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At the Whitney

Paul Keegan: Andy Warhol

7 March 2019
... In​  The Dream Colony, a memoir published posthumously in 2017, the gallerist and curator Walter Hopps mentions his first meeting with Andy Warhol, in New York in 1961, when Warhol was a successful commercial artist looking for a way out. ‘We agreed to keep in touch and see what came along. And what came along … were the 32 original Campbell’s Soup Cans.’ Hopps and Irving Blum gave Warhol ...

Against Whales

Paul Keegan

20 July 1995
The Moon by Whale Light 
by Diane Ackerman.
Phoenix, 260 pp., £6.99, May 1994, 1 85799 087 0
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The Last Panda 
by George Schaller.
Chicago, 292 pp., $13.95, May 1993, 0 226 73629 6
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The Great Ape Project 
edited by Paola Cavalieri and Peter Singer.
Fourth Estate, 312 pp., £9.99, June 1993, 1 85702 126 6
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... For Sir Thomas Browne it was a commonplace that ‘the number of the dead long exceedeth all that shall live.’ But this is no longer necessarily true, as has been pointed out in these pages before now: there may be more people living now than all the people who have ever died. With over 5.4 billion of us alive today, on course to become 8.5 billion by 2025, we must think of the outnumbering dead ...

Lethal Pastoral

Paul Keegan: Housman’s Lethal Pastoral

17 November 2016
Housman Country: Into the Heart of England 
by Peter Parker.
Little, Brown, 446 pp., £25, June 2016, 978 1 4087 0613 8
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... Any life​ of A.E. Housman is an assemblage of the already known and the well documented. Housman’s stage-management of his reputation was as controlled as his quatrains, and the mask of reserve – assumed directly after he inexplicably failed his finals in Greats at Oxford – became a perfected gesture, a way of being in the world structured as a renunciation. Most versions of the story prefer ...

From Shtetl to Boulevard

Paul Keegan: Freud’s Mother

4 October 2017
Freud: In His Time and Ours 
by Elisabeth Roudinesco, translated by Catherine Porter.
Harvard, 580 pp., £27.95, November 2016, 978 0 674 65956 8
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Freud: An Intellectual Biography 
by Joel Whitebook.
Cambridge, 484 pp., £30, February 2017, 978 0 521 86418 3
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... In​ ‘Some Remarks on a Case of Obsessive-Compulsive Neurosis’, Freud’s case history of the Rat Man (real name: Ernst Lanzer), there is an account of Lanzer’s attempts to repay a debt, or rather his attempt to describe his attempts to do so. While a reserve officer on military exercises, he loses his pince-nez and sends a telegram to his optician in Vienna. The replacement arrives and is handed ...

Mulishness

Paul Keegan: David Jones removes himself

7 November 2019
David Jones: Engraver, Soldier, Painter, Poet 
by Thomas Dilworth.
Vintage, 448 pp., £14.99, January, 978 0 7847 0800 2
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Epoch and Artist Selected Writings 
by David Jones, edited by Harman Grisewood.
Faber, 320 pp., £18.99, April 2017, 978 0 571 33950 1
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‘The Dying Gaul’ and Other Writings 
by David Jones, edited by Harman Grisewood.
Faber, 240 pp., £17.99, April 2017, 978 0 571 33953 2
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Dai Greatcoat A Self-Portrait of David Jones in His Letters 
edited by René Hague.
Faber, 280 pp., £17.99, April 2017, 978 0 571 33952 5
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... You​ ought to be in a kindergarten,’ a Canadian nurse exclaimed to David Jones, aged twenty, awaiting transfer home in July 1916 after being wounded in Mametz Wood. Even a decade later, photographs show a wary child or an understudy for an adult. Prudence Pelham, the staunchest of his extended female fellowship, described him as ‘completely unsexed’. He himself felt anomalous in the 1920s ...

