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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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... comes up continually against people and publications who are on the run either from a proprietor or from the laws of libel. (I happen to be travelling in the opposite direction.) More than half of NicholasGarland’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 ...
28 September 1989
Manila Envelope 
by James Fenton.
28 Kayumanggi St, West Triangle Homes, Quezon City, Phillipines, 48 pp., £12, May 1989, 971 86 4701 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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... A manila envelope made in and posted from a Manila recently under the control of Marcos may contain an explosive device, particularly if the cover of the book it ostensibly contains has a savage NicholasGarland 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 ...

Diary

Ian Hamilton: Francis Hope, and Tom and Vic

15 March 1984
... It’s like a man who gets vertigo on a doorstep. There is the world of failure. Stricken with flu since writing the above, I seem to have been reduced to leafing through the Sunday Telegraph. ‘NicholasGarland 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 is female and has ...

Deliverance

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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... in order to demonstrate how a profound impoverishment of literary sensibility might result, 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 ...
22 March 1990
Wright of Derby 
by Judy Egerton.
Tate Gallery, 294 pp., £25, February 1990, 1 85437 038 3
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... put M. Bertin the banker in) would be used again in the portrait of Richard Arkwright. Miss Cracroft 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 ...

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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... of expression an impressive range of talents: Lucille Ball, Eddie Cantor, Kirk Douglas, Melvyn 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 ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I did in 1999

20 January 2000
... It’s hard to believe that the author of the Tractatus was a master spy, though not much harder than 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 ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: Finding My Métier

4 January 2018
... of the weather by the forecasters who, one feels, long to be part of the news not just the background 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 ...

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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... choice is deeply middlebrow. This shows in the choice of musicals above all. The only musicals to get 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 ...

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