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Hand and Mind

Michael Baxandall, 17 March 1983

Dürer: His Art and Life 
by Fedja Anzelewsky, translated by Heide Grieve.
Gordon Fraser, 273 pp., £50, November 1982, 0 86092 068 2
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Dürer: Paintings, Prints, Drawings 
by Peter Strieder, translated by Nancy Gordon and Walter Strauss.
Muller, 400 pp., £35, September 1982, 0 584 95038 1
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... Both these books are art books in the particular sense that the main reason for paying quite large sums for them would be their illustrations. This is not to say their texts are bad. Both are by distinguished Dürer scholars and both offer tidy brief versions of the academic consensus without any eccentricities. Anzelewsky proceeds chronologically: after a first short chapter on Nuremberg he works through Dürer’s career in ten uncontroversial phases, Strieder goes by topic: ‘personality’, writings, ambience, influences, subject-matters, techniques – he was director of the great quincentenary Dürer exhibition in Nuremberg in 1971, and the arrangement reminds one a little of that ...


Kristin Dombek: Kim Gordon, 19 March 2015

Girl in a Band 
by Kim Gordon.
Faber, 288 pp., £14.99, February 2015, 978 0 571 31383 9
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... me of the intricate, dissonant classical music I’d learned about growing up. And there was Kim Gordon, lined up between Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo, in the middle of the huge stage, not a token girl bass player, not a riot grrrl in an angry all-girl band, but a musician among musicians, standing next to her husband, to all appearances equal, taking ...
A Slight and Delicate Creature: The Memoirs of Margaret Cook 
Weidenfeld, 307 pp., £20, January 1999, 0 297 84293 5Show More
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... The problem with Nancy Mitford, according to one of her sisters (the Communist? Possibly. The troublesome, giggly one who fancied Hitler? Not likely. The Duchess? Probably), is that she never came first with anyone. It’s doubtful if coming first is part of the human birth right, but it feels as if it is, both to those who do come first with someone, and those who don’t ...

I want to love it

Susan Pedersen: What on earth was he doing?, 18 April 2019

Eric Hobsbawm: A Life in History 
by Richard J. Evans.
Little, Brown, 800 pp., £35, February 2019, 978 1 4087 0741 8
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... being at war – and then returned to Egypt. In 1918 they moved to Vienna, where Eric’s sister, Nancy, was born in 1920. Family connections and the sterling Percy brought from Egypt allowed a comfortable existence for a time, but the move was a disaster. How was an English clerk to find work in inflation-ridden Vienna? Eric was never clear quite what his ...

At Charleston

Emily LaBarge: Nina Hamnett, 1 July 2021

... In an article from 1924, she explained her preference for portraiture to the art critic Louise Gordon-Stables: ‘I am more interested in human beings than in landscapes or in still lifes. That is why I live in Paris and sit in cafés … My ambition is to paint psychological portraits that shall accurately represent the spirit of the age.’ The earliest ...

William Rodgers reads the papers

William Rodgers, 19 February 1987

The Market for Glory: Fleet Street Ownership in the 20th Century 
by Simon Jenkins.
Faber, 247 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 571 14627 9
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The End of the Street 
by Linda Melvern.
Methuen, 276 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 413 14640 5
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... his wife, then seen as a major asset, is now apparently a witch whose dangerous influence equals Nancy Reagan’s with the President. But nothing has changed in three years to justify such a reassessment. It is the shallowness of much press comment and its inability to reach a balanced and steady judgment that are at issue. This is not an exclusively British ...

Into the Future

David Trotter: The Novel, 22 March 2007

The Novel: Vol. I: History, Geography and Culture 
edited by Franco Moretti.
Princeton, 916 pp., £65, June 2006, 0 691 04947 5
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The Novel: Vol. II: Forms and Themes 
edited by Franco Moretti.
Princeton, 950 pp., £65, June 2006, 0 691 04948 3
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... passion is political’. For example, when in Radclyffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness Stephen Gordon joins an ambulance unit on the Western Front, she travels into France, and into a future in which lesbianism has ceased to be a stigma. ‘Later on would come bitterness, disillusion, but never again would such women submit to being driven back to their ...

Mr Trendy Sicko

James Wolcott, 23 May 2019

by Brett Easton Ellis.
Picador, 261 pp., £16.99, May 2019, 978 1 5290 1239 2
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... print and creating a stir: Donna Tartt, David Leavitt, Mary Gaitskill, Lorrie Moore, Amy Hempel, Nancy Lemann, Susan Minot, Mary Robison, Anderson Ferrell – a cast of dozens. Many of those rookies trained at the literary dojo of the author, editor, creative writing teacher and guru-mentor-mindgamer Gordon Lish, who bore ...


Philip French, 6 June 1996

The Fatal Englishman: Three Short Lives 
by Sebastian Faulks.
Hutchinson, 309 pp., £16.99, April 1996, 0 09 179211 8
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... Isaiah Berlin’s 1953 book to characterise the world’s thinkers as hedgehogs or foxes; from Nancy Mitford two years later to distinguish between U and non-U. From across the Atlantic came David Reisman’s The Lonely Crowd, which taught us to separate modern man into the two camps of the inner directed and the other-directed. This way of observing the ...

Cut, Kill, Dig, Drill

Jonathan Raban: Sarah Palin’s Cunning, 9 October 2008

... governor, already mired in accusations of incompetence and worse, refused to take her calls. More Nancy-Drew-style detective work suggested that Ruedrich was misusing his position as impartial regulator to shill for a coal-bed methane company. One would give a lot to have been a fly on the wall at commission meetings during the summer and early autumn of ...

Gatsby of the Boulevards

Hermione Lee: Morton Fullerton, 8 March 2001

Mysteries of Paris: The Quest for Morton Fullerton 
by Marion Mainwaring.
New England, 327 pp., £23, March 2001, 1 58465 008 7
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... were sold to the University of Texas at Austin. Some of those letters were printed in R.W.B. and Nancy Lewis’s edition of Wharton’s letters, published in 1988. When this edition came out, Marion Mainwaring wrote a bitter attack on Lewis in the TLS (16 December 1988). She said she had worked for Lewis from 1969 to 1972 in pursuit of Fullerton, but when ...

A Great Wall to Batter Down

Adom Getachew, 21 May 2020

Insurgent Empire: Anticolonial Resistance and British Dissent 
by Priyamvada Gopal.
Verso, 607 pp., £25, June 2019, 978 1 78478 412 6
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... were met over and over again with an excessive response. From the execution of George William Gordon, a member of the Jamaican National Assembly, for allegedly inciting the 1865 rebellion at Morant Bay, to the conviction for conspiracy of the Meerut defendants in India in 1933 for organising a railway strike, the dynamic of rebellion and repression ...

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