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Ultimate Place

Seamus Deane

16 March 1989
Stones of Aran: Pilgrimage 
by Tim Robinson.
Viking, 298 pp., £12.95, February 1989, 0 670 82485 2
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... from the meditation. Although the island itself, in all its coastal detail, its geology, history, folklore, flora and fauna, is the book’s subject, it is oddly elusive. Despite the fact that TimRobinson’s account is the story of a pilgrimage, exhaustively detailed and loyal to every intimation, there is no ultimate moment or place of devotion. The quest is an end in itself, and it is not perhaps a ...

At Turner Contemporary

Anne Enright: Dorothy Cross, Connemara

19 December 2013
... on the gable of Joyce’s craft shop at Recess, before the turn-off to Letterfrack. Connemara is an impossible place. The only way I can cross this countryside is by recourse to the English writer TimRobinson, a cartographer and artist who cures the Irish nostalgia for landscape – that heart-sickness – by describing it in great detail, excavating the stories under every field and wall. The ...

Diary

David Craig: In the Barra Isles

30 October 1997
... west, Arainn Bheag, Little Aran: ‘It was an island of two hills, with a tower at either end, and, he told me, it filled up that awful space to the south-west, giving him a feeling of security.’ TimRobinson relates this, near the end of his double-work, Stones of Aran: pilgrimage and Labyrinth. ‘In reality Pangaea is broken,’ Robinson writes, ‘and all the mysterious bits and pieces ...

Delivering the Leadership

Nick Cohen: Get Mandy

4 March 1999
Mandy: The Authorised Biography of Peter Mandelson 
by Paul Routledge.
Simon and Schuster, 302 pp., £17.99, January 1999, 9780684851754
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... publication date grew closer. ‘It’s going to blow him away.’ In 1996, when he was living on £46,000 a year, Mandelson borrowed £373,000 (eight times his MP’s salary) from Geoffrey Robinson, an industrialist Blair put in the Treasury after New Labour’s victory. Robinson’s fortune had been inflated by dealings with Robert Maxwell, the Channel Island tax havens and a legacy from a ...

Corbyn in the Media

Paul Myerscough

21 October 2015
... A scattering of dissident voices on the payroll – Seumas Milne, Owen Jones, Zoe Williams, George Monbiot – were drowned out by a host of detractors, from within the paper and without: Tim Bale, Nick Cohen, Anne Perkins, Michael White, Martin Kettle, Peter Hain, Alan Johnson, Tony Blair (twice), Jonathan Jones, Frank Field, David Miliband (whose razor-sharp instinct for leadership ...

No Company, No Carpets

Tim​ Parks: Tolstoy v. Tolstaya

25 April 2018
Tolstoy and Tolstaya: A Portrait of a Life in Letters 
by Andrew Donskov, translated by John Woodsworth, Arkadi Klioutchanski and Liudmila Gladkova.
Ottawa, 430 pp., £48, May 2017, 978 0 7766 2471 6
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... them, and moments of utter exasperation. I see that you have been staying at Yasnaya not for the sake of your intellectual work, which I prize above everything else in life, but for some sort of Robinson Crusoe game. You … dismissed the cook, who would have been happy to do some work in exchange for a stipend, and from morning to night you engage in inappropriate physical labour … I can only say ...

Colloquially Speaking

Patrick McGuinness: Poetry from Britain and Ireland after 1945

1 April 1999
The Penguin Book of Poetry from Britain and Ireland since 1945 
edited by Simon Armitage and Robert Crawford.
Viking, 480 pp., £10.99, September 1998, 0 670 86829 9
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The Firebox: Poetry from Britain and Ireland after 1945 
edited by Sean O’Brien.
Picador, 534 pp., £16.99, October 1998, 0 330 36918 0
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... of counter-narratives of British poetry. We will not find, on the one hand, poets such as J.H. Prynne and Iain Sinclair, or (apart from Roy Fisher) any of the poets collected in Andrew Crozier and Tim Longville’s 1987 anthology, A Various Art. Nor, at the other end of the spectrum, will we find poets such as Peter Robinson, Robert Wells or Clive Wilmer, or the Carcanet poets from the days when ...
9 July 1992
English Music 
by Peter Ackroyd.
Hamish Hamilton, 400 pp., £14.99, May 1992, 0 241 12501 4
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... convinced was Timothy’s alone. He is working as a conjurer and magician in a travelling circus. And now suddenly he can heal, all by himself; he cures the cripple Edward, but dies in the process. Tim takes over his father’s circus act until his grandparents die too, and he inherits their Wiltshire farmhouse, where he lives alone at the end of the novel. He no longer reads his English books, not ...

