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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 ...

A Whiff of Grapeshot

John Foot: Giovanni and Giorgio, 27 July 2023

Politics, Murder and Love in an Italian Family: The Amendolas in the Age of Totalitarianisms 
by Richard Bosworth.
Cambridge, 262 pp., £29.99, February, 978 1 009 28017 4
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... as part of a wider discourse on … fascism, Italian-style’ (my translation). As the historian Paul Corner writes, ‘it would be more useful to define the Italian regime on the basis of what it was, rather than on the basis of what it wasn’t.’ Giorgio Amendola was released from confinement in 1937 and exiled to France; he went on to Tunisia ...

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 ...


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 ...


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 ...

At the Whitechapel

John-Paul Stonard: On Nicole Eisenman, 2 November 2023

... Different levels of finish and detail show Eisenman’s compositional skill – this might be the corner of a fresco by Signorelli, or an academic grande machine in the 19th-century Paris Salon. Eisenman says she was thinking of Pieter Bruegel’s Hunters in the Snow (1565), and there are echoes of Bruegel’s macchia, or ‘stains’, in the patches of ...

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 ...

At the Barbican

John-Paul Stonard: ‘Postwar Modern’, 23 June 2022

... 1955, Themerson wrote that she remembered the ‘old, withered woman who was sitting there in the corner, knitting’, as much as the work itself. That ‘old, withered woman’ could have been one of the Whitechapel residents recorded by the German-Jewish artist Eva Frankfurther. Frankfurther arrived in Britain in 1939, aged nine, and trained at St ...


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 ...

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