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Erase, Deface, Transform

Hal Foster: Eduardo Paolozzi, 16 February 2017

Eduardo Paolozzi 
Whitechapel Gallery, until 18 May 2017Show More
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... also included the artists Nigel Henderson, William Turnbull and Magda Cordell, the architects Peter and Alison Smithson, and the critic Reyner Banham. In the late 1980s the Smithsons looked back on the ‘as found’ aesthetic of New Brutalism as ‘a confronting recognition of what the postwar world actually was like’: ‘In a society that had nothing ...

Death in Belgravia

Rosemary Hill, 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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... studies of the case and what it reveals about postwar Britain and its social structure. Thompson’s book is a mixture of all of these and the result is persuasive and revealing in some parts, absurd and tasteless in others. Yet it is a compelling read. The story doesn’t pall because it has become a myth and myths change with time. As the Lucan ...

Fiery Participles

D.A.N. Jones, 6 September 1984

Hazlitt: The Mind of a Critic 
by David Bromwich.
Oxford, 450 pp., £19.50, March 1984, 0 19 503343 4
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William Godwin: Philosopher, Novelist, Revolutionary 
by Peter Marshall.
Yale, 496 pp., £14.95, June 1984, 0 521 24386 6
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Burke, Paine, Godwin and the Revolution Controversy 
edited by Marilyn Butler.
Cambridge, 280 pp., £25, June 1984, 0 521 24386 6
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... quote, something concrete. We use Hazlitt to advertise and illuminate other writers and artists. Peter Marshall does so in his new biography, William Godwin. Hazlitt’s vivid account of Godwin’s political importance appears on the first page of Marshall’s introduction, and his worthy book is studded with variations on ‘as Hazlitt rightly ...

Rowlandsonian

John Brewer, 5 August 1982

English Society in the Eighteenth Century 
by Roy Porter.
Allen Lane/Pelican, 424 pp., £12.50, April 1982, 0 7139 1417 3
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... have come of age. The work of two generations of researchers, led by such avatars as Alan Everitt, Peter Laslett, J. H. Plumb, Lawrence Stone, Keith Thomas and E. P. Thompson, now constitutes a substantial body of knowledge that has transformed our conception both of British history and of what constitutes legitimate ...

At Tate Britain

Frank Kermode: William Blake, 14 December 2000

... provides an audio commentary. And there are lots of educational backups, some, like lectures by Peter Ackroyd and Tom Paulin, now over, others, including various conferences and courses, still to come. The most visible, and in some ways the most instructive of the exhibits are those which demonstrate Blake’s technical innovations. Only one of his ...

Scoop after Scoop

Ian Jack: Chapman Pincher’s Scoops, 5 June 2014

Dangerous to Know: A Life 
by Chapman Pincher.
Biteback, 386 pp., £20, February 2014, 978 1 84954 651 5
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... whom one has been in open conflict.’ In an essay published in the New Statesman in 1978, E.P. Thompson took a different view, imagining Pincher as ‘a kind of official urinal in which, side by side, high officials of MI5 and MI6, sea lords, permanent under-secretaries, Lord George-Brown, chiefs of the air staff, nuclear scientists, Lord Wigg and ...

Signs of the ‘Times’

Peter Jenkins, 22 January 1981

Stop Press 
by Eric Jacobs.
Deutsch, 166 pp., £6.95, November 1980, 0 233 97286 2
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... shift and they had small loyalty to the company; the management was divided within itself, the Thompson Organisation rich and remote. As an employee of the Sunday Times, Jacobs is in some difficulty as the quasi-official chronicler of the Times close-down, and his account of it does not live up to the standards of Sunday Times investigative ...

Madder Men

Hal Foster: Richard Hamilton on Richard Hamilton, 24 October 2019

Richard Hamilton: Introspective 
by Phillip Spectre.
König, 408 pp., £49, September 2019, 978 3 88375 695 0
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... treatises stood out above all others: On Growth and Form (1917) by the Scottish polymath D’Arcy Thompson, which inspired Hamilton to curate an exhibition in 1951 of various images of natural morphologies; and Mechanisation Takes Command (1948) by the Swiss architectural critic Sigfried Giedion, which in 1955 prompted Hamilton to undertake a survey of ...

