Search Results

Advanced Search

16 to 30 of 63 results

Sort by:

Filter by:

Contributors

Article Types

Authors

Subjects

Funny Old Fame

Patrick Parrinder, 10 January 1991

Things: A Story of the Sixties, 
by Georges Perec, translated by David Bellos and Andrew Leak.
Collins Harvill, 221 pp., £12.50, July 1990, 0 00 271038 2
Show More
Parcours Peree 
edited by Mireille Ribière.
Presses Universitaires de Lyon, 162 pp., frs 125, July 1990, 2 7297 0365 9
Show More
Women 
by Philippe Sollers, translated by Barbara Bray.
Columbia, 559 pp., $24.95, December 1990, 0 231 06546 9
Show More
Show More
... Once upon a time, before the Channel Tunnel was built, there were two contemporary French novelists. Georges Perec died in 1982 at the age of 45, and nobody in England who was not a French specialist had ever heard of him. With Philippe Sollers it was different. Editor of the avant-garde theoretical journal Tel Quel, and associate of literary and psycho-analytic thinkers such as Barthes, Kristeva and Lacan, his was a name of which no self-respecting British intellectual could afford to remain entirely ignorant – though his novels, so far as I can discover, were neither translated nor read ...

What his father gets up to

Patrick Parrinder, 13 September 1990

My Son’s Story 
by Nadine Gordimer.
Bloomsbury, 277 pp., £13.99, September 1990, 0 7475 0764 3
Show More
Age of Iron 
by J.M. Coetzee.
Secker, 181 pp., £12.99, September 1990, 0 436 20012 0
Show More
Show More
... A novelist’s freedom, Nadine Gordimer wrote in 1975, is ‘his right to maintain and publish to the world a deep, intense, private view of the situation in which he finds his society’. In her new novel, Will, the son named by his book-loving father after William Shakespeare, describes the secret lives led by his parents. He cannot publish what he has written, partly because every other member of his Coloured family is deeply involved in revolutionary politics, and partly because – where prying and direct observation did not suffice – he has filled the multiple gaps in his story with his own words and inventions ...

Shedding one’s sicknesses

Patrick Parrinder, 20 November 1986

The Injured Party 
by Susan Fromberg Schaeffer.
Hamish Hamilton, 309 pp., £10.95, November 1986, 0 241 11946 4
Show More
Expensive Habits 
by Maureen Howard.
Viking, 268 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 670 81291 9
Show More
Show More
... In the middle of the journey of this life, I found myself in a dark forest, where the straight way was lost.’ The theme of mid-life crisis has inspired a number of great novels – Little Dorrit, The Mayor of Casterbridge, and perhaps Ulysses – although the majority of fictional heroes and heroines are conspicuously youthful. Traditionally, as the novelists themselves grew older, they continued to write about the young ...

Mizzlers

Patrick Parrinder, 26 July 1990

The Sorrow of Belgium 
by Hugo Claus, translated by Arnold Pomerans.
Viking, 609 pp., £14.99, June 1990, 0 670 81456 3
Show More
Joanna 
by Lisa St Aubin de Teran.
Virago, 260 pp., £12.95, May 1990, 1 85381 158 0
Show More
A Sensible Life 
by Mary Wesley.
Bantam, 364 pp., £12.95, March 1990, 9780593019306
Show More
The Light Years 
by Elizabeth Jane Howard.
Macmillan, 418 pp., £12.95, June 1990, 0 333 53875 7
Show More
Show More
... Half a century after it was fought, the Second World War is still being written, and still being judged. The run of new fiction, like the current debate over war crimes trials, bears witness to our continuing obsession with the events of 1939-45. Things silenced and hushed up, perhaps for good reasons, in the late Forties are now being disinterred and subjected to lengthy post-mortems ...

Uncle Kingsley

Patrick Parrinder, 22 March 1990

The folks that live on the hill 
by Kingsley Amis.
Hutchinson, 246 pp., £12.95, March 1990, 0 09 174137 8
Show More
Kingsley Amis: An English Moralist 
by John McDermott.
Macmillan, 270 pp., £27.50, January 1989, 9780333449691
Show More
In the Red Kitchen 
by Michèle Roberts.
Methuen, 148 pp., £11.99, March 1990, 9780413630209
Show More
See Under: Love 
by David Grossman, translated by Betsy Rosenberg.
Cape, 458 pp., £13.95, January 1990, 0 224 02640 2
Show More
Show More
... The folks that live on the hill? It’s not exactly what you’d expect of a Kingsley Amis title, but in another two years the old devil will be 70 and perhaps he is beginning to mellow. John McDermott remarks in his appealing study of Amis’s novels that the hero-as-shit, at large in a world of mutual animosity and obsessive self-interest, is one of their most characteristic figures ...

