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Lorna Scott Fox, 22 September 1994

The Still Moment 
by Paul Binding.
Virago, 290 pp., £20, May 1994, 1 85381 441 5
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... the whole world; it’s this that makes of her a more divided and indeed interesting writer than Paul Binding’s new study, in its pursuit of a resolving wholeness, will allow. For she is the Optimist’s Daughter whose father died tragically in the prime of life, of leukaemia – ‘a disease that even he had never heard ...

Red Stars

John Sutherland, 6 December 1984

Wild Berries 
by Yevgeny Yevtushenko, translated by Antonia Bovis.
Macmillan, 296 pp., £8.95, September 1984, 0 333 37559 9
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The Burn 
by Vassily Aksyonov, translated by Michael Glenny.
Hutchinson, 528 pp., £10.95, October 1984, 0 09 155580 9
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Fellow Travellers 
by T.C. Worsley.
Gay Men’s Press, 249 pp., £9.95, September 1984, 0 907040 51 9
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The Power of the Dog 
by Thomas Savage.
Chatto, 276 pp., £9.95, October 1984, 0 7011 3939 0
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The Fourth Protocol 
by Frederick Forsyth.
Hutchinson, 448 pp., £8.95, September 1984, 0 09 158630 5
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The Set-Up 
by Vladimir Volkoff, translated by Alan Sheridan.
Bodley Head, 397 pp., £8.95, September 1984, 0 370 30583 3
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... the London Magazine. Now it is put forward, somewhat polemically, by GMP, with an introduction by Paul Binding (who is, I believe, working on a critical biography of Stephen Spender). Binding argues that Worsley’s novel gains from a historically-distanced perspective on the fusion of high-born philanthropy, political ...

Papers

Paul Driver, 9 October 1986

The Beethoven Sketchbook: History, Reconstruction, Inventory 
by Douglas Johnson, Alan Tyson and Robert Winter, edited by Douglas Johnson.
Oxford, 611 pp., £60, January 1986, 0 19 315313 0
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... passed into the hands of early collectors (Dominic Artaria, Ludwig Landsberg, Friedrich Grasnick, Paul Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Anton Schindler), before being scattered to the European winds, serious students are in possession of the bibliographical information they need. Our authors supply the fullest description of each book, going deep into matters of ...

The Grey Boneyard of Fifties England

Iain Sinclair, 22 August 1996

A Perfect Execution 
by Tim Binding.
Picador, 344 pp., £15.99, May 1996, 0 330 34564 8
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... Tim Binding is a confident writer. His paragraphs, lengthy but under control, take swift possession of the thick sheaf of pages, imposing form. The narrative voice is modestly assertive. There is a tale to be told. The taleteller, having caught your attention, will not let go. No tricks, no mannerisms, no eye-catching Modernist flourishes: that’s the trick of it ...

Walking among ghosts

Paul Fussell, 18 September 1980

The Private Diaries of Sir H. Rider Haggard, 1914-1925 
edited by D.S. Higgins.
Cassell, 299 pp., £14.95, May 1980, 0 304 30611 8
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... Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines, published 95 years ago. Its pages are falling out and its binding has been worn to threads and cardboard. Clearly students told off to go and read Wittgenstein and George Eliot have been spending delicious secret hours enjoying Allan Quatermain’s phlegmatic accounts of people crushed to death, impaled, dismembered and ...

The Four Degrees

Paul Kingsnorth: Climate Change, 22 October 2014

Don’t Even Think about It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change 
by George Marshall.
Bloomsbury, 272 pp., £20, October 2014, 978 1 62040 133 0
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This Changes Everything: Capitalism v. The Climate 
by Naomi Klein.
Allen Lane, 576 pp., £20, September 2014, 978 1 84614 505 6
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... their emissions of carbon dioxide and other ‘greenhouse gases’. But the treaty wasn’t binding, so nothing changed and emissions continued to rise in line with the economic growth to which the wealthiest nations were also committed. The UN tried again in 1997. Nearly two hundred countries signed up to the Kyoto Protocol, which contained legally ...

Faking the Canon

Diarmaid MacCulloch: Forging the Bible, 6 February 2014

Forgery and Counter-Forgery: The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christian Polemics 
by Bart Ehrman.
Oxford, 628 pp., £27.50, January 2013, 978 0 19 992803 3
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... On my bookshelves is a handsome set of late Victorian printed books in a plum-coloured binding. I take down a volume, and read on the spine the name ‘David Copperfield’; underneath, in slightly smaller letters, is another name, ‘Charles Dickens’. I open the book, and find the same combination repeated on the title page ...

