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Disgrace under Pressure

Andrew O’Hagan: Lad mags

3 June 2004
Stag & Groom Magazine 
edited by Perdita Patterson.
Hanage, 130 pp., £4, May 2004
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Zoo 
edited by Paul Merrill.
Emap East, 98 pp., £1.20, May 2004
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Nuts 
edited by Phil Hilton.
IPC, 98 pp., £1.20, May 2004
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Loaded 
edited by Martin Daubney.
IPC, 194 pp., £3.30, June 2004
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Jack 
edited by Michael Hodges.
Dennis, 256 pp., £3, May 2004
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Esquire 
edited by Simon Tiffin.
National Magazine Company, 180 pp., £3.40, June 2004
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GQ 
edited by Dylan Jones.
Condé Nast, 200 pp., £3.20, June 2004
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Men's Health 
edited by Morgan Rees.
Rodale, 186 pp., £3.40, June 2004
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Arena Homme Plus: ‘The Boys of Summer’ 
edited by Ashley Heath.
Emap East, 300 pp., £5, April 2004
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Stag & Groom Magazine 
edited by Perdita Patterson.
Hanage, 130 pp., £4, May 2004
Show More
Zoo 
edited by Paul Merrill.
Emap East, 98 pp., £1.20, May 2004
Show More
Nuts 
edited by Phil Hilton.
IPC, 98 pp., £1.20, May 2004
Show More
Loaded 
edited by Martin Daubney.
IPC, 194 pp., £3.30, June 2004
Show More
Jack 
edited by Michael Hodges.
Dennis, 256 pp., £3, May 2004
Show More
Esquire 
edited by Simon Tiffin.
National Magazine Company, 180 pp., £3.40, June 2004
Show More
GQ 
edited by Dylan Jones.
Condé Nast, 200 pp., £3.20, June 2004
Show More
Men’s Health 
edited by Morgan Rees.
Rodale, 186 pp., £3.40, June 2004
Show More
Arena Homme Plus: ‘The Boys of Summer’ 
edited by Ashley Heath.
Emap East, 300 pp., £5, April 2004
Show More
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... A spokesman admits that the cancellation of the Saturday night sleeper from London to Aberdeen ‘until the end of time’ is a bitter blow for those who like to wake up on a Sunday morning to the munching of Highland cattle, but there can be no question of having the train back, say the men at Euston. They can’t find a single soul who’ll agree to work the shift. ‘It was like an alcoholic bullet ...

Prize Poems

Donald Davie

1 July 1982
Arvon Foundation Poetry Competion: 1980 Anthology 
by Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney.
Kilnhurst Publishing Company, 173 pp., £3, April 1982, 9780950807805
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Burn this 
by Tom Disch.
Hutchinson, 63 pp., £7.50, April 1982, 0 09 146960 0
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... Below these again, by my reckoning, is a class of poems that are neither distinguished nor memorable but certainly creditable. And here figure Mairi MacInnes, Miriam Levine (two), Gerry Loose, Paul Coltman, Richard Dankleff, Robin Ivy, Pete Morgan (two), Phyllis Koestenbaum, Barbara Moore, David MacSweeney (one out of two), Randall Garrison, Donald Stallybrass, Ellery Akers, Peter Abbs, John ...

I am not a world improver

Christopher Turner: Building Seagram

6 February 2014
Building Seagram 
by Phyllis Lambert.
Yale, 306 pp., £45, January 2013, 978 0 300 16767 2
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Mies van der Rohe: A Critical Biography 
by Franz Schulze and Edward Windhorst.
Chicago, 493 pp., £25, April 2013, 978 0 226 15145 8
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... couldn’t (younger architects, lacking in experience: Marcel Breuer, Louis Kahn, I.M. Pei, Eero Saarinen); those who could but shouldn’t (the uninspired Harrison & Abramovitz; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill); and those who could and should (Le Corbusier, who had just finished the UN building, and Mies van der Rohe).When Lambert told Mies that there were people who doubted Le Corbusier could carry off ...

