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Grand Old Sod

Paul Driver: William Walton, 12 December 2002

The Selected Letters of William Walton 
edited by Malcolm Hayes.
Faber, 526 pp., £30, January 2002, 0 571 20105 9
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William Walton: Muse of Fire 
by Stephen Lloyd.
Boydell, 332 pp., £45, June 2001, 9780851158037
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William Walton, the Romantic Loner: A Centenary Portrait Album 
by Humphrey Burton and Maureen Murray.
Oxford, 182 pp., £25, January 2002, 0 19 816235 9
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... repertory piece; at 25 the three-movement Viola Concerto, premiered at the Proms with the composer Paul Hindemith as soloist; and at 29 the most galvanising of British cantatas, Belshazzar’s Feast. Then came his First Symphony: a structure of such immensity that its almost expressionistic impact alone discharges any debt that Walton is supposed to have ...

Davie’s Rap

Neil Corcoran, 25 January 1990

Under Briggflatts: A History of Poetry in Great Britain 1960-1988 
by Donald Davie.
Carcanet, 261 pp., £18.95, October 1989, 0 85635 820 7
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Annunciations 
by Charles Tomlinson.
Oxford, 55 pp., £5.95, November 1989, 0 19 282680 8
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Possible Worlds 
by Peter Porter.
Oxford, 68 pp., £6.95, September 1989, 0 19 282660 3
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The boys who stole the funeral: A Novel Sequence 
by Les Murray.
Carcanet, 71 pp., £6.95, October 1989, 0 85635 845 2
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... newly and very anciently landed – imagining an Australia both futuristic and aboriginal; and Les Murray’s The boys who stole the funeral, first published in Australia in 1980, also concludes with startling aboriginal visions. Versions of reconciliation and appeasement, they construct a new Christianised-pagan myth of blood sacrifice, eucharistic ...

Jihad

James Wood, 5 August 1993

The New 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 ...

Bizarre and Wonderful

Wes Enzinna: Murray Bookchin, Eco-Anarchist, 4 May 2017

Ecology or Catastrophe: The Life of Murray Bookchin 
by Janet Biehl.
Oxford, 344 pp., £22.99, October 2015, 978 0 19 934248 8
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... Abdullah Öcalan, the leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Turkey, sent a letter to Murray Bookchin, an 83-year-old, wheelchair-bound, arthritic eco-anarchist in Burlington, Vermont. Öcalan was serving a life sentence in solitary confinement on an island off the Turkish coast. In prison he’d abandoned Marxism-Leninism and was in search of a ...
Selected Literary Criticism of Louis MacNeice 
edited by Alan Heuser.
Oxford, 279 pp., £19.50, March 1987, 0 19 818573 1
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... Renaissance’ is ‘largely a journalistic entity’. Seamus Heaney, Derek Mahon, John Montague, Paul Muldoon, Seamus Deane, Michael Longley and their colleagues are from the North, and they are poets: but they are individual poets, not a school. They are not even two rival schools, though some of them have started fabricating a split, presumably in the hope ...

Bloody Sunday Report

Murray Sayle: Back to Bloody Sunday, 11 July 2002

... On the night of 30 January 1972, Murray Sayle was sent by the Sunday Times to Londonderry to report on the fatal shooting of 14 unarmed civil rights marchers by British Army Paratroopers. The article he wrote diverged from the official line; it was never printed. Twenty-six years later, his lost copy was unearthed by the new Inquiry ...

New Ground for the Book Trade

John Sutherland, 28 September 1989

... in 1987 to International Thomson, who broke it up, selling the general and children’s list to Paul Hamlyn’s Octopus, itself subsequently acquired by Reed International. Methuen’s academic books remained with Thomson, who now bring them out under the Routledge imprint, another victim of conglomeration. In itself, merger is not alien to the British book ...

Little Mania

Ian Gilmour: The disgraceful Lady Caroline Lamb, 19 May 2005

Lady Caroline Lamb 
by Paul Douglass.
Palgrave, 354 pp., £16.99, December 2004, 1 4039 6605 2
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... vanity . . . Dear Caroline’s perverseness makes me wretched whenever I think of it.’ Paul Douglass does not conceal the widespread belittlement and criticism of Caroline Lamb, but whenever it is at all possible to do so, he takes a charitable view of his heroine. He gives her, he tells us, ‘my sympathy, my laughter and astonishment, my ...

Rioting

Paul Rock, 17 September 1981

... away from the ghetto audience but within reach of a City Hall which was to give money in aid. And Murray Edelman, in a book entitled Politics as Symbolic Action, has contrasted the public belligerence of union leaders with the private quiet of negotiation. It is as if strikes and fighting were a latterday myth, frequently invoked but infrequently animated. If ...

Getting on

Paul Addison, 9 October 1986

On Living in an Old Country 
by Patrick Wright.
Verso, 262 pp., £5.95, September 1985, 0 86091 833 5
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Religion and Public Doctrine in Modern England. Vol. II: Assaults 
by Maurice Cowling.
Cambridge, 375 pp., £30, November 1985, 0 521 25959 2
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... the late 20th century. Cowling’s reporting serves him well in exposing the fatuities of Gilbert Murray or Bertrand Russell, but what does this prove? It is hardly surprising that the attempt to substitute a humanist for a Christian faith should have led to the propagation of quite a lot of nonsense. But a humanist mythology had to be established, and once ...

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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... as a response to a motherland’s need. That it was not always willingly offered is clear from Murray Phillips’s study of the two rugby codes in New South Wales. While the mainly middle-class administrators of the union game shut down all competition at once so as not to impede concentration on the war effort, the league, appealing largely to working men ...

Success

Benjamin Markovits: What It Takes to Win at Sport, 7 November 2013

... until they started. Britain ended up third in the medals table, behind China and the US. Andy Murray won the US Open in tennis. Justin Rose won it in golf. This summer, Murray won Wimbledon and Chris Froome followed Wiggins to victory in the Tour de France. The cup ran over. There’s plenty of material for a different ...

Happy Knack

Ian Sansom: Betjeman, 20 February 2003

John Betjeman: New Fame, New Love 
by Bevis Hillier.
Murray, 736 pp., £25, November 2002, 0 7195 5002 5
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... in the local paper and half a dozen glasses raised in tribute. His relationship with his son, Paul, does seem to have been a little strained, but then again, is there a father-son relationship that isn’t? I mean – seriously – Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? Betjeman apparently enjoyed teasing Paul as a child ...

Cursing and Breast-Beating

Ross McKibbin: Manning Clark’s Legacy, 23 February 2012

An Eye for Eternity: The Life of Manning Clark 
by Mark McKenna.
Miegunyah, 793 pp., £57.95, May 2011, 978 0 522 85617 0
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... Hayden), the prime minister (Bob Hawke), the deputy prime minister and future prime minister (Paul Keating), all of them at one time leaders of the Labor Party, along with much of the federal cabinet, the chief justice of the High Court and six hundred others. Although not a state funeral, it was a very good imitation of one. It attested to Clark’s ...

Japan goes Dutch

Murray Sayle: Japan’s economic troubles, 5 April 2001

... 11 per cent.For half a century we have been hearing that 1929 can never return, most recently from Paul Krugman of Princeton, who proposes the old Keynesian strategy for averting a world depression: cut interest rates, flood the markets with money, and if that fails, ensure that governments create demand. But Japan’s ‘lost decade’ has just seen the ...

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