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Doing Some Measuring ahead of Time

Richard Davenport-Hines: Sade in Prison, 9 August 2001

Letters from Prison 
by the Marquis de Sade, translated by Richard Seaver.
Harvill, 401 pp., £20, October 2000, 1 86046 807 1
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De Sade's Valet 
by Nikolaj Frobenius, translated by Tom Geddes.
Marion Boyars, 242 pp., £9.95, November 2000, 0 7145 3060 3
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... I learned to ski in prison,’ Gregory Corso wrote, having discovered that there’s nothing much for prisoners to do except imagine, fantasise and, what often follows, masturbate. Although the chief interest in Sade’s Letters from Prison lies in tracing the stimulus incarceration gave to his literary imagination, one should honour in passing his phenomenal achievements in solitary vice ...
... little scope. But they signified that the various episodes of national development that Tom Nairn had seen Scotland dodging in the 19th century were suddenly swallowed in concentrated form. Just how distinctive the resulting discourse is became plain to me on reading Noel Annan’s Our Age. Here was a stylish narrative – of the English clerisy ...

Diary

David Thomson: ‘Vertigo’ after Weinstein, 21 June 2018

... But he cannot manage even three steps. He swoons, and falls, and is rescued by Midge (Barbara Bel Geddes), a sympathetic pal from his past, a wistful wife-figure. She is attractive and she designs brassières; we can’t miss her coded readiness any more than we can ignore the risks posed by San Francisco. There is what seems like small talk between ...

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