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Kisses for the Duce

Richard J. Evans: Letters to Mussolini, 7 February 2013

Fascist Voices: An Intimate History of Mussolini’s Italy 
by Christopher Duggan.
Bodley Head, 501 pp., £25, November 2012, 978 1 84792 103 1
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The Fascist Party and Popular Opinion in Mussolini’s Italy 
by Paul Corner.
Oxford, 320 pp., £65, July 2012, 978 0 19 873069 9
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... success enjoyed by Mussolini. In The Fascist Party and Popular Opinion in Mussolini’s Italy, Paul Corner paints a very different picture, arguing that corruption and mismanagement had made the Fascist Party deeply unpopular by 1939. And other sources used by Duggan himself reveal a more complex situation than the letters and diaries he quotes seem ...

The King of Cats

Paul Durcan, 24 April 1997

... chuckle Halfway between a revelation and a peep. Goodbye, Francis – see you soon See you soon, Paul – you cry out. In my car at your gate I perch in the dark Under the orange streetlight a gnat in an Astra Facing downhill to The Great Wall of China – Your local corner takeaway – and the Scots pines High above the ...

At the Coppermill

Paul Myerscough: Simply Botiful, 14 December 2006

... the kitchen; a man with his back turned, masturbating in the shower; a small figure slumped in the corner of the bedroom, head and torso covered in a black bin-bag. (You could see the plastic moving as he breathed, which didn’t stop some people kicking him to find out ‘if he was real’.) Entering the second house brought a shock. It was the same as the ...

Upstaging

Paul Driver, 19 August 1993

Shining Brow 
by Paul Muldoon.
Faber, 86 pp., £5.99, February 1993, 0 571 16789 6
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... take the pains to learn the métier and is lucky enough to find a composer he can believe in’. Paul Muldoon, who ranks with Auden as a poet for whom the intricacies of verse and rhyme are endless and masterable, and who lives in America, as Auden did, has written a libretto for a composer of whom I confess I haven’heard. He is Daron Aric Hagen, and ...
... Sassoon resort to a series of smouldering footnotes, where he is repeatedly told to stand in the corner for ‘reductionism’ and other lapses from the problematic. There are (it may be more relevant to note) political undercurrents in operation here, as much as among the various items in Gramsci and Marxist Theory. One might say, in this case, between a ...

Thoughts about Boars and Paul Celan

Lawrence Norfolk: The Ways of the Boar, 6 January 2011

... appear at nine months and grow outward from between the fourth pre-molar (or wolf-tooth) and the corner incisor in the lower jaw. They may reach a foot in length, although eight inches is more common. Xenophon warns of their heat: the angrier the boar the hotter they become. The tusks of the boar of Kalydon, displayed first in the temple of Athene at Tegea ...

At the Serpentine

Paul Myerscough: Cy Twombly, 20 May 2004

... bottom of the frame, forming a horizon across its middle; in others, they collect in the left-hand corner, or the right; the rest of the yellowing paper is left blank. Twombly is famous for leaving parts of his surfaces untouched. He’s fascinated by the way the mark and the blank surface articulate one another: the canvas isn’t ‘canvas’ until it’s ...

Eating people is right

Paul Delany, 21 February 1985

Modern Times 
by Peter York.
Heinemann, 128 pp., £7.95, October 1984, 0 434 89260 2
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Face Value: The Politics of Beauty 
by Robin Tolmach Lakoff and Raquel Scherr.
Routledge, 312 pp., £12.95, November 1984, 0 7100 9742 5
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... nothing, literally nothing ... which hasn’t been thought out by the square men, there’s no corner undesigned.’ Though Covent Garden’s style is archaic/nostalgic, its real ancestry goes back only to 1955, when Disneyland opened south of Los Angeles. This, the first of the ‘theme parks’, had to be built from scratch. But in older cities, the ...

Diary

Alexei Sayle: The 006 from Liverpool to London, 19 January 1984

... tremendously boring trips, under the generic title Great Bus Journeys of the World. In this series Paul Theroux takes the London Transport Number 19 from his house down to the shops. Michael Frayn goes on a sight-seeing tour round Sheffield, and Michael Palin pays five quid to go to India on an old Leeds Corporation double-decker. And I, in a bus-ride down ...

A Book of Evasions

Paul Muldoon, 20 March 1980

Visitors Book 
Poolbeg Press, 191 pp., £5.50, November 1979, 0 905169 22 0Show More
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... of an American professor of geology, Kevin J. O’Driscoll, who retires with his wife to a quiet corner of the old sod – West Cork, to be exact – where they buy a charmingly ethnic cottage. There’s no electricity supply, and you can’t get much more ethnic than that. Nor is there a well. A dowser is called in, and drilling begins. (All this is set ...

At Christie’s

Paul Myerscough: Buying Art, 21 February 2008

... a crowd of animal rights protesters, I wondered if I should tell them to try their luck around the corner. Harrods is selling the furs, but I’d just come from Christie’s in South Kensington, and there I’d been surrounded by the people who buy them. They buy art, too. A lot of it, for a lot of money. They’re spending most of it on modern art – Old ...

Sevenyearson

Michael Hofmann, 22 September 1994

Walking a Line 
by Tom Paulin.
Faber, 105 pp., £5.99, June 1994, 0 571 17081 1
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... Everybody knows – Paul Muldoon said it on the radio recently – that writing poetry can only get harder the more you keep at it. Against that is the belief, or perhaps the determination, that it shouldn’t. That instead of the diminishing returns, spending twice the time saying half as much twice as cumbrously/flashily/winsomely, one should use craft and expertise to overthrow the stiflement and self-importance of craft and expertise – to be as uninhibited and fresh and airy as a beginner ...

Pseud’s Corner

John Sutherland, 17 July 1980

Duffy 
by Dan Kavanagh.
Cape, 181 pp., £4.95, July 1980, 0 224 01822 1
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Moscow Gold 
by John Salisbury.
Futura, 320 pp., £1.10, March 1980, 0 7088 1702 5
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The Middle Ground 
by Margaret Drabble.
Weidenfeld, 248 pp., £5.95, June 1980, 0 297 77808 0
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The Boy Who Followed Ripley 
by Patricia Highsmith.
Heinemann, 292 pp., £6.50, April 1980, 0 434 33520 7
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... weighty topic of feminism, a group of central characters turn to lighter things: ‘Over coffee, Paul, Hugo and Kate took refuge in gossip about that perennially interesting topic, the editorship of the New Statesman, lapsing into the parochial and the malicious in a way that certainly amused them, if not their guests.’ The principals in this novel belong ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Cold fish at the royal household, 20 November 2003

... and the last of the Windsors will be preparing for exile in Bermuda, or some other far-flung corner of their former realm: Port Stanley, say, or Balmoral. Paul Burrell will have packed their bags for them one last time. The ‘irony’ of which, as Burrell would say (the only words that he misuses more often are ...

Sweaney Peregraine

Paul Muldoon, 1 November 1984

Station Island 
by Seamus Heaney.
Faber, 123 pp., £5.95, October 1984, 0 571 13301 0
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Sweeney Astray: A Version 
by Seamus Heaney.
Faber, 85 pp., £6.95, October 1984, 0 571 13360 6
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Rich 
by Craig Raine.
Faber, 109 pp., £5.95, September 1984, 0 571 13215 4
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... cow-dung and fill the hole to the brim with new milk. Then Sweeney would sneak into the deserted corner of the milking yard and lap it up ... [The herd] got up in a sudden fury, seized a spear from a rack in the house, and made for the madman. Sweeney was down swilling the milk out of the cow-dung with his side exposed towards the herd, who let go at him ...

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