Sorrows of a Polygamist

Mark Ford: Ted Hughes in His Cage

17 March 2016
Ted Hughes: The Unauthorised Life 
by Jonathan Bate.
William Collins, 662 pp., £30, October 2015, 978 0 00 811822 8
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... tally of Hughes’s books runs to more than seventy items, while the various Hughes archives contain nearly a hundred thousand pages of manuscript material. The vast Collected Poems edited by PaulKeegan and published in 2003 presents a poet who insistently ‘o’erflows the measure’, to borrow a phrase from Antony and Cleopatra, veering, rather like Shakespeare’s Antony, between the sublime and ...

How to Survive Your Own Stupidity

Andrew O’Hagan: Homage to Laurel and Hardy

22 August 2002
Stan and Ollie: The Roots of Comedy 
by Simon Louvish.
Faber, 518 pp., £8.99, September 2002, 0 571 21590 4
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... a washing-machine to a house at the top of a long flight of steps. The second and more famous movie was filmed in the same street in Los Angeles as the original. ‘One of cinema’s discoveries,’ PaulKeegan writes in his introduction to a new edition of Freud’s Psychopathology of Everyday Life, ‘was that everyday life is repetition – as if our actions are constantly trying to remember ...
6 March 1986
Trial by Impotence: Virility and Marriage in Pre-Revolutionary France 
by Pierre Darmon, translated by Paul Keegan.
Chatto, 234 pp., £10.95, March 1985, 9780701129149
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The Boundaries of Eros: Sex, Crime and Sexuality in Renaissance Venice 
by Guido Ruggiero.
Oxford, 223 pp., £25, March 1985, 0 19 503465 1
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The Tuscans and their Families: A Study of the Florentine Catasto of 1427 
by David Herlihy and Christiane Klapisch-Zuber.
Yale, 404 pp., £32, March 1985, 0 300 03056 8
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Women, Family and Ritual in Renaissance Italy 
by Christiane Klapisch-Zuber, translated by Lydia Cochrane.
Chicago, 338 pp., £25.50, September 1985, 0 226 43925 9
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French Women in the Age of Enlightenment 
edited by Samia Spencer.
Indiana, 429 pp., $35, November 1984, 0 253 32481 5
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... And if you know of any impediments, either of consanguinity, affinity or spiritual relationship, or of any other reason why these two should not be joined in holy matrimony, you are bound to declare the same to us as soon as possible.’ As a child, hearing the banns read out in church, I used to wonder idly what kind of ‘other reason’ there might be. In fact, the canon lawyers distinguish quite ...
19 July 1984
... lengths to keep the public in the dark about what is happening. When news leaked out in the Guardian (21 June) about the latest eruption in the Observer’s boardroom, Lonrho’s spokesman, Paul Spicer, was not concerned to confirm or deny the accuracy of the report: his only response was to warn that a search would be made to discover which of the directors had leaked the information and ...

