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Hugolian Gothic

Graham Robb: Gargoyles of Notre-Dame

25 February 2010
The Gargoyles of Notre-Dame: Medievalism and the Monsters of Modernity 
by Michael Camille.
Chicago, 439 pp., £34, June 2009, 978 0 226 09245 4
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... ne-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc began his restoration of the cathedral in 1843, he had little to go on but a few featureless stumps and badly weathered monsters lying about the garden behind the apse. As MichaelCamille points out, gargoyles bear the brunt of the weather: they are part of ‘the exoderm of the edifice’, eroded by the water they channel away from the building. They were never intended to ...

Sit like an Apple

Ruth Bernard Yeazell: Artists’ Wives

23 October 2008
Hidden in the Shadow of the Master: The Model-Wives of Cézanne, Monet and Rodin 
by Ruth Butler.
Yale, 354 pp., £18.99, July 2008, 978 0 300 12624 2
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... first breakthrough was not the ‘impression’ of a sunrise that lent its name to a movement but a full-length figure in contemporary dress that he submitted to the Salon of 1866 under the title Camille. Posed against a red curtain on a canvas more than seven feet high, a woman in a green and black striped gown and a black jacket trimmed with fur stands with her back angled towards the viewer, her ...

The Divine Miss P.

Elaine Showalter

11 February 1993
Sex, Art and American Culture 
by Camille​ Paglia.
Viking, 256 pp., £16.99, March 1993, 0 670 84612 0
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... Who is hotter than Mary McCarthy? Smarter than Susan Sontag? Funnier than Harold Bloom? Well, if you take her word for it, it’s Camille Paglia, come to set the world straight on the burning issues of our time: tenured radicals, date rape, the aesthetic evolution of Madonna. The self-styled genius and warrior woman seized public ...

Peroxide Mug-Shot

Marina Warner: Women who kill children

1 January 1998
... anonymity. Witches and other scapegoats were innocent of the child murders imputed to them. Christian anti-semitism in the late Middle Ages conjured terrors in the likeness of its own practices: as MichaelCamille has discussed in The Gothic Idol, the supposed sacrileges of Jews and witches mimicked, in ghastly exaggeration, the mysteries of the Mass, the eucharistic miracle, and the living power of ...
16 October 1997
A Brutal Friendship: The West and the Arab Elite 
by Said Aburish.
Gollancz, 414 pp., £20, July 1997, 0 575 06275 4
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... making billions out of arms contracts; King Hussein of Jordan is a playboy who protected his hashish-smuggling uncle, the SharifNasser, and misappropriated CIA funds for his personal use. Camille Chamoun, the former Lebanese President and the man largely responsible for launching the civil war in 1975 ‘dazzled Westerners with his wit and charm’ but was really ‘nothing but a skirt ...

Diary

Jeremy Harding: On the Tyson Saga

31 August 1989
... the Tyson saga – merely another brave contender prepared to lie down and be counted. In this case, 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 ...
19 November 1992
The Village of Cannibals: Rage and Murder in France, 1870 
by Alain Corbin, translated by Arthur Goldhammer.
Polity, 164 pp., £25, July 1992, 0 7456 0895 7
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... Alain de Monéys, a short, balding bachelor with ‘a local reputation for politeness and generosity’ who had made the mistake of arriving at the fairground in the wake of his despised cousin, Camille de Maillard. Accused by the crowd of having shouted ‘Vive la République’, the ultimate provocation in a land of Bonapartists, Maillard ran for cover, helped by his light leather boots, while the ...

Only in the Balkans

Misha Glenny: The Balkans Imagined

29 April 1999
Inventing Ruritania: The Imperialism of the Imagination 
by Vesna Goldsworthy.
Yale, 254 pp., £19.95, May 1998, 0 300 07312 7
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Imagining the Balkans 
by Maria Todorova.
Oxford, 270 pp., £35, June 1997, 9780195087505
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... affair in Inventing Ruritania, it is a rich example of what she calls the ‘imperialism of the imagination’. The television producer who had wanted to massacre the cream of Colorado society was Camille Marchette. ‘I’m responsible for Moldavia,’ she told America’s TV Guide in 1986. ‘I sat down one day and said: “I’m only going to be on the show a year and I’m going to end it with a ...
18 May 2000
Franz Liszt. Vol. III: The Final Years, 1861-86 
by Alan Walker.
Faber, 594 pp., £45, February 1998, 0 571 19034 0
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The Romantic Generation 
by Charles Rosen.
HarperCollins, 720 pp., £14.99, March 1999, 0 00 255712 6
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Franz Liszt: Selected Letters 
edited by Adrian Williams.
Oxford, 1063 pp., £70, January 1999, 0 19 816688 5
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... a decided taste.’ And as for bisexual – let alone homosexual – passion, it simply doesn’t exist in Walker’s universe. For example, neither King Ludwig II of Bavaria (Wagner’s patron) nor Camille Saint-Saëns (Liszt’s protégé), both of whom were notorious queens, comes across that way. In a weird way, Walker’s three volumes can be reduced to a laundry list of Lisztian corrections. He ...

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