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Diary

Alan Bennett: What I did in 2014, 8 January 2015

... books and papers so that it can be used for the filming.I first saw the house in 1968. Jonathan Miller lives in the same street and Rachel, his wife, saw the ‘For Sale’ sign go up. It belonged to an American woman who kept parrots and there were perches in the downstairs room and also in its small garden. Slightly older than the other houses in the ...

Dev and Dan

Tom Dunne, 21 April 1988

The Hereditary Bondsman: Daniel O’Connell, 1775-1829 
by Oliver MacDonagh..
Weidenfeld, 328 pp., £16.95, January 1988, 0 297 79221 0
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Eamon de Valera 
by Owen Dudley Edwards.
University of Wales Press, 161 pp., £19.95, November 1987, 0 7083 0986 0
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Nationalism and Popular Protest in Ireland 
edited by C.H.E. Philpin.
Cambridge, 466 pp., £27.50, November 1987, 0 521 26816 8
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Northern Ireland: Soldiers talking, 1969 to Today 
by Max Arthur.
Sidgwick, 271 pp., £13.95, October 1987, 0 283 99375 8
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War as a Way of Life: A Belfast Diary 
by John Conroy.
Heinemann, 218 pp., £12.95, February 1988, 0 434 14217 4
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... Edwards offer new interpretations of two men, each of whom dominated the politics of his time, Daniel O’Connell and Eamon de Valera. Their relevance to the current crisis is most apparent in the way each had to come to terms with the problems which sectarian polarisation, on the one hand, and militant extremism, on the other, pose for Irish ...

Diary

Ian Sansom: I was a teenage evangelist, 8 July 2004

... or cupboard-top, of books: Ian McEwan’s First Love, Last Rites, Junkie, Norman Mailer, Henry Miller, Lolita, books which I had lovingly collected from jumble sales and Oxfam shops, and which I now had a strong sense were somehow ‘wrong’. We’d done ‘The Wife of Bath’s Tale’ for O-level English, so that stayed. Nineteen Eighty-Four was ...

Antigone on Your Knee

Terry Eagleton, 6 February 2020

A Cultural History of Tragedy: Vols I-VI 
edited by Rebecca Bushnell.
Bloomsbury Academic, 1302 pp., £395, November 2019, 978 1 4742 8814 9
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... scenery reached its apogee in Palladio’s Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza in March 1585, and that Daniel Casper von Lohenstein’s Sophonisbe was the last Silesian tragedy. In a similar scholarly spirit, the volume on the age of Enlightenment supplies us with graphs of the number of tragedies produced by Molière’s theatre company in certain venues, without ...

‘I’m not racist, but …’

Daniel Trilling, 18 April 2019

Whiteshift: Populism, Immigration and the Future of White Majorities 
by Eric Kaufman.
Allen Lane, 617 pp., £25, October 2018, 978 0 241 31710 5
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National Populism: The Revolt against Liberal Democracy 
by Roger Eatwell and Matthew Goodwin.
Pelican, 384 pp., £9.99, October 2018, 978 0 241 31200 1
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... or tolerated. Eatwell and Goodwin take their moral bearings from the Oxford philosopher David Miller, ‘who has defended the right of states to control their borders and exclude immigrants on the basis of community goals and preferences’. It is impossible, they write, ‘for reasonable people not to be deeply saddened by events such as drownings in the ...

Bristling Ermine

Jeremy Harding: R.W. Johnson, 4 May 2017

Look Back in Laughter: Oxford’s Postwar Golden Age 
by R.W. Johnson.
Threshold, 272 pp., £14.50, May 2015, 978 1 903152 35 5
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How Long Will South Africa Survive? The Looming Crisis 
by R.W. Johnson.
Hurst, 288 pp., £12.99, July 2016, 978 1 84904 723 4
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... pieces for the LRB, as an Oxford scholar whose politics were to the left of the editor’s (Karl Miller favoured the SDP, while Johnson favoured Labour). Nowadays I think he’d still say he was on the left but it isn’t obvious what that would mean, in his case especially. Like many people, he prides himself on describing things as they really are.As the ...

Overindulgence

Ruth Bernard Yeazell: A.S. Byatt, 28 November 2002

A Whistling Woman 
by A.S. Byatt.
Chatto, 422 pp., £16.99, September 2002, 0 7011 7380 7
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... Cambridge to make an unexpected but erotically satisfying marriage to a sceptical cleric named Daniel Orton. But with Stephanie’s abrupt death at the conclusion of Still Life (1985) – she is electrocuted while attempting to rescue a bird that has taken refuge beneath her refrigerator – the series has increasingly taken on the shape of an extended ...

