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Trips

Graham Coster, 26 July 1990

In Xanadu: A Quest 
by William Dalrymple.
Collins, 314 pp., £14.95, July 1989, 0 00 217948 2
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The Gunpowder Gardens 
by Jason Goodwin.
Chatto, 230 pp., £14.95, March 1990, 0 7011 3620 0
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Silk Roads: The Asian Adventures of André and Clara Malraux 
by Axel Madsen.
Tauris, 299 pp., £14.95, April 1990, 1 85043 209 0
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At Home and Abroad 
by V.S. Pritchett.
Chatto, 332 pp., £14.95, February 1990, 0 7011 3620 0
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Great Plains 
by Ian Frazier.
Faber, 290 pp., £14.99, March 1990, 0 571 14260 5
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... was a journey that ought not to have been made; it had broken my life in two.’ Graham Greene, surviving a feverish night in the Liberian interior, records a comparable epiphany: ‘I had discovered in myself a passionate interest in living. I had always assumed before, as a matter of course, that death was desirable.’ Between Theroux’s ...

Sightbites

Jonathan Meades: Archigram’s Ghost, 21 May 2020

Archigram: The Book 
edited by Dennis Crompton.
Circa, 300 pp., £95, November 2018, 978 1 911422 04 4
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... band of six men – Peter Cook, Warren Chalk, Ron Herron, Dennis Crompton, Michael Webb and David Greene – whose day jobs were with big commercial practices and local authorities. They formed in the early 1960s and over the next decade or so produced thousands of designs for ‘cities of the future’ that were highly original, sometimes on the ...

Scrapbook

Edward Pearce, 26 July 1990

A Sparrow’s Flight: Memoirs 
by Lord Hailsham.
Collins, 463 pp., £17.50, July 1990, 0 00 215545 1
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... The other, less flattering image comes from the gathering in the Queen’s Gallery to hear Richard von Weisaecker make an address. The President of West Germany, speaking a crystalline, virtually unaccented English, spoke for about half an hour with restraint, wisdom and the quiet earnest of a man gravely engaged upon serious things. He had been ...

Which play was performed at the Globe Theatre on 7 February 1601?

Blair Worden: A Play for Plotters, 10 July 2003

... rebellion. ‘The play,’ he averred, ‘was of King Harry the 4th, and of the killing of King Richard II.’ Third, on 18 February, one of the players, Augustine Phillips, in signed testimony given under oath, described the play as ‘the play of the deposing and killing of King Richard II’. Fourth, at Meyrick’s ...

Diary

Richard Gott: Paraguayan Power, 21 February 2008

... regime largely protected from inquiring eyes by its inaccessibility and its secret police. Graham Greene’s The Honorary Consul, published in 1973, was set among the exiles in Corrientes, across the Argentine frontier, but it caught very well the claustrophobic atmosphere of 20th-century Paraguay. The country’s greatest novelist, Augusto Roa Bastos, long ...

Middle Positions

John Hedley Brooke, 21 July 1983

Archetypes and Ancestors: Palaeontology in Victorian London 1850-1875 
by Adrian Desmond.
Blond and Briggs, 287 pp., £15.95, October 1982, 0 85634 121 5
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Evolution without Evidence: Charles Darwin and ‘The Origin Species’ 
by Barry Gale.
Harvester, 238 pp., £18.95, January 1983, 0 7108 0442 3
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The Secular Ark: Studies in the History of Biogeography 
by Janet Browne.
Yale, 273 pp., £21, May 1983, 0 300 02460 6
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The Descent of Darwin: A Handbook of Doubts about Darwinsm 
by Brain Leith.
Collins, 174 pp., £7.95, December 1982, 0 00 219548 8
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... The Darwin scholar, John Greene, once summarised the Darwinian revolution as the triumph of a dynamic and non-teleological structuring of nature over static, teological systems: the triumph of chance and change over design and permanence, the triumph of objectivity in the life sciences, of secularism and naturalism over clericalism and the supernatural ...

Tio Sam

Christopher Hitchens, 20 December 1990

In the Time of the Tyrants: Panama 1968-89 
by R.M. Koster and Guillermo Sanchez Borbon.
Secker, 430 pp., £17.99, October 1990, 0 436 20016 3
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... might be termed the unpatriotic or pseudo-nationalist. Even before Nelson Rockefeller reported to Richard Nixon that in Latin America the military was ‘the essential force for constructive social change’, the United States had ruled the Monroe Doctrine states by means of the purchased soldier – ‘the officer with the trailing sword’, as Neruda once ...

