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At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Spider-Man 3’

24 May 2007
Spider-Man 3 
directed by Sam Raimi.
May 2007
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... idling. Like the new movie itself, we have our memories, and Tobey Maguire is still with us as Peter Parker, the goofiness wearing a little thin, but the earnestness holding up (in Spider-Man 2 the woman Peter loves appears in a Broadway production of The Importance of Being Earnest), and he does something very few ...

The New Narrative

John Kerrigan

16 February 1984
The Oxford Book of Narrative Verse 
edited by Iona Opie and Peter Opie.
Oxford, 407 pp., £8.95, September 1983, 0 19 214131 7
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Time’s Oriel 
by Kevin Crossley-Holland.
Hutchinson, 61 pp., £4.95, August 1983, 0 09 153291 4
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On Gender and Writing 
edited by Michelene Wandor.
Pandora, 166 pp., £3.95, September 1983, 0 86358 021 1
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Stone, Paper, Knife 
by Marge Piercy.
Pandora, 144 pp., £3.95, September 1983, 9780863580222
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The Achievement of Ted Hughes 
edited by Keith Sagar.
Manchester, 377 pp., £27.50, March 1983, 0 7190 0939 1
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Ted Hughes and Paul Muldoon 
Faber, £6.95, June 1983, 0 571 13090 9Show More
River 
by Ted Hughes and Peter Keen.
Faber, 128 pp., £10, September 1983, 0 571 13088 7
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Quoof 
by Paul Muldoon.
Faber, 64 pp., £4, September 1983, 0 571 13117 4
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...  ...

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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... by a sentimental fit, take down this book and blow the dust off it recalling: ‘Bosley was quite keen on me.’ What on earth were they looking for – Ted Hughes and Philip Larkin, Seamus Heaney and Charles Causley – that they should have rated Bosley’s heart-warming dexterity (feelingful as well as formal) below, for instance, 18 solid unpunctuated ...

In Bexhill

Peter Campbell: Ben Nicholson

20 November 2008
... very English painter, a practitioner of the restraint and charm that English art in the 1960s was keen to distance itself from, but which – in Hockney’s drawings, for example – keeps breaking through. The minimalism of the reliefs that gave Nicholson a claim to the title of England’s most thorough Modernist was not, like the Russian work it bears some ...

At the Design Museum

Andrew O’Hagan: Peter Saville

19 June 2003
... I think it likely – or slightly more than likely – that Peter Saville is the only English graphic artist to have had an actor play him in a major motion picture. The film, 24 Hour Party People, was entertaining in the way that films full of intense people with good accents and daft haircuts always are, and Saville comes off quite well, the genius of the piece in fact, which is probably saying quite a lot, since the Manchester music scene of the late 1970s and 1980s (the setting for the movie) bred self-proclaimed geniuses in the way Sheffield used to produce knives and forks ...

Lords loses out

R.W. Johnson: Basil D’Oliveira and racism in sport

16 December 2004
Basil D’Oliveira: Cricket and Conspiracy: The Untold Story 
by Peter Oborne.
Little, Brown, 274 pp., £16.99, June 2004, 0 316 72572 2
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Reflections on a Life in Sport 
by Sam Ramsamy and Edward Griffiths.
Greenhouse, 168 pp., £7.99, July 2004, 0 620 32251 9
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... Growing up in Durban in the 1950s, I could see how keen Coloured and Indian cricketers were, how much everything was tilted against them and, at the same time, how good white South African cricket was. Take the schoolboy generation I saw rising around me. Playing against Hilton College, I came up against Hylton Ackerman and Mike Procter – the latter opening both the batting and bowling at the age of 13 – while at Durban High School the opening pair of Lee Irvine and Barry Richards had century or double-century partnerships every week; it was impossible to bowl to them ...

Diary

Vesna Goldsworthy: In Montenegro

17 February 2000
... had already begun and public transport was appalling. The Serbian Government, like Nato, appears keen to play down suggestions of any environmental damage caused by the bombing raids, but Belgrade buzzes with wild rumours about low-level uranium radiation, pollution and poisoned river water. One tabloid has advised young women not to conceive for another ...

