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Prophetic Chattiness

Patrick McGuinness: Victor Hugo, 19 June 2003

The Distance, The Shadows: Selected Poems 
by Victor Hugo, translated by Harry Guest.
Anvil, 250 pp., £12.95, November 2002, 0 85646 345 0
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Selected Poetry 
by Victor Hugo, translated by Steven Monte.
Carcanet, 305 pp., £12.95, September 2001, 1 85754 539 7
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Selected Poems of Victor Hugo: A Bilingual Edition 
edited by E.H. Blackmore and A.M. Blackmore.
Chicago, 631 pp., £24.50, April 2001, 0 226 35980 8
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... trembled; I stood on Aristotle’s milestone, And declared the words equal, free, and of age. (Monte’s translation) Hugo had an eccentric theory of genius (best seen in the visionary barminess of his book on Shakespeare), but he also knew how to appeal to the ordinary. He understood the symbolic dimension of politics, and made good use of it: the man ...

Down to the Last Cream Puff

Steven Shapin: The End of Haute Cuisine, 5 August 2010

Au Revoir to All That: The Rise and Fall of French Cuisine 
by Michael Steinberger.
Bloomsbury, 248 pp., £8.99, July 2010, 978 1 4088 0136 9
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... in Catalonia. And if you want a terrific plate of Umbrian salumi, try Ristorante Granaro del Monte in Norcia. But this sort of culinary relativism isn’t what foodies and food critics have in mind when they award stars and points to restaurants or when they say that the cuisine of one country is better than another’s. Relativism about Truth gets some ...

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