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To the crows!

James Davidson, 27 January 1994

The Oldest Dead White European Males, and Other Reflections on the Classics 
by Bernard Knox.
Norton, 144 pp., £12.95, September 1993, 0 393 03492 5
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... citizen, described by Robert Fagles as ‘arguably the finest Classicist of our day’, by Peter Green as one his nation ‘ought to bronze’, and by Jasper Griffin as a man ‘one would like to have as a friend’. In his long career he has written on many subjects: scholarly articles on the heroes of Attic drama in its golden age, unsentimental ...

I shall be read

Denis Feeney: Ovid’s Revenge, 17 August 2006

Ovid: The Poems of Exile: ‘Tristia’ and the ‘Black Sea Letters’ 
translated by Peter Green.
California, 451 pp., £12.95, March 2005, 0 520 24260 2
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Ovid: Epistulae ex Ponto, Book I 
translated and edited by Jan Felix Gaertner.
Oxford, 606 pp., £90, October 2005, 0 19 927721 4
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... the exilic corpus as entitled to the same degree of scholarly attention as Ovid’s earlier work. Peter Green was in at the beginning of the boom when he published his spirited and sympathetic translation in 1994, now reissued with a new foreword and updated bibliography; any quotations from Ovid in this piece are taken from his excellent versions. ...

Old Flames

Peter Parsons, 10 January 1983

The Latin Sexual Vocabulary 
by J.N. Adams.
Duckworth, 272 pp., £24, September 1982, 9780715616482
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Ovid: The Erotic Poems 
translated by Peter Green.
Penguin, 450 pp., £2.95, November 1982, 0 14 044360 6
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Women’s Life in Greece and Rome 
by Mary Lefkowitz and Maureen Fant.
Duckworth, 294 pp., £24, September 1982, 0 7156 1434 7
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Heroines and Hysterics 
by Mary Lefkowitz.
Duckworth, 96 pp., £8.95, September 1982, 0 7156 1518 1
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... elegy, always more concerned with poses than postures, confined itself to metaphor. (Even Ovid. Peter Green’s new version, recommended for its lively and understanding commentary, coarsens the language of the text, as it coarsens style and fabric; Poundian huff-and-puff blows elegance out of the window.) In oratory, statesman charges statesman with ...

Light through the Fog

Colin Burrow: The End of the Epithet, 26 April 2018

The Odyssey 
translated by Peter Green.
California, 538 pp., £24, April 2018, 978 0 520 29363 2
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The Odyssey 
translated by Emily Wilson.
Norton, 592 pp., £30, December 2017, 978 0 393 08905 9
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The Odyssey 
translated by Anthony Verity.
Oxford, 384 pp., £7.99, February 2018, 978 0 19 873647 9
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... Odysseus’ behaviour the night before he slaughters his wife Penelope’s suitors, which Peter Green translates like this: As a man cooking a paunch chockful of fat and blood on a fierce blazing fire will turn it to and fro, determined to get it cooked through as fast as he can, so Odysseus tossed this way and that, trying to work out how he was ...

Paul and Penny

Julian Symons, 25 October 1990

Paul Scott: A Life 
by Hilary Spurling.
Hutchinson, 429 pp., £16.99, October 1990, 0 09 173984 5
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Paul Scott’s Raj 
by Robin Moore.
Heinemann, 246 pp., £18.50, October 1990, 0 434 47588 2
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... and Pall Mall, to call on the Falcon Press in pursuit of money they owed me. The managing director Peter Baker had left letters unanswered and telephone calls unreturned, and sure enough he was out. I saw instead a harassed long-nosed man in a blue suit who said his name was Paul Scott, and that he was the company secretary. Things were in a bit of a ...

Badmouthing City

William Fitzgerald: Catullus, 23 February 2006

The Poems of Catullus: A Bilingual Edition 
translated by Peter Green.
California, 339 pp., £15.95, September 2005, 0 520 24264 5
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... Peter Green’s splendid new translation of Catullus makes quite a substantial volume: more than three hundred pages in all, with an introduction, parallel text in Latin and English, notes, glossary and index. Such treatment doesn’t feel quite right for this ‘new witty booklet, all fresh-polished with abrasive’, as Catullus describes the book he dedicates to Cornelius Nepos in poem 1 ...

