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At the Courtauld

Peter Campbell: Cranach’s Nudes, 19 July 2007

... to find herself in control. Venus seems to invite more perverse and dangerous adventures. Randy Newman has a song that begins: ‘Baby take off your coat real slow.’ The verse ends (shoes and dress gone) with a three-line refrain: You can leave your hat on You can leave your hat on You can leave your hat on That is what Venus has done in Cupid ...

Seven Centuries Too Late

Barbara Newman: Popes in Hell, 15 July 2021

Dante’s Bones: How a Poet Invented Italy 
by Guy Raffa.
Harvard, 370 pp., £28.95, May 2020, 978 0 674 98083 9
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Poetry in Dialogue in the Duecento and Dante 
by David Bowe.
Oxford, 225 pp., £60, November 2020, 978 0 19 884957 5
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Dante’s Christian Ethics: Purgatory and Its Moral Contexts 
by George Corbett.
Cambridge, 233 pp., £75, March 2020, 978 1 108 48941 6
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Why Dante Matters: An Intelligent Person’s Guide 
by John Took.
Bloomsbury, 207 pp., £20, October 2020, 978 1 4729 5103 8
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Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio: Literature, Doctrine, Reality 
by Zygmunt Barański.
Legenda, 658 pp., £75, February 2020, 978 1 78188 879 7
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... Purgatory, while only one is in Paradise. This is John XXI, but among the blessed he is hailed as Peter of Spain, a notable logician – with no hint of his high office. Corbett sees a ‘pamphlet-like immediacy’ in Dante’s view of the papacy, as he held not just that individual popes were sinners, but that the institution itself was profoundly ...

Walls, Fences, Grilles and Intercoms

Andrew Saint: Security and the City, 19 November 2009

Ground Control: Fear and Happiness in the 21st-Century City 
by Anna Minton.
Penguin, 240 pp., £9.99, June 2009, 978 0 14 103391 4
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... security system based on the mutual vigilance of the street. That was partly countered by Oscar Newman, whose Defensible Space of 1973 suggested design solutions to the rising tide of crime on public housing estates. The contrast between the two books owed much to the bitter American urban clashes of the late 1960s. If Jacobs’s liberal reputation still ...

At the Newport Street Gallery

Ben Eastham: John Hoyland , 7 January 2016

... cloak the awe with which he regarded New York’s generation of post-war abstractionists: Barnett Newman, Rothko, Hans Hofmann and Motherwell chief among them. A Yorkshireman like Hirst, Hoyland also knew scandal early: his abstract work was initially removed from the 1960 graduate exhibition at the Royal Academy Schools, then restored when the school’s ...

Made for TV

Jenny Diski, 14 December 1995

Fight & Kick & Bite: The Life and Work of Dennis Potter 
by W. Stephen Gilbert.
Hodder, 382 pp., £18.99, November 1995, 0 340 64047 2
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Dennis Potter: A Life on Screen 
by John Cook.
Manchester, 368 pp., £45, October 1995, 0 7190 4601 7
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... in both broadsheet and tabloid press, and ‘even a tribute from the then Heritage Secretary Peter Brooke MP’ was ‘final proof and vindication that Potter as television writer had been successful in his aim of trying to cut across the lines in British society. Through television, his writing and ideas had reached out to a far greater range of ...

She Who Can Do No Wrong

Jenny Turner, 6 August 1992

Curriculum Vitae 
by Muriel Spark.
Constable, 213 pp., £14.95, July 1992, 0 09 469650 0
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... frantically, sending out poem after poem, keeping critical projects on T.S. Eliot, Cardinal Newman and possibly the Book of Job all bubbling on the back-burner at the same time. Spark then became anorexic, using dexedrine as a substitute for regular meals. Her breakdown when it came appeared as a visitation from Eliot, whose poetry, Spark convinced ...

Unembraceable

Peter Wollen, 19 October 1995

Sex and Suits 
by Anne Hollander.
Knopf, 212 pp., $25, September 1994, 0 679 43096 2
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... turned out to be so strangely decisive, the most illuminating book I have read is Gerald Newman’s The Rise of English Nationalism. As many others have done, Newman describes how English patriotism arose from below during the 18th century and was directed specifically against France and Frenchness, but he lays ...

Whipping the wicked

Peter Clarke, 17 April 1980

The Optimists: Themes and Personalities in Victorian Liberalism 
by Ian Bradley.
Faber, 301 pp., £12.50, January 1980, 0 571 11495 4
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... in turn meant leaving a great deal to individual responsibility and judgment, for good or ill. Newman put the philosophical objection here with some precision: ‘Liberalism is the mistake of supposing that there is a right of private judgment, that is, that there is no existing authority on earth competent to interfere with the liberty of individuals in ...

