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Janet Sayers, 20 July 1995

Karen Horney: A Psychoanalyst’s Search for Self-Understanding 
by Bernard Paris.
Yale, 270 pp., £22.50, November 1994, 0 300 05956 6
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... is generated by women’s biology alone, without reference to men. Her latest biographer, Bernard Paris, tells a different story, however: that of a woman who questioned her femininity through self-analysis. The account is woman-centred yet curiously devoid of women, as friends, colleagues or patients. Instead, it transpires, Horney made men her ...

What is this Bernard?

Christopher Hitchens, 10 January 1991

Good and Faithful Servant: The Unauthorised Biography of Bernard Ingham 
by Robert Harris.
Faber, 202 pp., £14.99, December 1990, 0 571 16108 1
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... Street. Here was a then-regular sodality, consisting at different times of Kingsley Amis, Bernard Levin, Robert Conquest, Anthony Powell, Russell Lewis and assorted others, and calling itself with heavy and definite self-mockery ‘Bertorelli’s Blackshirts’. The conversational scheme was simple (I think it had evolved from a once-famous letter to ...

From Notre Dame to Cluny, via a Beehive Hut

John Bossy: Abelard’s Final Fling, 2 July 1998

Abelard: A Medieval Life 
by M.T. Clanchy.
Blackwell, 416 pp., £45, January 1997, 0 631 20502 0
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... from Peter Burke, is thick narrative. First he sets up his characters: Abelard himself; his enemy Bernard of Clairvaux, saint and, on Clanchy’s showing, insufferable rhetorician; his lover, short-lived wife and long-lived correspondent Heloise, niece or daughter and ward of Canon Fulbert of Notre Dame. Then we have the story, which, unlike weaker-minded and ...

En famille

Douglas Johnson, 16 August 1990

Little Gregory 
by Charles Penwarden.
Fourth Estate, 247 pp., £13.99, August 1990, 1 872180 31 0
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... The 15-year-old Muriel, interrogated by four gendarmes, revealed that her brother-in-law, Bernard Laroche, had, on the evening of 16 October, picked up little Grégory in his car and that they all had travelled a certain distance together, towards a bridge. Bernard had then disappeared with Grégory. He came back ...


Bernard Knox, 11 May 1995

The Husbands: An Account of Books III and IV of Homer’s ‘Iliad’ 
by Christopher Logue.
Faber, 55 pp., £6.99, October 1994, 0 571 17198 2
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... The Husbands, is an ‘account’ of Books III and IV. The husbands are presumably Menelaus and Paris; Hector is a prominent figure in the book but no mention is made of his wife. Logue follows the main lines of Homer’s narrative: the agreement to settle the issue of the war by a duel between Menelaus and ...


Robert Walshe: Bumping into Beckett, 7 November 1985

... I have nonetheless managed to enter with the publication of a novel called Wales’ Work.1 In Paris, where I have lived even longer than Graham Greene, avoiding literature is not on. Whether he chooses to or not, the Parisian swims in literature the way his motor-car bathes in traffic. It is not possible to round a corner on a ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Muriel’, 11 August 2016

directed by Alain Resnais.
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... of the whole story. Alphonse wasn’t in Algiers at all, he was failing to a run a restaurant in Paris. It seems as if the old romance that brings him to town has some sort of basis in fact, but beyond that the facts get very hazy. It was a wartime affair, the dates are around 1939 or 1940. Did he leave her, did she leave him? Were certain letters lost in ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Godot on a bike, 5 February 2004

... Bovary, c’est moi’: The Great Characters of Literature and Where They Came From by André Bernard (Norton, $19.95). Literary models don’t get much more famous than the Delamare case: in that (obvious) sense, the pronouncement of Flaubert’s which Bernard takes for his title is transparently absurd. In another (no ...

Too Glorious for Words

Bernard Porter: Lawrence in Arabia, 3 April 2014

Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East 
by Scott Anderson.
Atlantic, 592 pp., £25, March 2014, 978 1 78239 199 9
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... in a single five-minute conversation between the prime ministers of Britain and France’ at the Paris peace talks. The Middle East (or most of it) was parcelled out among the victorious powers – the ‘Great Loot’, as it was called at the time. Lawrence’s Arab friends thought he had betrayed them. He felt he had too. He never recovered from the sense ...

To the crows!

James Davidson, 27 January 1994

The Oldest Dead White European Males, and Other Reflections on the Classics 
by Bernard Knox.
Norton, 144 pp., £12.95, September 1993, 0 393 03492 5
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... concern – campus politics. Taking as his title ‘The Oldest Dead White European Males’, Bernard Knox addressed the impact made on a conservative discipline of new methods and concerns: the anthropology-influenced work of the Paris circle of Pierre Vidal-Naquet and J.-P. Vernant, ‘militant feminists’ and ...

Golf Grips and Swastikas

William Feaver: Francis Bacon’s Litter, 26 February 2009

Francis Bacon: Incunabula 
edited by Martin Harrison and Rebecca Daniels.
Thames and Hudson, 224 pp., £39.95, September 2008, 978 0 500 09344 3
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... against the dummy of a book on his work and his sources put together in the late 1980s by Bruce Bernard, the layouts for which paired paintings to photographs. Not that those involved in the project (least of all Bruce Bernard, a dedicated admirer) intended to downgrade the artist; it was just that, heady with the ...

Self-Made Man

Ruth Bernard Yeazell: Edith Wharton’s Domestic Arrangements, 5 April 2007

Edith Wharton 
by Hermione Lee.
Chatto, 853 pp., £25, February 2007, 978 0 7011 6665 6
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... the 35-room mansion known as The Mount in Lenox, Massachusetts – and eventually by apartments in Paris, an 18th-century villa near Fontainebleau, and the Provençal house that she named Ste-Claire-le-Château, built on the site of a 17th-century convent in the old part of Hyères. Only The Mount was constructed from scratch, but all bore the unmistakeable ...

Pornography and Feminism

Bernard Williams, 17 March 1983

... Deep Throat. It was dealt with by a special administrative decree, which confined its showing in Paris to two art houses – a restriction which was firmly enforced. This slip actually shows a serious misunderstanding of French attitudes to pornography and its relations to culture. They came out well in a conversation that some of us on the Committee on ...

‘I can’t go on like this’

Ruth Bernard Yeazell, 19 January 1989

The Letters of Edith Wharton 
edited by R.W.B. Lewis and Nancy Lewis.
Simon and Schuster, 654 pp., £16.95, October 1988, 0 671 69965 2
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Women Artists, Women Exiles: ‘Miss Grief’ and Other Stories 
by Constance Fenimore Woolson, edited by Joan Myers Weimer.
Rutgers, 341 pp., $42, December 1988, 0 8135 1347 2
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... and with great enjoyment in French and Italian, and perhaps above all in German: one letter to Bernard Berenson speaks nostalgically of returning to her adolescent love for the 13th-century Minneleider and the Old Icelandic Edda; in another, she picks up Nietzsche’s Jenseits von Gut und Böse as a ‘diversion’ from her own writing and finds it ...

Seriously ugly

Gabriele Annan, 11 January 1990

Weep no more 
by Barbara Skelton.
Hamish Hamilton, 166 pp., £14.95, November 1989, 0 241 12200 7
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... too, and what is more, on the first night of our honeymoon, my husband and I dined with him in Paris. There’s showing off for you. Skelton never shows off. I am not sure whether psychoanalysis recognises a beauty-and-the-beast complex, but it exists. A penchant for Stroheim is a symptom of it, and among the many men in Skelton’s life, the three who got ...

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