Restoring St. George’s

Peter Campbell: In Bloomsbury, 20 November 2003

... to mind. But it turned out that there was no mystery, no sinister revelation to give weight to Peter Ackroyd’s appropriation of Hawksmoor’s buildings as stages for the malevolent and occult. Although the burials had been decent and officially sanctioned, the bodies were there contrary to the intentions of the Commissioners appointed under an Act of ...

At the Centre Pompidou

Jeremy Harding: Beat Generation, 8 September 2016

... he only really sputtered to life again in 1990 with an autobiography, and died a few years later. Peter Orlovsky and Allen Ginsberg at the Hotel de Londres, Paris in 1957. Bob Thompson, ‘LeRoi Jones and his Family’ (1964) Brion Gysin, ‘Calligraphy’ (1960) Brion Gysin, William S. Burroughs, Untitled (Primrose ...

What’s the hurry?

Ed Regis, 24 June 1993

Dreams of a Final Theory 
by Steven Weinberg.
Radius, 260 pp., £16.99, January 1993, 0 09 177395 4
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... through the world of phenomena. Then in 1895, Wilhelm Roentgen discovered X-rays; in 1897, J.J. Thompson discovered the electron; in 1914, Rutherford discovered the proton – and all at once a new branch of physics had come into existence: elementary particle theory, dealing with the hidden realities, the fundamental entities that underlie the observed ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Murder on the Orient Express’, 30 November 2017

Murder on the Orient Express 
directed by Kenneth Brannagh.
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... sort of audio or audio-visual life, but the relatively recent personifications by Albert Finney, Peter Ustinov and David Suchet dominate most memories. None of these figures much resembles the ‘short, stout, elderly man, his hair cut en brosse’ that Agatha Christie describes. Well, they often manage the stout bit, but for the rest they are tallish, more ...

Virgin’s Tears

David Craig: On nature, 10 June 1999

Nature: Western Attitudes since Ancient Times 
by Peter Coates.
Polity, 246 pp., £45, September 1998, 0 7456 1655 0
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... backed off and charged again, while the nanny waited nearby, a seemingly dispassionate spectator. Peter Coates’s study of the evolving meanings of ‘nature’, in Europe and North America, is preoccupied with the human tendency to invade nature, altering, exploiting and ‘reinventing’ it. He culls a telling image from the Guardian for 9 August ...

Boundary Books

Margaret Meek, 21 February 1980

Kate Crackernuts 
by Katharine Briggs.
Kestrel, 224 pp., £2.95, September 1980, 0 7226 5557 6
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Socialisation through Children’s Literature: The Soviet Example 
by Felicity Ann O’Dell.
Cambridge, 278 pp., £14, January 1979, 9780521219686
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Divide and Rule 
by Jan Mark.
Kestrel, 248 pp., £3.50, October 1980, 0 7226 5620 3
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... or educational, most grown-ups make only occasional nostalgic excursions into the country of Peter Rabbit, and then only as part of the ritual induction of their children into reading. In contrast, the young have always been efficient rievers of stories from all sources, and have carried off such literary booty as pleased them. Now that children have ...

Across the Tellyverse

Jenny Turner: Daleks v. Cybermen, 22 June 2006

Doctor Who 
BBC1Show More
Doctor Who: A Critical Reading of the Series 
by Kim Newman.
BFI, 138 pp., £12, December 2005, 1 84457 090 8
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... powering the gorgeous prescience and horror of William Gibson’s Neuromancer novels, only to peter out, pretty much, by the mid-1990s, as the dull commercial reality – the real ‘consensual hallucination’, to repurpose Gibson’s phrase – of internet shopping kicked in. There was also, after 1977, the Star Wars problem, and the visual similarity ...

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