Green Thoughts

Colin Ward, 19 January 1989

Seasons of the Seal 
by Fred Bruemmer and Brian Davies.
Bloomsbury, 160 pp., £16.95, October 1988, 0 7475 0214 5
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Whale Nation 
by Heathcote Williams.
Cape, 191 pp., £15, August 1988, 0 224 02555 4
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Falling for a dolphin 
by Heathcote Williams.
Cape, 47 pp., £4.95, November 1988, 0 224 02659 3
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Prisoners of the Seas 
by K.A. Gourlay.
Zed, 256 pp., £25.95, November 1988, 0 86232 686 9
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Progress for a Small Planet 
by Barbara Ward.
Earthscan, 298 pp., £5.95, September 1988, 1 85383 028 3
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Future Earth: Exploring the Frontiers of Space 
edited by Nigel Calder and John Newell.
Christopher Helm, 255 pp., £14.95, November 1988, 9780747004202
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Sizewell B: An Anatomy of the Enquiry 
by Timothy O’Riordan, Ray Kemp and Michael Purdue.
Macmillan, 474 pp., £45, September 1988, 0 333 38944 1
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Early Green Politics 
by Peter Gould.
Harvester, 225 pp., £29.95, June 1988, 0 7108 1192 6
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Dreamers of the Absolute 
by Hans Magnus Enzensberger.
Radius, 312 pp., £7.95, October 1988, 0 09 173240 9
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The Coming of the Greens 
by Jonathon Porritt and David Winner.
Fontana, 287 pp., £4.95, September 1988, 0 00 637244 9
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Ecology and Socialism 
by Martin Ryle.
Radius, 122 pp., £5.95, October 1988, 0 09 182247 5
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... times that of Sunday worshippers in the Church of England. Each of us has some links with the green movement and each of these books reflect one or other of these concerns. Everyone outside the farming industry is outraged by its subsidised destruction of woodlands, hedges, wetlands and wildlife, as well as by the pollution of water sources by nitrogenous ...

Green Minna

Peter Campbell, 7 October 1982

The Autobiography of George Grosz: A Small Yes and a Big No 
translated by Arnold Pomerans.
Allison and Busby, 246 pp., £12.50, August 1982, 0 85031 455 0
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... the Indolent), jazz bands and tango dancers. You could listen to rumours of war and get drunk on Green Minna: a mixture of potato schnapps and peppermint liqueur – and the German term for a ‘Black Maria’. When war came it brought boredom, disgust and a taste of hell. Given leave of absence in 1916, Private Grosz started to draw what he had seen: ‘men ...


Martin Green, 7 August 1980

... revolutionary wheeled in a pram – Speakers’ Corner meant more to me Than did the statue of Peter Pan. The first theatre I ever saw The inside of was the Unity; Lenin and Stalin were nursery gods And at night behind the curtain There were meetings, meetings, meetings. At nursery school (Methodist, Kingsway Hall) I came across gentle Jesus meek and mild ...

Sacred Peter

Norman MacCaig, 19 June 1980

Sacred Keeper 
by Peter Kavanagh.
Goldsmith Press, 403 pp., £4.40, May 1979, 0 904984 48 6
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Dead as Doornails 
by Anthony Cronin.
Poolbeg Press, 201 pp., £1.75, May 1980, 9780905169316
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The Macmillan Dictionary of Irish Literature 
edited by Robert Hogan.
Macmillan, 815 pp., £2, February 1980, 0 333 27085 1
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... My acceptance of an offer to review the Kavanagh book landed me in a mess of puzzles. Peter Kavanagh, the poet’s brother, starts straight off, sentence one, by announcing: ‘When I write about Patrick Kavanagh I write as a partisan, as his alter ego, almost as his evangelist.’ And if you think that’s a dubious basis for a biography, what about this? As far as possible I shall avoid writing of him as a brother since my interest in him was mainly as a poet ...


James Davidson, 8 February 1996

The Marriage of Likeness: Same-Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe 
by John Boswell.
Fontana, 412 pp., £8.99, January 1996, 0 00 686326 4
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... ghastly portent, if women calved, or cows Gave birth to lambs? as Juvenal put it (with thanks to Peter Green). We have come a long way, of course, since that hysterical outburst. Having seen millennia come and go we have a right to be blasé about millennial prodigies. Genetic engineers have not yet managed the cow that walks on water, but the ...
... be understood better by a reading of Evelyn Waugh. The catalogue quotes the description of Poppet Green’s paintings from Put out more flags (‘Eighty years ago her subjects would have been knights in armour, ladies in wimples and distress; fifty years ago “nocturnes”; twenty years ago pierrots and willow trees; now in 1939 they were bodiless ...

The Night-Chandlers

Peter Redgrove, 1 August 1985

... the shores. My face felt clean as the flowers. The Self was also as I looked up An array on green shelves in that swaying tree. The metal moisture on a pool of green. I was Sir Gawayne and his elation. II The superstadia glide down the river full Of their glum fisherfolk And their hopping silver hundreds and thousands ...

After Dinner

Peter Riley, 14 December 2000

... nostril – solitary, you are free to let your emotions expand. Light peels off the downy slopes green to silver. Someone has chalked dad hurry up on the steepest part of the road, and so this grand Sense expands towards people living in their structures everywhere against each other in a common fall Turning at the day’s end into the movement of the ...

Art Lessons

Peter Campbell, 13 August 2020

... speed and direction of the eye as it scans the field. The olive trees were wonderful. The grey-green was beautiful, and even more beautiful when there was green grass to see it against; trunks, often gnarled, and huge stumps sometimes proved that young-looking trees grew on ancient roots. The post was a fine grey ...

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