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27 February 1992
Dead Elvis: A Chronicle of a Cultural Obsession 
by Greil Marcus.
Viking, 256 pp., £17.99, February 1992, 0 670 83846 2
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Rythm Oil: A Journey through the Music of the American South 
by Stanley Booth.
Cape, 254 pp., £16.99, October 1991, 0 224 02779 4
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... his private plane, his collection of police badges and all those swirling, sequined efforts he used to garb himself in for a Las Vegas show, and then go and buy yourself an Elvis alarm clock. In a booth in one of the many trinket shops sits the affable Uncle, ready to autograph for you a copy of his Vester Presley Cookbook, a collation of favourite Presley family recipes, and impart to anyone who ...

Diary

W.G. Runciman: Slums, Unemployment, Strikes and Party Politics

23 June 1988
... those used today is, as I have been discovering, still a matter of unresolved controversy among the experts. But the conclusion of Sean Glynn, in a recent volume of papers edited by himself and Alan Booth under the title The Road to Full Employment,* is that ‘it can be said with reasonable confidence that unemployment in the 1980s has been much worse than during the inter-war period and has reached ...

National Treasure

Christopher Hitchens

14 November 1996
Jacqueline Bouvier: An Intimate Memoir 
by John Davis.
Wiley, 256 pp., £14.99, October 1996, 0 471 12945 3
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... to be browsing and sluicing myself there that day, and was amazed to see hardened New Yorkers acting like the most abject stage-door Johnnies, and indeed Janes. The former First Lady sat in the main booth with her friends, looking serene and detached, while all sorts of people took their time collecting their hats or whatever, and rubbernecking shamelessly. What was this? It was more than fame and ...
25 June 1987
... Other (see Thesis No 6, and Jarrell, op. cit.). Film and television are clearly our dominant media and forms of art in the traditional sense of ‘dominance’: but they have not yet achieved what Stanley Cavell calls the ‘modernist’ condition, in which the medium has to be reinvented with each new achievement. We may hear people leaving the movies saying, ‘That was weird’ (or ‘different ...

Up the avenue

Peter Clarke

11 June 1992
Election Rides 
by Edward Pearce.
Faber, 198 pp., £5.99, April 1992, 0 571 16657 1
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... the last of the great pre-electronic politicians, Lloyd George became a hapless victim of technological advance in the Twenties. While, like Archie Rice, he was still having a go on the public stage, Stanley Baldwin stole into the sitting-room of anyone lucky enough to have a new wireless. His avoidance of histrionics in favour of the fireside manner was pitched perfectly for his middle-brow, middle ...

Rat Poison

David Bromwich

17 October 1996
Poetic Justice: The Literary Imagination and Public Life 
by Martha Nussbaum.
Beacon, 143 pp., $20, February 1996, 0 8070 4108 4
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... frankly declares herself their inheritor. Such is Nussbaum’s project, ‘the project’ as she has called it, for she recognises certain sharers of her aims: among literary critics, Wayne Booth; among philosophers, Bernard Williams and Stanley Cavell; among social scientists, Amartya Sen. Nussbaum explains her discovery of virtues eloquently, volubly, in the manner of a belated Victorian ...

Birditis

Ian Penman: The Obsession with Charlie Parker

23 January 2014
Celebrating Bird: The Triumph of Charlie Parker 
by Gary Giddins.
Minnesota, revised edition, 195 pp., £15, October 2013, 978 0 8166 9041 1
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Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker 
by Stanley​ Crouch.
Harper, 365 pp., £20, September 2013, 978 0 06 200559 5
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Bird: The Life and Music of Charlie Parker 
by Chuck Haddix.
Illinois, 188 pp., £20, September 2013, 978 0 252 03791 7
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... regally unpredictable needs 24/7. (It’s perhaps no surprise he grew into a man with such little impulse control.) At one point in Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker, Stanley Crouch describes Mrs Parker’s attitude to Rebecca as that towards an ‘interloper’; otherwise, no one embellishes this score with any oblique psychoanalytic riffs. (Oh, for a quick burst of ...
3 September 1981
The Pursuit of Signs: Semiotics, Literature, Deconstruction 
by Jonathan Culler.
Routledge, 256 pp., £7.95, July 1981, 0 7100 0757 4
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... For Culler, there are norms of interpretive correctness, but since these norms are institutionally-produced, they are changeable. This view would seem to align Culler with the most recent work of Stanley Fish (only Fish’s earlier views are taken up by Culler here), who argues influentially in Is there a text in this class? that interpreters have no recourse to ‘independent evidence’ in disputes ...

Dark Markets

Donald MacKenzie

3 June 2015
... full of predators who were there at Barclays’ invitation’. Schneiderman is also said to have launched investigations of the dark pools run by Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and UBS. Schneiderman isn’t the first New York attorney general to show his unwillingness to leave the policing of financial markets to federal bodies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission ...
9 March 1995
... now infected with salmonella’). Then there is the long line of sex-scandal casualties: Cecil Parkinson, Tim Yeo, David Mellor (greatly exaggerated, but not his only alleged misdemeanour), Hartley Booth, Michael Brown (though he is a borderline case, since he resigned from office while denying allegations that he had had a homosexual relationship). We should also not forget David Trevinnick and ...

Enemies For Ever

James Wolcott: ‘Making It’

17 May 2017
Making It 
by Norman Podhoretz.
NYRB, 368 pp., £13.98, May 2017, 978 1 68137 080 4
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... larger reach of Eustace Tilley’s monocle until his review of Nelson’s Algren’s Walk on the Wild Side ‘transformed’ him ‘overnight into a minor literary celebrity’, able to get the best booth at any luncheonette. Podhoretz’s irresistible climb to the top is rudely interrupted by a letter from Uncle Sam, a dreaded draft notice – the Korean War casts its cold shadow – that yanks him ...

Mrs Shakespeare

Barbara Everett

18 December 1986
William Shakespeare: The Sonnets and ‘A Lover’s Complaint’ 
edited by John Kerrigan.
Viking, 458 pp., £14.95, September 1986, 0 670 81466 0
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... earth to heaven as well as blessings descending to earth from the skies.’ The finest inscriptions of the time (some of the best are gathered into the Lapidaria, volumes printed with great beauty by Stanley Morison) work with this grace and wit, minute yet monumental. Carefully central or final in climax, a single verb or pregnant noun will so govern contrasting predicates as to reflect the tragi-comedy ...

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