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Martial Art

Bruce Robbins: Pierre Bourdieu, 20 April 2006

Science of Science and Reflexivity 
by Pierre Bourdieu, translated by Richard Nice.
Polity, 168 pp., £14.99, September 2004, 9780745630601
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... in Education, Society and Culture, co-written with Jean-Claude Passeron (who translated Richard Hoggart’s The Uses of Literacy into French), the class assumptions evident in this vocabulary of evaluation, which is supposed to be neutral and objective, are shown also to prevail in the culture of the written examination, which tends to reward a ...

Del Ponte’s Deal

Geoffrey Nice: Milosevic’s Trial, 16 December 2010

Twilight of Impunity: The War Crimes Trial of Slobodan Milosevic 
by Judith Armatta.
Duke, 545 pp., £26.99, August 2010, 978 0 8223 4746 0
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... running his own defence and who died before judgment was given. Armatta dedicates her book to Sir Richard May, an English circuit judge who presided over the trial until just before the end of the prosecution case in February 2004, and died shortly afterwards. Despite this, most of her critical comments are directed at the judges’ failure to reform matters ...

Liber Amoris

Christopher Hitchens, 28 May 1992

The Russian Girl 
by Kingsley Amis.
Hutchinson, 296 pp., £14.99, April 1992, 0 09 174536 5
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... propositions make it vitally necessary to ask, of everything: ‘Is it any good?’ and ‘Is it nice, or is it nasty?’ (Amazingly, he himself answers in the affirmative when these questions concern, of all crappy things, Science Fiction.) Generally, though, the interrogation is more discriminating than it sounds. To be more specific, life and judgment can ...


Richard Shone: Lydia Lopokova’s Portraits, 23 June 2022

... all rather shabby and haphazard. It was not for want of money – Lydia was very well off, though Richard Kahn, a Cambridge economist and Keynes’s literary executor, was tight-fisted with her allowance. The pictures were not well arranged or dusted – when I took one down, the skeleton of a small bird fell out from behind it. ‘They do not belong to ...

A Leg-Up for Oliver North

Richard Rorty, 20 October 1994

Dictatorship of Virtue: Multiculturalism and the Battle for America’s Future 
by Richard Bernstein.
Knopf, 367 pp., $25, September 1994, 0 679 41156 9
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... In his new book, Richard Bernstein – one of the best reporters at the New York Times – offers some detailed descriptions, and some solid criticisms, of a serious nuisance. Unfortunately, he then tries to inflate this nuisance into a dangerous monster. He offers a lot of useful information about what one segment of the American Left has been doing recently, and his analyses are very acute ...

Stinking Rich

Jenny Diski: Richard Branson, 16 November 2000

by Tom Bower.
Fourth Estate, 384 pp., £17.99, September 2000, 1 84115 386 9
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... energy left in it, the Princess of Wales timed her exit impeccably. It is tempting to think that Richard Branson also understood, if only unconsciously, that public adulation is likely to tire and turn into its own opposite. Blonde, blue-eyed, apparently artless – like the Princess – he took what seemed to be life-threatening risks by boat and ...

At the National Gallery

Richard Taws: Louis-Léopold Boilly, 9 May 2019

... the property developer responsible for Centre Point, and haven’t been shown before (there’s a nice affinity in the fact that towards the end of his life Boilly abruptly gave up painting to speculate in property). In both subject matter and style they betray the influence of Northern European genre painting, rather than the austere classical models ...

Lesser Beauties Drowned

Tessa Hadley: Josephine Tey’s Claustrophobia, 1 December 2022

The Daughter of Time 
by Josephine Tey.
Penguin, 212 pp., £9.99, September 2022, 978 1 5291 5641 6
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... hates them all and is anguished with boredom. Then he comes across a reproduction of a portrait of Richard III and likes what he sees. ‘Someone too conscientious. A worrier; perhaps a perfectionist … He had that incommunicable, that indescribable look that childhood suffering leaves behind it.’ It’s a lot of romance to read into a medieval ...