Your Mum and Dad

Paul Sayer, 2 February 1989

Thou shalt not uncover thy mother’s nakedness 
by George Hayim.
Quartet, 232 pp., £14.95, November 1988, 0 7043 2690 6
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My Father’s House 
by Sylvia Fraser.
Virago, 254 pp., £4.95, February 1989, 0 86068 181 5
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... salvation with Danny, who is unaware of the previous situation with the father: ‘He holds me, binding the pieces of myself together, allowing me to heal.’ The ‘Appearances’ contrivance is dismantled and in 1957 Fraser enters the University of Ontario. She and Danny agree to marry, but the idea of becoming pregnant is abhorrent to her. At her ...

Jacques Derrida

Judith Butler: Commemorating ‘one of the greatest philosophers of the 20th century’, 4 November 2004

... significance and a new promise. In that book, he openly mourns Roland Barthes, who died in 1980, Paul de Man, who died in 1983, Michel Foucault, who died in 1984, and a host of others, including Edmund Jabès (1991), Louis Marin (1992), Sarah Kofman (1994), Emmanuel Levinas (1995) and Jean-François Lyotard (1998). In the last of these essays, for ...

I’m all for it

R.W. Johnson, 30 March 2000

Hitler’s Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII 
by John Cornwall.
Viking, 430 pp., £20, September 1999, 0 670 87620 8
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... the French say, consulted his own genius. He got rid of his key adviser, Giovanni Montini (later Paul VI) because he exposed irregularities at the Vatican Bank run by – surprise, surprise – two of Pacelli’s nephews. He encouraged the notion that he was not just St Peter’s successor, but Christ’s. Vatican officials had to take phone calls from him ...

Adrian

Peter Campbell, 5 December 1985

... betrayal and embarrassment. The epigraph to The Secret Diary is taken from Sons and Lovers: ‘Paul walked with something screwed up tight inside him ... yet he chatted away with his mother. He would never have confessed to her how he suffered over these things and she only partly guessed.’ The worst insults, the ones which start fights and feuds, are ...

Send no postcards, take no pictures

John Redmond, 21 May 1998

One Train 
by Kenneth Koch.
Carcanet, 74 pp., £7.95, March 1997, 9781857542691
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A World where News Travelled slowly 
by Lavinia Greenlaw.
Faber, 53 pp., £6.99, January 1997, 0 571 19160 6
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A Painted Field 
by Robin Robertson.
Picador, 98 pp., £6.99, February 1997, 0 330 35059 5
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... sequence called ‘On Aesthetics’, which, amongst many other things, takes in the aesthetics of Paul Valéry, of jazz, of moss, of air and of being the youngest of four sisters. In tone, the sequence is something like a cross between Auden’s ‘Academic Graffiti’ and the Private Eye scribbling of E.J. Thribb. Often, the line-breaks are deliberately ...

Playing Fields, Flanders Fields

Paul Delany, 21 January 1982

War Diary 1913-1917: Chronicle of Youth 
by Vera Brittain, edited by Alan Bishop.
Gollancz, 382 pp., £8.50, September 1981, 0 575 02888 2
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The English Poets of the First World War 
by John Lehmann.
Thames and Hudson, 144 pp., £6.95, August 1981, 0 500 01256 3
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Voices from the Great War 
by Peter Vansittart.
Cape, 303 pp., £7.95, November 1981, 0 224 01915 5
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The Little Field-Marshal: Sir John French 
by Richard Holmes.
Cape, 427 pp., £12.50, November 1981, 0 224 01575 3
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... who had carried off the school’s seven chief prizes (‘most glorious books in the Uppingham binding’). This proof of Leighton’s ‘wonderful intellect’ answered Brittain’s deep need to combine love with ambition: they fell in love, became engaged on Leighton’s first leave from the Front, and were on the verge of marrying when he was killed in ...

Sitting it out

Paul Sieghart, 2 August 1984

Two men were aquitted 
by Percy Hoskins.
Secker, 221 pp., £9.95, May 1984, 0 436 20161 5
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... so long as there was the slightest risk that Buller might fill it. Having failed to receive any binding assurance that he would not, Goddard also stayed where he was. At that time, there was no statutory retiring age for judges, and both his health and his intellect remained singularly unimpaired. For year after year, Goddard and Buller grimly sat it ...

Scrum down

Paul Smith, 14 November 1996

Making Men: Rugby and Masculine Identity 
edited by John Nauright and Timothy Chandler.
Cass, 260 pp., £35, April 1996, 0 7146 4637 7
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... where women were scarce or marginalised and the taboo against homosexuality was strong. The binding and the bonding, however, were for butting against opponents. The scrum represented the primitive form of head-on collision with the problems of life and the enemies of the Empire, which was all that could be managed by the large, unruly, unselective ...

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