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My Old, Sweet, Darling Mob

Iain Sinclair: Michael Moorcock

30 November 2000
King of the City 
by Michael Moorcock.
Scribner, 421 pp., £9.99, May 2000, 0 684 86140 2
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Mother London 
by Michael Moorcock.
Scribner, 496 pp., £6.99, May 2000, 0 684 86141 0
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... more hats than Winston Churchill. He distrusts expensive eau de Cologne newcomers with their anorexic novellas: no gravitas, no gravy. He despises the nouvelle cuisine portions served up on mid-culture chat shows. Down there, through the blistering Texas summers in the Bastrop bunker, he needs Radio 4 to keep him sane, to keep him in touch with the ...
27 January 1994
Collaboration in Belgium: Léon Degrelle and the Rexist Movement 
by Martin Conway.
Yale, 364 pp., £30, October 1993, 0 300 05500 5
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... Rexism was, if only for a while, the most successful pro-Fascist party in Western Europe between the wars. Léon Degrelle’s party won 11.5 per cent of the vote in the May 1936 parliamentary elections, and 29 per cent in the rural Francophone province of Luxembourg. His youth and pungent oratory assisted Degrelle in exploiting the growing disillusionment with a stagnant multi-party Parliament: the brooms his followers brandished at their rallies seemed to express it all ...

Life after Life

Jonathan Rée: Collingwood

20 January 2000
An Essay on Metaphysics 
by R.G. Collingwood, edited by Rex Martin.
Oxford, 439 pp., £48, July 1998, 0 19 823561 5
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The New Leviathan 
by R.G. Collingwood, edited by David Boucher.
Oxford, 525 pp., £17.99, March 1999, 0 19 823880 0
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The Principles of History 
by R.G. Collingwood, edited by W.H. Dray and W.J. van der Dussen.
Oxford, 293 pp., £48, March 1999, 0 19 823703 0
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... The motor vessel Aclinous left Birkenhead on 22 October 1938. It was an ordinary Dutch cargo ship making a routine journey to what was then the Dutch East Indies, and on this occasion it was also carrying a sick and lonely passenger: an experienced amateur sailor who was hoping that a sea voyage and a few months sailing around the Malay Archipelago would help restore his health and peace of mind ...

Goings-On at Eagle Lake

Christopher Tayler: Barry Hannah

29 November 2001
Yonder Stands Your Orphan 
by Barry Hannah.
Atlantic, 336 pp., £9.99, September 2001, 1 903809 16 9
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... well known outside the United States. His picaresque, autobiographical first novel, Geronimo Rex – a disorganised redneck version of The Adventures of Augie March – won the William Faulkner Prize and a nomination for the National Book Award when it came out in 1976. His 1978 short-story collection, Airships, was even more successful, winning two ...

Rose’s Rex

David Cannadine

15 September 1983
King George V 
by Kenneth Rose.
Weidenfeld, 514 pp., £12.95, July 1983, 0 297 78245 2
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... sentimentality which, at the Queen’s behest and with her all-too-active co-operation, Theodore Martin lavished on the Prince Consort; still less the ‘feline skill’ of Sidney Lee who, disregarding the advice of Edward VII, ‘Stick to Shakespeare, Mr Lee, there’s money in Shakespeare,’ produced a double-decker biography of his late majesty; least of ...

They would have laughed

Ferdinand Mount: The Massacre at Amritsar

4 April 2019
Amritsar 1919: An Empire of Fear and the Making of a Massacre 
by Kim A. Wagner.
Yale, 325 pp., £20, February 2019, 978 0 300 20035 5
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... his body carried on a gun carriage draped in the Union flag, from the Guards’ Chapel to St Martin-in-the-Fields. Wagner underplays the extraordinary fact of this rite, normally reserved for a national hero, being accorded to a disgraced temporary brigadier. Only Collett puzzles over who could have given permission for this and fingers those notorious ...

Yesterday

Frank Kermode

27 July 1989
The Pleasures of Peace: Art and Imagination in Post-War Britain 
by Bryan Appleyard.
Faber, 367 pp., £12.99, June 1989, 0 571 13722 9
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... the context and mood of the time – Wodehouse agreeably exploiting British pastoral illusions, Rex Warner, in his parable The Aerodrome, warning us against a parochialism that could be dangerous in a hostile and regimented world, and so on. And now the business of making everything hang together, not only in the arts but in the political present and its ...

