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4 August 1994
God’s Plagiarist: Being an Account of the Fabulous Industry and Irr</span>egular Commerce of the Abbé Migne 
by R. Howard Bloch.
Chicago, 162 pp., £19.95, June 1994, 0 226 05970 7
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... The day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night’ (I Thessalonians 5.2). In 19th-century France, it came in the shape of the abbé Jacques-Paul Migne. Between 1840 and 1870, with the help of several hundred poorly-paid workers and the latest in steam-powered printing, Migne undid the effects of the French Revolution, reversed the Reformation, created ‘the two most beautiful historical monuments to be found anywhere in the world’ and directed ‘the greatest publishing enterp rise since the invention of printing ...
22 June 2000
The Arcades Project 
by Walter Benjamin, translated by Howard Eiland.
Harvard, 1073 pp., £24.95, December 1999, 9780674043268
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... There are the Alps,’ Basil Bunting is supposed to have scribbled on his copy of the Cantos. ‘What is there to say about them?’ Mainly this, in the brief poem that follows: They don’t make sense ...

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