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Martin Jay

10 June 1993
Notes to Liteature: Vols I-II 
by Theodor Adorno, edited by Rolf Tiedemann, translated by Shierry Weber.
Columbia, 284 pp., $35, June 1992, 9780231069120
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... wash up on foreign shores, thanks to intrepid translators taking on the challenge of Adorno’s idiosyncratic prose. The first to make him accessible to an English-speaking audience was Shierry Weber, who, along with SamuelWeber, translated Prisms in 1967. A quarter of a century later, she has applied her considerable skills to Notes to Literature, which first appeared in German in three volumes ...
26 March 1992
Le Séminaire, Vol VIII 
by Jacques Lacan.
Seuil, 464 pp., frs 190, March 1991, 2 02 012502 1
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Le Séminaire, Vol XVII 
by Jacques Lacan.
Seuil, 251 pp., frs 140, March 1991, 2 02 013044 0
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by Malcolm Bowie.
Fontana, 256 pp., £5.99, February 1991, 0 00 686076 1
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Return to Freud: Jacques Lacan’s Dislocation of Psychoanalysis 
by Samuel Weber.
Cambridge, 184 pp., £30, November 1991, 0 521 37410 3
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... is in the main a generous book, asking that Lacan not be shelved but congratulated for his excesses, his much deplored ‘impetuosity and grandeur’ being further testimony to an extraordinary mind. SamuelWeber’s Return to Freud is also an introductory volume of a kind, but not very introductory and not one that should be attempted by the philosophically fragile. It is the (very good) translation of ...
2 June 1983
Philosophical Essays on Freud 
edited by Richard Wollheim and James Hopkins.
Cambridge, 314 pp., £25, November 1982, 9780521240765
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The Legend of Freud 
by Samuel Weber.
Minnesota, 179 pp., $25, December 1982, 0 8166 1128 9
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... be bridged by infantile anamnesis. The insistence on a continuous history of the contemporary impulse from earliest infancy seems gratuitous in such cases. Narrative degenerates into mere chronicle. SamuelWeber’s The Legend of Freud is dedicated to Jacques Derrida. Foucault’s name occurs on his first page and Lacan’s on his second. Given such auspices, one expects a certain amount of posturing ...
8 October 1992
Handel’s ‘Messiah’: A Celebration 
by Richard Luckett.
Gollancz, 258 pp., £18.99, April 1992, 0 575 05286 4
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The Rise of Musical Classics in 18th-Century England: A Study in Canon, Ritual and Ideology 
by William Weber.
Oxford, 274 pp., £35, July 1992, 0 19 816287 1
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... short life – I suppose fifty years was the maximum. The question of how the performance of early music came about – in short, of how works were collected into a canon – is addressed by William Weber in The Rise of Musical Classics in 18th-century England. Strictly, the classics did not rise: the notion was invented, as Weber notes. Public music in England (tabors, crumhorns and shawms apart ...

No Escape

Bruce Robbins: Culture

1 November 2001
Culture Matters: How Values Shape Human Progress 
edited by Samuel​ Huntington and Lawrence Harrison.
Basic Books, 384 pp., £12.99, April 2001, 0 465 03176 5
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by Francis Mulhern.
Routledge, 198 pp., £8.99, March 2000, 0 415 10230 8
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Culture: The Anthropologists’ Account 
by Adam Kuper.
Harvard, 299 pp., £12.50, November 2000, 0 674 00417 5
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... from an obscenely disproportionate share of the Earth’s resources. Since the attack on the World Trade Center there has been much rhapsodic reference to the work of one of these two professors, Samuel Huntington, who had already anticipated this consoling message in a much discussed article which was subsequently enlarged into a book, The Clash of Civilisations and the Remaking of World Order ...


Donald Davie

5 May 1983
Later Poems 
by R.S. Thomas.
Macmillan, 224 pp., £7.95, March 1983, 0 333 34560 6
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Thomas Hardy Annual, No 1 
edited by Norman Page.
Macmillan, 205 pp., £20, March 1983, 0 333 32022 0
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Tess of the d’Urbervilles 
by Thomas Hardy, edited by Juliet Grindle and Simon Gatrell.
Oxford, 636 pp., £50, March 1983, 0 19 812495 3
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Hardy’s Love Poems 
by Thomas Hardy, edited by Carl Weber.
Macmillan, 253 pp., £3.95, February 1983, 0 333 34798 6
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The Complete Poetical Works of Thomas Hardy. Vol. I: Wessex Poems, Poems of the Past and the Present, Time’s Laughingstocks 
edited by Samuel​ Hynes.
Oxford, 403 pp., £19.50, February 1983, 0 19 812708 1
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... and austere. What no one denies is that after Gittings’s biography, there can be no going back to the comfortable image of Hardy devotedly cherished and promulgated over many years by Carl J. Weber. But this has not prevented Macmillan from reprinting in paperback Hardy’s Love Poems which, first published in 1963, perpetuates all Weber’s roseate delusions. This may well be thought cynical ...

