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6 March 1980
Wrinkles 
by Charles Simmons.
Alison Press/Secker, 182 pp., £4.95, January 1980, 9780436464904
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Devotion 
by Botho Strauss, translated by Sophie Wilkins.
Chatto, 120 pp., £5.50, January 1980, 0 7011 2421 0
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The Followed Man 
by Thomas Williams.
Sidgwick, 352 pp., £5.95, January 1980, 9780399900259
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Reverse Negative 
by André Jute.
Secker, 264 pp., £5.95, January 1980, 0 436 22980 3
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... But it’s a desperately theoretical undertaking. The reader striving to relate the fragments, to join up the dots, finds himself meagrely rewarded with an abstract design. In The Followed Man ThomasWilliams does, as part of his enterprise, tell a complete, even a lavish story. Luke Carr, a writer, whose wife and children have recently died in an air crash, is summoned to New York to prepare a ...

The View from Here and Now

Thomas​ Nagel: A Tribute to Bernard Williams

11 May 2006
The Sense of the Past: Essays in the History of Philosophy 
by Bernard Williams, edited by Myles Burnyeat.
Princeton, 393 pp., £26.95, March 2006, 0 691 12477 9
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In the Beginning Was the Deed: Realism and Moralism in Political Argument 
by Bernard Williams, edited by Geoffrey Hawthorn.
Princeton, 174 pp., £18.95, October 2005, 0 691 12430 2
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Philosophy as a Humanistic Discipline 
edited by Bernard Williams and A.W. Moore.
Princeton, 227 pp., £22.95, January 2006, 0 691 12426 4
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... Bernard Williams had a very large mind. To read these three posthumously published collections of essays (there will be a fourth, on opera) is an overwhelming reminder of his incandescent and all-consuming ...

Moooovement

R.W. Johnson

8 February 1990
Resources of Hope: Culture, Democracy, Socialism 
by Raymond Williams, edited by Robin Gable.
Verso, 334 pp., £29.95, February 1989, 0 86091 229 9
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The Alien Mind of Raymond Williams 
by Jan Gorak.
Missouri, 132 pp., $9.95, December 1988, 0 8262 0688 3
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Raymond WilliamsWriting, Culture, Politics 
by Alan O’Connor.
Blackwell, 180 pp., £27.50, June 1989, 0 631 16589 4
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Raymond Williams​ on Television: Selected Writings 
edited by Alan O’Connor.
Routledge, 223 pp., £7.95, April 1989, 9780415026277
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News from Nowhere: No 6. Raymond Williams: Third Generation 
edited by Tony Pinkney.
Oxford English Limited, 108 pp., £3.50, February 1989
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Raymond WilliamsCritical Perspectives 
edited by Terry Eagleton.
Polity, 235 pp., £29.50, September 1989, 9780745603841
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... Raymond Williams’s death in January 1988 has been followed by an avalanche of obituarial tribute. To some extent, the tributes were a matter of the Left giving a last, sad cheer for one of its most versatile and ...

Zounds

Frank Kermode: Blasphemy

14 January 2002
Blasphemy: Impious Speech in the West from the 17th to the 19th Century 
by Alain Cabantous, translated by Eric Rauth.
Columbia, 288 pp., £21.50, February 2002, 0 231 11876 7
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... is obviously more dangerous to the state, and the repressive British Governments of the late 18th century used the law against political opponents. The example given here concerns the bookseller ThomasWilliams, who was charged with blasphemy for publishing Tom Paine’s Age of Reason. Although Paine said that the Bible described a devil under the name of God, his real offence was of course his ...

Three Poems

Hugo Williams

10 February 1994
... I sat there as usual, a fork in one hand, a knife in the other, and neatly, precisely, divided myself in two. The Fall My father lived in the Garden of Allah, an exotic, bungalow-style hotel which Thomas Wolfe told Scott Fitzgerald he could not believe existed, even in Hollywood. He was sacked by Paramount after serving only one year of a five-year contract when his first three films made the Critics ...
11 June 1992
Judge for yourself 
by James Pickles.
Smith Gryphon, 242 pp., £15.99, April 1992, 1 85685 019 6
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The Barrister’s World 
by John Morison and Philip Leith.
Open University, 256 pp., £35, December 1991, 0 335 09396 5
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Advocates 
by David Pannick.
Oxford, 305 pp., £15, April 1992, 0 19 811948 8
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... remarking that Erskine’s purpose was to dissociate himself from Paine. In another he recounts the tale of how, when retained by a society of religious bigots to prosecute Paine’s publisher ThomasWilliams for blasphemy for publishing The Age of Reason, Erskine established the duty of prosecuting counsel not to put the boot in on the accused. Pannick might perhaps have cited Paine’s reaction ...

‘I love you, defiant witch!’

