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Diary

Robert Walshe: Bumping into Beckett, 7 November 1985

... my spelling. For years, in the corner of the Left Bank where I do most of my walking, Romain Gary dogged my steps as I dogged his. A sadness overtook him and he is no longer here, but while he was alive he must have written more books on his feet than any man before or since. And he was marvellous to behold. Black cape, black hat, black face, and ...

Diary

Tobias Jones: The Politics of Football, 7 May 1998

... which became coffins’, Colin Ward writes in All Quiet on the Hooligan Front (1996). Lord Justice Taylor produced his interim report on the tragedy on 1 August that year. The chief superintendent in charge, Taylor decided, ‘could not face the enormity of the decision to open the gates and all that flowed there from’. He ...

Insanely Complicated, Hopelessly Inadequate

Paul Taylor: AI, 21 January 2021

The Promise of Artificial Intelligence: Reckoning and Judgment 
by Brian Cantwell Smith.
MIT, 157 pp., £20, October 2019, 978 0 262 04304 5
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Rebooting AI: Building Artificial Intelligence We Can Trust 
by Gary Marcus and Ernest Davis.
Ballantine, 304 pp., £22.50, September 2019, 978 1 5247 4825 8
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The Book of Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect 
by Judea Pearl and Dana Mackenzie.
Penguin, 418 pp., £10.99, May 2019, 978 0 14 198241 0
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... to the kind of computation performed by artificial neural networks. The cognitive scientist Gary Marcus is among the most prominent critics of machine learning as an approach to AI. Rebooting AI, written with Ernest Davis, is a rallying cry to those who still believe in the old religion.Marcus and Davis maintain that, despite the current excitement ...

I’m being a singer

Andrew O’Hagan: Dandy Highwaymen, 8 October 2020

Sweet Dreams: The Story of the New Romantics 
by Dylan Jones.
Faber, 663 pp., £20, October, 978 0 571 35343 9
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... yearning, seeming to feel homesick for somewhere that didn’t exist, and never would. Gary Numan appeared to be trying to find his way back to a planet not yet discovered. I remember bounding downstairs aged 11 because he was on Top of the Pops. He stood on a balcony above a pond of dry ice, wearing a black leather jacket over a black ...

Particularly Anodyne

Richard Norton-Taylor: One bomb in London, 15 July 2021

The Intelligence War against the IRA 
by Thomas Leahy.
Cambridge, 356 pp., £18.99, March 2020, 978 1 108 72040 3
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... state who colluded with loyalist paramilitaries in attacks on republicans. He doesn’t mention Gary Haggarty, a member of the Ulster Volunteer Force and a paid police supergrass, jailed for six and a half years in January 2018 after admitting to more than two hundred crimes over a sixteen-year period, including five murders, 23 counts of conspiracy to ...

Death-Qualified

Gary Indiana: The Brothers Tsarnaev, 10 September 2015

The Brothers: The Road to an American Tragedy 
by Masha Gessen.
Riverhead, 273 pp., £18.45, April 2015, 978 1 59463 264 8
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... Zubeidat was arrested for shoplifting from the Cambridge branch of the department store Lord & Taylor in 2012; she then took off for Dagestan, two weeks after Tamerlan returned from a seven-month visit. With both parents gone, Tamerlan was, by custom, now the head of the family in America, though Bella and Ailina, haphazardly in and out of Cambridge with ...

Many Andies

Andrew O’Hagan, 16 October 1997

Shoes, Shoes, Shoes 
by Andy Warhol.
Bulfinch Press, 35 pp., $10.95, May 1997, 0 8212 2319 4
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Style, Style, Style 
by Andy Warhol.
Bulfinch Press, 30 pp., $10.95, May 1997, 0 8212 2320 8
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Who is Andy Warhol? 
edited by Colin MacCabe, Mark Francis and Peter Wollen.
BFI, 162 pp., £40, May 1997, 9780851705880
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All Tomorrow’s Parties: Billy Name’s Photographs of Andy Warhol’s Factory 
by Billy Name.
frieze, 144 pp., £19.95, April 1997, 0 9527414 1 5
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The Last Party: Studio 54, Disco and the Culture of the Night 
by Anthony Haden-Guest.
Morrow, 404 pp., $25, April 1996, 9780688141516
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... source of all his imaginary friendships – with Errol Flynn and Louella Parsons, Hedda Hopper and Gary Cooper – and the only thing he craved in those Pittsburgh days was the chance to be as lovable as Shirley Temple. The adult Warhol looked as much like death and lived as much by desire. A mobile presentation of 20th-century estrangement. A man in a wig in ...

Some of them can read

Sean Wilsey: Rats!, 17 March 2005

Rats: A Year with New York’s Most Unwanted Inhabitants 
by Robert Sullivan.
Granta, 242 pp., £12.99, January 2005, 1 86207 761 4
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... the domino players – ‘They all screamed,’ Colin said – and disappeared into an empty lot. Gary had a rat infestation in his building. ‘We killed a lot of them,’ he told me excitedly. ‘Mostly mothers and babies!’ I can think of no other mammal about which such a statement could be made with the same guilt-free pleasure. Most of the live rats ...

Outfoxing Hangman

Thomas Jones: David Mitchell, 11 May 2006

Black Swan Green 
by David Mitchell.
Sceptre, 371 pp., £16.99, May 2006, 0 340 82279 1
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... cross continents or span centuries, but records one year – 1982 – in the life of Jason Taylor. Jason lives with his parents and older sister at No. 9 (of course) Kingfisher Meadows: they moved to the village soon after Jason was born and, like other recent arrivals, are quietly resented by the locals. His sister, Julia, is in her last year at ...

Khrush in America

Andrew O’Hagan: Khrushchev in America, 8 October 2009

K Blows Top 
by Peter Carlson.
Old Street, 327 pp., £9.99, July 2009, 978 1 905847 30 3
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... took Khrushchev on with an argument about capitalism. Judy Garland wanted more drinks. Elizabeth Taylor said she wouldn’t have missed it for anything. Then it was off to the set of Can-Can, and its star, Shirley MacLaine. She was certainly more amused than Khrush, who thought it was shockingly decadent to see women dancing with their bottoms sticking ...

The Tower

Andrew O’Hagan, 7 June 2018

... friends saying: ‘This is going to be the best Ramadan yet.’ Next door, Manchester United fan Gary Maunders, a 57-year-old father of four who lived in the area, was spending the evening with Deborah Lamprell, who worked at Holland Park Opera. Yasin El Wahabi went to the mosque to say the prayer that would close his fast. His sister Nur Huda was ...

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