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Soul to Soul

Ian Buruma, 19 February 1987

The Myth of Japanese Uniqueness 
by Peter Dale.
Croom Helm, 233 pp., £25, September 1987, 0 7099 0899 7
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... as the Nihonjinron, literally the ‘theory of Japaneseness’. Nihonjinron is the subject of Peter Dale’s book, the style of which is marred somewhat by his own almost Nihonjinronish fondness for psycho-socio-anthropological jargon. He has interesting things to say, however. The intellectual quest for the essence of Japaneseness is a huge industry ...

Spies and Secret Agents

Ken Follett, 19 June 1980

by Anthony Summers.
Gollancz, 639 pp., £9.95, May 1980, 0 575 02846 7
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The Man Who Kept the Secrets 
by Thomas Powers.
Weidenfeld, 393 pp., £10, April 1980, 0 297 77738 6
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... jobs in the CIA for at least 15 years. And the lying spreads. This point has been made by Peter Dale Scott in a contribution to the Pelican Assassinations (1978): ‘The Watergate investigations revealed that many men in government will conspire against the law when two justifications are offered – whether or not these justifications are ...

Japanese Power

Richard Bowring, 14 June 1990

God’s Dust: A Modern Asian Journey 
by Ian Buruma.
Cape, 267 pp., £12.95, October 1989, 0 224 02493 0
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The Cambridge History of Japan. Vol V: The 19th Century 
edited by Marius Jansen.
Cambridge, 828 pp., £60, October 1989, 0 521 22356 3
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The Cambridge History of Japan. Vol. VI: The 20th Century 
edited by Peter Duus.
Cambridge, 866 pp., £60, June 1989, 0 521 22357 1
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... that produced such dire results in 19th- and 20th-century Europe, as Buruma and, especially, Peter Dale, author of The Myth of Japanese Uniqueness, have done? Or should we take it all with a pinch of salt? The position of those who take up an adversarial stance and invoke the direst of scenarios is fraught with difficulties. The Japanese can always ...

Toad in the Hole

Geoffrey Wall: Tristan Corbière, 16 July 1998

These Jaundiced Loves: A Translation of Tristan Corbière’s ‘Les Amours Jaunes’ 
by Christopher Pilling.
Peterloo, 395 pp., £14.95, April 1997, 1 871471 55 9
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... Patrick Creagh in his Picture of Tristan (1965), Val Wamer in The Centenary Corbière (1974) and Peter Dale in Narrow Straits (1985). All these versions add something to our knowledge of Corbière’s genius, though the best are the imitations by Patrick Creagh. ‘Le Poète contumace’ is a colloquial-ironic self-portrait, written against the grain of ...

In the Châtelet

Jeremy Harding, 20 April 1995

François Villon: Complete Poems 
edited by Barbara Sargent-Bauer.
Toronto, 346 pp., £42, January 1995, 0 8020 2946 9
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Basil Bunting: Complete Poems 
edited by Richard Caddel.
Oxford, 226 pp., £10.99, September 1994, 0 19 282282 9
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... in the Sixties and Seventies, she thinks that rhyming English would have been pointless, and Peter Dale’s rather desperate versions (Penguin, 1978) surely prove the point. To the povre Villon, importuned, resurrected, sanctified in heretical pantheons, Sargent-Bauer is a dependable ally. No dutiful translation like hers can hope to ride with the ...

On the Beach

Peter Campbell: Untucked, 5 September 2002

... own allusions: the Hawaiian shirt is no longer just a Pacific speciality. In The Aloha Shirt by Dale Hope and Gregory Tozian, from which this information comes, the text flows among the pictures, much as slogans do among dancers, pineapples and palms on some of the shirts – ‘Do the hula,’ ‘Hawaiian hospitality’, ‘Beach at Waikiki’ and so ...

Comprehending Gaddis

D.A.N. Jones, 6 March 1986

The Recognitions 
by William Gaddis.
Penguin, 956 pp., £7.95, January 1986, 0 14 007768 5
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by William Gaddis.
Penguin, 726 pp., £7.95, January 1986, 0 14 008039 2
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Carpenter’s Gothic 
by William Gaddis.
Deutsch, 262 pp., £8.95, February 1986, 0 233 97932 8
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... where else do you get a name like that?’ To us cocky British snobs who call the great man ‘Sir Peter Paul Rubens’ and don’t much mind what he called himself, the ‘mistake’ of the tourists is not tragical. But, for William Gaddis, this sort of ignorance leads up to the climax of The Recognitions, where his most admirable character – Stanley, the ...

Todd Almighty

Peter Medawar, 16 February 1984

A Time to Remember: The Autobiography of a Chemist 
by Alexander Todd.
Cambridge, 257 pp., £15, November 1983, 0 521 25593 7
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... to the daughter of England’s foremost medical scientist and medical administrator, Sir Henry Dale, also sometime President of the Royal Society: ‘That was perhaps the best thing I ever did, for my wife has always been a vital part of my career.’ He bought Alison an engagement ring at Wool-worth’s during a meeting of the Biochemical, Society in ...