It’s only a paper moon

Patrick Parrinder, 13 June 1991

Wise Children 
by Angela Carter.
Chatto, 234 pp., £13.99, June 1991, 0 7011 3354 6
Show More
Show More
... Brush up your Shakespeare,’ instructed Cole Porter. Is Shakespeare part of popular culture, and if so, whose popular culture? Does the Bard’s writ extend to the wrong side of the tracks – say, to 49 Bard Road, Brixton, where Wise Children begins? Is he still in any sense the poet of the groundlings, and not merely of the powerful and the chattering classes whose legitimation-anxieties he so searchingly addresses? (There is no one so anxious nor so devoted to Shakespeare as a legitimate prince, to judge by the current heir to the throne ...

Auchnasaugh

Patrick Parrinder, 7 November 1991

King Cameron 
by David Craig.
Carcanet, 212 pp., £12.95, May 1991, 0 85635 917 3
Show More
The Hungry Generations 
by David Gilmour.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 194 pp., £13.95, August 1991, 1 85619 069 2
Show More
O Caledonia 
by Elspeth Barker.
Hamish Hamilton, 152 pp., £13.99, August 1991, 0 241 13146 4
Show More
Show More
... David Craig has an unfashionable concern with truth-telling in fiction. In his earlier role as a literary critic, he wrote a book called The Real Foundations in which he showed how some of the most respected 19th and 20th-century novelists and poets had blatantly falsified social reality. If a work of realistic fiction is to be convincing in general, according to Craig, it ought to convince us in particulars ...

Missing Pieces

Patrick Parrinder, 9 May 1991

Mr Wroe’s Virgins 
by Jane Rogers.
Faber, 276 pp., £13.99, April 1991, 0 571 16194 4
Show More
The Side of the Moon 
by Amanda Prantera.
Bloomsbury, 192 pp., £13.99, April 1991, 0 7475 0861 5
Show More
Show More
... In 1830 the prophet John Wroe asked his congregation of Christian Israelites in Ashton-under-Lyne for seven virgins to serve in his household. The Israelites had already built a Sanctuary and four gatehouses at Ashton, in the belief that the Lancashire cotton town was to be the site of the New Jerusalem. Mr Wroe got his virgins, but less than a year later he was almost lynched by his flock after the church elders had acquitted him on charges of indecency ...

Celtic Revisionism

Patrick Parrinder, 24 July 1986

A Short History of Irish Literature 
by Seamus Deane.
Hutchinson, 282 pp., £15, March 1986, 0 09 161360 4
Show More
The Peoples of Ireland 
by Liam de Paor.
Hutchinson, 344 pp., £15, April 1986, 9780091561406
Show More
Portrait of Ireland 
by Liam de Paor.
Rainbow, 192 pp., £13.95, May 1986, 1 85120 004 5
Show More
The Complete Dramatic Works 
by Samuel Beckett.
Faber, 476 pp., £12.50, April 1986, 0 571 13821 7
Show More
The Beckett Country: An Exhibition for Samuel Beckett’s 80th Birthday 
by Eoin O’Brien and James Knowlson.
Black Cat, 97 pp., £5, May 1986, 0 948050 03 9
Show More
Show More
... mythology. From his revisionist viewpoint Yeats’s championship of the Protestant Ascendancy and Patrick Pearse’s sentimentalisation of the Spirit of the Gael are equally deplorable. Instead of a continuous national tradition, Deane’s sense of Ireland’s cultural history is of a series of discontinuous, and heavily ideological, historical ...

