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Will to Literature

David Trotter: Modernism plc

13 May 1999
Institutions of Modernism: Literary Elites and Public Culture 
by Lawrence Rainey.
Yale, 227 pp., £16.95, January 1999, 0 300 07050 0
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Modernism, Technology and the Body: A Cultural Study 
by Tim Armstrong.
Cambridge, 309 pp., £14.95, March 1998, 0 521 59997 0
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Body Ascendant: Modernism and the Physical Imperative 
by Harold Segel.
Johns Hopkins, 282 pp., £30, September 1998, 0 8018 5821 6
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Solid Objects: Modernism and the Test of Production 
by Douglas Mao.
Princeton, 308 pp., £32.50, November 1998, 0 691 05926 8
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... collusion with patriarchy and Fascism. Now, as the emphasis shifts once more – to institutions, in Lawrence Rainey’s study of Modernism’s patrons and publishers, and to the body, in TimArmstrong’s study of Modernism’s absorbing interest in glands, healthfood and electrotherapy – the world Kenner delineated has come back into focus. Patron, publisher, dietician, therapist: each ...

Not Enjoying Herself

Jenny Diski: Princess Margaret

16 August 2007
Princess Margaret: A Life Unravelled 
by Tim​ Heald.
Weidenfeld, 346 pp., £20, July 2007, 978 0 297 84820 2
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... in her youth. Big beautiful eyes, good bones, a serious nose, a large, modern mouth and a figure to die for. Short though. A pocket Venus, they called her, barely five feet tall. But, according to Tim Heald, her latest biographer, who has previously committed to paper the lives of Brian Johnston,2 Denis Compton,3 Barbara Cartland4 and Prince Philip,5like the other four biographical subjects she ...

Diary

Graham Robb: The Tour de France

19 August 2004
... At three o’clock in the morning somewhere between Auxerre and Lyon on the European Bike Express bus, I dreamed that I had an exclusive interview with Lance Armstrong. Armstrong is the Texan cycling supremo who recovered from advanced testicular cancer to win the Tour de France five times in a row. One condition was imposed: the interview had to be conducted on bicycles ...

Who’s Got the Moxie?

A. Craig Copetas

23 March 1995
The Mexican Tree Duck 
by James Crumley.
Picador, 247 pp., £15.99, May 1994, 0 330 32451 9
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One to Count Cadence 
by James Crumley.
Picador, 338 pp., £5.99, May 1994, 0 330 32450 0
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... are often obscured by the area’s remoteness from the rest of the country. Montana and Idaho took off in the late Sixties, when real estate was cheap, plentiful and luring the likes of Tom McGuane, Tim Cahill, Jeff Bridges, Peter Fonda and the late Seymor Lawrence. Frontier towns like Livingston and Boulder Creek are today about as close as you can get to a nursing home for Sixties’ veterans and ...

How stripy are tigers?

Tim​ Lewens: Complexity

18 November 2010
Unsimple Truths: Science, Complexity and Policy 
by Sandra Mitchell.
Chicago, 149 pp., £19, December 2009, 978 0 226 53262 2
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... over definitions rather than a demonstration of the value of attending to the realities of science in all their complexity. ‘Armchair’ philosophers of science such as David Lewis and David Armstrong, while holding to the claim that laws are spatially and temporally exceptionless, have tended to agree with Mitchell that even the most basic laws of physics are ‘contingent’. Roughly speaking ...

Tell us, Solly

Tim​ Radford: Solly Zuckerman

20 September 2001
Solly Zuckerman: A Scientist out of the Ordinary 
by John Peyton.
Murray, 252 pp., £22.50, May 2001, 9780719562839
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... the Savoy with Alfred Hitchcock. That friendship, too, continued for a lifetime. As a lecturer at Oxford, he had acquired a house in Museum Road ‘to display his pictures by Ben Nicholson and John Armstrong and his Barbara Hepworth carvings and drawings’. He made friends both with Aneurin Bevan and with Gaitskell. During the war, a tall French officer paid a visit to his house. Years later, while ...

The New Piracy

Charles Glass: Terror on the High Seas

18 December 2003
... and thus the rest of the maritime world, take notice is to project a connection between the pirate enemy and global terrorism. The connection is not far fetched. Private security firms, such as Tim Spicer’s Aegis in London and British-American Defence Ltd in Dubai, have been warning for the past few years that a seaborne terrorist attack is inevitable. The IMB and the US Coast Guard, charged ...

Success

Benjamin Markovits: What It Takes to Win at Sport

7 November 2013
... this country has changed – and that what’s happening in sport is a way of measuring that change. For one thing, the British are winning again, and they’ve had to come to terms with this fact. Tim Adams in the Observer called it a ‘national conversion from doubt to faith’. By common consensus, the transformation started ten years ago, when England won the rugby world cup under the guidance ...

The God Squad

Andrew O’Hagan: Bushland

23 September 2004
... as Tina Brown might say. In fact she did say it, about something or other, on her new weekly television show Topic [A], with Tina Brown, which created its own buzz by having Hendrik Hertzberg and Armstrong Williams slug it out about whether or not it mattered that Kerry had been 100 yards from the Vietnam border while Bush was 14 million yards away (Hertzberg had worked it out). But the parties turned ...

Iraq, 2 May 2005

Andrew O’Hagan: Two Soldiers

6 March 2008
... spoke of concert halls and happy hours, while the shipyard cranes stood still against the dark. Among them, once upon a time, battle-cruisers were built to order and the gatling gun was made by W. Armstrong & Co. Anthony – left – and Paul As he came to the end of his schooldays, Anthony kept saying he wanted to be a soldier. Living with his grandparents, he had always enjoyed the stories his ...

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