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Quashed Quotatoes

Michael Wood: Finnegans Wake, 16 December 2010

Finnegans Wake 
by James Joyce, edited by Danis Rose and John O’Hanlon.
Houyhnhnm, 493 pp., £250, March 2010, 978 0 9547710 1 0
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Joyce’s Disciples Disciplined 
edited by Tim Conley.
University College Dublin, 185 pp., £42.50, May 2010, 978 1 906359 46 1
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... The letter is dated 1627, so there may be a joke here rather than an error. Still, I don’t think we need to see Joyce as being disingenuous – David Greetham wonders about this in an essay in a booklet accompanying the new edition of Finnegans Wake – since we know what he could do with bits and scraps. In his letter he ...

tarry easty

Roy Foster: Joyce in Trieste, 30 November 2000

The Years of Bloom: James Joyce in Trieste 1904-20 
by John McCourt.
Lilliput, 306 pp., £25, June 2000, 1 901866 45 9
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... affected elaborate politeness as a form of arrogance, and whom his exasperated friend Stuart Gilbert finally compared to Adolf Hitler. This is the Joyce portrayed in Gilbert’s Paris Journal, in the memory of many of Ellmann’s interviewees and the photographs of Gisele Freund. When one looks through this prism, it ...

Victorian Piles

David Cannadine, 18 March 1982

The Albert Memorial: The Monument in its Social and Architectural Context 
by Stephen Bayley.
Scholar Press, 160 pp., £18.50, September 1981, 0 85967 594 7
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Victorian and Edwardian Town Halls 
by Colin Cunningham.
Routledge, 315 pp., £25, July 1981, 9780710007230
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... designs, festooned with pedestals, arches, fountains, domes and columns. The seventh came from Gilbert Scott, still smarting from the snub administered to his Foreign Office designs by Palmerston, and was a Gothic extravaganza, loosely based on 13th-century market crosses, and lavishly coated with Puginesque fantasy. It won the day, and by so doing assured ...

Dennis Nilsen, or the Pot of Basil

John Ryle, 21 February 1985

Killing for Company: The Case of Dennis Nilsen 
by Brian Masters.
Cape, 352 pp., £9.95, February 1985, 0 224 02184 2
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Queens 
by Pickles.
Quartet, 289 pp., £8.95, October 1984, 0 7043 2439 3
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Ritualised Homosexuality in Melanesia 
edited by Gilbert Herdt.
California, 409 pp., £19.95, October 1984, 0 520 05037 1
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... drinking and listening to music ... I drain my glass and take the phones off. Behind me sits Stephen Sinclair on the lazy chair. He was crashed out with drink and drugs. I sit and look at him. I stand up and approach him. My heart is pounding. I kneel down in front of him. I touch his leg and say: ‘Are you awake?’ There is no response. ‘Oh ...

The Exploding Harpoon

Kathleen Jamie: Whales, 8 August 2013

The Sea Inside 
by Philip Hoare.
Fourth Estate, 374 pp., £18.99, June 2013, 978 0 00 741211 2
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... as they waited, others were inclined to show off their knowledge. I overheard phrases: ‘When we were in New Zealand,’ ‘When we were in Cape Town.’ ‘Of course, sperm whales are usually well out into the Atlantic.’ It’s true that sperm whales are deep-sea animals and it’s highly unusual to have one ...

The Game of Death

A.D. Nuttall, 11 June 1992

... Why do we enjoy tragedy? It may be thought that our best hope of answering this question lies in the psychology of Freud, who disclosed the dark side of the psyche. Behind this darkening of the mind, however, there lies another darkening, of our picture of the ancient sources of European literature. Antiquity, formerly given over to the Ego, becomes the province of the Id ...

With Great Stomack

Simon Schaffer: Christopher Wren, 21 February 2002

His Invention so Fertile: A Life of Christopher Wren 
by Adrian Tinniswood.
Cape, 463 pp., £25, July 2001, 9780224042987
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... the Restoration, when many judged discretion the better part of valour, the pre-eminent churchman Gilbert Sheldon supported Wren’s work at Oxford, then got him a decisive advisory role at St Paul’s before its (rather fortunate) destruction in the Great Fire. Wren gratefully named his firstborn son Gilbert. He might then ...

No Casket, No Flowers

Thomas Lynch: MacSwiggan’s Ashes, 20 April 2006

Committed to the Cleansing Flame: The Development of Cremation in 19th-Century England 
by Brian Parsons.
Spire, 328 pp., £34.95, November 2005, 1 904965 04 0
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... divisible and more scattered than the centuries of our species’ dead before them. The way we dispose of the dead has changed and their place in the landscapes of our towns and consciousness has been downsized and, in some ways, disappeared. Like Purified by Fire: A History of Cremation in America by Stephen Prothero ...

Spruce

John Bayley, 2 June 1988

A.E. Housman: Collected Poems and Selected Prose 
edited by Christopher Ricks.
Allen Lane, 528 pp., £18.95, April 1988, 0 7139 9009 0
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... for his meticulous standards and his appalling sarcasms on the unscholarly, delivered the Leslie Stephen Lecture on ‘The Name and Nature of Poetry’. In the course of it he quoted ‘O mistress mine, where are you roaming?’ and he quoted it as ‘where art thou roaming?’ He had omitted to verify his memory of something so well-known. He silently put ...