At the V&A

Jeremy Harding: 50 Years of ‘Private Eye’, 15 December 2011

... is proudly displayed (as are the many builders’ cracks in the drawing), Barry Fantoni, Nick Newman, Martin Honeysett, Willie Rushton … the list is long. Most of this, including the strips, is topical, socio-comic work, or lunatic observational – the country seen from another planet – or simply anarchic. Scarfe and Steadman, the two high ...

Utopian about the Present

Christopher Turner: The Brutalist Ethic, 4 July 2019

Alison and Peter Smithson 
by Mark Crinson.
Historic England, 150 pp., £30, June 2018, 978 1 84802 352 9
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Municipal Dreams: The Rise and Fall of Council Housing 
by John Boughton.
Verso, 330 pp., £9.99, April 2019, 978 1 78478 740 0
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... In​ 1972, the architects Alison and Peter Smithson completed Robin Hood Gardens, their only council estate. The couple were famous for projects such as the Mies van der Rohe-inspired Hunstanton School (1954) in Norfolk; the three chamfered, stone-clad towers of the Economist Building (1959-65) in Piccadilly; and the timber-screened Garden Building (1967-70) at St Hilda’s College, Oxford ...

Beyond Zero

Peter Wollen: Kazimir Malevich, 1 April 2004

Kazimir Malevich: Suprematism 
edited by Matthew Drutt.
Guggenheim, 296 pp., $65, June 2003, 0 89207 265 2
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... of abstraction and of the minimalist works produced many years later by such artists as Barnett Newman, Mark Rothko and Yves Klein. Or he can be regarded as a folk artist, or as a visionary who proposed to launch his Suprematist constructions and artworks into outer space, where they would circle the earth as satellites. He was also deeply interested in the ...

Zeitgeist Man

Jenny Diski: Dennis Hopper, 22 March 2012

Dennis Hopper: The Wild Ride of a Hollywood Rebel 
by Peter Winkler.
Robson, 376 pp., £18.99, November 2011, 978 1 84954 165 7
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... malice. Vincent Price was too camp to be really alarming, even as the witchfinder general. Peter Lorre was heartbreaking as a child murderer. James Gandolfini, playing an incorrigibly mean-minded godfather for seven years, strangely held on to the affection of most of his mass audience. James Cagney had his moments of deadpan nastiness, but there’s ...

Can there be such a thing as music criticism?

John Deathridge, 20 February 1986

Music and Civilisation: Essays in Honour of Paul Henry Lang 
edited by Edmond Strainchamps, Maria Rika Maniates and Christopher Hatch.
Norton, 499 pp., £35, March 1985, 0 393 01677 3
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The Farthest North of Humanness: Letters of Percy Grainger 1901-1914 
edited by Kay Dreyfus.
Macmillan, 542 pp., £25, December 1985, 0 333 38085 1
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Musicology 
by Joseph Kerman.
Collins/Fontana, 255 pp., £10.95, March 1985, 0 00 197170 0
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... Carl Engel (one of the founding fathers of American musicology) is demolished at the end of Ernest Newman’s Wagner biography in a welter of prose that makes the fall of Valhalla look like a harmless firework. The very fact that Newman, whom Adorno called the Anglo-Saxon matador of music criticism, decided to end the most ...

George Crabbe: Poetry and Truth

Jerome McGann, 16 March 1989

George Crabbe: The Complete Poetical Works, Vols I-III 
edited by Norma Dalrymple-Champneys and Arthur Pollard.
Oxford, 820 pp., £70, April 1988, 0 19 811882 1
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... No one who has read Crabbe’s poetry has ever denied the power of his portraits or his stories. ‘Peter Grimes’, one of the embedded sections of his great work The Borough (1810), is justly famous, and, were it better known, the story ‘Delay has danger’, part of the very uneven Tales of the Hall (1819), would be known for what it is, a masterpiece ...

Dubious Relations

Sander Gilman, 20 June 1985

The Complete Letters of Sigmund Freud to Wilhelm Fliess: 1887-1904 
edited by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson.
Harvard, 505 pp., £19.95, May 1985, 0 674 15420 7
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... professor of the history of medicine at Tübingen; the draft translation was prepared by Lottie Newman, a confidant of Anna Freud; the archival work, outside of the material in the direct possession of the Freud Archives, was undertaken in Jerusalem by Peter Swales; and the draft notes were prepared for the simultaneous ...

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