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Music and Beyond

Hans Keller, 21 October 1982

Hanns Eisler: Political Musician 
by Albrecht Betz, translated by Bill Hopkins.
Cambridge, 326 pp., £25, June 1982, 0 521 24022 0
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Music and Political: Collected Writings 1953-81 
by Hans Werner Henze, translated by Peter Labanyi.
Faber, 286 pp., £15, July 1982, 0 571 11719 8
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Vindications: Essays on Romantic Music 
by Deryck Cooke and Bryan Magee.
Faber, 226 pp., £12.50, July 1982, 0 571 11795 3
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... the String Trio define with quasi-mathematical precision. It is, incidentally, Peter Labanyi, not Bill Hopkins, who rightly translates ‘committed’; Bill Hopkins turns it into the foreign-sounding ‘engaged’. And while both translations seem competent, Labanyi’s is the more natural. But then he could no ...

Starting up

Peter Clarke, 6 November 1986

The German Slump: Politics and Economics 1924-1936 
by Harold James.
Oxford, 469 pp., £30, March 1986, 0 19 821972 5
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The Making of Keynes’s General Theory 
by Richard Kahn.
Cambridge, 327 pp., £20, May 1984, 9780521253734
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Towards the Managed Economy: Keynes, the Treasury and the Fiscal Policy Debate of the 1930s 
by Roger Middleton.
Methuen, 244 pp., £25, September 1985, 0 416 35830 6
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Keynes and his Contemporaries 
edited by G.C. Harcourt.
Macmillan, 195 pp., £22.50, October 1985, 0 333 34687 4
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The Policy Consequences of John Maynard Keynes 
edited by Harold Wattel.
Macmillan, 157 pp., £29.50, April 1986, 0 333 41340 7
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... price controls, forced savings found their outlet in public spending, and devices like the Mefo-Bill helped conceal the costs of the rearmament programme. For it was rearmament which represented the big increase in spending and the crucial stimulus to the economy. Its importance may have been obfuscated because it was part of the Nazi scenario to disguise ...

Who gets to trip?

Mike Jay: Psychedelics, 27 September 2018

How to Change Your Mind: The New Science of Psychedelics 
by Michael Pollan.
Allen Lane, 465 pp., £20, May 2018, 978 0 241 29422 2
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Blue Dreams: The Science and the Story of the Drugs that Changed Our Minds 
by Lauren Slater.
Little, Brown, 400 pp., £20, February 2018, 978 0 316 37064 6
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... Wouldn’t you like​ to see a positive LSD story on the news?’ asked the late comedian Bill Hicks in one of his most famous routines. ‘Today, a young man on acid realised that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration – that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there’s no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we’re the imagination of ourselves ...

Fanfares

Ian Sansom, 11 December 1997

The Bounty 
by Derek Walcott.
Faber, 78 pp., £14.99, July 1997, 0 571 19130 4
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... goes hand in hand with breeding (whence the popularity of Stephen Fry). Walcott does not fit the bill: he’s an outsider and an overreacher and his work betrays a definite lack of cool; it sparkles and it shines. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There is a 1936 recording of Ella Fitzgerald with Chick Webb and his Orchestra performing the song ...

Had he not run

David Reynolds: America’s longest-serving president, 2 June 2005

Franklin Delano Roosevelt 
by Roy Jenkins.
Pan, 208 pp., £7.99, May 2005, 0 330 43206 0
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Franklin D. Roosevelt 
by Patrick Renshaw.
Longman, 223 pp., $16.95, December 2003, 0 582 43803 9
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Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom 
by Conrad Black.
Weidenfeld, 1280 pp., £17.99, October 2004, 0 7538 1848 5
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... him, including his ‘Brains Trust’ of Columbia University academics and advisers such as Harry Hopkins, a former social worker who became the president’s confidant after the death of Louis Howe in April 1936. Inventive, loyal and industrious, Hopkins worked himself to death in Roosevelt’s service at home and ...

The Olympics Scam

Iain Sinclair: The Razing of East London, 19 June 2008

... club in the old Limehouse Town Hall. I attended this public debate and heard the Hackney solicitor Bill Parry-Davies describe, quietly, remorselessly, how, after a series of mysterious fires, Dalston Lane had lost its Victorian theatre and sections of Georgian terrace, facilitating the new transport hub that would service the vital axes, south to the ...

A Bit Like Gulliver

Stephanie Burt: Seamus Heaney’s Seamus Heaney, 11 June 2009

Stepping Stones: Interviews with Seamus Heaney 
by Dennis O’Driscoll.
Faber, 524 pp., £22.50, November 2008, 978 0 571 24252 8
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The Cambridge Companion to Seamus Heaney 
edited by Bernard O’Donoghue.
Cambridge, 239 pp., £45, December 2008, 978 0 521 54755 0
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... by place, from Mossbawn to St Columb’s College in Derry, where Heaney discovered Wordsworth and Hopkins, and then to Queen’s University in Belfast. ‘When I wrote my first poems as an undergraduate,’ Heaney says, ‘I wrote in Hopkins-speak.’ That early affinity sprang not only from ...

