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Apoplectic Gristle

David Trotter: Wyndham Lewis, 25 January 2001

Some Sort of Genius: A Life of Wyndham Lewis 
by Paul O'Keeffe.
Cape, 697 pp., £25, October 2001, 0 224 03102 3
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Wyndham Lewis: Painter and Writer 
by Paul Edwards.
Yale, 583 pp., £40, August 2000, 0 300 08209 6
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... are the hallmark of Lewis’s writing at its best. They also got him into a lot of trouble. Paul O’Keeffe’s new Life of Lewis does not hold back on the toe-jam. Some Sort of Genius is, among other things, a compendium of the many reasons people found to dislike its subject. Lewis became, sometimes by circumstance, sometimes by design, the ...

White Sheep at Rest

Neal Ascherson: After Culloden, 12 August 2021

Culloden: Battle & Aftermath 
by Paul O’Keeffe.
Bodley Head, 432 pp., £25, January, 978 1 84792 412 4
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... martial boy began within months of the Culloden celebrations. Horace Walpole (a great source for O’Keeffe) wrote as early as the summer of 1746 that during a discussion on whether to award the duke the freedom of a City company, one London alderman had said: ‘Then let it be of the Butchers!’ In later years, distaste hardened into suspicion that ...

Travels with My Mom

Terry Castle: In Santa Fe, 16 August 2007

... jewellery, high desert air and the famous Southwestern ‘light’ – indeed, the whole Stieglitz-O’Keeffe-D.H. Lawrence-Mabel Dodge Luhan-Willa Cather-Pueblo-Cliff-Dwellers-Death-Comes-for-the-Archbishop thing. Maybe we’ll even see Julia Roberts. (The sun-dried actress – a fortysomething Roma tomato in disguise? – has a ranch near Taos.) Our hotel is ...

I, too, am an artist

Linda Nochlin: Dora Maar, 4 January 2001

Dora Maar with and without Picasso: A Biography 
by Mary Ann Caws.
Thames and Hudson, 224 pp., £24.95, October 2000, 0 500 51009 1
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... rough stone and burgeoning foliage. The series of photos of Maar’s friend, Nusch Eluard, wife of Paul Eluard, the poet and friend of Picasso, is brilliant, if more premeditated. In one shot, entitled The Years Lie in Wait for You (c.1932-34), the fragile beauty of Nusch’s head is veiled by a spider’s web. Maar’s portraits of the male Surrealists ...

A Catholic Novel

David Lodge, 4 June 1981

... have worried on the first score: Rome did not attempt to settle the matter until 1968, and Pope Paul VI’s encyclical of that year, Humanae Vitae, endorsing the traditional prohibition of artificial birth control, succeeded only in provoking a much more fundamental debate, which continues to this day, about authority and conscience as well as ...


Mary Hawthorne: The Luck of Walker Evans, 5 February 2004

Walker Evans 
by James Mellow.
Perseus, 654 pp., £15.99, February 2002, 1 903985 13 7
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... him to the work of an obscure photographer she had discovered in Paris (Atget), Ralph Steiner, Paul Grotz, John Cheever, Ben Shahn and, most important of all, Lincoln Kirstein. Evans always acknowledged the role luck played in his life, and nothing could have been luckier than the friendship he formed with Kirstein, whose influence on his career was so ...

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