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A House Full of No One

Colm Tóibín, 6 February 1997

Heaven’s Coast: A Memoir 
by Mark Doty.
Cape, 305 pp., £16.99, October 1996, 0 224 04390 0
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Atlantis 
by Mark Doty.
Cape, 95 pp., £7, July 1996, 0 224 04400 1
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This Wild Darkness: The Story of My Death 
by Harold Brodkey.
Fourth Estate, 177 pp., £14.99, November 1996, 1 85702 546 6
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PWA: Looking Aids in the Face 
by Oscar Moore.
Picador, 185 pp., £6.99, November 1996, 0 330 35193 1
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... all the closer to the page for not being entertained. Harold Brodkey died of Aids in January 1996; Oscar Moore died in September 1996. Brodkey wrote about his illness for the New Yorker; Moore for the Guardian. Obviously, when they wrote their articles neither of them knew when they would die, but since each article is ...

Here was a plague

Tom Crewe, 27 September 2018

How to Survive a Plague: The Story of How Activists and Scientists Tamed Aids 
by David France.
Picador, 624 pp., £12.99, September 2017, 978 1 5098 3940 7
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Patient Zero and the Making of the Aids Epidemic 
by Richard A. McKay.
Chicago, 432 pp., £26.50, November 2017, 978 0 226 06395 9
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Modern Nature: The Journals of Derek Jarman, 1989-90 
by Derek Jarman.
Vintage, 314 pp., £9.99, May 2018, 978 1 78487 387 5
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Smiling in Slow Motion: The Journals of Derek Jarman, 1991-94 
by Derek Jarman.
Vintage, 388 pp., £9.99, August 2018, 978 1 78487 516 9
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The Ward 
by Gideon Mendel.
Trolley, 88 pp., £25, December 2017, 978 1 907112 56 0
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... problem with sex is I get the feeling that I’m not even supposed to think about it,’ Oscar Moore wrote in his PWA (Person with Aids) column for the Guardian. ‘[I am] supposed to be beyond sex. The trouble is that sex is not beyond me.’ ‘My whole being has changed … Even with safer sex I’ve felt the life of my partner was in my ...

Oscar and Constance

Tom Paulin, 17 November 1983

The Last Testament of Oscar Wilde 
by Peter Ackroyd.
Hamish Hamilton, 185 pp., £7.95, April 1983, 0 241 10964 7
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The Importance of Being Constance: A Biography of Oscar Wilde’s Wife 
by Joyce Bentley.
Hale, 160 pp., £8.75, May 1983, 0 7090 0538 5
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Mrs Oscar Wilde: A Woman of Some Importance 
by Anne Clark Amor.
Sidgwick, 249 pp., £8.95, June 1983, 9780283989674
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... In the spring of 1882, Oscar Wilde travelled to a huge mining town in the Rocky Mountains called Leadville, where he lectured the miners on the ‘secret of Botticelli’. A fortnight later, he gave a lecture at the State University of Nebraska. Afterwards the students took him out to the State penitentiary where he saw: Poor odd types of humanity in hideous striped dresses making bricks in the sun, and all mean-looking, which consoled me, for I should hate to see a criminal with a noble face ...

The Staidness of Trousers

E.S. Turner, 6 June 1996

A Peculiar Man: A Life of George Moore 
by Tony Gray.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 344 pp., £20, April 1996, 1 85619 578 3
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... George Moore, ‘daring’ novelist and absentee landlord, sage and humbug of Ebury Street, seemed born to be insulted. ‘An over-ripe gooseberry, a great big intoxicated baby, a satyr, a boiled ghost, a gosling’ – these were among the Dublin epithets collected by his fellow writer Susan Mitchell and here passed on by Tony Gray ...

The Voice from the Hearth-Rug

Alan Ryan: The Cambridge Apostles, 28 October 1999

The Cambridge Apostles 1820-1914: Liberalism, Imagination and Friendship in British Intellectual and Professional Life 
by W.C. Lubenow.
Cambridge, 458 pp., £35, October 1998, 0 521 57213 4
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... not to be interested in what Russell, Keynes, Lytton Strachey, E.M. Forster, Wittgenstein and G.E. Moore made of each other. For another thing, some of them had an extraordinary impact on the intellectual and political life of Britain for much of the 20th century; philosophers still work in the shadow of Russell, Moore and ...

How Do You Pay?

Bee Wilson: Falling for Michael Moore, 1 November 2007

Citizen MooreAn American Maverick 
by Roger Rapoport.
Methuen, 361 pp., £8.99, July 2007, 978 0 413 77649 5
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Manufacturing Dissent 
directed by Rick Caine and Debbie Melnyk.
October 2007
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Sicko 
directed by Michael Moore.
October 2007
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... Because the man himself is so ungainly, it is easy to overlook Michael Moore’s voice. Where his body seems ungovernable and a source of embarrassment to him – he often can’t bear to watch himself on screen – his voice is confident, almost suave. There’s a moment in his least known movie, The Big One (1997), where he launches effortlessly into a gravelly imitation of Dylan singing ‘The Times They Are A-Changin’’ before reverting, with a chuckle, to his own spoken voice ...

