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Hellmouth

Michael André Bernstein: Norman Rush, 22 January 2004

Mortals 
by Norman Rush.
Cape, 715 pp., £18.99, July 2003, 0 224 03709 9
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... Norman Rush’s first novel, Mating (1991), is narrated by an unnamed 32-year-old female doctoral student in nutritional anthropology. It takes the cherished theme of a brilliant and independent woman’s search for a male partner worthy of her, and transplants it to a utopian matriarchal community in Botswana ...

The Basic Couple

Benjamin Kunkel: Norman Rush, 24 October 2013

Subtle Bodies 
by Norman Rush.
Granta, 234 pp., £14.99, October 2013, 978 1 84708 780 5
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... in 1960, when Leslie Fiedler published Love and Death in the American Novel, four years after Norman Rush graduated from Swarthmore College, where he met the woman whose ‘heart, sensibility and intellect are so signally – if perforce esoterically – celebrated and exploited’ in the novels he would come to write, to cite the dedication to the ...

What the Organ-Grinder Said

Christopher Beha: Andrés Neuman, 5 April 2012

Traveller of the Century 
by Andrés Neuman, translated by Nick Caistor and Lorenza Garcia.
Pushkin, 584 pp., £12.99, February 2012, 978 1 906548 66 7
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... mode of Proust and Musil and Mann, and of those writers from Bellow and Gaddis to Kundera and Norman Rush whose work is marked more by continuity with modernism than by postmodern rupture. Following Bakhtin, we might call these dialogic novels, not just because there’s so much conversation in them, but because the conversation is in dialogue with ...

Wittgenstein’s Confessions

Norman Malcolm, 19 November 1981

Ludwig Wittgenstein: Personal Recollections 
edited by Rush Rhees.
Blackwell, 235 pp., £9.50, September 1981, 0 631 19600 5
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... Rush Rhees has put together a wonderful book. These Recollections are a rich portrayal of Wittgenstein’s extraordinary character and personality, moral force, stunning intelligence. The contributions are by Wittgenstein’s sister, Hermine; Fania Pascal, who taught him Russian in the 1930s; F.R. Leavis, the literary critic; John King, who attended Wittgenstein’s lectures and became a friend; M ...

The Young Man One Hopes For

Jonathan Rée: The Wittgensteins, 21 November 2019

Wittgenstein’s Family Letters: Corresponding with Ludwig 
edited by Brian McGuinness, translated by Peter Winslow.
Bloomsbury, 300 pp., £20, November 2018, 978 1 4742 9813 1
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... dons, then it is contradicted by the memoirs of some of Wittgenstein’s devoted friends (Norman Malcolm, Rush Rhees, Con Drury and others), and by a fascinating collection of family letters, published in German in 1996 and now available in English.Wittgenstein’s father was a self-made industrialist who saw ...

Anxiety of Influx

Tony Tanner, 18 February 1982

Plotting the Golden West: American Literature and the Rhetoric of the California Trail 
by Stephen Fender.
Cambridge, 241 pp., £15, January 1982, 0 521 23924 9
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Witnesses to a Vanishing America: The 19th-Century Response 
by Lee Clark Mitchell.
Princeton, 320 pp., £10.70, July 1981, 9780691064611
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... be sure – his (superbly annotated) book concentrates largely on aspects of the Californian Gold Rush, and the ‘plots’ and maps and charts which emerged from that strange burst of national madness/euphoria/and often amazingly brave adventurism (‘rush’ is an appropriate word, for it seems that everyone was in some ...

Look over your shoulder

Christopher Hitchens, 25 May 1995

... list of mugshots, exposing the real powers behind Zog. My own name appeared next to that of Norman Podhoretz. Momentarily chilling as it was to feel ‘wanted’ by these people (let alone to be gazetted with Podhoretz), the overwhelming impression was of crankiness cut with impotent, pitiable hatred.No longer. The Oklahoma detonation has exposed the ...

Mother! Oh God! Mother!