You Muddy Fools

Dan Jacobson: In the months before his death Ian Hamilton talked about himself to Dan Jacobson, 14 January 2002

... more overtly political play. There may have been another play early on.A one-acter? Yes, possibly.Peter Dale told me you once produced a play at Oxford, a small piece by Harold Pinter. I had started another magazine at Oxford called Tomorrow. And for its fourth issue I’d written to Pinter. He had just become prominent then, but I’d learned about him ...

Beware the Ides of Mogg

Will Hutton, 9 April 1992

The Great Reckoning: How the world will change in the depression of the Nineties 
by James Dale Davidson and William Rees-Mogg.
Sidgwick, 531 pp., £20, January 1992, 0 283 06116 2
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... criticism as a slur upon good scholarship as they ramble through everything from the castration of Peter Abelard to 19th-century Wyoming’s gun laws, in their effort to persuade the persevering reader of the imminence of this apocalypse. In order to save ourselves, we must sell our over-mortgaged houses, rid ourselves of debt and head from the cities to ...


Peter Burke, 15 October 1987

Patronage, Art and Society in Renaissance Italy 
edited by F.W. Kent and Patricia Simons.
Oxford/Humanities Research Centre, 331 pp., £35, June 1987, 0 19 821978 4
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Pienza: The Creation of a Renaissance City 
by Charles Mack.
Cornell, 250 pp., $43.95, June 1987, 9780801416996
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Piety and Patronage in Renaissance Venice: Bellini, Titian and the Franciscans 
by Rona Goffen.
Yale, 285 pp., £30, July 1986, 0 300 03455 5
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Venetian Humanism in an Age of Patrician Dominance 
by Margaret King.
Princeton, 524 pp., £42.90, April 1986, 0 691 05465 7
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The Venetian Patriciate: Reality versus Myth 
by Donald Queller.
Illinois, 386 pp., $29.95, September 1986, 0 252 01144 9
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Tradesman and Traders: The World of the Guilds in Venice and Europe, c.1250-c.1650 
by Richard MacKenney.
Croom Helm, 289 pp., £35, January 1987, 0 7099 1763 5
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Florence, Rome and the Origins of the Renaissance 
by George Holmes.
Oxford, 273 pp., £25, November 1986, 0 19 822576 8
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From Humanism to the Humanities: Education and the Liberal Arts in 15th and 6th-Century Europe 
by Anthony Grafton and Lisa Jardine.
Duckworth, 224 pp., £29.95, January 1987, 0 7156 2100 9
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Renaissance and Revolt: Essays in the Intellectual and Social History of Early Modern France 
by J.H.M. Salmon.
Cambridge, 306 pp., £30, June 1987, 0 521 32769 5
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... and the links between the two are made visible from time to time, as in the brief discussion by Dale Kent of the effect on the artistic patronage of the Pazzi and Rucellai families of their position as clients of the Medici. Some contributors, like Richard Goldthwaite (on consumer demand) and Bill Kent (on ties of neighbourhood), write well about topics on ...

The Pissing Evile

Peter Medawar, 1 December 1983

The Discovery of Insulin 
by Michael Bliss.
Paul Harris, 304 pp., £15, September 1983, 0 86228 056 7
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... in this case, by a Dr Ffrangcon Roberts, who in turn was sharply rebuked by Sir Henry Dale OM, FRS. Some very great advances in medicine have been brought about by clinical reasoning alone, without recourse to experimentation on animals – vaccination against smallpox was one such discovery – but this is the exception rather than the ...

Buchan’s Pathological Vitality

T.J. Binyon, 18 December 1980

The Best Short Stories of John Buchan 
edited by David Daniell.
Joseph, 224 pp., £7.50, May 1980, 0 7181 1906 1
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... 50 pages – a seventh of Its length – to describe the second Battle of the Somme, and to allow Peter Pienaar, the real hero of the book – though he plays only a small part in it – to sacrifice his life in a successful attempt to prevent an enemy reconnaissance plane carrying back the news to the German Army that the way lies open to Amiens and the ...

True Grit

David Craig, 8 February 1996

Wainwright: The Biography 
by Hunter Davies.
Joseph, 356 pp., £16.99, October 1995, 0 7181 3909 7
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... clear instruction on how to find, then climb a Lakeland mountain or walk through a Northern dale. A wedge of hand-lettered text, cunningly shaped to fit the spaces between the pictures, describes the terrain. It is packed with knowledge, salted with asides to the reader, spiked with warnings against falling off or getting lost. An assortment of facts ...

Competition is for losers

David Runciman: Silicon Valley Vampire, 23 September 2021

The Contrarian: Peter Thiel and Silicon Valley’s Pursuit of Power 
by Max Chafkin.
Bloomsbury, 400 pp., £25, September 2021, 978 1 5266 1955 6
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... Peter​ Thiel is known for so many different things it can be hard to keep up. He co-founded PayPal, which provided the basis for his early fortune as well as Elon Musk’s. He is the eerily prescient angel investor who helped launch Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook on the path to global domination. He is the man who bankrupted Gawker, the online gossip site, by funding Hulk Hogan’s libel action, fulfilling a decade-long vendetta that started after Gawker outed Thiel as gay ...

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