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The Last Thing Said in Germany

Sheldon Rothblatt, 19 May 1988

War and the Image of Germany: British Academics 1914-1918 
by Stuart Wallace.
John Donald, 288 pp., £20, March 1988, 0 85976 133 9
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... of the Mid-Victorian reform of the English universities. Clearly and simply, in a serious book, Wallace relates how the good opinion of things German disappeared during the First World War. Wissenschaft and German civilisation were disparaged. Memories of hikes on German mountains, of sculling on the Weser and exciting days in the laboratories and seminars ...

Barbarians

Stuart Airlie, 17 November 1983

Medieval Germany and its Neighbours 900-1250 
by K.J. Leyser.
Hambledon, 302 pp., £18, February 1983, 0 907628 08 7
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The Frankish Kingdoms under the Carolingians 751-987 
by Rosamond McKitterick.
Longman, 414 pp., £9.95, June 1983, 0 582 49005 7
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Ideal and Reality in Frankish and Anglo-Saxon Society: Studies presented to J.M. Wallace-Hadrill 
edited by Patrick Wormald, Donald Bullough and Roger Collins.
Blackwell, 345 pp., £27.50, September 1983, 0 631 12661 9
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... her preface she talks of the ‘continuous struggle of kings and nobles’. Thirty years ago J.M. Wallace-Hadrill’s classic textbook on barbarian Europe warned against the ‘black untruth’ of claiming a fundamental opposition between kings and their aristocracy. On Charlemagne’s grandson Dr McKitterick writes: ‘Whereas the lay aristocracy was divided ...

Diary

Zachary Leader: Oscar Talk at the Huntington, 16 April 1998

... writer represented here: the Library has significant Modernist holdings (Joyce, Yeats, Wallace Stevens – none of whom Amis had much time for), as well as extensive collections of Stevenson and Jack London, the latter represented by 131,000 items. It has also purchased the archive of the novelist Elizabeth Jane Howard, Amis’s second wife. The ...

Against Belatedness

Richard Rorty, 16 June 1983

The Legitimacy of the Modern Age 
by Hans Blumenberg, translated by Robert Wallace.
MIT, 786 pp., £28.10, June 1983, 0 262 02184 6
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... and thus ‘unmask’ what is being done by people whose highest hopes are still those of John Stuart Mill. When people who take this line are asked what alternative concepts they would recommend, they usually reply that the question is premature. Self-criticism must come first. We need to deconstruct the metaphysics of presence, or to become aware of the ...

Lost Mother

Michael Dobson, 17 February 2000

In My End Is My Beginning: A Life of Mary Queen of Scots 
by James Mackay.
Mainstream, 320 pp., £20, March 1999, 1 84018 058 7
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Mary Queen of Scots: Romance and Nation 
by Jayne Elizabeth Lewis.
Routledge, 259 pp., £14.99, October 1998, 0 415 11481 0
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Ancestry and Narrative in 19th-Century British Literature: Blood Relations from Edgeworth to Hardy 
by Sophie Gilmartin.
Cambridge, 281 pp., £37.50, February 1999, 0 521 56094 2
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... national subjects are confidently expected to rally. Remarkably, some Scots still find in Mary Stuart an embodiment of their own aspirations – despite modern prejudices against absolute monarchy and murder. James Mackay, for example, prefaces his own account of the Queen with similar remarks about her current significance: I make no apology for offering ...

Members’ Memorial

G.R. Elton, 20 May 1982

The History of Parliament: The Commons 1558-1603 
edited by P.W. Hasler.
HMSO, 1940 pp., £95, February 1982, 0 11 887501 9
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... mainlines of its predecessors, has already undermined the traditional interpretations of Tudor, Stuart and Hanoverian Parliaments, but it is still new, and a great deal of work remains to be done. In doing it, these so-called revisionists will do well to remember the fate of their ancestors. Stubbsian and Namierite interpretations rose because they ...

Nine White Men Armed with Iron Bars

Andy Beckett: Postwar Immigrant Experience, 2 November 2017

Lovers and Strangers: An Immigrant History of Postwar Britain 
by Clair Wills.
Allen Lane, 442 pp., £25, August 2017, 978 1 84614 716 6
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... the first research fellowship at the new Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at Birmingham, Stuart Hall, the Jamaican-born analyst of Britain, went looking for somewhere to live. He had already been in Britain for 13 years, in Oxford and London. He wasn’t unaware that prejudice against immigrants existed. But the West Midlands was the first place, he ...

