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The God Squad

Andrew O’Hagan: Bushland, 23 September 2004

... of 9/11, implying that it had shown great leadership in finding what happened that day very bad. George W. Bush has boiled doublethink down to a sticky residue: ‘you’re either for us or you’re for the terrorists’ is its central flavour. But choosing New York for the convention was overweening even by Republican standards: like Woody Allen, only less ...

Out of the closet

Tom Paulin, 29 October 1987

Emily Dickinson 
by Helen McNeil.
Virago, 208 pp., £3.50, April 1986, 0 86068 619 1
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Emily Dickinson: Looking to Canaan 
by John Robinson.
Faber, 191 pp., £3.95, August 1986, 0 571 13943 4
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Emily Dickinson: A Poet’s Grammar 
by Christanne Miller.
Harvard, 212 pp., £15.95, July 1987, 0 674 25035 4
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Emily Dickinson: The Poet on the Second Story 
by Jerome Loving.
Cambridge, 128 pp., £20, April 1987, 0 521 32781 4
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... American culture. She searched for role models among famous women writers of her day – George Eliot, the Brontës, Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Yet as Christanne Miller points out, Dickinson didn’t actively support the political campaign for women’s rights ‘or, apparently, sympathise with women ...

The Court

Richard Eyre, 23 September 1993

The Long Distance Runner 
by Tony Richardson.
Faber, 277 pp., £17.50, September 1993, 0 571 16852 3
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... by today’s ‘whenwes’ are the early years of the English Stage Company, started in 1955 by George Devine and Tony Richardson, although the theatre enjoyed at least as luminous a period from 1904 to 1907 when Harley Granville-Barker was its artistic director. The Royal Court is the perfect size for a playhouse; it seats about four hundred people (two ...

This Charming Man

Frank Kermode, 24 February 1994

The Collected and Recollected Marc 
Fourth Estate, 51 pp., £25, November 1993, 1 85702 164 9Show More
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... the Sunday Times Colour Supplement, as well as supplying pocket cartoons for several dailies. Karl Miller, who knew him well both at Cambridge and in London, describes Boxer in his autobiography as ‘both Figaro and the Count’, which may suggest not a blend of patrician wilfulness and backstairs cunning but internal strife between the two. Presumably you ...
Anaïs Nin 
by Deirdre Bair.
Bloomsbury, 654 pp., £20, April 1995, 0 7475 2135 2
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Conversations with Anaïs Nin 
edited by Wendy Dubow.
Mississippi, 254 pp., $37.95, December 1994, 0 87805 719 6
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... of self were inventions of the 20th century. In his snatch of vérité during the film Reds, Henry Miller hazarded the view that people have always done a lot of fucking. Montaigne settled to his solitary task of reflective self-examination in the mid-16th century. Sex and the self as subjects for investigation share the characteristic of always making their ...

Robbing banks

George Melly, 25 June 1992

Magritte 
by David Sylvester.
Thames and Hudson, 352 pp., £45, May 1992, 0 500 09227 3
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Magritte 
by Sarah Whitfield.
South Bank Centre, 322 pp., £18.95, May 1992, 1 85332 087 0
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... taste’ of Magritte’s house in the Rue des Mimosas in suburban Brussels, Jonathan Miller took off into one of his self-intoxicating fantasies. We were there together in the mid-Sixties to make a film for the BBC, and although I had forewarned him, Jonathan couldn’t believe that this overstuffed furniture, this aviary of china birds, these ...

Northern Laughter

Karl Miller: Macrone on Scott, 10 October 2013

The Life of Sir Walter Scott 
by John Macrone, edited by Daniel Grader.
Edinburgh, 156 pp., £65, February 2013, 978 0 7486 6991 2
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... established that the sinner in question was a Miss Sala, aunt of the American literary journalist George Augustus Sala. The aunt lent Macrone £500, which enabled him to set up on his own after the break with Cochrane, and to acquire the copyright for Dickens’s Sketches by Boz. Soon afterwards he married someone else, the daughter of a respectable professor ...

