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What happened to MacDiarmid

David Norbrook, 23 October 1986

Hugh MacDiarmid: The Man and his Work 
by Nancy Gish.
Macmillan, 235 pp., £25, June 1984, 0 333 29473 4
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Complete Poems 
by Hugh MacDiarmid.
Penguin, £8.95, February 1985, 0 14 007913 0
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... of defeat are to be read too literally: his poetic task is both ‘impossible and imperative’. Nancy Gish’s book is the most critically acute of a number of recent studies, and she very effectively dispatches the notion that the later poetry reveals an inexorable decline.* She concludes with praise of the Direadh poems as marking the highest ...

The Merchant of Shadows

Angela Carter, 26 October 1989

... greatest star in heaven’. That was the promo. She’d no especial magic, either. She was no Gish, nor Brookes, nor Dietrich, nor Garbo, who all share the same gift, the ability to reveal otherness. She did have a certain touch-me-not thing, that made her a natural for film noir in the Forties. Otherwise, she possessed only the extraordinary durability ...

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