Fancy Dress

Peter Campbell: Millais, Burne-Jones and Leighton

15 April 1999
Millais: Portraits 
by Peter Funnell and Malcolm Warner.
National Portrait Gallery, 224 pp., £35, February 1999, 1 85514 255 4
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John Everett Millais 
by G.H. Fleming.
Constable, 318 pp., £20, August 1998, 0 09 478560 0
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Edward Burne-Jones: Victorian Artist-Dreamer 
by Stephen Wildman and John Christian.
Abrams, 360 pp., £48, October 1998, 0 8109 6522 4
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Frederic Leighton: Antiquity, Renaissance, Modernity 
edited by Tim Barringer and Elizabeth Prettejohn.
Yale, 332 pp., £40, March 1999, 0 300 07937 0
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... The trouble is, Millais’s judgment, in whatever spirit it was made, has been that of posterity. Peter Funnell’s essay in the catalogue of the exhibition now at the National Portrait Gallery quotes Arthur Symons, writing in 1896, a few months after Millais’s death: ‘a finer promise than any artist of his time’ was wasted. His later pictures were done ...

Young Marvin

Frank Kermode

24 January 1991
A Tenured Professor 
by John Kenneth Galbraith.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 197 pp., £12.95, November 1990, 1 85619 018 8
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Shade those laurels 
by Cyril Connolly and Peter Levi.
Bellew, 174 pp., £12.95, October 1990, 0 947792 37 6
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... and the legitimacy of the extracurricular activities of the professoriat, especially Marvin’s. Keen to do some good in the world, not least for himself, young Marvin needs the security of tenure, and produces a solid thesis to that end. But one day in Heffers he picks up a book and reads about Bernard Cornfeld. Inspired by that example, he studies the many ...

At the National Gallery

Peter Campbell: Goya

14 January 2002
... it would seem, for the session to be over, may be the composer Luigi Boccherini (Don Luis was keen on music as well as on hunting and science). The man smiling out at us, like a child looking to catch the eye of a parent when he should be attending to his part in the school play, is Boccherini’s constant companion the violinist Manfredi or (a less ...

At Tate Britain

Peter Campbell: Lucian Freud

25 July 2002
... again.’ Which makes you think about sitting and standing self-portraits: Hogarth sitting – keen, you feel, to get closer to the canvas. Velázquez in Las Meninas standing – clearly needing to move back to see how his latest mark is working. In Freud’s later, freer pictures the puckering of cheek or belly is described by marks which strongly ...

At the Royal Academy

Peter Campbell: How to Draw Horses

9 October 2003
... don’t think it is as good as the one of a horse and cart which was quite uninfluenced.’ He is keen to let children know that they are the best judges of their own work and warns them against knowledgable criticism from horsey people. A sculptor as well as a draughtsman, Skeaping had been married to Barbara Hepworth, and the first three children’s ...

At Tate Britain

Peter Campbell: Gainsborough

28 November 2002
... unaggressive; both, the sharp highlights suggest, damp-eyed), seems to listen to you quietly, keen to agree, to conciliate, perhaps even to persuade you to improve your ways. The portraits attended to, one turns to the ‘fancy pictures’ (country scenes, pictures of poor children) and landscapes: not dismissively, like the London sitters who passed the ...

At the Wallace Collection

Peter Campbell: Osbert Lancaster’s Promontory

25 September 2008
... and hat, and in another illustration he is taking tea with aunts whom Lartigue would have been keen to snap. In his guides to British architecture (Pillar to Post and Homes Sweet Homes), the excesses of the latest thing are identified. The story advances spread by illustrated spread, so that ‘Early English’ and ‘Modernistic’ get the same degree of ...

At Home

Peter Campbell

22 September 2011
... ones and a dingy backyard. The last possible direction to take was down. Town planners, always keen to preserve profiles and details, presumably worry less about new basements than new UPVC glazing bars. It used to seem to me that terraced houses were infinitely adaptable. But after reading Rasmussen I came to believe that the changes from dwelling house ...

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