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A Skeleton My Cat

Norma Clarke: ‘Poor Goldsmith’, 21 February 2019

The Letters of Oliver Goldsmith 
edited by Michael Griffin and David O’Shaughnessy.
Cambridge, 232 pp., £64.99, July 2018, 978 1 107 09353 9
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... necessary to consider his Irishness, but the editors of this new edition of Goldsmith’s letters, Michael Griffin and David O’Shaughnessy, urge its importance, and they are surely right. Some of the ideas that persistently recur in Goldsmith’s work – opposition to imperialism, scepticism about English notions of liberty – seem to be ...

Hopi Mean Time

Iain Sinclair: Jim Sallis, 18 March 1999

Eye of the Cricket 
by James Sallis.
No Exit, 190 pp., £6.99, April 1998, 1 874061 77 7
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... purveyor of fiction, although his sequence of crime novels featuring the New Orleans polymath Lew Griffin (writer, melancholic, occasional lecturer in French Lit, sometime PI and full-time avatar of the author) has plenty of superficial similarities to Walter Mosley’s Easy Rawlins project. Both men have received support from sharp-witted British independent ...

Like a Ball of Fire

Andrew Cockburn, 5 March 2020

... hearing the word “hypersonics”,’ one official remarked to an industry sponsored conference. Michael Griffin, undersecretary of defence for research and engineering, a hypersonics enthusiast, has spoken of the need for ‘maybe thousands’ of hypersonic weapons. ‘This takes us back to the Cold War,’ he announced cheerfully, ‘where at one ...

The Edges of Life

Jeremy Waldron, 12 May 1994

Life’s Dominion: An Argument about Abortion and Euthanasia 
by Ronald Dworkin.
HarperCollins, 273 pp., £17.50, May 1993, 0 394 58941 6
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... is the deliberate killing of human children who have a right to live. One pro-life activist, Michael Griffin, was recently found guilty of murder because he shot a Florida doctor dead outside an abortion clinic. Though he now claims he was brainwashed, he is reported to have written a letter from jail in which he encouraged other activists to do the ...

No nation I’ve ever heard of

Garth Greenwell: Matthew Griffin’s ‘Hide’, 19 January 2017

Hide 
by Matthew Griffin.
Bloomsbury, 272 pp., £16.99, August 2016, 978 1 4088 6708 2
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... At the beginning​ of Matthew Griffin’s novel, Wendell, his eighty-something narrator, finds his partner collapsed in their garden, face up in the North Carolina sun. Frank will recover from the immediate effects of his stroke, but the book charts his decline into physical debility and dementia, as well as Wendell’s increasingly desperate efforts to care for him ...

Russell and Ramsey

Ray Monk, 29 August 1991

Russell’s Idealist Apprenticeship 
by Nicholas Griffin.
Oxford, 409 pp., £45, January 1991, 0 19 824453 3
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Philosophical Papers 
by F.P. Ramsey, edited by D.H. Mellor.
Cambridge, 257 pp., £30, August 1990, 0 521 37480 4
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The Philosophy of F.P. Ramsey 
by Nils-Eric Sahlin.
Cambridge, 256 pp., £27.50, November 1990, 0 521 38543 1
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... This presented a Freudian analysis of the personal papers published in those volumes. Nicholas Griffin’s Russell’s Idealist Apprenticeship has a similar genesis, although in terms of philosophical sophistication and scholarly meticulousness it is a much weightier proposition. Griffin is a philosophy professor at ...

Hemingway Hunt

Frank Kermode, 17 April 1986

Along with Youth: Hemingway, the Early Years 
by Peter Griffin.
Oxford, 258 pp., £12.95, March 1986, 0 19 503680 8
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The Young Hemingway 
by Michael Reynolds.
Blackwell, 291 pp., £14.95, February 1986, 0 631 14786 1
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Hemingway: A Biography 
by Jeffrey Meyers.
Macmillan, 646 pp., £16.95, March 1986, 0 333 42126 4
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... about so great a figure can be wholly irrelevant, but it seems to me that both Mr Reynolds and Mr Griffin have pushed this argument a bit far. When you’ve read these books you will be exempted from ever attending to another word about Hemingway’s home town Oak Park, a posh suburb of Chicago; and although it may seem a little ungracious to say so, for she ...

