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Big Men Falling a Long Way

Christopher Logue, 5 November 2015

... The gifts:    12 cloaks, each with a stitch-worked hunting scene. 12 soutanes, cut from white silk, with silvered hems. 12 lots of butter-coloured, Irish gold. An amber chalice rimmed with platinum – A wedding gift from Tirium of Cos. *    The Citadel.    Carrying a cloth of gold, Weeping, and at the same time, laughing, Watched by his ...
Rembrandt by Himself 
edited by Christopher White and Quentin Buvelot.
Yale, 272 pp., £25, June 1999, 9781857092523
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Rembrandt: The Painter at Work 
by Ernst van de Wetering.
Amsterdam University Press, 340 pp., £52.50, November 1997, 90 5356 239 7
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... With Rembrandt, as with other totem figures of the arts (Shakespeare, Mozart), longstanding reverence from fellow practitioners coincides with immediate appeal to the community at large. In Rembrandt’s case this appeal comes chiefly from his treatment of the human figure, in his portraits especially, and above all, the self-portraits he painted in his old age ...

Diary

Christopher Hitchens: Keywords, 13 September 1990

... early in the crisis, without benefit of astrological clergy of the sort who used to cast the White House rune), he will be able to say that even those who did not will the means consented to will the end. That end, it seems, is either the recuperation of Kuwaiti sovereignty or the removal of Saddam himself – the latter option being known in ...

Diary

Stephen Smith: A 17-year-old murder victim, 5 February 1998

... rear of the New Central Hotel in Blackpool. The police identified the body as that of 17-year-old Christopher Hartley. A minute or two went by before you began to wonder how they’d managed it. Presumably from fingerprints: police sources indicated that Christopher had a criminal record, though they didn’t want to make ...

Something else

Jonathan Coe, 5 December 1991

In Black and White 
by Christopher Stevenson.
New Caxton Press, 32 pp., £1.95
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The Tree of Life 
by Hugh Nissenson.
Carcanet, 159 pp., £6.95, September 1991, 0 85635 874 6
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Cley 
by Carey Harrison.
Heinemann, 181 pp., £13.99, November 1991, 0 434 31368 8
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... a near-infinity of characters, events and incidental detail. Less ambitious, but more subversive, Christopher Stevenson and Hugh Nissenson seek to dismantle the system from within by producing novels which look like something else altogether: a form of experimentation which often has rather puritanical motives behind it – the assumption being either that ...

Lunch Pumphrey, Skeets Benvenuti and a Gang of Other Vicious Tush Hogs

Christopher Tayler: Daniel Woodrell, 10 June 1999

Tomato Red 
by Daniel Woodrell.
No Exit, 225 pp., £10, March 1999, 0 19 019822 2
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... In the rich American vocabulary of abuse for the white rural poor, hicks and hayseeds connote ignorance but also innocence. The Hill-billie of Mathews’s Dictionary of Americanisms (1900) is a cheerful enough character ‘who lives in the hills, has no means to speak of, dresses as he can, talks as he pleases, drinks whiskey when he gets it, and fires off his revolver as the fancy takes him ...

All about Me

Kevin Kopelson: Don Bachardy, 9 April 2015

Hollywood 
by Don Bachardy.
Glitterati, 368 pp., £45, October 2014, 978 0 9913419 2 4
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... man’ in the fall of 1999. And like the doomed protagonist, George, in the novel A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood, I too was gay; I too was an English professor (on a one-term sabbatical back then); I too was middle-aged (at 39 years old then, whereas George is 58); I too was living in Los Angeles (although my teaching position is in Iowa City); I too ...

The Crowe is White

Hilary Mantel: Bloody Mary, 24 September 2009

Fires of Faith: Catholic England under Mary Tudor 
by Eamon Duffy.
Yale, 249 pp., £19.99, June 2009, 978 0 300 15216 6
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... her, she was burned with five other humble people outside the town walls of Colchester. Rawlins White was burned; he was an illiterate Cardiff fisherman. William Hunter was 19 years old, a silk-weaver’s apprentice; a priest sneered at him: ‘It is a merye worlde when such as thou arte shall teache us what is the truth.’ Thomas Tomkins, a weaver, was ...

