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Adrenaline Junkie

Jonathan Parry: John Tyndall’s Ascent, 21 March 2019

The Ascent of John Tyndall: Victorian Scientist, Mountaineer and Public Intellectual 
by Roland Jackson.
Oxford, 556 pp., £25, March 2018, 978 0 19 878895 9
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... his extreme nervousness – unexpected traits in one of the most intrepid Victorian mountaineers. Roland Jackson doesn’t make much of the incident in his recent biography, which is immensely long and devotedly successful at unearthing the facts of Tyndall’s life from the hundred boxes of his private papers, but tone-deaf when it comes to interpreting ...

Damsons and Custard

Paul Laity: Documentary cinema’s unsung poet, 3 March 2005

Humphrey Jennings 
by Kevin Jackson.
Picador, 448 pp., £30, October 2004, 0 330 35438 8
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... died only five years after the end of the war, at the age of 43, but mostly because, as Kevin Jackson says in this engaging, adulatory biography, he ‘spent most of his professional life not in the glamorous and highly publicised world of features’, but as a jobbing documentary-maker on the payroll of government-sponsored organisations. His wartime ...

Our Founder

John Bayley: Papa Joyce, 19 February 1998

John Stanislaus Joyce: The Voluminous Life and Genius of James Joyce’s Father 
by John Wyse Jackson and Peter Costello.
Fourth Estate, 493 pp., £20, October 1997, 1 85702 417 6
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... and at present a praiser of his own past.’ No wonder that two veteran Joyceans, John Wyse Jackson of the Chelsea Press, editor of Flann O’Brien and Oscar Wilde, and the Dublin social historian Peter Costello, should have been inspired to produce a full-length biography of, so to speak, Our Founder. It is in its way a unique undertaking. Hard to ...

Pop Eye

Hal Foster: Handmade Readymades, 22 August 2002

Image Duplicator: Roy Lichtenstein and the Emergence of Pop Art 
by Michael Lobel.
Yale, 196 pp., £35, March 2002, 0 300 08762 4
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... painting and its feverish gestures; mainstream critics, who had finally come around to Jackson Pollock and company, were not happy about this turn of events. In 1949 Life had showcased Pollock under the banner: ‘Is He the Greatest Living Painter in the United States?’ In 1964 the same magazine profiled Lichtenstein under the heading: ‘Is He ...

Andy Paperbag

Hal Foster: Andy Warhol, 21 March 2002

Andy Warhol 
by Wayne Koestenbaum.
Weidenfeld, 196 pp., £12.99, November 2001, 0 297 64630 3
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... this embalming could also infuse his images with a psychic charge, an unexpected punctum, as Roland Barthes might say. Think of the two housewives in Tunafish Disaster (1963), victims of botulism taken directly from a newspaper page; smeared across the silkscreened painting, their smiling faces become piercing in repetition. From the early days of the ...

At the Palazzo Venier

Nicholas Penny: Peggy Guggenheim’s Eye, 9 May 2002

Peggy Guggenheim: The Life of an Art Addict 
by Anton Gill.
HarperCollins, 506 pp., £25, October 2001, 0 00 257078 5
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... Read had outlined in an article of May 1939. The contemporary American art, which included work by Jackson Pollock, Rothko, Motherwell and Baziotes, was legitimised, and in some measure influenced, by the European imports that hung around the corner. What we find in the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice today encapsulates this relationship between ...

False Moderacy

T.J. Clark: Picasso and Modern British Art, 22 March 2012

Picasso and Modern British Art 
Tate Britain, 15 February 2012 to 15 July 2012Show More
Mondrian Nicholson: In Parallel 
Courtauld Gallery, 16 February 2012 to 20 May 2012Show More
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... Krasner hearing a book go hurtling across the studio next to hers, smashing against a wall, and Jackson Pollock emerging with the words: ‘Goddamn it! That guy has done everything. There’s nothing left.’ But the further point of the anecdote is that Pollock did find ways, eventually, to turn the ‘everything’ to his advantage. That was partly ...

Operation Barbarella

Rick Perlstein: Hanoi Jane, 17 November 2005

Jane Fonda’s War: A Political Biography of an Anti-war Icon 
by Mary Hershberger.
New Press, 228 pp., £13.99, September 2005, 1 56584 988 4
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... the dozen or so contenders for the wide-open Democratic nomination (among them Henry ‘Scoop’ Jackson, the neo-conservative hero), was promising to end it. Most citizens, even if they didn’t fully admit it to themselves, knew that America was losing. But there was something else: the nagging feeling that it was the inability of Americans to get behind ...

Cleaning Up

Tom Nairn, 3 October 1996

ThePol Pot Regime: Race, Power and Genocide in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, 1975-79 
by Ben Kiernan.
Yale, 477 pp., £25, April 1996, 0 300 06113 7
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... exalted by a genetically-oriented or ethnic nationalism. As another South-East Asia scholar, Karl Jackson, wrote some years ago: ‘In essence the concept of collective leadership was infused into the tradition of Khmer family power ... Rivals within the Communist movement were tortured and executed in large numbers along with their spouses, indicating the ...

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