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Very like St Paul

Ian Sansom: Johnny Cash

9 March 2006
The Man Called Cash: The Life, Love and Faith of an American Legend 
by Steve Turner.
Bloomsbury, 363 pp., £8.99, February 2006, 0 7475 8079 0
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Walk the Line 
directed by James Mangold.
November 2005
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... mean to live as a Christian in an age of celebrity and superabundance: his aims were high and lofty; his life was an absolute mess. In his thorough and entertaining authorised biography of Cash, SteveTurner establishes a suitably saintly tone on the first page. ‘It was doubtful,’ he writes of his subject, ‘whether he had a bodily organ that hadn’t been operated on, an area of skin that ...
6 January 1994
... during the hardest apartheid years this was where radicals of every stripe would retire for workshops and seminars or, on occasion, for Gandhian fasts of protest against the apartheid laws. Rick Turner and Steve Biko used to hold weekend retreats there, as did many of the activists who later built the trade union movement. The surrounding African squatter population increased rapidly as waves of ...

A New Twist in the Long Tradition of the Grotesque

Marina Warner: The monstrousness of Britart

13 April 2000
High Art Lite: British Art in the 1990s 
by Julian Stallabrass.
Verso, 342 pp., £22, December 1999, 1 85984 721 8
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This is Modern Art 
by Matthew Collings.
Weidenfeld, 270 pp., £20, June 1999, 0 297 84292 7
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... neutral, non-judgmental position that it adopts, is lethal.’ Interestingly, Stallabrass has found points of sensitivity and even resistance in the bodies of his victims: the space where a plate of Steve McQueen’s Bear should have appeared remains blank, with the super-title, ‘Permission to reproduce denied’. This happens in Richard Billingham’s case as well, although his pictures of his ...

Phew!

E.S. Turner

11 June 1992
Sunny Intervals and Showers: Our Changing Weather 
by David Benedictus.
Weidenfeld, 162 pp., £14.99, April 1992, 0 297 81154 1
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... cent of the time, the Meteorological Office 65.4 per cent and the students 65.7 per cent. Which is a suitable point to bring in the item from a later chapter about the American Congressman who asked Steve Schneider of the US National Centre for Atmospheric Research: ‘Do you mean to say that you guys have spent a billion dollars of our money telling us that winter is cold and summer is hot?’ The ...
19 December 1991
England’s dreaming: The Sex Pistols and Punk Rock 
by Jon Savage.
Faber, 602 pp., £17.50, October 1991, 0 571 13975 2
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... misfits who started moving in their own directions after the Sex Pistols showed the way. Debbie Juvenile, Richard Hell, Howard Devoto, Poly Styrene, Stiv Bator, Lucy Toothpaste, Mark P, Joe Strummer, Steve Severin, Siouxsie Sioux, Tom Verlaine, Jordan, Sue Catwoman, Berlin: names to conjure with. And names which hang round the neck of stories less mythical perhaps but in their own ways all as ...

Palmers Greenery

Susannah Clapp

19 December 1985
Stevie 
by Jack Barbera and William McBrien.
Heinemann, 378 pp., £15, November 1985, 0 434 44105 8
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... prompted, one poem suggests, by a baleful look shot by the poet from her pram – Florence Margaret Smith lived in her Palmers Green house; from her mid-twenties, nicknamed Stevie after the jockey Steve Donoghue, she lived there alone with her aunt, producing three novels and a torrent of poems and articles, and working as a secretary at Newnes and Pearson’s publishing company. Nor is it easy to ...

In Farageland

James Meek

8 October 2014
... over the chubby peninsula has a vertiginous depthlessness, as if you’d come to the rim of the world and a few steps forward would take you into some infinite, radiant void. It’s easy to see why Turner told Ruskin that the skies over Thanet were the most beautiful in Europe. Thanet has two parliamentary constituencies, North Thanet and South Thanet, and a single local council, also called Thanet ...

Oh, the curse!

David Runciman: A home run

19 February 2004
Triumph and Tragedy in Mudville: A Lifelong Passion for Baseball 
by Stephen Jay Gould.
Cape, 342 pp., £16.99, January 2004, 0 224 05042 7
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Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game 
by Michael Lewis.
Norton, 288 pp., $24.95, June 2003, 0 393 05765 8
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... season in exactly the same order as they had finished the previous five (New York, Boston, Toronto, Baltimore, Tampa Bay). In the National League East, the ghastly Atlanta Braves (once owned by Ted Turner, now part of the AOL Time Warner empire) won their divisional title for a record 12th year in succession. By contrast, the 2003 post-season – the October sequence of play-offs between the best ...

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