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Hemingway Hunt

Frank Kermode

17 April 1986
Along with Youth: Hemingway, the Early Years 
by Peter Griffin.
Oxford, 258 pp., £12.95, March 1986, 0 19 503680 8
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The Young Hemingway 
by Michael Reynolds.
Blackwell, 291 pp., £14.95, February 1986, 0 631 14786 1
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Hemingway: A Biography 
by Jeffrey Meyers.
Macmillan, 646 pp., £16.95, March 1986, 0 333 42126 4
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... about so great a figure can be wholly irrelevant, but it seems to me that both Mr Reynolds and Mr Griffin have pushed this argument a bit far. When you’ve read these books you will be exempted from ever attending to another word about Hemingway’s home town Oak Park, a posh suburb of Chicago; and although it may seem a little ungracious to say so, for she ...
5 July 1984
... They are not writing the letters, they are looking at Peter’s yellow hat and red socks. (Exercise 3) Naturally this requires their full attention: the hat, a small but rakish panama being of a brilliant Van Gogh yellow, the socks, blazoned with a griffin rampant, an emphatic, even Risorgimento, red ...

No nation I’ve ever heard of

Garth Greenwell: Matthew Griffin’s ‘Hide’

19 January 2017
Hide 
by Matthew Griffin.
Bloomsbury, 272 pp., £16.99, August 2016, 978 1 4088 6708 2
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... At the beginning​ of Matthew Griffin’s novel, Wendell, his eighty-something narrator, finds his partner collapsed in their garden, face up in the North Carolina sun. Frank will recover from the immediate effects of his stroke, but the book charts his decline into physical debility and dementia, as well as Wendell’s increasingly desperate efforts to care for him ...
19 July 1984
Swallow 
by D.M. Thomas.
Gollancz, 312 pp., £8.95, June 1984, 0 575 03446 7
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First Among Equals 
by Jeffrey Archer.
Hodder, 446 pp., £8.95, July 1984, 0 340 35266 3
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Morning Star 
by Simon Raven.
Blond and Briggs, 264 pp., £8.95, June 1984, 9780856341380
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... possible future careers for them, not intended to mirror reality. For instance, his fictional ‘Peter Morrison’, the decent Conservative MP, has nothing to do with the real-life Peter Morrison MP but was inspired by boyhood memories of the real-life James Prior. The fictional ‘...

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 ...
15 October 1987
A History of Private Life. Vol. I: From Pagan Rome to Byzantium 
edited by Paul Veyne.
Harvard, 670 pp., £24.95, May 1987, 0 674 39975 7
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The Roman World 
edited by John Wacher.
Routledge, 2 pp., £100, March 1987, 0 7100 9975 4
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The Roman Empire: Economy, Society and Culture 
edited by Peter Garnsey and Richard Saller.
Duckworth, 231 pp., £24, March 1987, 0 7156 2145 9
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Sexual Life in Ancient Egypt 
by Lisa Manniche.
KPI, 127 pp., £15, June 1987, 0 7103 0202 9
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... of the well-born.’ Those epigrammatic generalisations, from the pens of Paul Veyne and Peter Brown, are fairly typical of the History of Private Life at its best: a book which makes the reader think, teasing and encouraging with spicy details, long views, a capacity for the unexpected insight. Now for something completely different: ‘The goose is ...

Do, Not, Love, Make, Beds

David Wheatley: Irish literary magazines

3 June 2004
Irish Literary Magazines: An Outline History and Descriptive Bibliography 
Irish Academic, 318 pp., £35, January 2003, 0 7165 2751 0Show More
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...  ...
5 February 2015
A Different Class of Murder: The Story of Lord Lucan 
by Laura Thompson.
Head of Zeus, 422 pp., £20, November 2014, 978 1 78185 536 2
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... arrived in Washington in 1940, returning to London in 1945. That episode, his elder sister Jane Griffin told Thompson, was ‘when it all started’. Griffin, one of the members of the family who sympathised with her parents’ politics, has long made her home in New York. Her account of her childhood and of Lucan’s ...