The First Hostile Takeover

James Macdonald: S.G. Warburg

4 November 2010
High Financier: The Life and Time of Siegmund Warburg 
by Niall Ferguson.
Allen Lane, 548 pp., £30, July 2010, 978 0 7139 9871 9
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... In 1995, when it was taken over by the Swiss Bank Corporation (now part of UBS), it was valued at £860 million; and two years later, its sister company, Mercury Asset Management, was sold to Merrill Lynch for a further £2.3 billion. Any patient investor who had recognised the abilities of Siegmund Warburg early on would have been handsomely rewarded. Setting up a business that grows into one of ...

Elephant Tears

James Macdonald: Goldman Sachs

3 November 2011
Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World 
by William Cohan.
Allen Lane, 658 pp., £25, 9781846144547
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... in the financial crisis. The first was that so much leverage meant that banks were highly vulnerable to any fall in the value of their assets. It was this that sank Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch. Goldman survived not because it hadn’t been part of the bubble but because its risk management department, considered the best on Wall Street, woke up to the looming crisis just in time. The ...

In the Anti-World

Nicholas Jenkins: Raymond Roussel

6 September 2001
Raymond Roussel and the Republic of Dreams 
by Mark Ford.
Faber, 312 pp., £25, November 2000, 0 571 17409 4
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... intimacy that Roussel must have hurried to disregard. Any reader will be able to add further instances to Mark Ford’s impressive list of artists with an interest in Roussel. Take, for instance, Paul Muldoon’s poem ‘The Lass of Aughrim’, which has a character playing a tune on a hollowed-out and drilled human tibia, just as Roussel has in his novel Locus Solus. And the title of Muldoon’s ...

Main Man

Michael Hofmann

7 July 1994
Walking Possession: Essays and Reviews 1968-1993 
by Ian Hamilton.
Bloomsbury, 302 pp., £20, May 1994, 0 7475 1712 6
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Gazza Italia 
by Ian Hamilton.
Granta, 188 pp., £5.99, May 1994, 0 14 014073 5
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... fan off the leash. Though not a deep or interesting or even particularly well-written book (by Hamilton’s standards), it does fascinatingly combine aspects of all the others – like Salinger, Paul Gascoigne refuses to meet Hamilton; it’s a book about difficulty of access, about a public figure withholding himself, about compromise (the white of Tottenham for the ‘peculiar blue vest’ of ...

Go, Modernity

Hal Foster: Norman Foster

22 June 2006
Catalogue: Foster and Partners 
edited by David Jenkins.
Prestel, 316 pp., £22.99, July 2005, 3 7913 3298 8
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Norman Foster: Works 2 
edited by David Jenkins.
Prestel, 548 pp., £60, January 2006, 3 7913 3017 9
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... a low Art Deco stone block on 57th Street and 8th, and, far from ‘floating weightlessly’, it looks as if a space-station has crash-landed. Here, rather than ‘the Mozart of Modernism’ (as Paul Goldberger of the New Yorker dubbed Foster when writing about this project), he is more like its Spielberg. Like history, nature is also sometimes put under glass, literally so in the National ...

Global Style

Hal Foster: Renzo Piano

20 September 2007
Piano: Renzo Piano Building Workshop 1966-2005 
by Philip Jodidio.
Taschen, 528 pp., £79.99, February 2005, 3 8228 5768 8
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Renzo Piano Building Workshop Vol. IV 
by Peter Buchanan.
Phaidon, 240 pp., £22.95, January 2005, 0 7148 4287 7
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... ò Paganini Auditorium in Parma (1997-2001) and the Parco della Musica in Rome (1994-2002), the former a converted factory, the latter a new complex of three zinc-clad auditoria; the newly opened Paul Klee Museum in Berne (1999-2007) and the Morgan Library extension in New York (2000-06). Current clients in this vein include the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Chicago Art Institute, the ...
9 March 1995
... in Britain, Rita Mae Brown in the States – have become ‘crossover’ writers with a mass-market audience including, presumably, many straight readers. Perhaps a few more gay male writers – Paul Monette, David Leavitt and Armistead Maupin in the US, Alan Hollinghurst, Paul Bailey, Adam Mars-Jones in Britain – enjoy this crossover status. International comparisons, however, can be ...

