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Black Art

Robin Kinross, 31 March 1988

Twentieth-Century Type Designers 
by Sebastian Carter.
Trefoil, 168 pp., £14.95, April 1987, 0 86294 076 1
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Letters of Credit: A View of Type Design 
by Walter Tracy.
Gordon Fraser, 224 pp., £16.50, July 1986, 0 86092 085 2
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... Press, the Fleuron, the Double Crown Club, the Nonesuch Press. The books by Sebastian Carter and Walter Tracy are products of this culture in its present mutation, after the revolution of offset lithography and photocomposition, and in the middle of the diffusion of computer-assisted and digital typesetting. The travails of Fleet Street have dramatised ...

Green Films

Geoffrey Hawthorn, 1 April 1982

Pursuits of Happiness: The Hollywood Comedy of Remarriage 
by Stanley Cavell.
Harvard, 283 pp., £12.25, December 1981, 0 674 73905 1
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... Class. He is inviting us to an altogether more elevating conversation between C. K. Dexter Haven, Tracy Lord, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. (There is, as Cavell nicely describes it, a raging ‘thirst for talk’ in all these films.) We are hearing about the natural aristocracy that democracy needs. We are hearing about how to find what Matthew Arnold ...

Saint Terence

Jonathan Bate, 23 May 1991

Ideology: An Introduction 
by Terry Eagleton.
Verso, 242 pp., £32.50, May 1991, 0 86091 319 8
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... born of les événements and codified in Criticism and Ideology (1976); the second, inaugurated by Walter Benjamin, or Towards a Revolutionary Criticism (1981), is still firmly Marxist at base, but has a more flexible superstructure shaped by various brands of Post-Structuralism, most notably Deconstruction, feminism and, latterly, the carnivalesque of ...

Squealing to Survive

John Lahr: Clancy was here, 19 July 2018

Black Sunset: Hollywood Sex, Lies, Glamour, Betrayal and Raging Egos 
by Clancy Sigal.
Icon, 352 pp., £12.99, May 2018, 978 1 78578 439 2
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The London Lover: My Weekend that Lasted Thirty Years 
by Clancy Sigal.
Bloomsbury, 274 pp., £20, May 2018, 978 1 4088 8580 2
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... let on that he was going blind. (Now that I’ve read his last books, I wonder who he was playing. Walter Matthau? Spencer Tracy? William Powell?) He wanted all the London news – the old friends, the old neighbourhood, the kids now grown up and, of course, who was writing what – but he kept his own recent private battles ...

Carnival Time

Peter Craven, 18 February 1988

The Remake 
by Clive James.
Cape, 223 pp., £10.95, October 1987, 0 224 02515 5
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In the Land of Oz 
by Howard Jacobson.
Hamish Hamilton, 380 pp., £12.95, September 1987, 0 241 12110 8
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... an innocent abroad. This was not the man who reduced Hepburn to ice when he asked about Spencer Tracy, or had Polanski fidgeting with his soufflé over the jeunes filles en fleurs. But I suppose it’s true that the London interviewer begot the Australian chat-show host. The seeds of non-being were always there. Stardom and grossness are interchangeable ...

The God Squad

Andrew O’Hagan: Bushland, 23 September 2004

... is himself an experienced military man. Jimmy Carter, Annapolis graduate, is just that.’ Walter Mondale, in 1984, set out to attack Ronald Reagan on Star Wars: ‘Mondale,’ the advert said, ‘an army man, senator on the National Security Council, vice-president. He knows the world for the tough place it is.’ But Reagan had a plan to outspend the ...

Even My Hair Feels Drunk

Adam Mars-Jones: Joy Williams, 2 February 2017

The Visiting Privilege 
by Joy Williams.
Tuskar Rock, 490 pp., £16.99, November 2016, 978 1 78125 746 3
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Ninety-Nine Stories of God 
by Joy Williams.
Tin House, 220 pp., £16.95, July 2016, 978 1 941040 35 5
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... were five weekends that August, and for each one of them Steven invited a different woman up – Tracy, India, Yvette, Aster and Bronwyn.’ The impulse seems less to show off a remarkable ability to particularise character than almost to burlesque it, notably when in another story she dips below the surface of consciousness: That evening everyone drank too ...

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