Diary

Robert Morley: Give me a Basher to travel

20 March 1986
... she encountered that she feared their matches would never strike on her box. My dear old friend Peter Bull, much-missed these days, once had me watching him in Waiting for Godot. I left at half-time under the impression that he didn’t speak in Act Two. ‘What made you think that?’ he demanded when next we met. ‘I thought that was what you ...

Going Electric

Patrick McGuinness: J.H. Prynne

7 September 2000
Poems 
by J.H. Prynne.
Bloodaxe/Folio/Fremantle Arts Centre, 440 pp., £25, March 2000, 1 85224 491 7
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Pearls that Were 
by J.H. Prynne.
Equipage, 28 pp., £4, March 1999, 1 900968 95 9
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Triodes 
by J.H. Prynne.
Barque, 42 pp., £4, December 1999, 9781903488010
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Other: British and Irish Poetry since 1970 
edited by Richard Caddel and Peter Quartermain.
Wesleyan, 280 pp., $45, March 1999, 0 8195 2241 4
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... writer bristling with contexts. Prynne is mentioned as an enabling presence in Richard Caddel and Peter Quartermain’s anthology, Other: British and Irish Poetry since 1970, which attempts to reveal to Britain and Ireland a poetic culture it has set to one side. The book contains more than fifty poets, no two of whom are remotely similar, and no more that a ...

Drowned in Eau de Vie

Modris Eksteins: New, Fast and Modern

21 February 2008
Modernism: The Lure of Heresy from Baudelaire to Beckett and Beyond 
by Peter Gay.
Heinemann, 610 pp., £20, November 2007, 978 0 434 01044 8
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... War. In his new book, Modernism: The Lure of Heresy, the inordinately prolific and widely admired Peter Gay has much to say about the creativity of the moderns but surprisingly little about their negativity. He conceives of Modernism in older terms as principally an intellectual and artistic grouping bent on liberation rather than as a broader frame of mind ...
7 March 1996
Leaving Las Vegas 
directed by Mike Figgis.
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... about Hollywood. Larry Levy, an executive in Robert Altman’s The Player (1992), tells his rival Griffin Mill that ‘AA meetings are where the best deals are happening.’ The film follows Mill’s wandering but pin-sharp attention as he listens to increasingly bizarre ‘high concept’ story pitches in various bars and restaurants. It’s a scene that ...

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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... she shooed them out of the house: ‘Everybody out,’ she cried, ‘he’s back!’ His son Peter shared Wainwright’s walks when he was a boy. Touching black and white snapshots show him neatly dressed, standing alone in a green trod between limestone walls, dutifully consulting a map. In his fifties he had to retire early, joints swollen with ...

Festschriftiness

Susan Pedersen

6 October 2011
Structures and Transformations in Modern British History 
edited by David Feldman and Jon Lawrence.
Cambridge, 331 pp., £50, January 2011, 978 0 521 51882 6
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The Peculiarities of Liberal Modernity in Imperial Britain 
edited by Simon Gunn and James Vernon.
California, 271 pp., £20.95, May 2011, 978 0 9845909 5 7
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Classes, Cultures and Politics: Essays on British History for Ross McKibbin 
edited by Clare Griffiths, John Nott and William Whyte.
Oxford, 320 pp., £65, April 2011, 978 0 19 957988 4
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... history’ (the editors again) but, it sometimes seems, against strong arguments of any kind. Emma Griffin examines the transformation of civic marketplaces to conclude that claims of a Georgian ‘urban renaissance’ are not so much ‘wrong’ as ‘partial’; Joanna Innes cautions against drawing excessively bold conclusions about the growth of government ...

Look beyond the lips

Bee Wilson: Hedy Lamarr

28 July 2011
Hedy Lamarr: The Most Beautiful Woman in Film 
by Ruth Barton.
Kentucky, 281 pp., £25.95, May 2011, 978 0 8131 2604 3
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... Lamarr as a significant member of her generation of ‘European exiles to Hollywood’ along with Peter Lorre and Ingrid Bergman. Carefully researched and zippily written, the book is the definitive companion to Lamarr’s films, from the glamour of Ziegfeld Girl (1941), in which Hedy sported a showstopping jewelled headdress, to the screwball comedy Comrade ...

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