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Fresh, Generous, Colourful, Idyllic

Tim Parks: ‘Graziella’

21 February 2019
Graziella 
by Alphonse de Lamartine, translated by Raymond MacKenzie.
Minnesota, 168 pp., £12.99, November 2018, 978 1 5179 0247 6
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... the feelings of the illiterate girl and will now, together with the reader, derive sustenance from the pathos of her decline and early death. In his excellent introduction, the book’s translator, RaymondMacKenzie, explains that Lamartine, who in reality spent those few months in Naples at the house of an older relative who owned a tobacco factory, spun the tale from a brief affair with a girl who ...

A Pair of Yellow Gloves

Tim Parks: Stendhal’s ‘Italian Chronicles’

18 October 2017
Italian Chronicles 
by Stendhal, translated by Raymond MacKenzie.
Minnesota, 344 pp., £20.99, May 2017, 978 1 5179 0011 3
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... and conventional folk the world over. The former involve a willing assent to instinctive movements of the heart; the latter is the consequence of fear and vanity. ‘Correctness,’ the translator RaymondMacKenzie points out in his excellent introduction to Italian Chronicles, ‘is simply another form of confinement.’ Stendhal loved to say dangerous things in polite conversation and watch the ...

Bright Old Thing

D.A.N. Jones

23 July 1987
Letters of Conrad Russell: 1897-1947 
edited by Georgiana Blakiston.
Murray, 278 pp., £16.95, May 1987, 0 7195 4382 7
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... Think you, if Laura had been Petrarch’s wife, He would have written sonnets all his life? Russell never married. He was of that company called ‘the lost generation’, as described by Jeanne Mackenzie in Children of the Souls: she concentrated on Raymond Asquith, Edward Horner and six other subalterns killed in World War One. They seemed, in Diana Cooper’s view, to have no appetite for life ...

Bloody

Michael Church

9 October 1986
The Children of the Souls: A Tragedy of the First World War 
by Jeanne Mackenzie.
Chatto, 276 pp., £14.95, June 1986, 9780701128470
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Voices from the Spanish Civil War: Personal Recollections of Scottish Volunteers in Republican Spain 1936-39 
edited by Ian MacDougall, by Victor Kiernan.
Polygon, 369 pp., £9.95, July 1986, 0 948275 19 7
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The Shallow Grave: A Memoir of the Spanish Civil War 
by Walter Gregory, edited by David Morris and Anthony Peters.
Gollancz, 183 pp., £10.95, June 1986, 0 575 03790 3
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Spanish Front: Writers on the Civil War 
edited by Valentine Cunningham.
Oxford, 388 pp., £15, July 1986, 0 19 212258 4
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The Spanish Cockpit 
by Franz Borkenau.
Pluto, 303 pp., £4.95, July 1986, 0 7453 0188 6
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The Spanish Civil War 1936-39 
by Paul Preston.
Weidenfeld, 184 pp., £10.95, June 1986, 0 297 78891 4
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Images of the Spanish Civil War 
by Raymond​ Carr.
Allen and Unwin, 192 pp., £14.95, July 1986, 0 04 940089 4
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... lament was his favourite passage: a perfect and terrible irony, in view of the depression into which her flirtation with the other young men of his coterie had frequently plunged him. Jeanne MacKenzie suggests that he and his friends – known to the press as the Corrupt Coterie – shared the romantic fatalism of their class and were half in love with death, and for once the cliché earns its ...

Always on Top

Edward Said: From Birmingham to Jamaica

20 March 2003
Civilising Subjects: Metropole and Colony in the English Imagination 1830-67 
by Catherine Hall.
Polity, 556 pp., £60, April 2002, 0 7456 1820 0
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... biological and the cultural, biological essentialism was, for the moment, in the ascendant, and race occupied a different place in English common sense.’ The salutary implicit references here to Raymond Williams and Gramsci (‘common sense’) are carried over from earlier parts of Hall’s study in which she uses their subtle materialist cultural criticism to great effect. What her book makes ...

The Tower

Andrew O’Hagan

7 June 2018
... would, wouldn’t they? In 2017, with all these firefighters, and all these cameras?Biruk Haftom became separated from his mother, who was overcome by smoke on the landing. He went into the flat of Raymond ‘Moses’ Bernard, a kind, well-known old gentleman who lived on the 23rd floor with his dog, Marley. A great many of those who died ended up on this floor, Jessica included. Gary Maunders had also ...

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