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Neil Corcoran confronts the new recklessness

Neil Corcoran, 28 September 1989

Manila Envelope 
by James Fenton.
28 Kayumanggi St, West Triangle Homes, Quezon City, Phillipines, 48 pp., £12, May 1989, 971 8647 01 5
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New Selected Poems 
by Richard Murphy.
Faber, 190 pp., £10.99, May 1989, 0 571 15482 4
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The Mirror Wall 
by Richard Murphy.
Bloodaxe, 61 pp., £10.95, May 1989, 9781852240929
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Selected Poems 
by Eavan Boland.
Carcanet, 96 pp., £5.95, May 1989, 0 85635 741 3
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The Accumulation of Small Acts of Kindness 
by Selima Hill.
Chatto, 47 pp., £5.95, May 1989, 0 7011 3455 0
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... an explosive device, particularly if the cover of the book it ostensibly contains has a savage Nicholas Garland illustration of a wild horseman wielding a bloody scimitar, surrounded by the decapitated victims of his havoc. If the poems of Manila Envelope are explosive, the manifesto makes its plea for them obliquely. Pawky, wry, epigrammatic and ...

Heart of Darkness

Christopher Hitchens, 28 June 1990

Not Many Dead: Journal of a Year in Fleet Street 
by Nicholas Garland.
Hutchinson, 299 pp., £16.95, April 1990, 0 09 174449 0
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A Slight Case of Libel: Meacher v. Trelford and Others 
by Alan Watkins.
Duckworth, 241 pp., £14.95, June 1990, 0 7156 2334 6
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... from the laws of libel. (I happen to be travelling in the opposite direction.) More than half of Nicholas Garland’s book is given over to an account of demoralisation and defection at the Telegraph, and the whole of Watkins’s effort is an education in the nightmare of the Queen’s Bench. Garland approaches the ...


Ian Hamilton: Francis Hope, and Tom and Vic, 15 March 1984

... since writing the above, I seem to have been reduced to leafing through the Sunday Telegraph. ‘Nicholas Garland on the squalor and glory of Cairo: part one of his Egyptian journal.’ Garland on Cairo is rather similar to Hastings on Eliot: Garland, for instance, thinks the Sphinx ...

The Talk of Carshalton

Rosemary Hill: Pauline Boty’s Presence, 4 July 2024

Pauline Boty: British Pop Art’s Sole Sister 
by Marc Kristal.
Frances Lincoln, 256 pp., £25, October 2023, 978 0 7112 8754 9
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Pauline Boty: A Portrait 
by Bridget Boty, Ali Smith, Lynda Nead and Sue Tate.
Gazelli Art House, 110 pp., £40, January, 978 1 8380609 2 3
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... by an ex-boyfriend and became pregnant, as did Boty during a brief relationship with the artist Nicholas Garland. Abortion was still illegal, risky and expensive. Boty and Garland scraped together the money but Garland, no longer in London, didn’t visit. ‘It’s one of the ...

How does one talk to these people?

Andrew O’Hagan: David Storey in the Dark, 1 July 2021

A Stinging Delight: A Memoir 
by David Storey.
Faber, 407 pp., £20, June, 978 0 571 36031 4
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... by the depressive’. A similar loss of identity occurred when he visited Paris with the artist Nicholas Garland, and again in Segovia. Barbara, his future wife of six decades, had stayed at home. Meanwhile, he was working like a pit-horse. ‘My life,’ he writes, ‘was filled with activities that, separately, would have lasted anyone else a ...


Daniel Johnson, 20 June 1996

The Dear Purchase: A Theme in German Modernism 
by J.P. Stern.
Cambridge, 445 pp., £40, February 1995, 0 521 43330 4
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... for all Jünger’s intelligence, from a conceptual currency debased by moral idiocy. According to Nicholas Boyle in his Foreword to The Dear Purchase, when this monograph appeared one of Stern’s older colleagues told him: ‘If you want to get on, do not write this sort of thing again.’ Stern, Boyle adds, ‘was incensed. He continued writing, and, in ...

Homage to the Provinces

Peter Campbell, 22 March 1990

Wright of Derby 
by Judy Egerton.
Tate Gallery, 294 pp., £25, February 1990, 1 85437 038 3
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... from the same year is a tumble of satin and lace; a veil blows from her shoulder and flowers garland her bosom, but despite the mobile stuffs her face is as still, her back as rigid, as Anne Bateman’s. The catalogue suggests that the tug and flutter of clothes is something Wright learned during his apprenticeship with Thomas Hudson. In 1762 Francis ...

My son has been poisoned!

David Bromwich: Cold War movies, 26 January 2012

An Army of Phantoms: American Movies and the Making of the Cold War 
by J. Hoberman.
New Press, 383 pp., £21.99, March 2011, 978 1 59558 005 4
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... Douglas, Deanna Durbin, Melvyn Frank, Daniel Fuchs, Henry Fonda, John Garfield, Ava Gardner, Judy Garland, Henry Hathaway, Van Heflin, Fritz Lang, Burt Lancaster, Audie Murphy, Burgess Meredith, Groucho Marx, Vincente Minnelli, Gregory Peck, Vincent Price, Robert Ryan, Edward G. Robinson, Donna Reed, Nicholas Ray, Robert ...


Alan Bennett: Finding My Métier, 4 January 2018

... to it. On the News reports of Tony Snowdon’s death. I first met him in 1968 when Patrick Garland brought him backstage with Princess Margaret after Forty Years On. A friend of Patrick’s, he talked mostly to him, but Princess Margaret didn’t confine herself to John Gielgud and Paul Eddington but to her credit wanted to meet the boys in the ...

The Real Magic

David Sylvester, 8 June 1995

A Biographical Dictionary of Film 
by David Thomson.
Deutsch, 834 pp., £25, November 1994, 0 233 98859 9
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... in are Singing in the Rain and West Side Story rather than films starring Ginger Rogers or Judy Garland or Rita Hayworth or Barbra Streisand, or films choreographed by Busby Berkeley, with his unique combination of low popular appeal and high cinematic art. Thomson is passionately anti-middlebrow: The loveliness of Merchant-Ivory gives me the creeps. Their ...


Alan Bennett: What I did in 1999, 20 January 2000

... accommodating to the known fact that he was a big fan of Betty Hutton and Carmen Miranda (Judy Garland one would have understood). And even though Wittgenstein was never big on small talk, he must have been tempted in those dark days of the war to drop the name of his former schoolmate, which he never seems to have done – or not to anyone who ...

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