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It isn’t your home

Toril Moi: Sarraute gets her due, 10 September 2020

Nathalie Sarraute: A Life Between 
by Ann Jefferson.
Princeton, 425 pp., £34, August, 978 0 691 19787 6
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... such political uses, we should acknowledge that Sarraute herself never thought of it in those ways.Ann Jefferson’s​ biography, Nathalie Sarraute: A Life Between, which has already appeared in French, is a major contribution to Sarraute studies. A distinguished scholar of French, but once a student of Russian (Sarraute was born near ...

Post-Cullodenism

Robert Crawford, 3 October 1996

The Poems of Ossian and Related Works 
by James Macpherson, edited by Howard Gaskill.
Edinburgh, 573 pp., £16.95, January 1996, 0 7486 0707 2
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... languages; Byron’s ‘Imitation of Macpherson’s Ossian’; Goethe’s Werther; and Thomas Jefferson, who said that Ossian was better than Homer. It was also Ossian by way of Matthew Arnold who structured the Celtic Twilight in-Ireland and Scotland. Despite all this Macphcrson’s texts have been ignored for much of this century, partly because his ...

Soul Bellow

Craig Raine, 12 November 1987

More die of heartbreak 
by Saul Bellow.
Alison Press/Secker, 335 pp., £10.95, October 1987, 0 436 03962 1
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... beautiful as the dawn”. These values of “art” persisted, and in the five years after I left Ann Arbor, I wrote exactly seven stories. In terms of experience, they were probably the richest years of my life: I was engrossed in a young, deep, complex, and stormy marriage; we lived mostly in the Village but also in Berkeley and in Maine; I worked in ...

At the Hop

Sukhdev Sandhu, 20 February 1997

Black England: Life before Emancipation 
by Gretchen Gerzina.
Murray, 244 pp., £19.99, October 1995, 0 7195 5251 6
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Reconstructing the Black Past: Blacks in Britain 1780-1830 
by Norma Myers.
Cass, 162 pp., £27.50, July 1996, 0 7146 4576 1
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... of Sancho and Equiano are sterilised. Neither their achievements as writers (at a time when Thomas Jefferson was arguing that blacks were incapable of creative thought), nor their complexities, contradictions and shortcomings are explored. Depriving them of context and individuality, ignoring the comedy in their work and parading them in almost abstract terms ...

Jabs

Richard Horton, 8 October 1992

Edward Jenner 1749-1823 
by Richard Fisher.
Deutsch, 361 pp., £20, July 1991, 0 233 98681 2
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... the unsightly pits usually left by the smallpox virus. The Jesty family employed two milkmaids, Ann Notley and Mary Reade, who had both nursed relatives with smallpox and yet had not contracted the disease. The average life expectancy one could hope for in the mid-18th century was little more than forty years and smallpox killed one in three of those it ...

Think Tiny

Mark Ford: Nancification, 17 July 2008

The Nancy Book 
by Joe Brainard.
Siglio, 144 pp., $39.50, April 2008, 978 0 9799562 0 1
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... Nancy Was President Roosevelt’ (a grinning Nancy replacing Teddy Roosevelt between Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln on Mount Rushmore); ‘If Nancy Was a Drawing by Leonardo da Vinci’ (her stolid features and purposeful stomp sketched on a sheet of Old Master drawings between noble profiles, sorrowing Madonnas, plaintive putti and snarling ...

Our Island Story

Stefan Collini: The New DNB, 20 January 2005

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 
edited by H.C.G. Matthew and Brian Harrison.
Oxford, sixty volumes, £7,500, September 2004, 9780198614111
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... to be made, given that relations remained so close for so long? Presumably, we have Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826, ‘revolutionary politician and president of the United States’) but not Dwight Eisenhower because the former was born in what was still a British colony, though the latter spent more time in this country and arguably had a greater effect ...

Ways to Be Pretentious

Ian Penman, 5 May 2016

M Train 
by Patti Smith.
Bloomsbury, 253 pp., £18.99, October 2015, 978 1 4088 6768 6
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Collected Lyrics 1970-2015 
by Patti Smith.
Bloomsbury, 303 pp., £20, October 2015, 978 1 4088 6300 8
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... you know it she’s graveside again, the Intercity angel of death in dark Helmut Lang pants and Ann Demeulemeester cloak. It’s all so smooth and hassle-free it could be a 1980s edition of the old BBC Holiday programme. While Smith certainly wouldn’t give Mariah Carey anything to worry about in the diva stakes, she is still a well-known rock star, and ...

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