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Just be yourself

David Hirson, 23 July 1987

Swimming to Cambodia: The Collected Works of Spalding Gray 
by Spalding Gray.
Picador, 304 pp., £3.50, January 1987, 0 330 29947 6
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... Spalding Gray is a 45-year-old American actor who uses the events of his own life as grist for a series of epic monologues. ‘Stories seem to fly to me and stick,’ he declares in the Preface to his collected works. This proves to be an irresistible locution for Gray (‘chewing gum flies to me on the subway and sticks’), and betrays an ambivalent egocentricity: that of a self towards which even rubbish gravitates ...

Antinomian Chic

Danny Karlin, 2 June 1988

Blasted Allegories: An Anthology of Writings by Contemporary Artists 
edited by Brian Wallis.
New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York/MIT Press, 431 pp., £13.50, January 1988, 9780262231282
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Empire of the Senseless 
by Kathy Acker.
Picador, 227 pp., £10.95, May 1988, 0 330 30192 6
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The Western Lands 
by William Burroughs.
Picador, 258 pp., £10.95, March 1988, 0 330 29805 4
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... of an ordinary life in a sequence of phrases and images put together with feeling and respect. Spalding Gray tells good, kooky stories about himself and others. Gary Indiana writes about Aids, troubled and troubling. On the other hand, there’s nothing special about these pieces, they are unassumingly well-made and give pleasure within familiar ...

At the NPG

Jean McNicol: ‘Virginia Woolf’, 11 September 2014

... 1924, the room was featured in Vogue, then edited by Dorothy Todd. ‘The walls are pale dove-gray,’ we’re told, ‘the panels glossy white with tomato-red borders and oval “fonds” alternately in sienna pink and maple yellow. The subjects are painted in umbers, browns and white, with touches of lettuce-green.’ The panels show vases, a ...

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