Homo Sexualis

Michael Ignatieff, 4 March 1982

Sex, Politics and Society: The Regulation of Sexuality since 1800 
by Jeffrey Weeks.
Longman, 306 pp., £11, October 1981, 0 582 48333 6
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Sexual Preference: Its Development in Men and Women 
by Alan Bell, Martin Weinberg and Sue Kiefer Hammersmith.
Indiana, 242 pp., £9, October 1981, 9780253166739
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Pornography and Silence 
by Susan Griffin.
Women’s Press, 277 pp., £4.75, October 1981, 0 7043 3877 7
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The History of Sexuality. Vol. 1 
by Michel Foucault, translated by Robert Hurley.
Penguin, 176 pp., £2.25, May 1981, 0 14 022299 5
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... and repression would provide the instinctual grounding of an ethics of human obligation. In Susan Griffin’s recent book on pornography, an ethical argument against pornographic representation is based on the empirical claim that human eroticism is ‘naturally’ non-violent, life-affirming and satiable. Pornography is the deformation which culture and ...

Raven’s Odyssey

D.A.N. Jones, 19 July 1984

Swallow 
by D.M. Thomas.
Gollancz, 312 pp., £8.95, June 1984, 0 575 03446 7
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First Among Equals 
by Jeffrey Archer.
Hodder, 446 pp., £8.95, July 1984, 0 340 35266 3
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Morning Star 
by Simon Raven.
Blond and Briggs, 264 pp., £8.95, June 1984, 9780856341380
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... necessary, since most of the politicians looked like T.S. Eliot and most of the poets looked like Michael Foot – with Mary Wilson as one of the exceptions. Although I warned the heroine of Mrs Wilson’s Diary that I was a journalist, she favoured me with her political opinions (sound, I thought, if unorthodox) and I changed the subject, asking if she ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Jojo Rabbit’ and ‘A Hidden Life’, 5 March 2020

... as if in revenge on schooling.) At the camp, our hero, the ten-year-old Johannes (Roman Griffin Davis), is confronted by his first challenge: he is asked to kill a rabbit. He can’t, because he is scared. This is how he earns the nickname Jojo Rabbit. Fortunately, he has a jolly imaginary friend called Adolf Hitler, a role performed with great zest ...

Is it a crime?

P.N. Furbank, 6 June 1985

Peterley Harvest: The Private Diary of David Peterley 
edited by Michael Holroyd.
Secker, 286 pp., £8.95, April 1985, 0 436 36715 7
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... Reprint Library, with (as readers of the London Review of Books will know) an Introduction by Michael Holroyd, which identifies ‘David Peterley’ as an artistic fiction and argues a persuasive case for the book’s worth and raison d’être. Let me dwell a moment or two on the ‘crime’ aspect. Publishers like to exploit the weakness for mystery of ...

Diary

Louise Foxcroft: W.B. Yeats and her great-uncle, 7 September 2000

... trying to cover up the fact that the graves had been destroyed? Albert wrote to Yeats’s son, Michael. His letter has not survived but the reply has. It is a kind letter, and Yeats agrees with Albert that ‘the position with regard to the cemetery at Roquebrune would appear to be more than a little confused.’ He had not been to Roquebrune himself but ...

Blooming Symbols

Adam Lively, 27 May 1993

Dr Haggard’s Disease 
by Patrick McGrath.
Viking, 180 pp., £14.99, May 1993, 0 670 85195 7
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Griefwork 
by James Hamilton-Paterson.
Cape, 238 pp., £14.99, May 1993, 9780224037174
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... debilitating illness. The outbreak of war finds Edward Haggard working miserably as a GP in Griffin Head, a fictional South Coast town. Then one day there walks into his surgery Fanny’s son, now a Spitfire pilot. This is also where the reader comes in, for the novel is addressed by Haggard to this son, switching from recollection of the affair with ...

Change at MoMA

Hal Foster, 7 November 2019

... museum), and the other half from just four people: the hedge fund billionaires Leon Black, Kenneth Griffin and Steven Cohen, and the media mogul David Geffen (a new centre is named after Cohen and his wife, and an entire wing after Geffen). They responded to the call of MoMA’s director, Glenn Lowry, to recapture the idea proposed by Alfred Barr, its first ...

Fascism in the Plural

Alan Ryan, 21 September 1995

Fascism: A History 
by Roger Eatwell.
Chatto, 327 pp., £20, August 1995, 0 7011 6188 4
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Fascism 
edited by Roger Griffin.
Oxford, 410 pp., £9.99, June 1995, 0 19 289249 5
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... side of Italian Fascism in the Thirties had no doubt that the Falangists were true Fascists. Michael Ledeen writes in Universal Fascism that ‘Spinetti argued that the Falange was a true Fascist movement because of its belief in the Fascist trinity of “authority, hierarchy, order”, and because of the Spanish “mysticism” which raised Falangist ...

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