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Jihad

James Wood, 5 August 1993

TheNew Poetry 
edited by Michael Hulse, David Kennedy and David Morley.
Bloodaxe, 352 pp., £25, May 1993, 1 85224 244 2
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Who Whispered Near Me 
by Killarney Clary.
Bloodaxe, 64 pp., £5.95, February 1993, 1 85224 149 7
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Sunset Grill 
by Anne Rouse.
Bloodaxe, 64 pp., £5.95, March 1993, 1 85224 219 1
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Half Moon Bay 
by Paul Mills.
Carcanet, 95 pp., £6.95, February 1993, 9781857540000
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Shoah 
by Harry Smart.
Faber, 74 pp., £5.99, April 1993, 0 571 16793 4
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The Autonomous Region 
by Kathleen Jamie.
Bloodaxe, 79 pp., £7.95, March 1993, 9781852241735
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Collected Poems 
by F.T. Prince.
Carcanet, 319 pp., £25, March 1993, 1 85754 030 1
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Stirring Stuff 
by Selwyn Pritchard.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 145 pp., £8.99, April 1993, 9781856193085
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News from the Brighton Front 
by Nicki Jackowska.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 86 pp., £7.99, April 1993, 1 85619 306 3
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Translations from the Natural World 
by Les Murray.
Carcanet, 67 pp., £6.95, March 1993, 1 85754 005 0
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... in one respect, though: something is happening in recent British and Irish poetry. Poets like Paul Durcan, Ian McMillan and Peter Didsbury (all well represented here) are pushing the form towards performance and gaudy narrative. Many of the poets are writing long, stringy lines reminiscent of the American poet C.K. Williams, or having cartoonish fun with ...
The Restraint of Beasts 
by Magnus Mills.
Flamingo, 215 pp., £9.99, September 1998, 0 00 225720 3
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... Brixton bus garage was besieged by reporters and photographers hoping to catch a glimpse of Magnus Mills, perhaps scribbling in the cab of his Routemaster, or discussing Joyce in rhyming slang. We have since been bombarded with features, interviews and increasingly laborious jokes, usually along the lines of Wendy Cope’s poem about men and buses ...

Should we say thank you?

Hugh Wilford: The Overrated Marshall Plan, 30 April 2009

The Most Noble Adventure: The Marshall Plan and the Reconstruction of Postwar Europe 
by Greg Behrman.
Aurum, 448 pp., £25, February 2008, 978 1 84513 326 9
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Winning the Peace: The Marshall Plan and America’s Coming of Age as a Superpower 
by Nicolaus Mills.
Wiley, 290 pp., £15.99, August 2008, 978 0 470 09755 7
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... for devising the ERP and ensuring it was carried out: Marshall himself, William Clayton, Paul Hoffman, Richard Bissell and Arthur Vandenberg. All are portrayed as extraordinarily talented, dedicated and selfless individuals who acted out of a classical sense of republican virtue and, like Cincinnatus or George Washington, returned to private life at ...

I Love You Still

Russell Jacoby, 9 February 1995

Intellectuals in Exile: Refugee Scholars and the New School for Social Research 
by Claus-Dieter Krohn, translated by Rita Kimber and Robert Kimber.
Massachusetts, 255 pp., $15.95, July 1994, 0 87023 864 7
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... employed a bevy of refugee leftist intellectuals like Marcuse, Franz Neumann, Otto Kirkheimer and Paul Baran. Recent books include poignant accounts like Gabrielle Edgcomb’s From Swastika to Jim Crow, about the sixty-odd German Jewish professors who found refuge at black colleges in the American South. According to Claus-Dieter Krohn, a quarter of the ...

Tea-Leafing

Duncan Campbell, 19 October 1995

The Autobiography of a Thief 
by Bruce Reynolds.
Bantam, 320 pp., £15.99, April 1995, 0 593 03779 0
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... by a hit-man in Spain in 1990 – in a rather different aura, more Gauloise than Craven A. Piers Paul Read’s The Train Robbers (1978) was another one: ‘the evil ... which I had sought in the train robbers can be found in any one of us and has little to do with the law of the land. There was both a good thief and a bad thief on Calvary and the good thief ...

Is Berlusconi finished?

Paul Ginsborg: The Italian Election, 6 April 2006

... and 1970s, have slowly disappeared. They have less often been replaced by representations of John Paul II, perhaps more respected than loved in Italy, than by those of Padre Pio, the charismatic southern Italian Capuchin friar who claimed to have received the stigmata, and who was made a saint, in record time, by John ...

