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Caesar’s body shook

Denis Feeney: Cicero

22 September 2011
Cicero in Letters: Epistolary Relations of the Late Republic 
by Peter White.
Oxford, 235 pp., £40, August 2010, 978 0 19 538851 0
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... the only personality from classical antiquity of whom anything like a proper biography can be written. Certainly there is no other figure from the ancient world about whom we can know so much. As PeterWhite demonstrates, however, in his characteristically incisive and learned book, Cicero’s letters do not provide a window into his soul, any more than the numerous letters from his many ...

White​ Midas

Peter​ Redgrove

6 July 1989
... It is the Pope, the veritable white Polish Pope, The Pope who has been a poet, the published Pope, He who kisses the soil, and accordingly Worships a Black Virgin, now like a Christ-child He has re-arrived, in a cradle, a deep wicker ...

At the White​ Cube

Peter​ Campbell: Anselm Kiefer

22 February 2007
... The exhibition of Anselm Kiefer’s new work at White Cube Mason’s Yard (until 17 March) is entitled Aperiatur Terra – ‘let the earth open’ – the reference is to Isaiah 45.8: ‘Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down ...

White​ Lies

James Campbell: Nella Larsen

5 October 2006
In Search of Nella Larsen: A Biography of the Colour Line 
by George Hutchinson.
Harvard, 611 pp., £25.95, June 2006, 0 674 02180 0
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... who has cheeks of ‘ivory’ and hair the colour of ‘pale gold’, is ‘black’. All those years, John had been deceived into thinking Clare was something else, an equally fictitious formula, ‘white’. They have no family because she feared children might show a touch of the tar brush. Before the fateful blow, John is asked casually by Irene Redfield, through whose eyes we see the action and ...
6 December 1979
... transformed – at a reported cost of over £100,000 – to receive the Thirties exhibition, an enterprise on the largest scale, put together by a committee chaired by William Feaver. Modernist white walls mask the emphatic textures and shapes of the interior of the shell, so that Fifties Brutalism encloses Thirties Modern. But what is displayed in the cases and on the walls is an attempt at ...

At Tate Britain

Peter​ Campbell: Peter Doig

6 March 2008
... Peter Doig painted Echo Lake in 1998. A man stands on the far side of a stretch of dark water. He is quite a way off, but you can see that he wears a white shirt and a dark tie. His hands are raised to his face. Is it to keep the light out of his eyes as he looks at you? Or is it to project his voice as he shouts? A police car, lights on, is parked ...

Unpasteurised

Peter​ Redgrove

24 January 1985
... weed That falls about our heads uncombed, which lead Along strait routes to a booming cistern blown In a domed cadenza of ancient bricks. There are here tribes of black bats Littering their crisp white skeletons. We lick our fretted lips Free of their mermaid salts And a few feet below the ceiling A band of sparkling mineral crust; As though one put his salt Seed into the water, and seeded Their ...
7 March 1985
... by the river Under the cold hairy willows, In peaked caps and faded railway overalls And astride saddle-sized model trains, Chug under bare willow wickerwork gilded by winter sun Puffing more white steam than their crib-sized engines. Even the dog-shit is happy among these frosty hobbyists, Lying down as is its wont Like shed pelt of a ginger kind Tightly wound like secretive baskets Or ...
17 November 1983
... for Peter Porter) I The maroon-hued slugs swallow the garden down. Out at sea the ships on fire with light Like burning soldiers drawn up on parade. I switch on the electric light; It is a furnace in a vase ...

Two Poems

Peter​ Redgrove

3 February 1983
... sleeves of wet slate, the sewn pearls of barnacles, A dressing-gown of sliding sand, a nightdress of mud With snailtrack stitching, pyjamas of glittering silica, A shirt of schists, the cricketer’s white of china-clay, And the sea winking, and the waves leaping Over and over each other in the tidal circus, The little snapping white horses, And the green horses racing in the oaks. What is this Lord ...

Sexual Nonconformism

Peter​ Laslett

24 January 1980
Wanton Wenches and Wayward Wives: Peasants and Illicit Sex in Early 17th Century England 
by G.R. Quaife.
Croom Helm, 283 pp., £11.50, July 1980, 0 7099 0062 7
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A History of Myddle 
by Richard Gough, edited by Peter​ Razzell.
Caliban, 184 pp., £9, October 1980, 0 904573 14 1
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... peasantry. ‘Earthy’ is the word we most often use of the way the peasants carried on. But listen to this: Upon Sunday the 18th and 25th days of this instant month of July, Thomas Odam with a white sheet upon his uppermost garment, and a white wand in his hand, shall come into the parish church at Charlton at the beginning of the forenoon service and stand forth in the middle space before the ...

In Bexhill

Peter​ Campbell: Ben Nicholson

20 November 2008
... took over later – but the colour schemes are already established. Ben Nicholson, ‘1932 (crowned head – the queen)’ The other dominant strand in Nicholson’s work consists of white or near white reliefs. Words like ‘purity’ and ‘balance’ stick to descriptions of them like a burr to a sock. It was these constructions of overlapping circles and rectangles that he finally ...

Transfigurations

Roger Garfitt

20 March 1980
The Weddings at Nether Powers 
by Peter​ Redgrove.
Routledge, 166 pp., £2.95, July 1979, 0 7100 0255 6
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... fascination with death, was that of the relentless mutability of matter – Alexander the Great could be turned in his clay to the bung in a wine barrel. It is a trope that recurs repeatedly in Peter Redgrove’s recent work, You take turns to be food, Before you can grind wheat you have to be wheat, Before you can eat bread you are a nice new crust Eaten by Mary, who chooses a crust-you here, A ...

Sucking up

Michael Rogin

12 May 1994
Second Front: Censorship and Propaganda in the Gulf War 
by John MacArthur.
California, 274 pp., £10, January 1994, 0 520 08398 9
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Live from the Battlefield: From Vietnam to Baghdad – 35 Years in the World’s War Zones 
by Peter​ Arnett.
Bloomsbury, 463 pp., £17.99, March 1994, 0 7475 1680 4
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... ground – to substitute for war the image of war. That effort, failing in Vietnam, produced the news reporter as American hero – Neil Sheehan, David Halberstam, Seymour Hersch, Jonathan Schell, Peter Arnett. They reported not only the war the government did not want its citizens to see, but also the government efforts to invent a war for domestic consumption. ‘Part of the Vietnamese Seventh ...

At the British Museum

Peter​ Campbell: John White’s New World

5 April 2007
... John White is famous for the drawings he made in the late 1580s which record aspects of the North American littoral: its geography, its inhabitants, their dress, customs and dwellings, and the birds, plants and ...

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