionalism and commitment, with Driberg, an alleged treble agent, winning a proxime accessit for stamina and for knowledge of human ...

‘I love you, defiant witch!’

Michael Newton: Charles Williams, 8 September 2016

Charles Williams: The Third Inkling 
by Grevel Lindop.
Oxford, 493 pp., £25, October 2015, 978 0 19 928415 3
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... it was too public a club. In 1917 he married Florence Conway, a schoolteacher; their only child, Michael, was born in 1922. Williams turned out to be a fugitive husband and absentee father. As a refuge from the pram in the hall, he became involved with A.E. Waite’s Fellowship of the Rosy Cross, an offshoot of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and ...

Boys wearing wings

Nicholas Penny, 15 March 1984

Caravaggio 
by Howard Hibbard.
Thames and Hudson, 404 pp., £22.50, May 1983, 0 500 09161 7
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Circa 1600: A Revolution of Style in Italian Painting 
by S.J. Freedberg.
Harvard, 125 pp., £21.25, January 1983, 0 674 13156 8
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Domenichino 
by Richard Spear.
Yale, 382 pp., £75, November 1982, 0 300 02359 6
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... There is also one Michael Agnolo from Caravaggio who is doing marvellous things in Rome ... He thinks little of the works of other masters ... All works of art he believes to be ‘Bagatelli’, child’s play, whoever by, and whatever of, unless they are made from life, and that there is no better course than to follow Nature ...

Diary

Paul Foot: The Labour Party’s vacillation over rail privatisation, 28 October 1999

... back into public ownership.’ The following year (1995) Labour’s conference spokesman was Michael Meacher, a fully paid up member of the Crystal Clear Faction. He concentrated on the speculators who were hovering over the battered corpse of the rail industry. ‘If there are any investors listening who are thinking of buying into our rail system, I ...

No Clapping

Rosemary Hill: The Bloomsbury Memoir Club, 17 July 2014

The Bloomsbury Group Memoir Club 
by S.P. Rosenbaum, edited by James Haule.
Palgrave, 203 pp., £20, January 2014, 978 1 137 36035 9
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... the Second World War. The first and most enduring members were Molly and Desmond MacCarthy, Roger Fry, Maynard Keynes, Vanessa and Clive Bell, Duncan Grant, the Woolfs, Lytton Strachey and Forster. Mary Hutchinson and Sydney Waterlow were also invited but fell by the wayside. Even by Bloomsbury standards it was an exclusive set. The members were all related ...

Atone and Move Forward

Michael Stewart, 11 December 1997

Balkan Justice: The Story behind the First International War Crimes Trial since Nuremberg 
by Michael Scharf.
Carolina, 340 pp., $28, October 1997, 0 89089 919 3
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The Tenth Circle of Hell: A Memoir of Life in the Death Camps of Bosnia 
by Rezak Hukanovic.
Little, Brown, 164 pp., £14.99, May 1997, 0 316 63955 9
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Burn This House: The Making and Unmaking of Yugoslavia 
edited by Jasminka Udovicki and James Ridgeway.
Duke, 326 pp., $49.95, November 1997, 0 8223 1997 7
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A Safe Area: Srebrenica, Europe’s Worst Massacre since the Second World War 
by David Rohde.
Simon and Schuster, 440 pp., £8.99, June 1997, 0 671 00499 9
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Triumph of the Lack of Will: International Diplomacy and the Yugoslav War 
by James Gow.
Hurst, 343 pp., £14.95, May 1997, 1 85065 208 2
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... the creation of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), as told by Michael Scharf, a one-time US appointee at the UN and a Tribunal insider, is full of unexpected and telling ironies. Not the least of these concerns the involvement of the US Administration, which had previously been so worried about the possibility of having to ...

The State with the Prettiest Name

Michael Hofmann: ‘Florida’, 24 May 2018

Florida 
by Lauren Groff.
Heinemann, 275 pp., £14.99, June 2018, 978 1 78515 188 0
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... town of Starke, a few miles to the north, Old Sparkey keeps sputtering away; ‘You try em, we fry em,’ the old senator said); by the academic industry; by the healthcare industry. And, just now, foolishly trembling to be noticed by the extractive industry. A peninsula that aspires to the condition of just its two coastlines (that Euclidean line that ...

