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Language Questions

Barbara Strang

17 July 1980
The Language-Makers 
by Roy Harris.
Duckworth, 194 pp., £15, April 1980, 0 7156 1430 4
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Beyond the Letter: A Philosophical Inquiry Into Ambiguity, Vagueness and Metaphor in Language 
by Israel Scheffler.
Routledge, 146 pp., £8.50, November 1979, 0 7100 0315 3
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Linguistic Perspectives on Literature 
edited by Marvin Ching, Michael Haley and Ronald Lunsford.
Routledge, 332 pp., £9.50, March 1980, 9780710003829
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... Professor Roy Harris’s The Language Makers is the natural starting-point. His book comes oddly naked into the world: we have no statement about the aims or intended audience, no listing or titling (let alone running titles) of chapters, only the sketchiest of indexes to suggest what topics have been covered. It therefore behoves the reviewer to start with an account of what the objectives seem to ...
6 October 1983
A Variety of Lives: A Biography of Sir Hugh Greene 
by Michael​ Tracey.
Bodley Head, 344 pp., £15, September 1983, 0 370 30026 2
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... and he never felt the compulsion, which others have felt, to weave his views into a harmonious system of thought.’ The reader will find all these items in the identikit portrait which Michael Tracey constructs. Greene was good to work for, and with, above all because he liked diversity among his associates. We were each perfectly free to weave our own views into a harmonious system of ...

Real Thing

John Naughton

24 November 1988
Live from Number 10: The Inside Story of Prime Ministers and Television 
by Michael​ Cockerell.
Faber, 352 pp., £14.95, September 1988, 0 571 14757 7
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... Chamberlain’s return from Munich was televised live (with commentary by Richard Dimbleby), the general consensus in the early days was that television and politics didn’t mix. Thus Sir William Haley, Director-General of the BBC in the late Forties, believed that television was totally unsuited to political discussion. The ‘Fourteen Day Rule’, under which no subject likely to be debated in ...

At the Movies

Andrew O’Hagan: M. Night Shyamalan

17 July 2008
The Happening 
directed by M. Night Shyamalan.
June 2008
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... creepy supernatural thriller called The Sixth Sense, which was nominated for six Oscars and made more than $600 million. The little boy in the film, Cole Sear (played with audience-beguiling depth by Haley Joel Osment), sees dead people who don’t know they’re dead, and when the film came out it was not merely a success on every front, but, like every success of that sort, caused people to see it as ...

The Doctrine of Unripe Time

Ferdinand Mount: The Fifties

16 November 2006
Having It So Good: Britain in the Fifties 
by Peter Hennessy.
Allen Lane, 740 pp., £30, October 2006, 0 7139 9571 8
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... the hiss of Achille Gaggia’s wonderful coffee machine; we sniff the first whiffs of garlic and olive oil from Elizabeth David’s Book of Mediterranean Food; we hear the first chords of Bill Haley and the Comets. We find, too, the trenchant comments of Richard Hoggart, A.H. Halsey, Anthony Sampson and Michael Young – the Four Evangelists of the 1950s to whom Hennessy dedicates his book ...

Memoriousness

E.S. Turner

15 September 1988
Memories of Times Past 
by Louis Heren.
Hamish Hamilton, 313 pp., £15.95, July 1988, 0 241 12427 1
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Chances: An Autobiography 
by Mervyn Jones.
Verso, 311 pp., £14.95, September 1987, 0 86091 167 5
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... that Heren can add, other than the indignation of a newsman who, while proud to work for the Times, refused to look on it as a national institution or an arm of government. Heren commends Sir William Haley’s clear and sensible definition of what the Times should stand for: ‘It is an entirely unofficial non-party newspaper appealing to men and women of reason and good will of all kinds of opinion ...
22 March 1990
First Diasporist Manifesto 
by R.B. Kitaj.
Thames and Hudson, 128 pp., £7.95, May 1989, 0 500 27543 2
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Reported Sightings: Art Chronicles, 1957-1987 
by John Ashbery, edited by David Bergman.
Carcanet, 417 pp., £25, February 1990, 9780856358074
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... own America. An equally strong signal has gone the other way, to the self-exiled heroes of Modernism and to the masters of the past. Entering the National Gallery, he once wrote: ‘I feel like Alex Haley arriving in the Gambia.’ Now he is ready to consolidate these messages. Exile and roots, modernity and tradition, the disjunctives of collage and the densities of the Human Clay, these antinomies ...

Flying Costs

Richard Adams: The great Ryanair Disaster

2 September 2004
Aircraft 
by David Pascoe.
Reaktion, 240 pp., £14.95, September 2003, 1 86189 163 6
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Aviation Insecurity: The New Challenges of Air Travel 
by Andrew Thomas.
Prometheus, 263 pp., $21, May 2003, 1 59102 074 3
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Airline Survival Kit 
by Nawal Taneja.
Ashgate, 224 pp., £46.50, May 2003, 0 7546 3452 3
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Ryanair 
by Siobhán Creaton.
Aurum, 263 pp., £9.99, May 2004, 1 85410 992 8
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... the highest levels of government,’ Thomas writes. The list includes Harold Ickes, Bill Clinton’s deputy chief of staff, who lobbies for United; the former Republican National Committee chairman Haley Barbour, now in the pay of Delta; and Linda Daschle, the wife of the senior Senate Democrat Tom Daschle and a former deputy administrator of the FAA, whose clients include American Airlines and ...

Ten Typical Days in Trump’s America

Eliot Weinberger: Ten (More) Days in America

25 October 2018
... members of the Judiciary Committee all voted against the reauthorisation of the Clinton-era Violence against Women Act. It ultimately passed the Senate 78-22.)In the merry-go-round of familiar faces, Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for Stormy Daniels, says he has yet another client with information about further assaults by Kavanaugh and his friends in high school. (In Maryland, where they lived, there is ...

Secrets are best kept by those who have no sense of humour

Alan Bennett: Why I turned down ‘Big Brother’

2 January 2003
... similar at Bafta. These sorry occasions have always been best forgotten; now their memory must be kept green against the possible arrival of the men in white coats. 19 January. Watch a video of Michael Powell’s A Matter of Life and Death (1946), the first time, I think, that I have watched it all the way through since I saw it as a child at a cinema in Guildford. Then its particular interest was ...

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