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Passing-Out Time

Christopher Tayler: Patrick Hamilton’s drinking, 29 January 2009

The Slaves of Solitude 
by Patrick Hamilton.
Constable, 327 pp., £7.99, September 2008, 978 1 84529 415 1
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The Gorse Trilogy 
by Patrick Hamilton.
Black Spring, 603 pp., £9.95, June 2007, 978 0 948238 34 5
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... Thousand Streets trilogy. In 1930, he tried to straighten out his love life by marrying Lois Martin, a woman he’d met at one of Priestley’s Hampstead drinks parties. He was, he told his mother as he broke the news by post, ‘incredibly happy – touch wood’. But the newlyweds soon agreed that they were ‘sexually incompatible’, and Lois took on ...

Not No Longer but Not Yet

Jenny Turner: Mark Fisher’s Ghosts, 9 May 2019

k-punk: The Collected and Unpublished Writings of Mark Fisher 
edited by Darren Ambrose.
Repeater, 817 pp., £25, November 2018, 978 1 912248 28 5
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... the New Labour years. Kafka appears, like a special guest on The Simpsons; so do Badiou, Wall-E, Ursula Le Guin; and there’s a Marxist Supernanny, who’s very like the Supernanny of early 21st-century reality TV, except that instead of working with individual families, she puts whole social structures on the naughty step.There’s also a scary deep in ...

Ruthless and Truthless

Ferdinand Mount: Rotten Government, 6 May 2021

The Assault on Truth: Boris Johnson, Donald Trump and the Emergence of a New Moral Barbarism 
by Peter Oborne.
Simon and Schuster, 192 pp., £12.99, February 2021, 978 1 3985 0100 3
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Political Advice: Past, Present and Future 
edited by Colin Kidd and Jacqueline Rose.
I.B. Tauris, 240 pp., £21.99, February 2021, 978 1 83860 120 1
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... and strangely neglected. As the bargaining reached its frenzied climax, leading Brexiters such as Martin Howe QC, a member of the Eurosceptic Tory MP Bill Cash’s self-styled Star Chamber, said that Johnson should reject the EU’s ‘one-sided and damaging trade agreement’: ‘Once the EU has pocketed its huge concessions on goods, with the UK getting ...

Ever Closer Union?

Perry Anderson, 7 January 2021

... the top prize – formally enjoy equal status under the president, currently the CDU politician Ursula von der Leyen. In reality, as the former director-general of the Legal Service, the all-purpose Brussels fixer Jean-Claude Piris (22 years in the saddle) pointed out in 2012, since this would mean that the fourteen commissioners from the Union’s smallest ...

He, She, One, They, Ho, Hus, Hum, Ita

Amia Srinivasan: How Should I Refer to You?, 2 July 2020

What’s Your Pronoun? Beyond He and She 
by Dennis Baron.
Liveright, 304 pp., £16.99, February, 978 1 63149 604 2
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... the singular ‘they’ as its word of the decade. It shows up in plenty of respectable places. Ursula Le Guin – who also experimented with e/es/en in her feminist science fiction – called the prohibition on the singular ‘they’ a ‘fake rule’ enforced by ‘grammar bullies’. So far, I have used ‘they’ and its cognates ...

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