Altruists at War

W.G. Runciman: Human Reciprocity

23 February 2012
A Co-operative Species: Human Reciprocity and Its Evolution 
by Samuel​ Bowles and Herbert Gintis.
Princeton, 262 pp., £24.95, July 2011, 978 0 691 15125 0
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... that obtain in the real world. But they have by now been conducted in widely differing cultures and societies and have been supported by the observations of anthropologists working in the field. Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis have themselves made influential contributions to this literature, and they come down firmly against the cynics. They do not believe that our other-regarding social ...

Cite ourselves!

Richard J. Evans: The Annales School

3 December 2009
The Annales School: An Intellectual History 
by André Burguière, translated by Jane Marie Todd.
Cornell, 309 pp., £24.95, 0 8014 4665 1
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... students of social inequality like Stephan Thernstrom, advocates of a social-anthropological approach such as Keith Thomas, partisans of a politically committed history of everyday life like Raphael Samuel and the History Workshop, and more besides. The world of history seemed then to be not just expanding but exploding, into areas undreamed of by the political and diplomatic historians on whose work ...
16 July 1981
Utopia and the Ideal Society: A Study of English Utopian Writing, 1516-1700 
by J.C. Davis.
Cambridge, 427 pp., £25, March 1981, 0 521 23396 8
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Science and Society in Restoration England 
by Michael Hunter.
Cambridge, 232 pp., £18.50, March 1981, 0 521 22866 2
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... century. He has interesting things to say about well-known figures like More, Bacon, Winstanley and Harrington, but I found his chapters on lesser writers even more instructive. Robert Burton and Samuel Gott are revealed as more significant ‘utopians’ than has been recognised. Dr Davis is also interesting on William Sprigge’s A Modest Plea for an Equal Commonwealth of 1659, the anonymous Chaos ...


Perry Anderson: On E.P. Thompson

21 October 1993
... teaching in Leeds, while I was working for New Left Review in London. After hours Edward and I would exchange notes on our day, and fence amiably about history and sociology. ‘Do you really think Weber is more important than Marc Bloch?’ he would ask me with an air of mischievous puzzlement. If we were more circumspect about politics, this was partly a question of tact – he didn’t want to ...

Unreasoning Vigour

Stefan Collini: Ian Watt

9 May 2019
Ian Watt: The Novel and the Wartime Critic 
by Marina MacKay.
Oxford, 228 pp., £25, November 2018, 978 0 19 882499 2
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... reread The Rise of the Novel now is to be reminded what a wide-ranging and, in its way, theoretically sophisticated work it is. Watt cites Lukács in German and Durkheim in French, alongside works by Weber, Troeltsch, Mannheim, Merton, Parsons, Radcliffe-Brown and more. In his preface he thanks Adorno, Henry Nash Smith, I.A. Richards, Talcott Parsons and Peter Laslett, among others. The standard ...
18 August 1983
The History Men: The Historical Profession in England since the Renaissance 
by John Kenyon.
Weidenfeld, 322 pp., £16.50, March 1983, 0 297 78081 6
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... philosophy. The names of contemporaries blend with those of the past. The result is piquant. It is odd to think of Geoffrey Elton, Hugh Trevor-Roper and Lewis Namier as one thinks of Edward Freeman, Samuel Gardner and Edward Gibbon, humanised and distanced at the same time. Vanity and virtue, foolishness and brilliance rub shoulders. One imagines one has heard it all before, but the cumulative effect ...

Music Made Visible

Stephen Walsh: Wagner

24 April 2008
Wagner and the Art of the Theatre 
by Patrick Carnegy.
Yale, 461 pp., £35, September 2006, 0 300 10695 5
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... or anti-musical, but as a whole they are symptoms of a process that has invaded opera over the past thirty or forty years, as directors have sought ever more contorted ways of making modern sense of Samuel Johnson’s ‘exotic and irrational’ entertainment. To blame Wagner for these developments would be as ridiculous as to blame him for Auschwitz. But in the one case, as perhaps in the other, there ...

Double Game

David Nirenberg: Maimonides

23 September 2010
Maimonides in His World 
by Sarah Stroumsa.
Princeton, 222 pp., £27.95, November 2009, 978 0 691 13763 6
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... textual register’, and ‘even when he writes in Hebrew, his philosophical frame of reference is that of Arabic philosophy.’ This is an important point, though not exactly new: as early as 1213 Samuel ibn Tibbon, Maimonides’ translator in southern France, pointed out that readers of the Mishneh Torah in Christian lands had been led astray by their ignorance of the Arabic and Islamic context of ...

The Rule of the Road

Sanjay Subrahmanyam: What is an empire?

12 February 2009
After Tamerlane: The Rise and Fall of Global Empire 
by John Darwin.
Penguin, 592 pp., £10.99, March 2008, 978 0 14 101022 9
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... States for the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, where an anecdote connects him with Alexander Graham Bell and the early use of the telephone. The emperor, at least in the version retailed by Samuel Eliot Morison, either recited some celebrated lines from Hamlet into the instrument or heard them recited by Bell, and was mightily impressed. Just over a decade later, in 1889, Dom Pedro was deposed ...

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