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Mr Trendy Sicko

James Wolcott, 23 May 2019

by Brett Easton Ellis.
Picador, 261 pp., £16.99, May 2019, 978 1 5290 1239 2
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... performance than Lohan, whose tardiness and wayward lurches were chronicled in an on-set report by Stephen Rodrick for the New York Times magazine titled ‘Here Is What Happens When You Cast Lindsay Lohan in Your Movie.’ The article was such a crunchy read, so stuffed with only-in-Hollywood anecdotes and luxury shopping specifics, that it upstaged the movie ...

The Mole on Joyce’s Breast

Sean O’Faolain, 20 November 1980

Joyce’s Politics 
by Dominic Manganiello.
Routledge, 260 pp., £12.50, October 1980, 0 7100 0537 7
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... into English verse. Who can ever forget their first throat-gulping reaction to the scene where Stephen at last decides to reject the disciplines of church and state for the free life of the artist? Young Dedalus, who has, under the temptation to become a priest, been mortifying his flesh for a long period of doubt and torment, here gives himself up one ...

Agh, Agh, Yah, Boo

David Wheatley: Ian Hamilton Finlay, 4 December 2014

Midway: Letters from Ian Hamilton Finlay to Stephen Bann, 1964-69 
edited by Stephen Bann.
Wilmington Square, 426 pp., £25, May 2014, 978 1 905524 34 1
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... Writing​ to his friend Stephen Bann, then a graduate student, in 1964, Ian Hamilton Finlay outlined his plans to treat readers of his brash new journal, Poor. Old. Tired. Horse, to a free lollipop, sellotaped to the magazine’s cover. Like many of his plans from this period it came to nothing. In any case, sugar and spice weren’t really Finlay’s thing ...

Target Practice

Tim Whitmarsh: Lucian, 25 February 2010

Lucian: A Selection 
edited by Neil Hopkinson.
Cambridge, 239 pp., £19.99, October 2008, 978 0 521 84200 6
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... critique? For sure, Lucian doesn’t give a ‘balanced’ view, but then neither does Sacha Baron Cohen or Stephen Colbert. And as with them, it’s risky to try to pin down Lucian’s targets. Is The Ignorant Book-Collector just a jibe at a real individual? Or is it mocking Lucian’s readers and their pretensions to ...

Capitalism’s Capital

Jackson Lears: The Man Who Built New York, 17 March 2016

The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York 
by Robert Caro.
Bodley Head, 1246 pp., £35, July 2015, 978 1 84792 364 6
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... social encounters in public spaces. This was a turn to a different modernism: the sort embodied in Stephen Dedalus’s definition of God as ‘a shout in the street’; the sort that celebrated spontaneity, improvisation and play. For half a century, Jacobs’s humane perspective has leavened the discourse of urban revitalisation while at the same time ...

Unlike a Scotch Egg

Glen Newey: Hate Speech, 5 December 2013

The Harm in Hate Speech 
by Jeremy Waldron.
Harvard, 292 pp., £19.95, June 2012, 978 0 674 06589 5
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... he talks of ‘the dignity of equal citizenship’. He also uses a distinction drawn by Stephen Darwall between ‘appraisal’ respect, which can legitimately vary from person to person, and ‘recognition’ respect, which is paid at a flat rate to all. Recognition respect is paid even to those, say, who are suspected of having committed ...

As seen on TV

Keith Kyle, 26 September 1991

From the House of War 
by John Simpson.
Hutchinson, 390 pp., £13.99, August 1991, 0 09 175034 2
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In the Eye of the Storm 
by Roger Cohen and Claudio Gatti.
Bloomsbury, 342 pp., £16.99, August 1991, 0 7475 1050 4
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... such as this. The London Review of Books, which has been publishing some of the high-class work of Stephen Sackur, a BBC radio reporter of the Gulf War and the Middle East generally, has recently brought out in paperback a collection of these pieces under the title On the Basra Road. * Radio and television reporters can be divided into those whom one would ...

‘Abu Nidal, Abu Shmidal’

Avi Shlaim, 9 May 1991

Israel’s Secret Wars: The Untold History of Israeli Intelligence 
by Ian Black and Benny Morris.
Hamish Hamilton, 603 pp., £20, February 1991, 0 241 12702 5
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... outside world or are only disclosed involuntarily when disaster strikes. An example of this is Eli Cohen, ‘our man in Damascus’, the legendary spy who gained acceptance in the highest echelons of the Syrian Government, and was consequently able to supply his bosses in Tel Aviv with priceless information – until, that is, he was caught and hanged. Even ...
... doomed to a swift, ignominious end, a 38-year-old economist from Birmingham University called Stephen Littlechild was working on ways to realise an esoteric idea that had been much discussed in radical Tory circles: privatisation. Privatisation was not a Thatcher patent. The Spanish economist Germà Bel traces the origins of the word to the German word ...


Alan Bennett: Where I was in 1993, 16 December 1993

... of 72 who says he’s bored with taking snapshots in the studio (this morning Isaiah Berlin and Stephen Spender) and wants to photograph me outside. ‘Outside’ means that eventually I find myself perched up a tree in Hyde Park. Avedon’s assistants bustle round with lights, Avedon himself scarcely bothering to look through the lens, just enquiring from ...

Touching and Being Touched

John Kerrigan: Valentine Cunningham, 19 September 2002

Reading after Theory 
by Valentine Cunningham.
Blackwell, 194 pp., £45, December 2001, 0 631 22167 0
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... Cunningham must be one of the least tactful persons on the planet. He calls a book by William A. Cohen ‘by and large appalling tosh’; the critical practice of Catherine Gallagher and Stephen Greenblatt is, he says, ‘piss-poor’, while the former is so inaccurate (not that Cunningham is without his blunders) that she ...

How to Get Screwed

David Runciman, 6 June 2019

The Mueller Report: Presented With Related Materials by the ‘Washington Post’ 
Simon and Schuster, 736 pp., £12.99, May 2019, 978 1 4711 8617 2Show More
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... whether the president was under investigation. The letter the president drafted with his aide Stephen Miller to convey the news to Comey began: Dear Director Comey … While I greatly appreciate your informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation concerning the fabricated and politically motivated allegations of a ...

I’m an intelligence

Joanna Biggs: Sylvia Plath at 86, 20 December 2018

The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Vol. I: 1940-56 
edited by Peter Steinberg and Karen Kukil.
Faber, 1388 pp., £35, September 2017, 978 0 571 32899 4
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The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Vol. II: 1956-63 
edited by Peter Steinberg and Karen Kukil.
Faber, 1025 pp., £35, September 2018, 978 0 571 33920 4
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... all-American. We see her earnestness in political matters too when she wrote to a fan, Eddie Cohen, who had sought her out after reading a story she published in Seventeen the summer before she went to Smith. ‘I consider my story not far from the usual Seventeen drivel,’ she wrote. ‘Why is it that my particular brand of drivel rates such subtle ...

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