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25 June 1987
... but scholars from both countries took part in a conference held a few years ago to assess his life and work: I was invited to speak about his time at Cambridge. The conference papers, edited by RogerBowen, have been published, and Dr Bowen has also written an appreciative biography. Japanese studies being his subject, he is well qualified to weigh up the writings on modern Japan of Herbert ...

Beach Poets

Blake Morrison

16 September 1982
The Fortunate Traveller 
by Derek Walcott.
Faber, 99 pp., £3.95, March 1982, 0 571 11893 3
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Sun Poem 
by Edward Kamau Brathwaite.
Oxford, 104 pp., £4.95, April 1982, 0 19 211945 1
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Collected Poems 
by Bernard Spencer, edited by Roger Bowen.
Oxford, 149 pp., £8.50, October 1981, 0 19 211930 3
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Selected Poems 
by Odysseus Elytis.
Anvil, 114 pp., £6.95, November 1981, 0 85646 076 1
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Poems from Oby 
by George MacBeth.
Secker, 67 pp., £4, March 1982, 9780436270178
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The New Ewart: Poems 1980-1982 
by Gavin Ewart.
Hutchinson, 115 pp., £4.95, March 1982, 0 09 146980 5
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The Apple-Broadcast 
by Peter Redgrove.
Routledge, 133 pp., £3, November 1981, 0 7100 0884 8
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... as a poet, like Robert Graves’s and Lawrence Durrell’s, has always been tainted by his association with the Mediterranean, an injustice which the Collected Poems, intelligently edited by RogerBowen, seeks to put right. The volume shows how travel encouraged in Spencer both a casual, accumulative mode of observation, the poet noting with curiosity what other travellers might miss or think ...

Saint Jane

D.A.N. Jones

20 October 1983
The Good Father 
by Peter Prince.
Cape, 204 pp., £7.95, September 1983, 0 224 02131 1
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Mrs Pooter’s Diary 
by Keith Waterhouse and John Jensen.
Joseph, 208 pp., £7.95, October 1983, 0 7181 2339 5
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Dandiprat’s Days 
by David Thomson.
Dent, 165 pp., £8.50, September 1983, 0 460 04613 6
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The Dream of a Beast 
by Neil Jordan.
Chatto, 103 pp., £6.95, October 1983, 0 7011 2740 6
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Squeak: A Biography of NPA 1978A 203 
by John Bowen and Eric Fraser.
Faber, 127 pp., £2.95, October 1983, 0 571 13170 0
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The Life and Times of Michael K 
by J.M. Coetzee.
Secker, 250 pp., £7.95, September 1983, 0 436 10297 8
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... Jane she told him that he was ‘afraid of confronting his own sadness’. It is not that Hooper is unfriendly to other men. The main story is about his championship of another Stockwell party guest, Roger Miles, whose circumstances are similar to his own – deserted by his wife, denied custody of their child. Fighting for Roger, the ‘good father’ of the title, Hooper can express his practical ...

Short Cuts

Christopher Tayler: Costume Drama

11 October 2012
... output to be coloured by his famously well-populated love life, and Parade’s End draws heavily on his overlapping entanglements – principally those with Elsie Martindale, Violet Hunt and Stella Bowen. Ian Hamilton thought Ford’s novels ‘were too often damaged by having to serve as silvery-tongued back-ups to whatever life-muddle he happened to be engaged with’. Yet Ford’s self-exculpatory ...

Bourgeois Reveries

Julian Bell: Farmer Eliot

3 February 2011
Romantic Moderns: English Writers, Artists and the Imagination from Virginia Woolf to John Piper 
by Alexandra Harris.
Thames and Hudson, 320 pp., £19.95, October 2010, 978 0 500 25171 3
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... reputations fare? Harris loves to lean over one artist’s shoulder as he or she leans over another’s. And so, as she pores over Virginia Woolf’s posthumous reinterpretation of her friend Roger Fry and Evelyn Waugh’s thoughts about Rossetti, she notes Eliot’s essay on Kipling, published just after ‘East Coker’. The author of Puck of Pook’s Hill was ‘another literary exile who ...

Speaking well

Christopher Ricks

18 August 1983
Cyril Connolly: Journal and Memoir 
by David Pryce-Jones.
Collins, 304 pp., £12.50, July 1983, 0 333 32827 2
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J.B. Yeats: Letters to His Son W.B. Yeats and Others, 1869-1922 
edited with a memoir by Joseph Hone.
Secker, 296 pp., £7.95, May 1983, 0 436 59205 3
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... So the next page has this: ‘Pretentious lunch with Lady Bonham Carter – Madame de Margerie like a nightmare, hotted-up Lady Colefax.’ Then this: ‘a three-cornered conversation with Elizabeth [Bowen] on the awfulness of women writers and the nastiness of her friend Mrs Woolf’. ‘There is something wrong with a world in which one meets Mrs Lowinsky and Roger Hinks and Mrs Royde-Smith. They ...

What makes a waif?

Joanne O’Leary

13 September 2018
The Long-Winded Lady: Tales from the ‘New Yorker’ 
by Maeve Brennan.
Stinging Fly, 215 pp., £10.99, January 2017, 978 1 906539 59 7
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Maeve Brennan: Homesick at the ‘New Yorker’ 
by Angela Bourke.
Counterpoint, 360 pp., $16.95, February 2016, 978 1 61902 715 2
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The Springs of Affection: Stories 
by Maeve Brennan.
Stinging Fly, 368 pp., £8.99, May 2016, 978 1 906539 54 2
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... Maeve Brennan​ could stop traffic. According to her colleague Roger Angell, she laid waste to a ‘dozen-odd’ writers and artists after the New Yorker hired her as a staff writer in 1949. She makes a cameo as the magazine’s ‘resident Circe’ in a biography of ...

Moderation or Death

Christopher Hitchens: Isaiah Berlin

26 November 1998
Isaiah Berlin: A Life 
by Michael Ignatieff.
Chatto, 386 pp., £20, October 1998, 0 7011 6325 9
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The Guest from the Future: Anna Akhmatova and Isaiah Berlin 
by György Dalos.
Murray, 250 pp., £17.95, September 2002, 0 7195 5476 4
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... in a 1990 volume entitled The Crooked Timber of Humanity. It features three times in lgnatieff’s biography, in circumstances that are severally illuminating.In November 1933, writing to Elizabeth Bowen, he advanced in capsule form his two chief propositions or preoccupations: I quote Ignatieff’s summary:The philosopher Malebranche had observed that since the moral ends which human beings commonly ...

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