Diary

Karl Miller: Football Tribes, 1 June 1989

... are to be found in the Middle Ages among the fighting families of the Anglo-Scottish Border, as George MacDonald Fraser’s book The Steel Bonnets makes clear.* His synonymous reivers, raiders or riders used to get off their horses and play the football that became soccer and rugby, and they were not afraid of a few fouls: ‘some quarrel happened betwixt ...

Gaol Fever

David Saunders-Wilson, 24 July 1986

Prisons and the Process of Justice 
by Andrew Rutherford.
Oxford, 217 pp., £5.95, June 1986, 0 19 281932 1
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Growing out of Crime: Society and Young People in Trouble 
by Andrew Rutherford.
Penguin, 189 pp., £3.95, January 1986, 0 14 022383 5
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... wander onto the wrong side of the law, and get in trouble with ‘the Bill’. Indeed, both George Cole and Dennis Waterman in their Minder roles are now thought suitable characters to help encourage young people to stay off drugs in a series of commercials sponsored by the DHSS. The thought of dear old Arthur ending up inside for some of his misdeeds ...

Sangvinolence

J.A. Burrow, 21 May 1987

The Mirour of Mans Salvacioune: A Middle English Translation of ‘Speculum Humanae Salvationis’ 
edited by Avril Henry.
Scolar, 347 pp., £35, March 1987, 0 85967 716 8
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... at Canterbury (which in Chaucer they never do). On a visit to the Cathedral, the Pardoner, the Miller, and ‘other lewd sots’ wander about staring up at the stained-glass windows, trying to work out the heraldry and also puzzling over the stories represented there. ‘That man there is carrying a quarter-staff or else a rake handle,’ says ...

At Free Love Corner

Jenny Diski, 30 March 2000

Literary Seductions: Compulsive Writers and Diverted Readers 
by Frances Wilson.
Faber, 258 pp., £12.99, October 1999, 0 571 19288 2
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... already. In an initial compilation chapter Caroline Lamb falls for Byron, and Elizabeth Smart for George Barker, while Mary Godwin and Shelley shadow the literary love of William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft. Anaïs Nin and Henry Miller, Robert Graves and Laura Riding, Nadezhda and Osip Mandelstam, W.B. and Georgie Yeats ...

The Magic Lever

Donald MacKenzie: How the Banks Do It, 9 May 2013

... Commission on Banking Standards have proposed a tougher minimum for British banks of 4 per cent. George Osborne has rejected that proposal. For all its seeming plausibility, the bankers’ view that equity is inherently expensive is fiercely contested by a number of economists. Until now, the controversy has been subterranean – pursued, if anywhere, in the ...

A Rumbling of Things Unknown

Jacqueline Rose: Marilyn Monroe, 26 April 2012

... it might have been because he began by showing no interest in her; he had gone to interview Arthur Miller just before filming started on The Misfits, which would be Monroe’s last finished film. ‘I’ve seen you talk,’ he reports her saying, ‘to everyone but me.’ In fact he couldn’t forgive her for having turned ...

‘I’m glad what I done’

Gavin Millar, 13 October 1988

A Life 
by Elia Kazan.
Deutsch, 848 pp., £17.95, June 1988, 0 233 98292 2
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... arguing about the play: ‘ “What’s it all about?” the man complained to his wife. “Why, George,” she said, “it’s about love and hate and passion and everything – ever since the world began.” “Well,” the man said, “there must be more to it than that.” ’ George was right. There was more to it ...

Great Thoughts

E.S. Turner, 7 May 1981

The Macmillan Treasury of Relevant Quotations 
edited by Edward Murphy.
Macmillan, 658 pp., £3.95, August 1980, 0 333 30038 6
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... is well represented, but 21 of the 26 references against his name relate to works by the unindexed George F. Woodberry (another English humorist, D. B. Wyndham-Lewis, has his entries indexed under Percy Wyndham Lewis). The genuine Wodehouse entries are not really vintage, which may well be the result of trying to find unhackneyed passages. Indeed, the search ...

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