Michael Newton: Charles Williams

7 September 2016
Charles WilliamsThe Third Inkling 
by Grevel Lindop.
Oxford, 493 pp., £25, October 2015, 978 0 19 928415 3
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... poet-lecturers, W.H. Auden mentioned the moments of unanticipated connection: Or blessed encounter, full of joy Unscheduled on the Giesen Plan, With, here, an addict of Tolkien, There, a Charles Williams fan.If Auden were on the circuit now, he’d still find plenty of Tolkien addicts, but he’d go a long way before stumbling on a Charles Williams fan. Charles Williams influenced a swathe of mid ...
7 March 1985
Montaigne’s Tower, and Other Poems 
by Geoffrey Grigson.
Secker, 72 pp., £5.95, October 1984, 0 436 18806 6
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Collected Poems: 1963-1980 
by Geoffrey Grigson.
Allison and Busby, 256 pp., £4.95, October 1984, 0 85031 557 3
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The Faber Book of Reflective Verse 
edited by Geoffrey Grigson.
Faber, 238 pp., £7.95, October 1984, 0 571 13299 5
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Blessings, Kicks and Curses 
by Geoffrey Grigson.
Allison and Busby, 279 pp., £4.95, October 1984, 0 85031 558 1
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The Private Art: A Poetry Notebook 
by Geoffrey Grigson.
Allison and Busby, 231 pp., £4.95, October 1984, 9780850315592
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Before the Romantics: An Anthology of the Enlightenment 
by Geoffrey Grigson.
Salamander, 349 pp., £5.95, September 1984, 0 907540 59 7
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... a context in which achievement is likely to be occasional at best, spends so much spirit in peevishness and rancour. There is evidence that he enjoys walking, curlews, turtledoves, bullfinches, owls, Thomas Moore’s ‘Thee, Thee, Only Thee’ and much that France still offers. There are writers he likes, most of them dead: Ronsard, John Clare, William Barnes (‘love of whose poems seems to me a ...

I just let him have his beer

Christopher Tayler: John Williams​ Made it Work

9 December 2019
The Man who Wrote the Perfect Novel: John Williams, ‘Stoner’ and the Writing Life 
by Charles Shields.
Texas, 305 pp., £23.99, October 2018, 978 1 4773 1736 5
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Nothing but the Night 
by John Williams.
NYRB, 144 pp., $14.95, February 2019, 978 1 68137 307 2
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... In​ the summer of 1963, between the appearance of Thomas Pynchon’s first book and the Beatles’ second long-player, John Williams, a professor at the University of Denver, sent his agent in New York a draft of his latest novel, which detailed the unhappy marriage, undistinguished career and early death from cancer of an ...

One Great Good True Thing

Thomas​ Powers: Tennessee Williams

20 November 2014
Tennessee WilliamsMad Pilgrimage of the Flesh 
by John Lahr.
Bloomsbury, 765 pp., £30, September 2014, 978 1 4088 4365 9
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... To spend time​ with Tennessee Williams – for months on end in the case of Elia Kazan, the director who put his plays on the stage in the 1940s and 1950s; 12 years in the case of his latest and best biographer, John Lahr; or even as ...

At the Pool

Inigo Thomas

21 June 2018
... swimming, and the baths, disappeared for so long after the fall of Rome. The answer, according to Sprawson, was Christianity. Haunts of the Black Masseur is a striking title derived from Tennessee Williams. Williams was a swimmer, and Sprawson made a point of swimming in many of the places with which Williams was familiar: the Hollywood Roosevelt, off Santa Monica; the Venice Lido; the beach at ...

Pioneers

Christopher Reid

3 September 1981
Some Americans: A Personal Record 
by Charles Tomlinson.
California, 134 pp., £6.50, June 1981, 0 520 04037 6
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... writes, ‘to have met the innovators of one’s time only when age had overtaken them.’ The innovators to whom he refers are those American poets – Ezra Pound, Marianne Moore, William Carlos Williams and others – whose work and moral example have been of importance to his own growth as a writer. The sentence quoted above, with its tinge of elegy and irony, occurs in the fourth and final chapter ...

Short Cuts

Thomas​ Jones: Bookshops

14 December 2000
... you might think, except that he discovered ‘someone’ had ‘divided the whole of post-medieval Western philosophy into two classes, continental and Anglo-American’, a distinction Bernard Williams once compared to dividing cars into either ‘left-hand-drive’ or ‘made in Japan’. It wasn’t like that in the days when Ray Monk ran the philosophy section of Waterstone’s on the Charing ...

From the Dialysis Ward

Hugo Williams

24 January 2013
... Pancras Old Church Cemetery. I might go into the church and heave a sigh or two before continuing via a gate set in the cemetery wall to the Mary Rankin Wing of St Pancras Hospital. As a young man, Thomas Hardy supervised the removal of bodies from part of the cemetery to make way for the trains. He placed the headstones round an ash tree sapling, now grown tall, where I stop sometimes to look at the ...

No Longer Merely the Man Who Ate His Boots

Thomas​ Jones: The Northwest Passage

27 May 2010
Arctic Labyrinth: The Quest for the Northwest Passage 
by Glyn Williams.
Allen Lane, 440 pp., £25, October 2009, 978 1 84614 138 6
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Franklin: Tragic Hero of Polar Navigation 
by Andrew Lambert.
Faber, 428 pp., £20, July 2009, 978 0 571 23160 7
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... But amazing though it is, it’s in some ways less impressive than its distant pre-Sputnik ancestors, the new maps that could only be made by sending men beyond the edges of the old maps. Glyn Williams’s Arctic Labyrinth: The Quest for the Northwest Passage is an engrossing account of four centuries of exploration, as expedition after expedition tried to negotiate a course through the vast ...

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