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If Goofy Could Talk

Frank Cioffi, 6 April 1995

When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals 
by Jeffrey Masson and Susan McCarthy.
Cape, 268 pp., £14.99, September 1994, 0 224 03554 1
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The Hidden Life of Dogs 
by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas.
Weidenfeld, 148 pp., £12.50, May 1994, 0 297 81461 3
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The Tribe of Tiger 
by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas.
Weidenfeld, 240 pp., £12.99, October 1994, 0 297 81508 3
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... animals being slaughtered to those of the victims of the Holocaust, and of a steer being spared to Anne Frank being spared. They also suggest that there might be an equivalent of Yad Va Shem’s Avenue of Righteousness among the whales: ‘Perhaps whales sing sagas of great acts of sacrifice by whale cows of days gone by.’ Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, who is a ...

Wiggle, Wiggle

Daniel Soar: Elena Ferrante, 21 September 2006

The Days of Abandonment 
by Elena Ferrante, translated by Ann Goldstein.
Europa, 189 pp., £7.99, May 2006, 1 933372 00 1
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... which ‘extended over the void like a diving-board over a pool’, as though tempting her to jump. She leaves the building to follow a lead as to the whereabouts of her now absconded husband and his mistress, and finds herself – at night – in a part of town she doesn’t know. She enters ‘a vast courtyard … the walls studded with balconies, not ...

Self-Illuminated

Gilberto Perez: Godard’s Method, 1 April 2004

Godard: A Portrait of the Artist at 70 
by Colin MacCabe.
Bloomsbury, 432 pp., £25, November 2003, 0 7475 6318 7
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... only shared a part of Godard’s life but also played an important part in his work: Anna Karina, Anne Wiazemsky and Anne-Marie Miéville. MacCabe is reticent about the life. ‘Of the woe that is in marriage it is impossible to speak truly,’ he says of Godard and Karina. ‘All sexual relationships are ultimately private ...

Making strange

John Sutherland, 19 March 1981

Other people 
by Martin Amis.
Cape, 223 pp., £5.95, March 1981, 0 224 01766 7
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The Magic Glass 
by Anne Smith.
Joseph, 174 pp., £6.50, March 1981, 9780718119867
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The Book of Ebenezer Le Page 
by Gerald Edwards.
Hamish Hamilton, 400 pp., £7.50, March 1981, 0 241 10477 7
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Sharpe’s Eagle 
by Bernard Cornwell.
Collins, 266 pp., £6.50, February 1981, 0 00 221997 2
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XPD 
by Len Deighton.
Hutchinson, 397 pp., £6.95, March 1981, 0 09 144570 1
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... through the hands of less enthusiastic publishers has been recorded in various gossip columns. Anne Smith, editor of the Literary Review, is a canny publicist for herself and her journal. Now, at last, we have this already much-read work to review. The Magic Glass is transparently a version of the author’s childhood, some thirty years ago in Fife (here ...

The Dreamings of Dominic Cummings

James Meek, 24 October 2019

... Oxford, Brighton and Glasgow in the rankings of pro-EU vote share. But its Conservative MP, Anne Main, is strongly pro-Brexit, and I was curious to see which way people are likely to jump come the next, surely imminent election.By chance, in between visits to St Albans, business took me to other Remainian ...
... some humour in the stories. KB: In that sense, I didn’t feel there to be that much of a jump between What we talk about and Cathedral. But maybe Cathedral is more explicitly hopeful. RC: I think it is. The stones in Cathedral, most of them – well, some of them anyway – are finally more positive, more affirmative, than the stories in the earlier ...

Men’s Honour, Women’s Lives

Peter Burke, 6 March 1986

Trial by Impotence: Virility and Marriage in Pre-Revolutionary France 
by Pierre Darmon, translated by Paul Keegan.
Chatto, 234 pp., £10.95, March 1985, 9780701129149
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The Boundaries of Eros: Sex, Crime and Sexuality in Renaissance Venice 
by Guido Ruggiero.
Oxford, 223 pp., £25, March 1985, 0 19 503465 1
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The Tuscans and their Families: A Study of the Florentine Catasto of 1427 
by David Herlihy and Christiane Klapisch-Zuber.
Yale, 404 pp., £32, March 1985, 0 300 03056 8
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Women, Family and Ritual in Renaissance Italy 
by Christiane Klapisch-Zuber, translated by Lydia Cochrane.
Chicago, 338 pp., £25.50, September 1985, 0 226 43925 9
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French Women in the Age of Enlightenment 
edited by Samia Spencer.
Indiana, 429 pp., $35, November 1984, 0 253 32481 5
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... hermaphrodites discussed in Darmon’s third chapter. In the 18th century, a certain Grandjean (‘Anne’ or ‘Jean Baptiste’ according to taste), was treated as a ‘profaner of the sacrament of marriage’ and placed in solitary confinement because he/she ‘could be incarcerated neither with men nor with women’. Darmon deals well with the tragic fate ...