Above the Consulting-Room

John Sturrock, 26 March 1992

Le Séminaire, Vol VIII 
by Jacques Lacan.
Seuil, 464 pp., frs 190, March 1991, 2 02 012502 1
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Le Séminaire, Vol XVII 
by Jacques Lacan.
Seuil, 251 pp., frs 140, March 1991, 2 02 013044 0
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Lacan 
by Malcolm Bowie.
Fontana, 256 pp., £5.99, February 1991, 0 00 686076 1
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Return to Freud: Jacques Lacan’s Dislocation of Psychoanalysis 
by Samuel Weber.
Cambridge, 184 pp., £30, November 1991, 0 521 37410 3
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... was teaching back in 1956? The rumoured reason is that the editor of the series, Jacques-Alain Miller, Lacan’s son-in-law, insists on doing all the editorial work himself and since the publication of the Séminaires is only a part of his global responsibilities as the animateur of a posthumous Lacanism they are appearing at a dismal rate ...

Nutty Professors

Hal Foster: ‘Lingua Franca’, 8 May 2003

Quick Studies: The Best of ‘Lingua Franca’ 
edited by Alexander Star.
Farrar, Straus, 514 pp., $18, September 2002, 0 374 52863 2
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... The cultural strategy of the Reaganite Right was prepared as early as 1976 by Daniel Bell in Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism. Blame the counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s – rebellious students, civil rights agitators, wild-eyed feminists – for the grievous decline in public morality, cultural literacy, educational standards and everything else that has gone to hell: blame them and not, say, the cultural contradictions of capitalism ...

Anger and Dismay

Denis Donoghue, 19 July 1984

Literary Education: A Revaluation 
by James Gribble.
Cambridge, 182 pp., £16.50, November 1983, 0 521 25315 2
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Reconstructing Literature 
edited by Laurence Lerner.
Blackwell, 218 pp., £15, August 1983, 0 631 13323 2
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Counter-Modernism in Current Critical Theory 
by Geoffrey Thurley.
Macmillan, 216 pp., £20, October 1983, 0 333 33436 1
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... Poetics he regards as ‘woolly rhapsodising’. He quotes in silence a passage from J. Hillis Miller as if it spoke nonsense for itself. But Gribble doesn’t make the necessary distinctions. He lumps Structuralism and Deconstruction together, forgetting that the most severe attack on Structuralism has come from Derrida’s chapter on Lévi-Strauss in De ...

Old Iron-Arse

Simon Collier: Latin America’s independence, 9 August 2001

Liberators: Latin America’s Struggle for Independence, 1810-30 
by Robert Harvey.
Murray, 561 pp., £25, May 2000, 0 7195 5566 3
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... Bolívar was indomitable, however. ‘Always great, he was greatest in adversity’ – so thought Daniel O’Leary, his Irish aide-de-camp. He understood (or anyway learned) when boldness would pay off, or stand a good chance of paying off. In 1819, he decided to bypass the main concentration of Spanish strength in Venezuela and to liberate neighbouring, more ...

Even Uglier

Terry Eagleton: Music Hall, 20 December 2012

My Old Man: A Personal History of Music Hall 
by John Major.
Harper, 363 pp., £20, September 2012, 978 0 00 745013 8
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... It was the 19th-century Irish statesman Daniel O’Connell who first turned politics into mass entertainment. His so-called Monster Meetings were carnivals as much as demonstrations, and mark the beginning of mass politics in the modern age. When he wasn’t haranguing thousands of small farmers about Catholic emancipation or the repeal of the Union, O’Connell practised as a barrister, the most theatrical of the professions ...

Roth, Pinter, Berlin and Me

Christopher Tayler: Clive James, 11 March 2010

The Blaze of Obscurity: The TV Years 
by Clive James.
Picador, 325 pp., £17.99, October 2009, 978 0 330 45736 1
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... late 1960s Cambridge before setting up shop as a pen for hire in London. Working chiefly for Karl Miller, Terence Kilmartin and Ian Hamilton, on the Listener, the Observer and the New Review, he quickly made a name for himself as a versatile, witty literary journalist with a non-waffling mode of address that was thought to be distinctively, and ...

I want my wings

Andrew O’Hagan: The Last Tycoons, 3 March 2016

West of Eden: An American Place 
by Jean Stein.
Cape, 334 pp., £20, February 2016, 978 0 224 10246 9
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... speaks to the butlers and the chauffeurs, the studio wives, the bit-part players, to the Arthur Miller, Dennis Hopper and Gore Vidal part of the universe, and none of them lets her down, or lets her off. It is a wild compendium of stories about what it is to be a child in a world of childish adults, and her book feels political, a meditation on the moral ...

He had fun

Anthony Grafton: Athanasius Kircher, 7 November 2013

Egyptian Oedipus: Athanasius Kircher and the Secrets of Antiquity 
by Daniel Stolzenberg.
Chicago, 307 pp., £35, April 2013, 978 0 226 92414 4
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Exploring the Kingdom of Saturn: Kircher’s Latium and Its Legacy 
by Harry Evans.
Michigan, 236 pp., £63.50, July 2012, 978 0 472 11815 1
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... largely derivative, their style crude, and no subsequent researcher has turned up the actual book. Daniel Stolzenberg, a historian (and historian of science) at Davis, gives good reasons for believing that Kircher did not invent it wholesale, but the possibility remains. Even fellow Jesuits who read and censored his massive books complained about his sloppy ...

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