Diary

Jeremy Harding: On the Tyson Saga, 31 August 1989

... it was a left hook which put him away after 93 seconds (two seconds more than it took to deal with Michael Spinks last year). The Guardian reporter said the critical punch sounded ‘like an axe going into wet wood’. On TV it looked less impressive. Besides, Mailer used that image to describe the death of Benny Paret in Madison Square Garden 27 years ago at ...

Run to the hills

James Meek: Rainspotting, 22 May 2003

Rain 
by Brian Cathcart.
Granta, 100 pp., £5.99, September 2002, 1 86207 534 4
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... that humanity was getting a handle on the weather. While the meteorologist and mathematician Lewis Fry Richardson was serving as an ambulance driver on the Western Front, he found time to work out a way of going back to the fundamentals of weather, the physics and maths of it. His first attempt to apply these principles produced a completely inaccurate ...

Pop Eye

Hal Foster: Handmade Readymades, 22 August 2002

Image Duplicator: Roy Lichtenstein and the Emergence of Pop Art 
by Michael Lobel.
Yale, 196 pp., £35, March 2002, 0 300 08762 4
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... outlines last. Thus, while a Lichtenstein might look industrially ready-made, it is actually, as Michael Lobel demonstrates in his careful study, a layering of mechanical reproduction (comic), handwork (drawing), mechanical reproduction again (projector) and handwork again (tracing and painting), to the point where distinctions between hand and machine are ...

Only Sleeping

Anne Barton: Variations on Elizabeth I, 10 July 2003

England’s Elizabeth: An Afterlife in Fame and Fantasy 
by Michael Dobson and Nicola J. Watson.
Oxford, 348 pp., £19.99, November 2002, 0 19 818377 1
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... was its longevity: the way she continues four hundred years after her death to conduct, as Michael Dobson and Nicola Watson put it in this engaging book, ‘a posthumous progress through the collective psyche of her country’. Historians, beginning with John Foxe and William Camden in her own time, and extending across the centuries to Patrick ...

Diary

Elisa Segrave: Is this what it’s like to be famous?, 11 May 1995

... in a Sunday newspaper in two days’ time. How can I not be manic? The next day I met the poet Michael Horowitz in the local health-food shop. The last time I bumped into him, in the same place a few months before, I was about to deliver my completed manuscript. Today, I asked him to my launch party. ‘Maybe I could review your book,’ he said. ‘That ...

Diary

Melanie McFadyean: In the Wrong Crowd, 25 September 2014

... in before it’s too late but you can never be sure that’s going to happen.’ As well as small fry like Conteh, the law catches big fish like Gary Dobson and David Norris. Although neither of them was found guilty of carrying out the stabbing that killed Stephen Lawrence when they were finally tried in 2011, new scientific evidence demonstrated they had ...

Top Brands Today

Nicholas Penny: The Art World, 14 December 2017

The Auctioneer: A Memoir of Great Art, Legendary Collectors and Record-Breaking Auctions 
by Simon de Pury and William Stadiem.
Allen and Unwin, 312 pp., £9.99, April 2017, 978 1 76011 350 6
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Rogues’ Gallery: A History of Art and Its Dealers 
by Philip Hook.
Profile, 282 pp., £20, January 2017, 978 1 78125 570 4
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Donald Judd: Writings 
edited by Flavin Judd and Caitlin Murray.
David Zwirner, 1054 pp., £28, November 2016, 978 1 941701 35 5
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... about a Harvard student who pointed to a work by Frank Stella and asked his professor, her friend Michael Fried, ‘What’s so good about that?’ Fried replied that there are ‘days when Stella goes to the Metropolitan Museum. And he sits for hours looking at the Velázquezes, utterly knocked out by them … What he would like more than anything else is to ...

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