Indoor Raincoat

Lavinia Greenlaw: Joy Division

22 April 2015
So This Is Permanence: Joy Division Lyrics and Notebooks 
by Ian Curtis, edited by Deborah Curtis and Jon Savage.
Faber, 304 pp., £27, October 2014, 978 0 571 30955 9
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... were at a loss. I had never been anywhere that felt so solid and so empty. The band’s producer, Martin Hannett, drew on Joy Division’s centrifugal tendency and pushed the band’s music into arrangements that were broken down, unproductive and full of disused space. It was the sound of their city but it could have been describing the entire country. The ...

Newtopia

Christopher Hitchens

24 August 1995
To Renew America 
by Newt Gingrich.
HarperCollins, 260 pp., £18, July 1995, 9780060173364
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... new Speaker. The advance was $4.6 million: not bad for an untried new writer. The row was not of Martin Amis proportions – this is not a very literary town – but there were some ugly whispers about conflict of interest. Mr Gingrich himself agreed to waive the advance in exchange for a share of royalties that will probably net him about the same. Nobody ...
19 September 1996
The Cinema of Isolation 
by Martin Norden.
Rutgers, 385 pp., $48, September 1994, 0 8135 2103 3
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... consideration of disability in film. Like many a cultural archaeologist coming upon a rich site, Martin Norden does what Schliemann did at Troy and sinks his shafts in haste, turning up many treasures but profoundly disturbing the strata in the process. Norden lists a vast number of early silent films featuring people with disabilities – slapstick ...

How’s the vampire?

Christopher Hitchens

8 November 1990
King Edward VIII: The Official Biography 
by Philip Ziegler.
Collins, 654 pp., £20, September 1990, 0 00 215741 1
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... styled ‘HRH’. Strange, then, that anti-Establishment figures like Churchill and Kingsley Martin and Beaverbrook, a sort of distillate of the Rex Mottram set, should have been ‘King’s Men’ of a kind in 1936 and have staked some part of their careers on defending this ugly little gargoyle. But perhaps not so ...
14 May 1992
Vladimir Nabokov: The American Years 
by Brian Boyd.
Chatto, 783 pp., £25, January 1992, 0 7011 3701 0
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... found Nabokov ‘rich in what is given to few writers and poor in what is given to most men’. Martin Seymour-Smith, reviewing Laughter in the Dark, described Nabokov as ‘a kind of Satanic Mantovani, coming into cruel close-up on your screens at the end of the compelling torment to ask (the question mark ironic): “You have been distressed by my ...

A Susceptible Man

Ian Sansom: The Unhappy Laureate

4 March 1999
Living in Time: The Poetry of C. Day Lewis 
by Albert Gelpi.
Oxford, 246 pp., £30, March 1998, 0 19 509863 3
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... have been, according to A. Alvarez, ‘a professional patrician’, but he was also, according to Martin Dodsworth, guilty of ‘artistic parasitism’. In his capacity as Poet Laureate, according to Julian Symons, even ‘the task of producing semiofficial occasional poems that were also of poetic interest defeated him.’ The Times obituary summed him up in ...
13 July 2016
The Long Weekend: Life in the English Country House between the Wars 
by Adrian Tinniswood.
Cape, 406 pp., £25, June 2016, 978 0 224 09945 5
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... what Tinniswood calls an ‘outsider’s house’ like nothing before. The interior had murals by Rex Whistler, lapis lazuli panels in the dining room and there was ‘one of the most dramatic bathing pools in England’: ‘flanked by raised quadrant pools and balustraded steps and fountains’, it seemed to float over the landscape. This was architecture as ...

The Politics of Translation

Marina Warner: Translate this!

11 October 2018
This Little Art 
by Kate Briggs.
Fitzcarraldo, 365 pp., £12.99, September 2017, 978 1 910695 45 6
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Translation as Transhumance 
by Mireille Gansel, translated by Ros Schwartz.
Les Fugitives, 150 pp., £10, November 2017, 978 0 9930093 3 4
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Sympathy for the Traitor: A Translation Manifesto 
by Mark Polizzotti.
MIT, 168 pp., £17.99, May 2018, 978 0 262 03799 0
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The 100 Best Novels in Translation 
by Boyd Tonkin.
Galileo, 304 pp., £14.99, June 2018, 978 1 903385 67 8
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The Work of Literary Translation 
by Clive Scott.
Cambridge, 285 pp., £75, June 2018, 978 1 108 42682 4
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... edition Hockney came across must be John Mavrogordato’s, published by the Hogarth Press in 1951 (Rex Warner wrote the introduction). When Hockney’s prints were published a few years later, in 1967, Stephen Spender, a friend and early advocate, collaborated on a new translation with the publisher Nikos Stangos, himself Greek and a poet, of 14 of the Cavafy ...

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