Short Cuts

Inigo Thomas: At the Ladbroke Arms, 22 February 2018

... The pub has become as much a restaurant as it is a place to have a drink. It is owned by Greene King, the brewing company, and run by a Polish woman who lives upstairs. It is full most evenings: customers smoking cigarettes stand on the pavement. One of the barmen is from Stettin – ‘Paris of the Baltic’, as he likes to say – and studied ...

Doctor, Doctor

D.A.N. Jones, 19 April 1984

The Merry-Go-Round in the Sea 
by Randolph Stow.
Secker, 276 pp., £8.95, April 1984, 0 436 49734 4
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The Suburbs of Hell 
by Randolph Stow.
Secker, 165 pp., £7.95, April 1984, 0 436 49735 2
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Kingsley’s Touch 
by John Collee.
Allen Lane, 206 pp., £6.95, March 1984, 0 7139 1633 8
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A Suitable Case for Corruption 
by Norman Lewis.
Hamish Hamilton, 185 pp., £8.95, April 1984, 0 241 11178 1
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... take it seriously. We find Kingsley on the golf-course, discussing the problem with his colleague, Richard Short, while they wait for ‘the brisk, serious teenagers’ of Edinburgh to finish with the hole before them. Short says: ‘You’re on a real winner. Even if it is a total red herring, spontaneously resolving cancer is big news. The press will be on ...

Fashionable Gore

Katherine Rundell: H. Rider Haggard, 3 April 2014

King Solomon’s Mines 
by H. Rider Haggard.
Vintage, 337 pp., £7.99, May 2013, 978 0 09 958282 3
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She 
by H. Rider Haggard.
Vintage, 317 pp., £8.99, May 2013, 978 0 09 958283 0
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... it isn’t; nor is it run of the mill. It is the book which sowed the seed for John Buchan’s Richard Hannay, for Indiana Jones and James Bond, and though less slick than its successors, its anxieties and lunacies are more interesting. It isn’t suitable for children; perhaps not suitable at all.As a child Henry Rider Haggard was believed to be ...

Why go high?

Adam Shatz, 19 November 2020

... excluded from the New Deal and Fair Deal. White anger later found a grim and calculating ally in Richard Nixon, with his ‘Southern strategy’, his appeals to the ‘silent majority’ and his calls for ‘law and order’ in America’s cities.Yet no American president has so flagrantly pandered to white grievance as Donald Trump, even as he has praised ...

I was invisible

Christian Lorentzen: Viet Thanh Nguyen, 18 November 2021

The Committed 
by Viet Thanh Nguyen.
Corsair, 345 pp., £8.99, March, 978 1 4721 5253 4
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... in Los Angeles, where he wrote a thesis titled ‘Myth and Symbol in the Literature of Graham Greene’.Nguyen’s narrator is designed to have several dual identities, but it’s his bond with Man and Bon that turns out to be the engine of both novels, as he tries to carry out Man’s orders, handed down from the Viet Cong, while protecting Bon from ...

Who was David Peterley?

Michael Holroyd, 15 November 1984

... produce a ‘more or less continuous autobiographical narrative’ which, we are told, the editor Richard Pennington further abbreviated for publication. The first four years of this diary are dissolved into Mr Pennington’s Introduction, and Peterley Harvest, ‘the private diary of David Peterley now for the first time printed’, opened in June 1930 as ...

Bereft and Beruffed

Michael Dobson: Shakespeare’s Last Plays, 6 June 2019

Shakespeare’s Lyric Stage: Myth, Music and Poetry in the Last Plays 
by Seth Lerer.
Chicago, 276 pp., £20.50, November 2018, 978 0 226 58254 2
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... Tale dramatises a prose romance from 1588, Pandosto, appropriately written by the same Robert Greene who accused Shakespeare of being a plagiaristic ‘upstart crow’, while both The Tempest and Cymbeline borrow from Rare Triumphs of Love and Fortune, a creaky anonymous play of the early 1580s about an exiled courtier who lives in a cave and exercises ...

Anti-Writer

Clair Wills: Plain Brian O’Nolan, 4 April 2019

The Collected Letters of Flann O’Brien 
edited by Maebh Long.
Dalkey Archive, 619 pp., £20, April 2018, 978 1 62897 183 5
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... thought of himself as a popular novelist, writing for a well-educated but broad audience. Graham Greene was the reader for Longmans who recommended publication of At Swim-Two-Birds and O’Nolan was ambitious for a Greene-sized readership. He sent a copy of his first novel to the popular novelist Ethel Mannin and ...

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