The End

James Buchan, 28 April 1994

The City of London. Vol. I: A World of Its Own, 1815-1890 
by David Kynaston.
Chatto, 497 pp., £25, February 1994, 0 7011 6094 2
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... reproduction is poor so one can’t read the writing on the paper but it is presumably a foreign bill of exchange; and the way he holds it, without invitation or anxiety, there before his favourite pillar on ’Change, distills his character for me. There is some anti-semitic caricature in the face, but what was mere anti-semitism to such a person? The ...

Diary

Elisa Segrave: Revved Up on Solpadeine, 22 July 1993

... thinks this is terribly vulgar and refuses to do it. Also, he says, according to research at Johns Hopkins University, people who change sex quite often commit suicide. I feel worried for Caroline, who at the moment looks so happy. Monday. I am out of hospital but I missed the literary party. Still, my cousin Cate is giving one for single people. I am on three ...

The Academy of Lagado

Edward Said: The US Administration’s misguided war, 17 April 2003

... who made his name as a pro-Palestinian commentator. But by the mid-1980s, he was teaching at Johns Hopkins; he’d become a fervent anti-Arab ideologue and had been taken up by the right-wing Zionist lobby (he now works for Martin Peretz and Mort Zuckerman) and the Council on Foreign Relations. He is fond of describing himself as a non-fiction Naipaul and ...

Poetry to Thrill an Oyster

Gregory Woods: Fitz-Greene Halleck, 16 November 2000

The American Byron: Homosexuality and the Fall of Fitz-Greene Halleck 
by John W.M. Hallock.
Wisconsin, 226 pp., £14.95, April 2000, 0 299 16804 2
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... name that may have doubled as slang for an erect penis since the 17th century’) and his brother Bill, who runs away to sea. So far so routine. But Hallock interposes a jaunty paragraph on sodomy and piracy ‘on the high seas’ in the 17th and 18th centuries, before leaping to the conclusion that ‘by the age of 13, Halleck’s family values had ...

Pound & Co.

August Kleinzahler: Davenport and Kenner, 26 September 2019

Questioning Minds: Vols I-II: The Letters of Guy Davenport and Hugh Kenner 
edited by Edward Burns.
Counterpoint, 1817 pp., $95, October 2018, 978 1 61902 181 5
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... offer with the most pay’. He taught there for 27 years; in 1973 Kenner moved on to Johns Hopkins for 17 years, and finally, in 1990, to the University of Georgia for a decade. By 1977, the exchange of letters, which had been frequent and intense, begins to trail off. From 1989 to 2002 they communicated only 11 times in all. Kenner died in ...

His Peach Stone

Christopher Tayler: J.G. Farrell, 2 December 2010

J.G. Farrell in His Own Words: Selected Letters and Diaries 
edited by Lavinia Greacen.
Cork, 464 pp., €19.95, September 2010, 978 1 85918 476 9
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... against mutinous tenant farmers to make a good manager; ‘as for baldly asking a lady to pay her bill, he would as soon have committed sodomy.’ In consequence, his only guests are genteel old women too cash-strapped or confused to move elsewhere. Once the Major has been absorbed into the hotel, his comic-Kafkaesque engagement comes to an end. Angela dies ...

Roaming the Greenwood

Colm Tóibín: A History of Gay Literature: The Male Tradition by Gregory Woods, 21 January 1999

A History of Gay Literature: The Male Tradition 
by Gregory Woods.
Yale, 448 pp., £24.95, February 1998, 0 300 07201 5
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... most of the figures who recreated modern writing were gay, or Irish, or Jewish: Melville, Whitman, Hopkins, James, Yeats, Kafka, Woolf, Joyce, Stein, Beckett, Mann, Proust, Gide, Firbank, Lorca, Cocteau, Auden, Forster, Cavafy. But he would have been slightly unsettled, I think, by the thought of the gay element in this list, and by the idea that in place of ...
Secret Affairs: Franklin Roosevelt, Cordell Hull and Sumner Welles 
by Irwin Gellman.
Johns Hopkins, 499 pp., $29.95, April 1995, 0 8018 5083 5
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Closest Companion: The Unknown Story of the Intimate Friendship between Franklin Roosevelt and Margaret Suckley 
edited by Geoffrey Ward.
Houghton Mifflin, 444 pp., $24.95, April 1995, 0 395 66080 7
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No Ordinary Time. Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War Two 
by Doris Kearns Goodwin.
Simon and Schuster, 759 pp., £18, June 1995, 0 671 64240 5
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The End of Reform 
by Alan Brinkley.
Knopf, 371 pp., $27.50, March 1995, 0 394 53573 1
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... in Europe and the desire to get the Soviet Union into the Pacific war, not because he or Harry Hopkins were tired and ill or because they lacked wise State Department counsel. The political significance of the Welles-Hull debacle lies, for Irving Gellman, in FDR’s ‘divisive management style’, his habit of under-cutting his aides by being unable to ...

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