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At the Movies

Christopher Tayler: ‘Four Lions’, 27 May 2010

Four Lions 
directed by Chris Morris.
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... 2005 London bombers, although that’s not not an issue, as because of the expectations trailing Chris Morris, the film’s director and co-writer. A radio and television auteur whose fans tend to be somewhat evangelistic, Morris became famous as the mastermind and frontman of a series of current affairs parodies, On ...

Cuddlesome

Jenny Diski: Germaine Greer, 8 January 2004

The Boy 
by Germaine Greer.
Thames and Hudson, 256 pp., £29.95, October 2003, 9780500238097
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... between protecting our own socially constructed sensibilities, and protecting children from harm. Chris Morris is the only other person to take this on so directly in his acidulous TV satire on the sentimentality and nonsense-logic surrounding the subject of paedophilia. Not being a national treasure (yet), and not taking refuge in cuteness and art ...

Wobblibility

Christopher Tayler: Aleksandar Hemon, 23 May 2013

The Book of My Lives 
by Aleksandar Hemon.
Picador, 224 pp., £20, March 2013, 978 1 4472 1090 0
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... Work of Alphonse Kauders’, an absurdist recitation pitched somewhere between Roberto Bolaño and Chris Morris, was dreamed up for radio in 1988) but later addressing his displaced existence. The Question of Bruno (2000) and Nowhere Man (2002) made him something more than a name to watch, and since then he’s had his share of American goodies ...

Double Act

Adam Smyth: ‘A Humument’, 11 October 2012

A Humument: A Treated Victorian Novel 
by Tom Phillips.
Thames and Hudson, 392 pp., £14.95, May 2012, 978 0 500 29043 9
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... frequently recalls other masters of strange, urgent sentences: Monty Python; Samuel Beckett; Chris Morris in Blue Jam; and perhaps most vividly of all, Vivian Stanshall in Sir Henry at Rawlinson End. In fact, A Humument is a novel of quotation: not only in the sense that all of its words were written first by Mallock (although not, as Eric ...

In Walthamstow

Rosemary Hill: William Morris, 13 September 2012

... The William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow was reopened on 2 August by Chris Robbins, leader of Waltham Forest Council, who pronounced its refurbishment ‘truly stunning’. He said how ‘extremely proud’ he and his fellow councillors were to have been part of the ‘multimillion-pound development’, which has seen the fine Georgian house that was Morris’s childhood home from 1848 to 1856 ‘restored to its former glory’ and its collections enhanced by a new space for temporary exhibitions, a tea room and a freshly landscaped park ...

The Same Old Solotaire

Peter Wollen, 4 July 1996

‘Salome’ and ‘Under the Hill’ 
by Oscar Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley.
Creation, 123 pp., £7.95, April 1996, 1 871592 12 7
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Aubrey Beardsley: Dandy of the Grotesque 
by Chris Snodgrass.
Oxford, 338 pp., £35, August 1995, 0 19 509062 4
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... to the critic D.S. MacColl that he preferred photogravure to wood-cuts, ‘as he had no use for Morris’s hidebound mannerisms’, thereby jettisoning the artisanal foundation of Morris’s aesthetic. When a friend of Beardsley’s showed Morris a print from Le Morte D’Arthur, ...

At Tate Britain

Brian Dillon: ‘Phantom Ride’, 4 July 2013

... just convincing enough to make Picasso’s Charnel House or a group of mirrored cubes by Robert Morris seem not quite right. The combination of ‘real’ footage, digital effects and a complexly motile camera makes for seductive and startling effects, as the ghosts of exhibitions and installations past appear and swiftly vanish. There’s some knowing ...

A New Twist in the Long Tradition of the Grotesque

Marina Warner: The monstrousness of Britart, 13 April 2000

High Art Lite: British Art in the 1990s 
by Julian Stallabrass.
Verso, 342 pp., £22, December 1999, 1 85984 721 8
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This is Modern Art 
by Matthew Collings.
Weidenfeld, 270 pp., £20, June 1999, 0 297 84292 7
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... like Manager of Decommissioned Underground Material and I had gone to see him with Michael Morris, one of the directors of Artangel, a company that puts on art events in different media in unusual places. He was trying to get permission to use the runnels and platforms for The Vertical Line, a performance piece devised by John Berger. In Ways of ...

Diary

James Wood: These Etonians, 4 July 2019

... Back in 2012, a bunch of proto-Brexiteers – Kwasi Kwarteng, Priti Patel, Dominic Raab, Chris Skidmore and Elizabeth Truss – slapdashed a manifesto together called Britannia Unchained, the gist of which is that the British have become squalid, lazy gits, getting fat and studying useless subjects like psychology and desiring only to be footballers ...

Those bastards, we’ve got to cut them back

Daniel S. Greenberg: Bush’s Scientists, 22 September 2005

The Republican War on Science 
by Chris Mooney.
Basic Books, 288 pp., £14.99, October 2005, 0 465 04675 4
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... honours for science. The story of how they achieved this feat of estrangement is told in detail by Chris Mooney, a Washington journalist, in The Republican War on Science, his first book. Mooney has examined both open and concealed records and conducted interviews far and wide. The result is a valuable chronicle of Bush’s persistent efforts to ...

Pamphleteer’s Progress

Patrick Parrinder, 7 February 1985

The Function of Criticism: From the ‘Spectator’ to Post-Structuralism 
by Terry Eagleton.
Verso, 133 pp., £15, September 1984, 0 86091 091 1
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... spirit. Eagleton’s account of the growth of English studies leans heavily on research done by Chris Baldick and published as The Social Mission of English Criticism. Indisputably his own, however, are such jeux d’esprit as the descriptions of the Scrutiny project as ‘at once hair-raisingly radical and really rather absurd’, and of the founders of ...

It could be me

Joanna Biggs: Sheila Heti, 24 January 2013

How Should a Person Be? 
by Sheila Heti.
Harvill Secker, 306 pp., £16.99, January 2013, 978 1 84655 754 5
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... that her ‘prose is what one might charitably call basic’. The radical feminist artist Chris Kraus compared the book to Mary McCarthy’s The Company She Keeps for the way it ‘exuberantly appropriates’ the tired genre of the ‘male, coming-of-age saga’. Reviewers described wanting to throw the book across the room or to stock up on copies to ...

Full of Glory

John Mullan: The Inklings, 19 November 2015

The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings 
by Philip Zaleski and Carol Zaleski.
Farrar, Straus, 644 pp., £11.20, June 2015, 978 0 374 15409 7
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... spirit of their gatherings: ‘To the Bird and Baby where I was joined by Humphrey, Tollers, and Chris. Tollers looking wonderfully improved by his restcure at Stonyhurst, and in great spirits (having packed his wife off to Brighton for ten days).’ It was from these meetings that Lewis’s children’s stories and Tolkien’s fantasy fiction arose. When ...
... crisis, and he didn’t solve the problem when the drum we’d schlepped back from Morocco in our Morris 1000 had to be divvied up, but out he came anyway, along with the biscuits. Oh, Doris would say to anyone in any kind of emotional trouble, why can’t people just be sensible? Once or twice I shouted back: because we’re people. The answer carried no ...

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