Saintly Resonances

Lorraine Daston: Obliterate the self!, 31 October 2002

Dying to Know: Scientific Epistemology and Narrative in Victorian England 
by George Levine.
Chicago, 320 pp., £31.50, September 2002, 0 226 47536 0
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... and endearingly modest in their self-effacement – Darwin, his fellow naturalist Alfred Russell Wallace, the mathematician Mary Somerville – there is a sizeable and equally endearing dose of egotism. As Oscar Wilde observed, the personal memoir, even if written for friends and family alone or to satisfy an importunate publisher, is always delightfully ...

Don’t blame him

Jenny Wormald, 4 August 1994

Elizabeth I 
by Wallance MacCaffrey.
Edward Arnold, 528 pp., £25, September 1993, 9780340561676
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... assured was not only Elizabeth’s posthumous reputation, but her greatness in comparison with her Stuart successor. Even Camden, emphasising and extolling her love of peace, could be used to invoke the glorious days of Elizabethan sea-power, exercised against the hated Spaniard, in sharp contrast to James’s friendship with Spain and refusal to fight for his ...

Diary

Joseph Epstein: A Thinker Thinks, 20 September 1984

... but, unlike hanging, it does not necessarily concentrate it. I not long ago read the letters of Wallace Stevens, that highly cerebral poet, who, in these letters, again and again cautions against reading too much. Stevens felt that too much reading left too little time for thinking. In part, no doubt, he had in mind the kind of thinking that a serious poet ...

Coy Mistress Uncovered

David Norbrook, 19 May 1988

Dragons Teeth: Literature in the English Revolution 
by Michael Wilding.
Oxford, 288 pp., £25, September 1987, 0 19 812881 9
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Apocalyptic Marvell: The Second Coming in 17th-Century Poetry 
by Margarita Stocker.
Harvester, 381 pp., £32.50, February 1986, 0 7108 0934 4
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The Politics of Mirth: Jonson, Herrick, Milton, Marvell, and the Defence of Old Holiday Pastimes 
by Leah Marcus.
Chicago, 319 pp., £23.25, March 1987, 0 226 50451 4
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Milton: A Study in Ideology and Form 
by Christopher Kendrick.
Methuen, 240 pp., £25, June 1986, 0 416 01251 5
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... there was some ideological coherence in Marvell’s career is starting to gain acceptance: John Wallace, Annabel Patterson and Warren Chernaik have all concentrated on secular political thought. Stocker is the first critic to bring to Marvell the new awareness in recent historical writing of the centrality of the book of Revelation for 17th-century ...

Stifled Truth

Wyatt Mason: Tobias Wolff and fictions of the self, 5 February 2004

Old School 
by Tobias Wolff.
Bloomsbury, 195 pp., £12.99, February 2004, 0 7475 6948 7
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... sons, sisters and brothers’. Most were written by established names, among them Frank Conroy, Stuart Dybeck, Richard Ford, Joyce Carol Oates, Robert Stone and Amy Tan. Those writers known partly for formal experimentation whose work Wolff did include (among them Lorrie Moore, Denis Johnson and Mary Robison) did not, in the stories Wolff selected, engage ...

I did not pan out

Christian Lorentzen: Sam Lipsyte, 6 June 2019

Hark 
by Sam Lipsyte.
Granta, 304 pp., £12.99, March 2019, 978 1 78378 321 2
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... Burke, who has recently lost his job at a university development office, and the ultra-rich Purdy Stuart, now a donor to the university, who could get him that job back. Once upon a time the two of them lived together in a collegiate bohemian squalor that masked their class differences. Milo aspired to be a painter but his ambitions never really passed beyond ...

American Manscapes

Richard Poirier, 12 October 1989

Manhood and the American Renaissance 
by David Leverenz.
Cornell, 372 pp., $35.75, April 1989, 0 8014 2281 7
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... unknown to the culture of Germany, or Descartes and Rousseau to France, or Locke and Hume and John Stuart Mill to England.’ Cavell is saying that regardless of Emerson’s canonical status he remains improperly or insufficiently understood. This strikes me as undeniable. It also presupposes that the situation might be corrected, in which case it will require ...

From Soixante-Huit to Soixante-Neuf

Glen Newey: Slack-Sphinctered Pachyderm, 29 April 1999

Collected Papers: Technology, War and Fascism 
by Herbert Marcuse, edited by Douglas Kellner.
Routledge, 278 pp., £25, March 1998, 0 415 13780 2
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The Contract of Mutual Indifference: Political Philosophy after the Holocaust 
by Norman Geras.
Verso, 181 pp., £15, June 1998, 1 85984 868 0
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... Though Marcuse pointed out in a later pow-wow with Habermas that, in common with Franz Neumann, H. Stuart Hughes and Walter Langer, he was but an understrapper in the war against German Fascism, he stayed on through the A-bomb tests on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, the flash-freeze phase of the Cold War and into the Korean War. Technology, War and Fascism assembles ...

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