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Art’s Infancy

Arthur C. Danto, 22 April 1993

The Mind and its Depths 
by Richard Wollheim.
Harvard, 214 pp., £19.95, March 1993, 9780674576117
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Psychoanalysis, Mind and Art: Perspectives on Richard Wollheim 
edited by Jim Hopkins and Anthony Savile.
Blackwell, 383 pp., £40, October 1992, 0 631 17571 7
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... I have always thought of Richard Wollheim as embodying the values and interests of a particularly urbane kind of British intellectual, typified by and possibly originating with the members of the Bloomsbury Circle. It encompasses a serious interest in the arts and especially the art of painting; a dedication to some version of socialist politics; a faith in psychoanalysis as therapy and as a theory of the mind; a commitment to articulate an aesthetic philosophy and in some measure to attempt to live by it; a determination to enhance one’s prose with a certain literary surface; and a profound concern for friendship and the life of the heart ...

This Charming Man

Frank Kermode, 24 February 1994

The Collected and Recollected Marc 
Fourth Estate, 51 pp., £25, November 1993, 1 85702 164 9Show More
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... the proctors to be intolerably rude to God. There was a legendary mock-funeral in King’s Parade. Richard Wollheim, who was at Oxford, approaches Boxer slowly by way of de Hoghton, the rich fat poet, maintaining, rather against the evidence adduced, that de Hoghton was interesting and talented. He is said to have got his poem into Granta behind Boxer’s ...

Under the Loincloth

Frank Kermode, 3 April 1997

The Sexuality of Christ in Renaissance Art and in Modern Oblivion 
by Leo Steinberg.
Chicago, 417 pp., £23.95, January 1997, 0 226 77187 3
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... or dismissive, so some venerable commentators – the late Lawrence Gowing, Michael Levey, Richard Wollheim, Marina Warner and, singled out for a special treatment, Charles Hope – are, in this new edition, keenly reprehended. It should be said that Steinberg, a lively and resourceful writer, could not with any justice be charged with irreverence ...

Second-Decimal Arguments

Jon Elster, 23 May 1985

The Thread of Life 
by Richard Wollheim.
Harvard, 288 pp., £20, January 1985, 0 06 748875 7
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... Reading Richard Wollheim’s study of what it is to live the life of a person was a frustrating, painful experience. Perhaps it can best be summarised by saying that while the book goes to great lengths to ensure precision in the second decimal, it leaves us in the dark about the first. Wollheim has a marvellously knowledgeable and intelligent mind ...

The Last Eleven

Robert Melville, 15 July 1982

... the man and his work (of which far and away the most valuable in the context of the exhibition is Richard Wollheim’s note on the pictures painted in the last year of his life), an excellent biographical and bibliographical chronology, and one long paragraph and three short ones by Adrian himself on his painting – from two pieces written in the ...

Works of Art

Peter Lamarque, 2 April 1981

Art and Its Objects 
by Richard Wollheim.
Cambridge, 270 pp., £12.50, November 1980, 0 521 22898 0
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Works and Worlds of Art 
by Nicholas Wolterstorff.
Oxford, 372 pp., £20, December 1980, 0 19 824419 3
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... There is perhaps no better guide to the dauntingly complex issues involved in these questions than Richard Wollheim’s Art and Its Objects. First published over twelve years ago, this concise, elegant and wide-ranging book has established itself as an indispensable text for undergraduate courses in aesthetics. The second edition leaves the original text ...

At Dulwich

T.J. Clark: Poussin and Twombly, 25 August 2011

... to a tourist: ‘Here’s ancient Rome.’ Both artists are humorists as well as death-haunted. (Richard Wollheim once said to me, apropos The Triumph of Pan, which is in the exhibition, that he did not feel Poussin ever managed the difficult business of laughter in paint. Maybe not: but he was good at showing human beings trying to be funny. He was ...

Diary

Frank Kermode: Being in New York, 7 July 1983

... is social, not scholarly. Not that these categories can confidently be thought distinct. When Richard Wollheim and I agreed to do a double act at a lunchtime university seminar we were surprised to find that a very large number of people had turned up with their sandwiches: but they hadn’t come just for the company, and there were plenty of acute ...

