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Whose Bodies?

Elizabeth Lowry: ‘Tinkers’

23 September 2010
Tinkers 
by Paul Harding.
Heinemann, 191 pp., £12.99, July 2010, 978 0 434 02084 3
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... George Crosby, the hero of PaulHarding’s Pulitzer Prize-winning first novel, Tinkers, has been laid out to die on a rented hospital bed in his living-room, surrounded by his wife, children and grandchildren. He is 80, a retired teacher ...

In Däräsge Maryam

Jeremy Harding: The East Wall of the Maqdas

23 January 2014
... sowing tares; the woman taken in adultery. The cleansing of the Temple; Christ calming the four winds of heaven. Webe Hayla Maryam in procession. The crucifixion of St Peter; the beheadings of St Paul and St Matthew; the garrotting of St Mark. St Matthias being burned; the recognition of Gabra Krestos. The first council of Nicaea, with Arius squatting.PreviousNext Each wall of the maqdas measures ...

Hindsight Tickling

Christopher Tayler: Disappointing sequels

21 October 2004
The Closed Circle 
by Jonathan Coe.
Viking, 433 pp., £17.99, September 2004, 0 670 89254 8
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... writer, is a dreamy, passive boy who feels ‘destined always to be offstage whenever the main action occurs’. His schoolfriends – Philip, a conscientious plodder; Doug, a worldly left-wing wit; Harding, an anarchic practical joker; and Steve, an athlete and the only black pupil – are more enterprising, as are their counterparts from the girls’ school over the road. Benjamin spends most of the ...

Prince and Pimp

Paul​ Foot

1 January 1998
The Liar: The Fall of Jonathan Aitken 
by Luke Harding and David Leigh.
Penguin, 205 pp., £6.99, December 1997, 0 14 027290 9
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... decade, 20 billion dollars’ worth of Saudi oil and cash were to pay for bombers and guns and warships made in British factories. The price in every case was far higher than the manufacturing cost. Harding et al quote some examples: ‘A Tornado fighter-bomber which cost Nato £20m was to be sold to the Saudis for closer to £35m … Each 2000 lb bomb that went on the planes was fitted with a ...

Short Cuts

Jeremy Harding: On commemoration

6 March 2008
... the poor cousins of ‘memory’, an almost mystical concept in these circumstances and crucial to any discussion as to why the world is caught up in a ‘global rush to commemorate atrocities’, as Paul Williams puts it in Memorial Museums (Berg, £19.99). There is no doubting the evidence. A non-exhaustive list at the beginning of the book includes 24 museums, sites or artefacts marking atrocities ...

Short Cuts

Jeremy Harding: France’s role in Rwanda

6 May 2004
... was thought the whole of the civil service was to observe it, but it turned out that only the Quai d’Orsay and Chirac need bother. Then reports came through from Kigali that the Rwandan president, Paul Kagame, had used his commemorative speech to accuse France of complicity in the genocide, whereupon the French deputy foreign minister – no high-level delegations to Kigali, thank you – ended his ...

At the V&A

Jeremy Harding: 50 Years of ‘Private Eye’

15 December 2011
... for another ten years. Goldsmith convinced himself that the Eye had ‘revolutionary views’. It was part of a conspiracy, he believed, to feed the nation ‘pus’ and ‘destroy our society’. Paul Foot, who’d left the magazine a few years earlier to write for Socialist Worker, had indeed edged his way back to Greek Street at the time of the case, to do odds and ends for Ingrams ...

Do it in Gaelic

Jeremy Harding: Australia’s Boat-People

26 September 2013
... may have to opt for unlawful departure from one country and unlawful entry into another and that this must not prejudice their claim.) But Labor has never been far behind the Coalition. In the 1990s Paul Keating’s administration introduced mandatory detention for anyone entering Australia without a valid visa. In 2012, during Julia Gillard’s tenure, it emerged that the security services had ruled ...

At the Centre Pompidou

Jeremy Harding: Beat Generation

7 September 2016
... to be missing. And there’s no shortage of ambient sound. Songs collected by Harry Smith for the Anthology of American Folk Music (1952) drift on the air in the first rooms; in the last, we can hear Paul Bowles’s recordings (1959-61) of traditional Moroccan musicians. Beaubourg’s trophy exhibit is Kerouac’s highway-scroll manuscript of On the Road, composed in 1951: at more than thirty metres ...

At Quai Branly

Jeremy Harding: Jacques Chirac’s museum

4 January 2007
... of the Palais. (That’s the Eiffel Tower in the background.) The Musée de l’homme had its own resistance cell and the following year it was under assault. Two heads of department were shot. Paul Rivet, the founder of the museum, who’d helped set up the Institut d’ethnologie with Marcel Mauss and Lucien Lévy-Bruhl in the 1920s, was also active in the resistance. In 1942, he left for ...

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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... interview seemed to round off the 1960s nicely – or nastily, come to that. Many things seemed to do 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 ...

Rolling Back the Reformation

Eamon Duffy: Bloody Mary’s Church

7 February 2008
... Cervini, the future Papa Marcello, who favoured a harder and sterner version of Catholicism. All that time he remained, despite the mounting hostility of his arch-enemy Cardinal Caraffa, Pope Paul IV, a ‘power in Rome’. And in the conclave which eventually elected Julius III, Pole was offered the papacy by acclamation on the night of 4 December 1549, and next day came within one vote of ...

Diary

James Meek: Waiting for the War to Begin

27 July 2016
... of Kuwait City and reach the Hilton half an hour late. As I park I see a figure in a shapeless, grey, many-zippered jacket with a camera swinging across his belly and I honk the horn. I haven’t met Paul, the photographer I’m going to be working with, before. I guess it’s him, and it is. A shy, proud, diligent Irishman who hoards his smiles, then doles them out, like a kid sharing sweets. Inside ...

Light Entertainment

Andrew O’Hagan: Our Paedophile Culture

8 November 2012
... and round, with a face for radio. Indeed, the onset of television pushed a lot of well-known radio announcers onto the back foot, and several struggled to make the move. Some who did, such as Gilbert Harding (another Cambridge graduate and former schoolteacher, later a famously agitated contestant on What’s My Line?), were known for their melancholy and their loneliness as well as for their charitable ...

Through Plate-Glass

Ian Sansom: Jonathan Coe

10 May 2001
The Rotters’ Club 
by Jonathan Coe.
Viking, 405 pp., £14.99, April 2001, 0 670 89252 1
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... after the great parade of the Winshaws in What a Carve Up!, that Coe could actually create a larger cast-list, but in The Rotters’ Club, the characters include a Colin, a Sheila, a Benjamin, a Paul and a Lois Trotter, a Bill; an Irene and Doug Anderton; Barbara, Sam and Philip Chase, Malcolm, Roy Slater, Sean Harding, Steve Richards, Culpepper, Cicely Boyd, Donald, Claire and Miriam Newman, and ...

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