Flying the flag

Patrick Parrinder, 18 November 1993

The Modern British Novel 
by Malcolm Bradbury.
Secker, 512 pp., £20, October 1993, 0 436 20132 1
Show More
After the War: The Novel and English Society since 1945 
by D.J. Taylor.
Chatto, 310 pp., £17.99, September 1993, 9780701137694
Show More
Show More
... Trinidadian novelist’. This might place him with such non-British writers as Nadine Gordimer and Patrick White, but he is later included in Bradbury’s alphabetical checklist of British novelists since 1876. It looks as if an adverse judgment has been passed by default. It is not that Bradbury shies away from evaluative criticism: the book is full of ...

Father, Son and Sewing-Machine

Patrick Parrinder, 21 February 1985

Garden, Ashes 
by Danilo Kis, translated by William Hannaher.
Faber, 170 pp., £8.95, January 1985, 9780571134533
Show More
Star Turn 
by Nigel Williams.
Faber, 314 pp., £9.95, January 1985, 0 571 13296 0
Show More
On Glory’s Course 
by James Purdy.
Peter Owen, 378 pp., £9.95, January 1985, 0 7206 0633 0
Show More
Show More
... Once upon a time the novelist’s task was to be realistic and to tell a story that was lifelike, convincing and ‘sincere’. Today’s novelists are counter-Aristotelians, spinners of tall tales and colourful yarns, engaged, as it seems, in some eternal childlike competition to impress their hearers and see who can get away with telling the biggest whopper ...

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
Show More
Helliconia Winter 
by Brian Aldiss.
Cape, 285 pp., £8.95, April 1985, 0 224 01847 7
Show More
Black Robe 
by Brian Moore.
Cape, 256 pp., £8.95, May 1985, 0 224 02329 2
Show More
Show More
... We name things in order to have power over them; but we must also name them to cower before them in worship. Novelists in particular are aware of the paradoxical magic of naming. To the narrative theorist, stories are made up of simple structural units, like biological cells endlessly replicating: but the novelist, who takes possession of the story by giving names to its narrative agents and formulae, is like Glendower conjuring spirits from the vasty deep but not knowing if they will come at his call ...

Pamphleteer’s Progress

Patrick Parrinder, 7 February 1985

The Function of Criticism: From the ‘Spectator’ to Post-Structuralism 
by Terry Eagleton.
Verso, 133 pp., £15, September 1984, 0 86091 091 1
Show More
Show More
... Terry Eagleton’s books have been getting shorter recently. It is eight years since he offered to re-situate literary criticism on the ‘alternative terrain of scientific knowledge’; three since, self-canonised, he included his name in a list of major Marxist theoreticians of the 20th century. The Function of Criticism is a history of three centuries of English criticism in little more than a hundred pages ...

Acapulcalypse

Patrick Parrinder, 23 November 1989

Christopher Unborn 
by Carlos Fuentes, translated by Alfred MacAdam.
Deutsch, 531 pp., £13.95, October 1989, 0 233 98016 4
Show More
The Faber Book of Contemporary Latin American Short Stories 
edited by Nick Caistor.
Faber, 188 pp., £11.99, September 1989, 0 571 15359 3
Show More
Hollywood 
by Gore Vidal.
Deutsch, 543 pp., £12.95, November 1989, 9780233984957
Show More
Oldest living Confederate widow tells all 
by Allan Gurganus.
Faber, 718 pp., £12.99, November 1989, 9780571142019
Show More
Show More
... Christopher, the new Columbus, is conceived on a beach at Acapulco at the beginning of 1992. Mexico’s overseas debt stands at $1492 billion, soon to rise to $1992 billion, and the Yucatan peninsula has been ceded to the Club Mediterranée in the vain hope of paying the interest. The population of Mexico, or Makesicko, City has reached thirty million human beings and four times as many rats ...

Jolly Jack and the Preacher

Patrick Parrinder, 20 April 1989

A Culture for Democracy: Mass Communication and the Cultivated Mind in Britain between the Wars 
by D.L. LeMahieu.
Oxford, 396 pp., £35, June 1988, 0 19 820137 0
Show More
Show More
... I belong to the Beardsley period’, said Max Beerbohm, thereby beginning one of criticism’s most imperious habits. The authors of scholarly books such as The Shakespearean Moment, The Pound Era or The Auden Generation are following Beerbohm’s precedent in appropriating a cultural epoch under the name of a single artist. Yet, as D.L. LeMahieu points out, the great majority of their contemporaries had never heard of, still less read, these totemistic figures ...

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences