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Agringado

Joan Acocella

14 December 1995
Flamenco Deep Song 
by Timothy Mitchell.
Yale, 232 pp., £18.95, January 1995, 0 300 06001 7
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¡Tango! The Dance, the Song, the Story 
by Simon Collier, Artemis Cooper, María Susana Azzi and Richard Martin.
Thames and Hudson, 208 pp., £24.95, October 1995, 0 500 01671 2
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Rumba: Dance and Social Change in Contemporary Cuba 
by Yvonne Daniel.
Open University, 196 pp., £27.50, August 1995, 0 253 31605 7
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... to people who have suffered, because how otherwise could they have borne the suffering?) Lorca is an easy mark for Timothy Mitchell, but there are more striking examples. In his essay in ¡Tango! RichardMartin quotes the American writer Waldo Frank describing tango in 1917: The body of tango is an embryon. That is why il stirs so larvally, why it repeats the ethnic stages of the past – Spanish ...

On Richard​ Hollis

Christopher Turner: Richard​ Hollis

24 May 2018
... leading figures from the Independent Group, such as Eduardo Paolozzi and the architects Peter and Alison Smithson, who displayed a series of found objects in a post-apocalyptic mirrored shed. Richard Hamilton’s group presented a funfair vision that launched the British Pop Art movement. Robby the Robot, star of the science-fiction movie Forbidden Planet, opened the show because, according to ...

Satisfaction

Julian Loose

11 May 1995
The Information 
by Martin​ Amis.
Flamingo, 494 pp., £15.99, March 1995, 0 00 225356 9
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... Clearly, for Martin Amis, enough is nothing like enough. To read him is to discover an author as voracious as his characters: like Terry in Success, who specifies that ‘I want all that and I want all that. And I want ...

Wrong Trowsers

E.S. Turner

21 July 1994
A History of Men’s Fashion 
by Farid Chenoune, translated by Deke Dusinberre.
Flammarion/Thames & Hudson, 336 pp., £50, October 1993, 2 08 013536 8
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The Englishman’s Suit 
by Hardy Amies.
Quartet, 116 pp., £12, June 1994, 9780704370760
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... only to be followed by a collapse into androgyny, street-wise dumb insolence and ‘a syncopated disestablishmen-tarianism’ – is problematical. This book packs some of the nastiest shocks since Richard Walker in The Savile Row Story (1988) disinterred a Lloyd’s Weekly News headline on a sweatshop exposure of 1892: ‘The Duke of York’s Trowsers Made in a Fever Room.’ Chenoune is a French ...

Fitz

John Bayley

4 April 1985
With Friends Possessed: A Life of Edward FitzGerald 
by Robert Bernard Martin.
Faber, 313 pp., £17.50, February 1985, 0 571 13462 9
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... it caught on. FitzGerald’s version of Omar Khayyam, which became the most popular poem of the century, is sui generis in the same way. It also seems to stand outside its author. Although Professor Martin does the best that can be done with him, FitzGerald was not, from the literary point of view, a particularly interesting man. He lacks the artistic quiddity of even such minor Victorian figures as ...

Saint John Henry

Richard​ Altick

5 August 1982
John Henry Newman: His Life and Work 
by Brian Martin.
Chatto, 160 pp., £8.95, May 1982, 0 7011 2588 8
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Protestant versus Catholic in Mid-Victorian England 
by Walter Arnstein.
Missouri, 271 pp., £14, June 1982, 9780826203540
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... Protestant soil. In that season of scurrility and obscurantist fury, the shock wave set off by Newman’s conversion to Rome five years earlier finally reached the nation as a whole. As Brian Martin reports, Punch brutally caricatured ‘a thin, emaciated, bespectacled Newman’ alongside ‘a fat, hypocritical Wiseman’ and rumours spread that Newman ‘was married and had locked his wife away ...

Hello to All That

Martin​ Seymour-Smith

9 October 1986
Robert Graves: The Assault Heroic 1895-1926 
by Richard​ Perceval Graves.
Weidenfeld, 387 pp., £14.95, September 1986, 0 297 78943 0
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... This is the first volume of a projected three-volume ‘definitive’ biography of Robert Graves by his nephew, Richard Perceval Graves. It takes over where the author’s father, Robert’s younger brother John Graves, left off. John, who died in 1980, had been described by Robert as a ‘typically good pupil of a ...
5 February 1981
Cosima Wagner’s Diaries. Vol. II: 1878-1883 
edited by Martin​ Gregor-Dellin and Dietrich Mack, translated by Geoffrey Skelton.
Collions, 1200 pp., £20, January 1981, 0 00 216189 3
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... Cosima von Bülow (née Liszt) met the composer Richard Wagner briefly in 1853, lived with him from 1864, bearing three children, and married him in 1870. She was a devoted wife, who put up with every whim and eccentricity of a being she acknowledged as ...

In the Gasworks

David Wheatley

18 May 2000
To Ireland, I 
by Paul Muldoon.
Oxford, 150 pp., £19.99, March 2000, 0 19 818475 1
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Bandanna 
by Paul Muldoon.
Faber, 64 pp., £7.99, February 1999, 0 571 19762 0
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The Birds 
translated by Paul Muldoon, by Richard Martin.
Gallery Press, 80 pp., £13.95, July 1999, 1 85235 245 0
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Reading Paul Muldoon 
by Clair Wills.
Bloodaxe, 222 pp., £10.95, October 1998, 1 85224 348 1
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... Marcel Aymé’s novel Le Passemuraille, about a man who can walk through walls, would have interested Thomas Caulfield Irwin (1823-92). Irwin is cited in Paul Muldoon’s To Ireland, I for a neighbourly dispute he was having with one John O’Donovan. ‘He says I am his enemy,’ Irwin wrote, ‘and watch him through the thickness of the wall which divides our houses. One of us must leave. I have ...

Mohocks

Liam McIlvanney: The House of Blackwood

5 June 2003
The House of Blackwood: Author-Publisher Relations in the Victorian Era 
by David Finkelstein.
Pennsylvania State, 199 pp., £44.95, April 2002, 0 271 02179 9
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... was to suggest that The Excursion was ‘the worst poem of any character in the English language’ and that Scott was ‘a tame and feeble writer’. Unluckily, in the same article, an Irish MP – RichardMartin – was twitted as a ‘jackass’: he wrote instantly to William Blackwood, threatening legal action and demanding that the article’s author be unmasked. A distraught Wilson took to his bed ...

Dwarf-Basher

Michael Dobson

8 June 1995
Edmond Malone, Shakespearean Scholar: A Literary Biography 
by Peter Martin.
Cambridge, 298 pp., £40, April 1995, 0 521 46030 1
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... records of Stratford for the surviving documentary traces of Shakespeare’s family, and in the process found the only extant item of his personal correspondence, a letter to him from his neighbour Richard Quiney; Malone who found what remains the only known copy of the 1594 first quarto of Venus and Adonis (and later bequeathed it, along with most of his remarkable library, to the Bodleian); Malone ...

Mendacious Flowers

Martin​ Jay: Clinton Baiting

29 July 1999
All too Human: A Political Education 
by George Stephanopoulos.
Hutchinson, 456 pp., £17.99, March 1999, 0 09 180063 3
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No One Left to Lie to: The Triangulations of William Jefferson Clinton 
by Christopher Hitchens.
Verso, 122 pp., £12, May 1999, 1 85984 736 6
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... of a Roosevelt or a Kennedy – ‘You have nothing to fear, but fear itself’ or ‘Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country’ – but the exposed whoppers of Richard ‘I am not a crook’ Nixon, George ‘Read my lips: no new taxes’ Bush, and Bill ‘I did not have sexual relations with that woman’ Clinton. David Schippers, the majority counsel of the House ...

A Calamitous Man

Patrick Collinson: Incombustible Luther

29 July 1999
Martin​ Luther: The Christian Between God and Death 
by Richard​ Marius.
Harvard, 542 pp., £19.95, March 1999, 0 674 55090 0
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... but for ever. Three centuries later, Thomas Carlyle will write that but for you there would have been no French Revolution, no America. This is what happened not in a dream but metaphorically to Martin Luther, a hitherto obscure monk and professor of theology in an undistinguished university recently founded in Wittenberg, a small town built on a sandbank in middle Germany. The first historian of ...

Bratpackers

Richard​ Lloyd Parry: Alex Garland

15 October 1998
The Beach 
by Alex Garland.
Penguin, 439 pp., £5.99, June 1997, 0 14 025841 8
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The Tesseract 
by Alex Garland.
Viking, 215 pp., £9.99, September 1998, 0 670 87016 1
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... many readers – is a man fascinated by savage, tropical war who is too young to have any memory of such a thing. ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of death I will fear no evil, for my name is Richard,’ the prologue (which is called ‘Boom-Boom’) concludes. ‘I was born in 1974.’ Richard’s nostalgia is not so much for the Vietnam War as for his own fictional encounters with it: I saw 84 ...

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