False Moderacy

T.J. Clark: Picasso and Modern British Art, 22 March 2012

Picasso and Modern British Art 
Tate Britain, 15 February 2012 to 15 July 2012Show More
Mondrian Nicholson: In Parallel 
Courtauld Gallery, 16 February 2012 to 20 May 2012Show More
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... Sculpture in England is a special case. I shall put it aside, essentially, till I come to Henry Moore, whose room in the Tate exhibition is far and away the strongest. But simply this, for the present: sculpture had the advantage, it seems to me, if our subject is metropolitan taste, of being always a less mannerly, more laborious art. It was a ...

Along the Voie Sacrée

Inigo Thomas, 8 November 2018

... American cemetery at Romagne-sous-Montfaucon. The head of the US Commission of Fine Art, Charles Moore, insisted that American cemeteries in France not be designed in the British fashion, in phalanxes of headstones. Instead, they would be a combination of lawns, trees and crosses – parks for the dead and the living. The design of Romagne was handed to ...

Naming of Parts

Patrick Parrinder, 6 June 1985

Quinx or The Ripper’s Tale 
by Lawrence Durrell.
Faber, 201 pp., £8.95, May 1985, 0 571 13444 0
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Helliconia Winter 
by Brian Aldiss.
Cape, 285 pp., £8.95, April 1985, 0 224 01847 7
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Black Robe 
by Brian Moore.
Cape, 256 pp., £8.95, May 1985, 0 224 02329 2
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... Sutcliffe and Blanford, one of them supposedly the other’s creation, and both a curious blend of Oscar Wilde, Peter Pan and l’homme moyen sensuel. The mist of uncertain identity which shrouds Sutcliffe and Blanford radiates out to the other members of the charmed circle. Monsieur, like Justine at the commencement of the ‘Alexandria Quartet’, must now ...

Diary

Christopher Hitchens: Keywords, 13 September 1990

... believe that we shall be such friends. I have two consuming interests – Adolf Hitler and Oscar Wilde.’ Only hours later, or so it seemed to my disordered fancy, we were sitting in a villa that had once housed the Nazi embassy, while he played a tape of The Importance of Being Earnest. He himself took the part of Algernon, while the role of Lady ...

Pink and Bare

Bee Wilson: Nicole Kidman, 8 February 2007

Nicole Kidman 
by David Thomson.
Bloomsbury, 311 pp., £18.99, September 2006, 0 7475 7710 2
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... a string of particularly gruesome murders. As the film (which is based on a novel by Susanna Moore) unfolds, and the relationship is depicted in ever more lurid bedroom poses, Fran begins to suspect that the cop himself is guilty of the murders. Many people, Thomson included, think that it is Ryan’s best performance, ‘bravely naked in uncommonly ...

Spooky

Terry Eagleton, 7 July 1994

The Collected Letters of W.B. Yeats. Vol. III: 1901-1904 
edited by John Kelly and Ronald Schuchard.
Oxford, 781 pp., £35, May 1994, 0 19 812683 2
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Modern Irish Literature: Sources and Founders 
by Vivian Mercier.
Oxford, 381 pp., £30, April 1994, 0 19 812074 5
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... contempt for Catholic superstition, and spectres throng their fiction from Sheridan Lefanu to Oscar Wilde. Dracula, the creation of a Dublin civil servant, is an Ascendancy sort of ghoul, wistfully poring over maps of London in his mouldering castle and finally deprived, like the Irish landlords, of his life-sustaining soil. The crazed precision of magic ...

Running out of Soil

Terry Eagleton: Bram Stoker and Irish Protestant Gothic, 2 December 2004

From the Shadow of Dracula: A Life of Bram Stoker 
by Paul Murray.
Cape, 356 pp., £18.99, July 2004, 0 224 04462 1
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... which dealt with the ‘grim realities of life’. When dissident writers such as Joyce and George Moore wished to enrage their compatriots, it was to the scandalously naturalistic Ibsen and Zola that they turned. It was Laurence Sterne, born in Tipperary, who first unmasked English literary realism as an impossible enterprise. No sooner had the novel made its ...

Ashamed of the Planet

Ian Hamilton, 2 March 2000

No Other Book: Selected Essays 
by Randall Jarrell, edited by Brad Leithauser.
HarperCollins, 376 pp., $27.50, June 1999, 0 06 118012 2
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Remembering Randall: A Memoir of Poet, Critic and Teacher Randall Jarrell 
by Mary von Schrader Jarrell.
HarperCollins, 173 pp., $22, June 1999, 0 06 118011 4
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... sizzling assassinations was to put oneself in line for immortality. Who would nowadays remember Oscar Williams’s verses if Jarrell had not said that they seemed to have been written on a typewriter by a typewriter? Williams at that time was a powerful anthologist and in career terms it was bad policy to mock him. Jarrell, though, seemed not to care about ...

On Octavio Paz and Marie-José Tramini

Homero Aridjis, translated by Chloe Aridjis, 21 November 2019

... Paz said of him.On Sunday 2 July we went to see a production of Don Giovanni, with sets by Henry Moore. During the interval my wife Betty said to me all of a sudden: ‘Look who’s behind us.’ It was Ezra Pound, walking alongside Henry Moore. ‘If it were Mallarmé I would go to greet him,’ Paz said, ‘But since it ...

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