Jenny Diski: ‘Psycho’, 7 January 2010

‘Psycho’ in the Shower: The History of Cinema’s Most Famous Scene 
by Philip Skerry.
Continuum, 316 pp., £12.99, June 2009, 978 0 8264 2769 4
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... the ‘shower scene’ proper, from Marion’s feet stepping into the bathtub to the moment when Norman is heard shouting ‘Mother! Oh God! Mother! Blood! Blood!’ back at the house, which Skerry extends to 60 shots by starting the scene from the moment the hapless Marion sits in Cabin 1 figuring what she owes, having determined to redeem herself by ...

Cinders

Ian Hamilton, 21 October 1982

Women Working: Prostitution Now 
by Eileen McLeod.
Croom Helm, 177 pp., £6.95, August 1982, 0 7099 1717 1
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An English Madam: The Life and Work of Cynthia Payne 
by Paul Bailey.
Cape, 166 pp., £7.50, October 1982, 0 224 02037 4
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All the Girls 
by Martin O’Brien.
Macmillan, 268 pp., £7.95, October 1982, 0 333 31099 3
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... then get on with it I haven’t got all day,” and they say “I hope you’re not going to rush me,” and I say “Look cock, you’ve got a certain amount of time here I don’t expect you to be in and out in two minutes, but I don’t expect you to spend two hours here”; they say “Fair enough.” ’ ‘Fair enough’ may indeed be what they say ...

On Roy DeCarava

Gazelle Mba, 7 April 2022

... Art Centre on 125th Street and Lenox Avenue (home to many significant African American artists: Norman Lewis, Charles Alston and Selma Burke) and finally to the George Washington Carver School, where he was mentored by Charles White, whose paintings – among them, Black Pope (Sandwich Board Man) and Hope for the Future – constitute an archive of what he ...

Bravo, old sport

Christopher Hitchens, 4 April 1991

Critical Crossings: The New York Intellectuals in Post-War America 
by Neil Jumonville.
California, 291 pp., £24.95, January 1991, 0 520 06858 0
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... Cold War hardliners, such as Melvyn Lasky, Irving Kristol, James Burnham, Sidney Hook and later Norman Podhoretz. The ‘End of Ideology’ liberal professoriat: Daniel Bell, Nathan Glazer, Lewis Coser. And perhaps most enduring in their contribution, if only because they partook of all wings and of none, the Europeanised cultural and literary Modernists ...

Before the Fall

Eric Hobsbawm, 21 April 1983

Europe Transformed 1878-1919 
by Norman Stone.
Fontana, 448 pp., £3.50, February 1983, 0 00 634262 0
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... as Sir Edward Grey said in August 1914, were going out all over Europe, not to be lit again. Norman Stone is right to begin his Europe Transformed with this hackneyed but still troubling quotation, though he is wise enough to avoid sentimentalising anera when the vast majority of Europeans lived lives which, despite modest improvements, were, by our ...

Diary

A.J.P. Taylor: Personal and Public Affairs, 4 November 1982

... a car for 60 years. Once I used to enjoy this. Now I am embarrassed at having taken part in the rush of Gadarene vehicles. However, I am learning wisdom. My next commitment out of London after St David’s was to Shrewsbury, and there I went by train. The electrified route is a delight. There ought to be far more of them. Shrewsbury was once a great railway ...

A Lazarus beside Me

Avies Platt: An Encounter with Yeats, 27 August 2015

... persons. The president was Dr – or, as he prefers, for he is proud of being a surgeon – Mr Norman Haire. Avies Platt Norman Haire, even to progressives, is an extraordinary, I might even say an incalculable being. He considered himself, and probably was, the only really qualified, practising sexologist in ...

Diary

R.W. Johnson: Major Wins the Losership, 3 August 1995

... in the press was an endlessly recycled remark about him looking like a garden gnome. The Gadarene rush to Blair told the rest. What on earth was this really about? Cook is neither handsome nor ill-looking, just somewhere in between, like the rest of us. The Labour Party hadn’t cared about looks when it picked the flaccid Wilson, the much-creased figure of ...

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