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Cad’s Cadenzas

Christopher Driver, 15 September 1988

William Walton: Behind the Façade 
by Susana Walton.
Oxford, 255 pp., £12.95, February 1988, 0 19 315156 1
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Façade: Edith Sitwell Interpreted 
by Pamela Hunter.
Duckworth, 106 pp., £10.95, September 1987, 9780715621844
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... more than nonsense, less than fantasy, in Edith Sitwell’s creation. The singer and reciter Pamela Hunter has made a beginning in her ‘interpretation’ of Façade. She goes behind the verbal ‘technical exercises’ (in Edith’s and Osbert’s slightly misleading accounts of the genesis of the poems) to the nursery-world imagery of the ...


Pamela Thomas: Tea with Marshal Tito, 6 October 2005

... was Paul, a Serb, who had been a partisan and had a long scar on his cheek. There was a Slovenian hunter who wore a Tyrolean jacket and played the accordion. My mother would rustle up something to eat, and everybody would sit around the Tilley lamp and talk – about German atrocities, about the war, about the partisans – until the early hours of the ...

Upright Ends

Vincent Newey, 1 October 1987

The Origins of the English Novel, 1660-1740 
by Michael McKeon.
Johns Hopkins, 530 pp., £21.25, April 1987, 0 8018 3291 8
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... to self-affirmation since the only recourse available to her ambition is the role of fortune-hunter and knight-errant (she hankers to be ‘Lady Errant’), the mobility that even in romance is reserved for men alone. As she herself concedes when fiercely denying she ‘was seen in man’s apparel ... in designe to do mischief’, she has attempted an ...

Bananas Book

Eric Korn, 22 November 1979

Saturday Night Reader 
edited by Emma Tennant.
W.H. Allen, 246 pp., £5.95
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... unemployed makes a pallid foil for Ted Hughes at his most flesh-eating. Hughes’s narrator is a hunter, tracking an undreamt-of assemblage of beasts natural and ominous. He has a brother, ‘criminal to the bone’ and possessed of unnatural teeth, who is slaughtered in the midst of the slaughtering, becomes a flayed head, becomes a pursuing demon, a ...


A.J.P. Taylor: Enough about Politics, 15 April 1982

... sake of a bypass. Some miles outside Barnstaple down a very muddy lane live my friends Charles and Pamela Gott. Charles and I have been friends for almost sixty years. Indeed, he is almost my only surviving Oxford friend, as distinct from acquaintance. Our mutual affection has remained un-dimmed since the time when we first met at Oxford and long may it so ...

Crops, Towns, Government

James C. Scott: Ancestor Worship, 21 November 2013

The World until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies? 
by Jared Diamond.
Penguin, 498 pp., £8.99, September 2013, 978 0 14 102448 6
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... Guinea and Australia, where his bird-watching interests lie, and from the findings of studies of hunter-gatherer societies (the Hadza and !Kung of Africa, the Piraha, Siriono and Yanomamo of Latin America) that fit best with his argument. What could these historical relics possibly teach the wired, hyper-modernist residents of Diamond’s home village of Los ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Not by Henry James, 23 September 2004

... to have its authorship revealed by Floyd Horowitz, recently retired from the English department at Hunter College, New York. The passage is the opening of a story called ‘Alone’ that appeared – anonymously – in the Newport Mercury of 27 July 1861, and has been resurrected and attributed to James by Professor Horowitz in The Uncollected Henry ...

Left with a Can Opener

Thomas Jones: Homer in Bijelo Polje, 7 October 2021

Hearing Homer’s Song: The Brief Life and Big Idea of Milman Parry 
by Robert Kanigel.
Knopf, 320 pp., £28.95, April 2021, 978 0 525 52094 8
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... where she began living far beyond her means, possibly at the mercy of an unscrupulous fortune-hunter. Marian went out to California in November 1935, and Milman followed a few days later. (His precise movements in these final weeks are unclear.) They went from LA to San Francisco at the end of the month, then flew back to LA on their way to San Diego to ...

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