English Art and English Rubbish

Peter Campbell, 20 March 1986

C.R. Ashbee: Architect, Designer and Romantic Socialist 
by Alan Crawford.
Yale, 500 pp., £35, November 1985, 0 300 03467 9
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The Laughter and the Urn: The Life of Rex Whistler 
by Laurence Whistler.
Weidenfeld, 321 pp., £14.95, October 1985, 0 297 78603 2
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The Originality of Thomas Jones 
by Lawrence Gowing.
Thames and Hudson, 64 pp., £4.95, February 1986, 0 500 55017 4
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Art beyond the Gallery in Early 20th-century England 
by Richard Cork.
Yale, 332 pp., £40, April 1985, 0 300 03236 6
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Alfred Gilbert 
by Richard Dorment.
Yale, 350 pp., £9.95, March 1986, 0 300 03388 5
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... were the porters) he failed to win a permanent place. Tonks took him on at the Slade (‘If we were commercial gents we’d get this fellow to sign on the dotted line ... We’d make a money spinner out of him’). Finding him ‘pencilling away with his back to the model,’ Tonks ...

A.E. Housman and Biography

Hugh Lloyd-Jones, 22 November 1979

A.E. Housman 
by Richard Perceval Graves.
Routledge, 304 pp., £9.75
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... taking account of the literary attitudes expressed in the London Introductory and Leslie Stephen Lectures. The author of such a study would find it helpful to have some understanding of the scholarly work which was the main business of Housman’s life, since the relation of this activity to his poetry is of great interest. Mr Graves quotes copiously ...

77 Barton Street

Dave Haslam: Joy Division, 3 January 2008

Juvenes: The Joy Division Photographs of Kevin Cummins 
To Hell with Publishing, 189 pp., £200, December 2007Show More
Joy Division: Piece by Piece 
by Paul Morley.
Plexus, 384 pp., £14.99, December 2007, 978 0 85965 404 3
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Control 
directed by Anton Corbijn.
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... claim their equipment was so bad they couldn’t hear what Curtis was saying, though the drummer, Stephen Morris, still wonders how they missed the desperation. When they recorded Unknown Pleasures in the studio in April 1979, the band must have been able to hear the lyrics more clearly, but they preferred not to think about what lay behind them. Sumner says ...

Joyce and Company

Tim Parks: Joyce’s Home Life, 5 July 2012

James Joyce: A Biography 
by Gordon Bowker.
Phoenix, 608 pp., £14.99, March 2012, 978 0 7538 2860 1
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... while the connection between life and work is reduced to a catalogue of correspondences: we are told which real person gave which fictional character this or that physical attribute, or name, or occupation, or address. Readers familiar with Richard Ellmann’s biography of 1959 will be disappointed. Born in 1882, James Augustine Aloysius Joyce was ...

Fade to Greige

Elaine Showalter: Mad for the Handcuff Bracelets, 4 January 2001

A Dedicated Follower of Fashion 
by Holly Brubach.
Phaidon, 232 pp., £19.95, October 1999, 9780714838878
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Fashion Today 
by Colin McDowell.
Phaidon, 511 pp., £39.95, September 2000, 0 7148 3897 7
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Fashion and Its Social Agendas: Class, Gender and Society in Clothing 
by Diana Crane.
Chicago, 294 pp., £19, August 2000, 0 226 11798 7
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Historical Fashion in Detail: The 17th and 18th Centuries 
by Avril Hart and Susan North.
Victoria & Albert Museum, 223 pp., £19.95, October 2000, 1 85177 258 8
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Don We Now Our Gay Appalrel: Gay Men’s Dress in the 20th Century 
by Shuan Cole.
Berg, 224 pp., £42.99, September 2000, 1 85973 415 4
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The Gallery of Fashion 
by Aileen Ribeiro.
Princeton, 256 pp., £60, November 2000, 0 691 05092 9
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Giorgio Armani 
by Germano Celant and Harold Koda.
Abrams, 392 pp., £40, October 2000, 0 8109 6927 0
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... blend of fashion, art, commerce and academic analysis that marks the current cultural scene. How we dress now is a subject that engages semioticians, social historians, political analysts and gender theorists – ‘fashion civilians’, in the words of Colette’s biographer Judith Thurman – as well as superstar designers, magazine editors, high-spending ...

If I Turn and Run

Iain Sinclair: In Hoxton, 1 June 2000

45 
by Bill Drummond.
Little, Brown, 361 pp., £12.99, March 2000, 0 316 85385 2
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Crucify Me Again 
by Mark Manning.
Codex, 190 pp., £8.95, May 2000, 0 18 995814 6
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... Spitalfields, stride for stride in hallucinatory ordinariness, the celebrated living sculptures, Gilbert and George. It’s an English spring afternoon and they have dressed for it in country formal outfits: stout boots, long, brown chequerboard coats with too many buttons, furry headwarmers that flap down over their ears. They look worried – like posh ...

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