My God, the Suburbs!

Colm Tóibín: John Cheever

5 November 2009
Cheever: A Life 
by Blake Bailey.
Picador, 770 pp., £25, November 2009, 978 0 330 43790 5
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... is called ‘The Swimmer’. It is set, like much of his fiction, in the lawned suburbs somewhere outside New York City, and it is filled, like most of his fiction, with despair. The hero, Neddy Merrill, the father of four daughters, is sitting by a neighbour’s pool drinking gin when the idea comes to him that he might reach home by doing a lap of all of his neighbours’ pools on the way. In the ...

How to Get Screwed

David Runciman

6 June 2019
The Mueller Report: Presented With Related Materials by the ‘Washington Post’ 
Simon and Schuster, 736 pp., £12.99, May 2019, 978 1 4711 8617 2Show More
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... next? The Hitchcock version might have been interesting. As it was, in January 2016 Page volunteered for the Trump campaign on an unpaid basis. He had no evident qualifications: a few years at Merrill Lynch, a stint in Moscow, an unpublishable PhD on oil and gas in the ex-Soviet Union. But he offered to broker connections between Trump and senior Russian officials. He also dangled the prospect of ...

Vendlerising

John Kerrigan

2 April 1987
The Faber Book of Contemporary American Poetry 
edited by Helen Vendler.
Faber, 440 pp., £9.95, November 1986, 0 571 13945 0
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Selected Poems 
by John Ashbery.
Carcanet, 348 pp., £16.95, April 1986, 0 85635 666 2
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The Poetry Book Society Anthology 1986/87 
edited by Jonathan Barker.
Hutchinson, 94 pp., £4.95, November 1986, 0 09 165961 2
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Two Horse Wagon Going By 
by Christopher Middleton.
Carcanet, 143 pp., £5.95, October 1986, 0 85635 661 1
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... kinds of density lie outside Vendler’s range, including that tortuous grappling with impacted matter which tends not to write itself in light. Her taste for grotesquerie reaches no further than Merrill. Religious faith and political conviction strike her as risky impurities in the lucidities of lyric. Hence the selection from Rich, which cleaves to the family-album: ‘Snapshots of a Daughter-in ...

All the girls said so

August Kleinzahler: John Berryman

1 July 2015
The Dream Songs 
by John Berryman.
Farrar, Straus, 427 pp., £11.99, October 2014, 978 0 374 53455 4
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77 Dream Songs 
by John Berryman.
Farrar, Straus, 84 pp., £10, October 2014, 978 0 374 53452 3
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Berryman’s Sonnets 
by John Berryman.
Farrar, Straus, 127 pp., £10, October 2014, 978 0 374 53454 7
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The Heart Is Strange 
by John Berryman.
Farrar, Straus, 179 pp., £17.50, October 2014, 978 0 374 22108 9
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Poets in their Youth 
by Eileen Simpson.
Farrar, Straus, 274 pp., £11.50, October 2014, 978 0 374 23559 8
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... The Waste Land, Lustra, Harmonium, Spring and All, and so many others, had been written long ago and had exhausted the poetic impulse. Nothing was left for us to do.’ The Chicago poet and editor Paul Carroll, born in 1926, wrote: To a young poet the scene in American verse in the late 1940s and early 1950s seemed much like walking down 59th Street in New York for the first time. Elegant and ...

Buy birthday present, go to morgue

Colm Tóibín: Diane Arbus

2 March 2017
Diane Arbus: Portrait of a Photographer 
by Arthur Lubow.
Cape, 734 pp., £35, October 2016, 978 0 224 09770 3
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Silent Dialogues: Diane Arbus and Howard Nemerov 
by Alexander Nemerov.
Fraenkel Gallery, 106 pp., $30, March 2015, 978 1 881337 41 6
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... towards the freaks: ‘Tod just loved being around them, loved talking to them. Of course, they didn’t really talk back.’ At an early showing of Freaks in January 1932, the art director Merrill Pye remembered, ‘Halfway through the preview, a lot of people got up and ran out. They didn’t walk out. They ran out.’ A woman who attended tried to sue the studio, ‘claiming the film had ...

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