Richard J. Evans, 8 November 1990

Male Fantasies Vol. I: Women, Floods, Bodies, History 
by Klaus Theweleit, translated by Chris Turner, Erica Carter and Stephen Conway.
Polity, 517 pp., £35, May 1987, 0 7456 0382 3
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Male Fantasies Vol. II: Male Bodies: Psychoanalysing the White Terror 
by Klaus Theweleit, translated by Chris Turner, Erica Carter and Stephen Conway.
Polity, 507 pp., £35, September 1989, 0 7456 0556 7
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... discipline are fascist and repressive, so that instead of lining up those ideas and arguments in nice, neat rows and marching them out before the reader in an orderly fashion, he prefers to let them sprawl all over the place, come back again in a different guise, or wander off at a tangent. It doesn’t make the book particularly easy to follow. Then there ...

No Cleaning, No Cooking

Richard Beck: Nell Zink, 16 July 2015

‘The Wallcreeper’ and ‘Mislaid’ 
by Nell Zink.
Fourth Estate, 168 pp. and 288 pp., £20, June 2015, 978 0 00 813960 5
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... in the morning so that he can go dancing to drum’n’bass at night, and touches her hair in a nice way, ‘comparing it to heavy gold as if he had pulled off the heist of the century’. Then she breaks up with Elvis, immediately misses his ‘scattershot stupidity’, and falls slightly back in love with Stephen. They may not have a baby to care for, but ...

Yellow Sky, Red Sea, Violet Sands

Richard Wollheim: Nicolas De Staël, 24 July 2003

Nicolas de Staël 
by Jean-Paul Ameline et al.
Centre Pompidou, 252 pp., €39.90, March 2003, 2 84426 158 2
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... until September that Staël was demobilised and rejoined Jeannine and her son, who had moved to Nice. In 1942 Jeannine gave birth to a daughter, Anne, and, in September 1943, all four moved back to Paris, which was intellectually more exciting, though politically more dangerous.The war years were a period of true hardship for the Staëls, as for many ...

Just like Mother

Theo Tait: Richard Yates, 6 February 2003

Collected Stories 
by Richard Yates.
Methuen, 474 pp., £17.99, January 2002, 0 413 77125 3
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Revolutionary Road 
by Richard Yates.
Methuen, 346 pp., £6.99, February 2001, 0 413 75710 2
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The Easter Parade 
by Richard Yates.
Methuen, 226 pp., £10, January 2003, 0 413 77202 0
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... Richard Yates faced some formidable obstacles: a broken home, tuberculosis, rampant alcoholism, divorce (twice), lack of recognition and manic depression – a combination that sent him, as he put it, ‘in and out of bughouses’. Even his triumphs seemed only to cause further distress. Though his first novel, Revolutionary Road (1961), was a critical success, sales were wretched, and he spent most of his working life in its shadow ...

Show People

Hugh Barnes, 21 February 1985

So Much Love 
by Beryl Reid.
Hutchinson, 195 pp., £8.95, October 1984, 0 09 155730 5
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Knock wood 
by Candice Bergen.
Hamish Hamilton, 223 pp., £9.95, October 1984, 9780241113585
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... Show people pretend to be other people most of the time, they act out fictional lives. It’s nice work and reasonably well-paid. Also, if Beryl Reid and Candice Bergen are to be believed, they get to meet a regular mixture of super-rotters and superstars in far-flung corners of the world. But it must be devilishly frustrating ...


Anne Enright: Boys’ Aliens and Girls’ Aliens, 21 September 1995

... driving across Brooklyn Bridge who subsequently wrote to Hopkins. It was also witnessed by Dan and Richard, two security officers who were driving to the airport when their car inexplicably cut out. Their passenger, they claim, was none other than Pérez de Cuéllar. Serious believers might wish that Hopkins would stop telling this story after Jim Schnabel ...

Persuasive Philosophy

Richard Rorty, 20 May 1982

Philosophical Explanations 
by Robert Nozick.
Oxford, 765 pp., £15, November 1981, 0 19 824672 2
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... or in arguing?’ ‘Why are philosophers intent on forcing others to believe things? Is that a nice way to behave towards someone?’ He explains his choice of title by saying that he wants to substitute ‘explanations’ for ‘proofs’. An explanation, he tells us, answers the question: ‘How is one thing possible, given certain other ...

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