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A Dream in the Presence of Reason

Clive James, 15 October 1981

L’opera in versi 
by Eugenio Montale, edited by Rosanna Bettarini and Gianfranco Contini.
Einaudi, 1225 pp., £26.15
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Xenia and Motets 
by Eugenio Montale, translated by Kate Hughes.
Agenda, 45 pp., £3, December 1980, 0 902400 25 8
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The Man I Pretend to Be: The Colloquies and Selected Poems of Guido Gozzano 
edited by Michael Palma.
Princeton, 254 pp., £9.30, July 1981, 0 691 06467 9
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... Not surprisingly, the Americans do the job most lavishly, having the larger grants. Edited by Michael Palma, The Man I Pretend to Be presents I colloqui and selected poems by Guido Gozzano in parallel text, the English translations being by Mr Palma, who also translated the introductory essay by Montale. Gozzano ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘De Palma’, 20 October 2016

... it isn’t interrupted once in a while, and this is one of the interesting effects of the film De Palma, a feature-length account of the director’s work. It opens with screaming orchestral music over the title, followed by a clip from the beginning of Hitchcock’s Vertigo – James Stewart climbing onto the roof from which his colleague is about to fall to ...

Show Business

David Hare, 4 September 1980

by Michael Pye.
Temple Smith, 250 pp., £9.75, June 1980, 0 85117 187 7
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The Movie Brats 
by Michael Pye and Linda Myles.
Faber, 273 pp., £5.25, June 1979, 0 571 11383 4
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... Michael Pye has now written two books (the first with Lynda Myles) trying to explain how American show business feels to those who make their lives inside it. The first, The Movie Brats, succeeds because it keeps close to the work of the young film-makers with whose careers it’s concerned, but also because they demonstrably exist as a group ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’, 30 August 2018

... of them. There is the beginning of a case for such a view in the first film, directed by Brian de Palma. Voight explains to Cruise why a long-time good guy has become a villain. He is ostensibly talking about someone else, a CIA colleague, but actually he is confessing. ‘No more Cold War,’ he says. ‘No more secrets to keep from everyone but yourself ...


Michael Church, 9 October 1986

The Children of the Souls: A Tragedy of the First World War 
by Jeanne Mackenzie.
Chatto, 276 pp., £14.95, June 1986, 9780701128470
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Voices from the Spanish Civil War: Personal Recollections of Scottish Volunteers in Republican Spain 1936-39 
edited by Ian MacDougall, by Victor Kiernan.
Polygon, 369 pp., £9.95, July 1986, 0 948275 19 7
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The Shallow Grave: A Memoir of the Spanish Civil War 
by Walter Gregory, edited by David Morris and Anthony Peters.
Gollancz, 183 pp., £10.95, June 1986, 0 575 03790 3
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Spanish Front: Writers on the Civil War 
edited by Valentine Cunningham.
Oxford, 388 pp., £15, July 1986, 0 19 212258 4
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The Spanish Cockpit 
by Franz Borkenau.
Pluto, 303 pp., £4.95, July 1986, 0 7453 0188 6
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The Spanish Civil War 1936-39 
by Paul Preston.
Weidenfeld, 184 pp., £10.95, June 1986, 0 297 78891 4
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Images of the Spanish Civil War 
by Raymond Carr.
Allen and Unwin, 192 pp., £14.95, July 1986, 0 04 940089 4
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... reached Guernica just after the German planes had gone, and Georges Bernanos, who witnessed the Palma Crusade in which hundreds of Mallorcan peasants were taken for midnight rides to the cemetery, both write with controlled, polemical fury. Sitting in a Barcelona café, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry watches a diner suddenly hijacked by four armed men while ...

My Kind of Psychopath

Michael Wood, 20 July 1995

Pulp Fiction 
by Quentin Tarantino.
Faber, 198 pp., £7.99, October 1994, 0 571 17546 5
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Reservoir Dogs 
by Quentin Tarantino.
Faber, 113 pp., £7.99, November 1994, 0 571 17362 4
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True Romance 
by Quentin Tarantino.
Faber, 134 pp., £7.99, January 1995, 0 571 17593 7
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Natural Born Killers 
by Quentin Tarantino.
Faber, 175 pp., £7.99, July 1995, 0 571 17617 8
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... their echoes and consequences in the so-called real world. In this he would be unlike Brian De Palma, or the Coen brothers, who understand and exploit the shock value of violence; and even more unlike Oliver Stone, who has thought about violence and then forgotten what he thought. Tarantino in an interview (the same interview is excerpted in the published ...

Goddesses and Girls

Nicholas Penny, 2 December 1982

... confronts the beholder far more boldly. Charles Hope, in his remarkable monograph on Titian, like Michael Jacobs in a brisk and entertaining polemic on the nude in painting, rejects the idea that this is a painting of Venus.1 It represents simply ‘a mortal female lying on a bed’, as Hope puts it, ‘gazing at us with a startlingly direct and unambiguous ...

King Cling

Julian Bell: Kings and Collectors, 5 April 2018

Charles I: King and Collector 
Royal Academy, London, until 15 April 2018Show More
Charles II: Art and Power 
Queen’s Gallery/London, until 13 May 2018Show More
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... to have informed the big grab that came away with some ingratiating Correggios, some bombastic Palma Giovanes and a sublimely mysterious little Bruegel panel, among so much else. Titian is the grandest of optimists – and, famously, of princes’ go-to men – because whatever he chooses to paint, he suffuses with engaged, warmhearted attention. But this ...

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