Happy Babble

Christopher Prendergast, 7 March 1996

Revolution of the Mind: The Life of André Breton 
by Mark Polizzotti.
Bloomsbury, 754 pp., £25, September 1995, 0 7475 1281 7
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... He soon ditched her; alone and poverty-stricken, she went insane and ended up in the Sainte-Anne psychiatric hospital. Since Breton was as keen on madness as he was on magic (its liberating potential is one of the principal themes of La Conception immaculée and of the essay on the art of the mad, ‘Art of the Insane: Freedom to Roam Abroad’), he ...

I am Gregor Samsa

Eric Korn, 7 January 1993

Virtual Reality 
by Howard Rheingold.
Secker, 415 pp., £19.99, October 1992, 0 436 41212 8
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Cyberpunk 
by Katie Hafner and John Markoff.
Fourth Estate, 368 pp., £14.99, September 1992, 1 872180 94 9
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Glimpses of Heaven, Visions of Hell: Virtual Reality and its Implications 
by Barrie Sherman and Phil Judkins.
Hodder, 224 pp., £12.99, July 1992, 0 340 56905 0
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... the target’s target, the loved one’s love. I find a description of all this, surprisingly, in Anne Carson’s study of Greek lyric poetry, Eros the Bittersweet: Possibilities are projected onto a screen of what is actual and present by means of the poet’s tactic ... That godlike self, never known before, comes into focus and vanishes again in one quick ...

One of Hitler’s Inflatables

Mark Mazower: Quisling, 20 January 2000

Quisling: A Study in Treachery 
by Hans Fredrik Dahl, translated by Anne-Marie Stanton-Ife.
Cambridge, 452 pp., £30, May 1999, 0 521 49697 7
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... and knew he had bound himself in his own mind so tightly to the German mast that he would never jump ship. Quisling’s last visit to Hitler in January 1945 began with the usual mad drafts of peace settlements and European pacts; but it ended, more realistically, with Quisling asking for extra side-arms and ammunition for his personal guard. By now Norway ...

The Real Thing!

Julian Barnes: Visions of Vice, 17 December 2015

Splendeurs et misères: Images de la prostitution 1850-1910 
Musée d’Orsay, until 17 January 2016Show More
Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun 
Grand Palais, until 11 January 2016Show More
Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun 
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 9 February 2016 to 15 May 2016Show More
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... Conscience, Watts’s Found Drowned, Augustus Egg’s three-part Past and Present, then a time jump to Sickert’s prostitute paintings (two of which are shown at the d’Orsay). The subject, when not off-limits, was morally corseted for the Victorians. Here, the opening rooms give us Manet, Lautrec and Degas at the height of their powers; Van Gogh and ...

‘Just get us out’

Ferdinand Mount, 21 March 2019

... known’ Catherine of Aragon and so Henry’s first marriage was unlawful and he was free to marry Anne Boleyn (which he had already done in secret). Within a week, the busy new archbishop had also rammed the Restraint of Appeals Bill through both Houses of Parliament, despite the worries of MPs that Continental merchants would retaliate by slapping high ...

Aviators and Movie Stars

Patricia Lockwood: Carson McCullers, 19 October 2017

Stories, Plays and Other Writings 
by Carson McCullers.
Library of America, 672 pp., £33.99, January 2017, 978 1 59853 511 2
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... she dedicated Reflections in a Golden Eye to her; here she is lying down in front of Katherine Anne Porter’s door at Yaddo; here she is hopelessly infatuated with a random ballerina she saw one night on stage. Here is Reeves entangled with various young women; here he is falling in love with David Diamond, a composer who was a shadow figure in their ...

A Pie Every Night

Deborah Friedell: Schizophrenia in the Family, 18 February 2021

Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family 
by Robert Kolker.
Quercus, 377 pp., £25, April 2020, 978 0 385 54376 7
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... Mind Fixers: Psychiatry’s Troubled Search for the Biology of Mental Illness, the historian Anne Harrington shows how much of Fromm-Reichmann’s renown came from her ‘willingness to do whatever it took to make an emotional connection with her severely disturbed patients. She would sit in their urine to show them she was no better than they were. She ...

Always the Bridesmaid

Terry Castle: Sappho, 30 September 1999

Victorian Sappho 
by Yopie Prins.
Princeton, 278 pp., £40, May 1999, 0 691 05918 7
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... life or literary criticism, to avoid the classic Sapphic double-bind: take the girls or take the jump. None of which is to say this isn’t an arresting book: the most penetrating on the poet since Anne Carson’s Eros the Bittersweet (1987) and Joan DeJean’s Fictions of Sappho (1989). Prins’s immersion in the ...

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