There is no cure

Michael Wood: Freud’s Guesswork

6 July 2006
The Penguin Freud Reader 
edited by Adam Phillips.
Penguin, 570 pp., £14.99, January 2006, 0 14 118743 3
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... are a treasure. Much of the nagging that goes on about translation, in the New Penguin Freud and elsewhere, comes from the yearning for this second activity to survive, undiminished, in the first. PaulKeegan, for example, in his introduction to The Psychopathology of Everyday Life, follows Bruno Bettelheim in complaining about versions of Freud’s Fehlleistung, his word for what we know as a ...
20 June 1985
Firing Line 
by Richard Holmes.
Cape, 436 pp., £12.95, March 1985, 0 224 02043 9
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The Right of the Line: The Royal Air Force in the European War 1939-1945 
by John Terraine.
Hodder, 841 pp., £14.95, March 1985, 0 340 26644 9
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The Bomber Command War Diaries: An Operational Reference Book 
by Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt.
Viking, 804 pp., £25, May 1985, 0 670 80137 2
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’45: The Final Drive from the Rhine to the Baltic 
by Charles Whiting.
Century, 192 pp., £7.95, March 1985, 0 7126 0812 5
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In the Ruins of the Reich 
by Douglas Botting.
Allen and Unwin, 248 pp., £9.95, May 1985, 9780049430365
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1945: The World We Fought For 
by Robert Kee.
Hamish Hamilton, 371 pp., £12.95, May 1985, 0 241 11531 0
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VE Day: Victory in Europe 1945 
by Robin Cross.
Sidgwick, 223 pp., £12.95, May 1985, 0 283 99220 4
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One Family’s War 
edited by Patrick Mayhew.
Hutchinson, 237 pp., £10.95, May 1985, 0 7126 0812 5
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Poems of the Second World War: The Oasis Selection 
edited by Victor Selwyn.
Dent, 386 pp., £12, May 1985, 0 460 10432 2
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My Life 
by Bert Hardy.
Gordon Fraser, 192 pp., £14.95, March 1985, 0 86092 083 6
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Victory in Europe: D Day to VE Day 
by Max Hastings and George Stevens.
Weidenfeld, 192 pp., £10.95, April 1985, 0 297 78650 4
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... as a conscientious objector in the Medical Corps, but after winning a Military Medal for his heroism in the Dunkirk withdrawal, transferred to combat duties and was wounded in Italy. A third brother, Paul, died in the RAF. Sisters and cousins found various kinds of war work. The values of the clan were conditioned by serious interest in religious and moral issues and by upper-middle-class traditions ...

Diary

Ian Hamilton: The World Cup

30 July 1998
... in. Some nights, the only way to get some sleep was to try counting Del Piero’s goal attempts, or to devise a perfect forward line for France, or to imagine discussing such matters with, say, Kevin Keegan. You may not have allowed the bleached Romanians to get to you, but surely no one can deny that throughout this 1998 World Cup there was an altogether unsettling preoccupation with hairstyle. Maybe ...

Call me Ahab

Jeremy Harding: Moby-Dick

31 October 2002
Moby-Dick, or, The Whale 
by Herman Melville, edited by Harrison Hayford and Hershel Parker.
Northwestern, 573 pp., £14.95, September 2001, 0 8101 1911 0
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Mariners, Renegades and Castaways: The Story of Herman Melville and the World We Live in 
by C.L.R. James.
New England, 245 pp., £17.95, July 2001, 9781584650942
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Hunting Captain Ahab: Psychological Warfare and the Melville Revival 
by Clare Spark.
Kent State, 744 pp., £46.50, May 2001, 0 87338 674 4
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Lucchesi and the Whale 
by Frank Lentricchia.
Duke, 104 pp., £14.50, February 2001, 9780822326540
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... become harder to sustain. The malign and the dangerous haven’t disappeared from the picture – far from it – but they’ve fallen away from the natural world and been reassigned to human beings. PaulKeegan put this well in a remark about the changing temper of ‘nature writing’ in recent years. ‘The threatening in nature,’ he wrote, ‘has been exchanged for the idea of nature under ...

Football Mad

Martin Amis

3 December 1981
The Soccer Tribe 
by Desmond Morris.
Cape, 320 pp., £12.50, September 1981, 9780224019354
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... in Spain? For all I know, of course, we got well stuffed by the Hungarians at Wembley. Did you notice, during the Norway game, how the faces of our stars degenerated as the match went on? Kevin Keegan, a cross between Marc Bolan and Donny Osmond when he spun the coin in the centre circle, resembled a grimacing Magwitch by half-time. Paul Mariner, a picture of pampered, hammy self-love at club ...

She gives me partridges

Bee Wilson: Alma Mahler

5 November 2015
Malevolent Muse: The Life of Alma Mahler 
by Oliver Hilmes, translated by Donald Arthur.
Northeastern, 360 pp., £29, May 2015, 978 1 55553 789 0
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... in her life, rather than a form of unthinking prejudice. In The Bride of the Wind (1991) – the title is taken from the famous swirling Kokoschka painting of himself in bed with Alma – Susanne Keegan presented Alma’s anti-Semitism as tangential to her personality: a ‘tasteless’ aberration. Keegan noted that she had many Jewish friends and treated Jewish men such as Schönberg and Mahler as ...

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