It’s alive!

Christopher Tayler: The cult of Godzilla

3 February 2005
Godzilla on My Mind: Fifty Years of the King of Monsters 
by William Tsutsui.
Palgrave, 240 pp., £8.99, December 2004, 1 4039 6474 2
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... book Pseuds Corner-proof, he spends a lot of time trying to lighten the tone: ‘Ahh … the power of cheese’; ‘yada, yada, yada’; ‘Domo arigato, Mr Roboto’; ‘Nanu-nanu, beam me up, Will Robinson’; ‘Eeewww!’ He seems a lot happier explaining how more recent filmmakers have interpreted the monster. During the 1980s and 1990s, Godzilla’s attacks on Japanese skyscrapers made him, some ...

Bankocracy

John Lanchester: Lehman Brothers

5 November 2009
The Murder of Lehman Brothers: An Insider’s Look at the Global Meltdown 
by Joseph Tibman.
Brick Tower, 243 pp., £16.95, September 2009, 978 1 883283 71 1
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A Colossal Failure of Common Sense: The Incredible Inside Story of the Collapse of Lehman Brothers 
by Larry McDonald, in collaboration with Patrick Robinson.
Ebury, 351 pp., £7.99, September 2009, 978 0 09 193615 0
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... the cash, and went to the Treasury for help. The response of Hank Paulson, Treasury secretary, backed by the head of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, and the head of the New York branch of the Fed, Tim Geithner, was to summon a group of bank heads and tell them to put a deal together that would rescue Lehman. This was something that has been done a good few times over the years: a meeting of senior ...

Into the Underworld

Iain Sinclair: The Hackney Underworld

22 January 2015
... in Dakar, Senegal, and the modification of the presidential palace in Libreville, Gabon, to a trashed shell in Hackney was friendship, fond memories of an earlier collaboration with the artists, Tim Noble and Sue Webster. That collaboration involved a private compound that was also a conceptual artwork in which the raven-haired couple could hang out and manufacture their signature products: the ...
7 May 1981
... order of reviewers and interviewers, might look like this:FavourablePaul Ableman(Spectator)J.G. Ballard(Tatler)Helen Chislett(Company)Victoria Glendinning(Listener)Ian Hamilton(Sunday Times)Tim Heald(Now)Thomas Hinde(Sunday Telegraph)Bernard Levin(Sunday Times)Blake Morrison(TLS)John Nicholson(Times)Richard Rayner(Time Out)Anthony Thwaite(Observer)MiddlingPaul Ableman(Spectator)Peter Conrad ...

If It Weren’t for Charlotte

Alice Spawls: The Brontës

16 November 2017
... without looking into their creators’ lives. We know a good deal about writers one way or another anyhow, and it might be risky to pry: what is at best a ‘benign literary parasitism’, to quote Tim Parks, could ruin a good novel or poem for ever. It’s not just a question of revelation, of sordid details. I never thought about the reasons I didn’t read biographies, I just didn’t, and now I ...

Iraq, 2 May 2005

Andrew O’Hagan: Two Soldiers

6 March 2008
... and they speak of John’s endless affection for his daughter. ‘He was married to flying anyhow,’ his sister Kelly said. ‘It’s like a vocation, and that’s that.’ Lieutenant Colonel D.A. Robinson was an instructor on the Top Gun staff with John Spahr. This is the elite training school for fighter pilots in Fallon, Nevada. ‘A number of his commanding officers said he was the best officer ...

Warmer, Warmer

John Lanchester: Global Warming, Global Hot Air

22 March 2007
The Revenge of Gaia 
by James Lovelock.
Allen Lane, 222 pp., £8.99, February 2007, 978 0 14 102597 1
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Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis Summary for Policymakers: Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 
IPCC, February 2007Show More
Heat: How to Stop the Planet Burning 
by George Monbiot.
Allen Lane, 277 pp., £17.99, September 2006, 0 7139 9923 3
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The Party’s Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies 
by Richard Heinberg.
Clairview, 320 pp., £12.99, October 2005, 1 905570 00 7
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The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review 
by Nicholas Stern.
Cambridge, 692 pp., £29.99, January 2007, 978 0 521 70080 1
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... issue. Unfortunately, the climate debate came along at a time when the Republican Party was wilfully embracing anti-scientific irrationalism. One way of telling this story – adopted by Kim Stanley Robinson in his novel Forty Signs of Rain – begins with the Scientists for Johnson Campaign, run by a group of eminent scientists who were worried about Barry Goldwater’s apparent eagerness to wage ...

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