Heads and Hearts

Patrick Parrinder, 28 May 1992

Underworld 
by Peter Conrad.
Chatto, 252 pp., £14.99, April 1992, 0 7011 3895 5
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A Case of Curiosities 
by Allen Kurzweil.
Hamish Hamilton, 358 pp., £14.99, March 1992, 0 241 13235 5
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Rotten Times 
by Paul Micou.
Bantam, 266 pp., £14.99, May 1992, 0 593 02621 7
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The Republic of Love 
by Carol Shields.
Fourth Estate, 366 pp., £14.99, March 1992, 1 872180 88 4
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... Dictionary the knowledge of some hitherto unsuspected developments in 18th-century robotics. In Paul Micou’s Rotten Times the main character suffers from a hyperactive access of memory, known as Tourraine’s Syndrome, brought on while he was shaving in an aircraft flying through a thunderstorm. Even Carol Shields’s The Republic of Love, by far the most ...

Diary

Elaine Showalter: On the Phi Beta Kappa Tour, 10 March 1994

... by Minister Farakhan. Some campuses, like Ole Miss in Oxford, Mississippi, and Macalester, in St Paul, Minnesota, are served by bookstore-cafés, which double as literary salons; others inhabit a wasteland of thrift shops and greasy spoons. Faculty lifestyles and manners vary widely as well. At Queens College, in a polyglot borough of New York, we dined at a ...

At the Met

David Hansen: Richard Serra, 30 June 2011

... the knotted string from which the artist’s hands struggle to escape is the punitive opposite of Paul Klee’s bouncy, cheerful ‘taking a line for a walk’. In Hand Lead Fulcrum the artist’s arm drops slowly down off the horizontal, neatly allegorising the weight of pigment, while also articulating the physical labour of the drafting hand. The two pairs ...

We were the Lambert boys

Paul Driver, 22 May 1986

The Lamberts: George, Constant and Kit 
by Andrew Motion.
Chatto, 388 pp., £13.95, April 1986, 0 7011 2731 7
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... and reflective, modelled on Negro singing (particularly that of the Music Hall artist Florence Mills), but also close to Delius’s manner and what would be Walton’s in his 1931 Osbert Sitwell oratorio Belshazzar’s Feast; a dancing, hard-hitting orchestral style, somewhat anticipatory of Leonard Bernstein’s; and a marvellously discursive piano part ...

I jolly well would have

Paul Foot, 20 August 1992

Claire clairmont and the Shelleys 
by Robert Gittings and Jo Manton.
Oxford, 281 pp., £20, April 1992, 0 19 818594 4
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Mab’s Daughters 
by Judith Chernaik.
Pan, 229 pp., £5.99, July 1992, 0 330 32379 2
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... mushroom expeditions, the sledge drives by moonlight and the rides to drink milk at the estate saw mills, those who had ears might have heard the clang of hammer and sickle.’ Nor was she hoodwinked or hypnotised, as Mary was, by the apparent security and comforts of middle-class Early Victorian England. She saw, understood and supported what was happening ...

Bottom

Richard Jenkyns: George Grote’s ‘A History of Greece’, 9 August 2001

A History of Greece: From the Time of Solon to 403 BC 
by George Grote, edited by J.M. Mitchell and M.O.B. Caspari.
Routledge, 978 pp., £60, September 2000, 0 415 22369 5
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... abridgment of his 12-volume History of Greece, prefaced with an illuminating new introduction by Paul Cartledge, provides the best chance that there is likely to be of bringing him to a modern readership. He is one of those Victorians with an astonishing range and energy. Though he got a solid classical grounding at Sevenoaks Grammar School and ...

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
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Joanna 
by Lisa St Aubin de Teran.
Virago, 260 pp., £12.95, May 1990, 1 85381 158 0
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A Sensible Life 
by Mary Wesley.
Bantam, 364 pp., £12.95, March 1990, 9780593019306
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The Light Years 
by Elizabeth Jane Howard.
Macmillan, 418 pp., £12.95, June 1990, 0 333 53875 7
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... thanks largely to the posthumous revelations about the Belgian-American literary theorist Paul de Man. But what about the ordinary people of the Low Countries? Hugo Claus’s The Sorrow of Belgium, a novel first published in Holland in 1983, presents a world in which collaboration with the Nazis is made to seem as inevitable as breathing. The ...

The Groom Stripped Bare by His Suitor

Jeremy Harding: John Lennon, 4 January 2001

Lennon Remembers 
by Jann Wenner.
Verso, 151 pp., £20, October 2000, 1 85984 600 9
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... the same, of course, but in this case the dating was pretty precise. It was ten years since John, Paul, George and Ringo had recorded their first session together at the Akustik, a small studio in Hamburg (apparently a single 78 rpm copy of ‘Summertime’ still survives); and Lennon’s declaration that ‘the dream is over’ in ‘God’, track ten on ...

Just Like Cookham

Neal Ascherson: Stanley Spencer in China, 19 May 2011

Passport to Peking: A Very British Mission to Mao’s China 
by Patrick Wright.
Oxford, 591 pp., £20, October 2010, 978 0 19 954193 5
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... thought they were seeing the new China rising. But what they were really witnessing, between steel mills and river dams, were the remaining sights and cultural landscapes and habits of an old China about to be swept away for ever. Were these visitors just useful idiots, in their excitement at seeing a great people about to emerge from millennia of poverty, and ...

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