Diary

Christopher Hitchens: In Washington, 20 August 1992

... least about moderation – is at an end. The polls, which a scant month or so ago were giving the White House to Ross Perot, are now awarding it to ‘The New Covenant’ (a slogan so treacly in its unction that it died a-borning and is never, ever mentioned even for satirical purposes. Its companion exhortation, ‘Putting People First’, is so vacuous that ...

Kissinger’s Crises

Christopher Serpell, 20 December 1979

The White House Years 
by Henry Kissinger.
Weidenfeld/Joseph, 1476 pp., £14.95
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... US government – and the immensely detailed coverage of events which that length implies, The White House Years is hard to lay aside. This quality of readability will come as a surprise to those who have tackled the turgid prose of some of Dr Kissinger’s earlier works, which combined the worst excesses of the American academic style with an uncertain ...

Acapulcalypse

Patrick Parrinder, 23 November 1989

Christopher Unborn 
by Carlos Fuentes, translated by Alfred MacAdam.
Deutsch, 531 pp., £13.95, October 1989, 0 233 98016 4
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The Faber Book of Contemporary Latin American Short Stories 
edited by Nick Caistor.
Faber, 188 pp., £11.99, September 1989, 0 571 15359 3
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Hollywood 
by Gore Vidal.
Deutsch, 543 pp., £12.95, November 1989, 9780233984957
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Oldest living Confederate widow tells all 
by Allan Gurganus.
Faber, 718 pp., £12.99, November 1989, 9780571142019
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... Christopher, the new Columbus, is conceived on a beach at Acapulco at the beginning of 1992. Mexico’s overseas debt stands at $1492 billion, soon to rise to $1992 billion, and the Yucatan peninsula has been ceded to the Club Mediterranée in the vain hope of paying the interest. The population of Mexico, or Makesicko, City has reached thirty million human beings and four times as many rats ...

Mirror Images

Christopher Andrew, 3 April 1986

World of Secrets: The Uses and Limits of Intelligence 
by Walter Laqueur.
Weidenfeld, 404 pp., £25, November 1985, 0 297 78745 4
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... time to denounce publicly those journalists who had dared to print the name of the head of MI6, Christopher Curwen. The heads of the CIA and the KGB, William Casey and Victor Chebrikov, are of course public figures. But that, as Mr Ingham would say, is not the point. What the point is remains obscure. In 1932 the novelist Compton Mackenzie was tried for a ...

Diary

Christopher Hitchens: Reagan and Rambo, 3 October 1985

... between his style and that of Dirty Harry are daily discouraged by a pained, overworked White House press office. The apotheosis of all this (‘Where’s the Rest of Me?’ ‘Let’s Win This One for the Gipper!’) came, Rogin believes, in 1981. ‘To confirm the President’s faith in the power of film, John Hinckley, imitating the plot of the ...

Tio Sam

Christopher Hitchens, 20 December 1990

In the Time of the Tyrants: Panama 1968-89 
by R.M. Koster and Guillermo Sanchez Borbon.
Secker, 430 pp., £17.99, October 1990, 0 436 20016 3
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... a Manichean or Franco-ite anti-Communism to inform him, and Vorster and Verwoerd had the dream of white Christian destiny, and the Greek colonels the rather more insipid rhetoric of ‘Greece for Christian Greeks’, the decay of outright fascist systems was quite a rapid and complete one – much more rapid and complete than Nicos Poulantzas, for ...

The Wrong Stuff

Christopher Hitchens, 1 April 1983

The Purple Decades 
by Tom Wolfe.
Cape, 396 pp., £8.95, March 1983, 0 224 02944 4
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... make a crash landing in the jungle and crawl out of the wreckage in their Abercrombie and Fitch white safari blouses and tan gabardine jodhpurs and stagger into a clearing. They are surrounded by savages with bones through their noses – who immediately bow down and prostrate themselves and commence a strange moaning chant.    The ...

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