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J.I.M. Stewart, 18 December 1980

The Case of the Philosophers’ Ring by Dr John H. Watson 
by Randall Collins.
Harvester, 152 pp., £6.95, September 1980, 0 85527 458 1
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... of all classes which are not members of themselves a member of itself? If yes, no; if no, yes.’ Randall Collins (PhD) is showing us that he knows his stuff. Yet he might with advantage, I believe, have betaken himself from Cambridge’s Trinity to Oxford’s Christ Church, and at the same time to persons living in a period a little more decently ...
... times in the last thirty years, the era of the ‘post-modern’, most famously in a 1955 essay by Randall Jarrell called ‘The Age of Criticism’. Jarrell noticed that the typical literary quarterly in the Fifties had ‘two and a half pages of poems, 11 of a story and 134 of criticism’. He also traced the three generations that gave rise to this ...

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Robert Baird: Robert Duncan’s Dream, 23 October 2013

Robert Duncan: The Ambassador from Venus 
by Lisa Jarnot.
California, 509 pp., £27.95, August 2013, 978 0 520 23416 1
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... with her future husband, Robert De Niro père. In 1951 he exchanged wedding vows with a man, Jess Collins, but while this gave him a stable home and a partner for life, it didn’t do much to slow his trysting. Duncan approved of any commotion that held him at its centre. A blether to his enemies, his friends saw him as a conversationalist in the Coleridgean ...

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