Diary

Karl Miller: Football Tribes, 1 June 1989

... who were later to denounce it as obscene. Football is itself violent, of course – my friend Richard Wollheim once broke it to me that he was unable to look at a game, for this reason. But it has always distinguished between an allowable and an alien violence, and the rules it has for that purpose generally work. None of the really outstanding ...

Out of Sight, out of Mind

Frank Kermode: A.J. Ayer’s Winning Ways, 15 July 1999

A.J. Ayer: A Life 
by Ben Rogers.
Chatto, 402 pp., £20, June 1999, 9780701163167
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... to have been the co-respondent when Ayer divorced his first wife. Three years later he recruited Richard Wollheim from Oxford, but thereafter he appointed his own students. Since he was a fine teacher this proved a better idea than might ordinarily be thought. He had a department of varied talents and no orthodoxy except an un-Oxfordian devotion to ...

Diary

Andrew O’Hagan: Orders of Service, 18 April 2019

... there was Beethoven’s Quartet in A minor, an adagio from Haydn, a speech by Richard Wollheim, and no fewer than 13 of Spender’s own poems, read by Harold Pinter, Ted Hughes, James Fenton, Jill Balcon and Barry Humphries. (At Larkin’s, there were three.) Spender’s order of service, despite his obvious absence, seems to ...

Through the Psychoanalytoscope

Frank Cioffi, 25 January 1996

Wittgenstein Reads Freud: The Myth of the Unconscious 
by Jacques Bouveresse, translated by Carol Cosman.
Princeton, 143 pp., £15.95, June 1995, 0 691 03425 7
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... tradition of directly translating subjective impressions into economic terms’. Even Richard Wollheim, who rarely rises above an abject appreciativeness in his dealings with Freud, concedes that Freud ‘sometimes treated propositions about energy and its liberation as though they were descriptions of introspectible phenomena’. This ...

Silly Buggers

James Fox, 7 March 1991

The Theatre of Embarrassment 
by Francis Wyndham.
Chatto, 205 pp., £15, February 1991, 0 7011 3726 6
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... fiction, rather than visiting Joan Crawford in her film-set caravan, accompanied by Lord Snowdon. Richard Wollheim and Colin McInnes had been overheard talking about him on the balcony at a party. ‘There we were,’ said McInnes afterwards, ‘like two Chinese civil servants in the snow, talking about the Emperor.’ He shared an office with Meriel ...

Feast of St Thomas

Frank Kermode, 29 September 1988

Eliot’s New Life 
by Lyndall Gordon.
Oxford, 356 pp., £15, September 1988, 0 19 811727 2
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The Letters of T.S. Eliot 
edited by Valerie Eliot.
Faber, 618 pp., £25, September 1988, 0 571 13621 4
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The Poetics of Impersonality 
by Maud Ellmann.
Harvester, 207 pp., £32.50, January 1988, 0 7108 0463 6
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T.S. Eliot and the Philosophy of Criticism 
by Richard Shusterman.
Duckworth, 236 pp., £19.95, February 1988, 0 7156 2187 4
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‘The Men of 1914’: T.S. Eliot and Early Modernism 
by Erik Svarny.
Open University, 268 pp., £30, September 1988, 0 335 09019 2
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Eliot, Joyce and Company 
by Stanley Sultan.
Oxford, 326 pp., £25, March 1988, 0 19 504880 6
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The Savage and the City in the Work of T.S. Eliot 
by Robert Crawford.
Oxford, 251 pp., £25, December 1987, 9780198128694
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T.S. Eliot: The Poems 
by Martin Scofield.
Cambridge, 264 pp., £25, March 1988, 0 521 30147 5
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... 1965 people had long been curious about this very famous man. Collections such as the one made by Richard Marsh and Tambimuttu for his 60th birthday in 1948 contained much pleasant anecdote, and there were respectful reminiscences in Allen Tate’s memorial volume of 1966. Meanwhile, off the page, there was some gossip about such matters as a putatively vast ...

Old Scores

Colin McGinn, 30 August 1990

The Meaning of Life, and Other Essays 
by A.J. Ayer.
Weidenfeld, 212 pp., £17, June 1990, 0 297 82041 9
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... He had flu and had lost his voice, but he didn’t let that put him off. He arranged to have Richard Wollheim read his paper out for him. As the paper was mellifluously read, in cadences quite unlike Freddie’s own clipped and headlong mode of speech (‘prshn’ for ‘proposition’), he nodded his vigorous assent to the arguments that were being ...

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