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Horror like Thunder

Germaine Greer: Lucy Hutchinson, 21 June 2001

Order and Disorder 
by Lucy Hutchinson, edited by David Norbrook.
Blackwell, 272 pp., £55, January 2001, 0 631 22061 5
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... In 1679 a small book with the resonant title Order and Disorder; or, the world made and undone was published in London. The title was intended to touch a nerve. The Restoration crisis had never gone away; memories of the disorder of the Civil War and Interregnum were still green. Peers and Commons were united in their struggle to exclude a Catholic heir to the throne, while the travelling roadshow organised by Shaftesbury and Buckingham around the King’s bastard son, James, Duke of Monmouth, was playing to rapturous crowds ...

Doomed to Sincerity

Germaine Greer: Rochester as New Man, 16 September 1999

The Works of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester 
edited by Harold Love.
Oxford, 712 pp., £95, April 1999, 0 19 818367 4
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... For his half-niece Anne Wharton, writing immediately after his death in 1680 at the age of 33, the poet Rochester was the guide who would have led her ‘right in wisdom’s way’: He civilised the rude and taught the young, Made fools grow wise, such artful music hung Upon his useful, kind, instructing tongue. Rochester’s modern editors and biographers are well aware of Wharton’s elegy, but they are not interested in the personage it describes ...

The One-Eyed World of Germaine Greer

Brigid Brophy, 22 November 1979

The Obstacle Race: The Fortunes of Women Painters and Their Work 
by Germaine Greer.
Secker, 373 pp., £12.50, November 1979, 1 86064 677 8
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... including the massive ones of architecture and gardening, minor arts.’ With this one sentence Germaine Greer provokes several queries and a vehement expostulation. What is ‘prestigiousness’ and how does it differ from the prestige in the earlier part of the sentence? Why single out portable paintings, a class that includes not only easel pictures ...

Hugging the cats

John Bayley, 14 June 1990

Poems 
by Gay Clifford.
188 pp., £14.99, May 1990, 0 241 12976 1
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Selected Poems 1940 – 1989 
by Allen Curnow.
Viking, 209 pp., £15.99, May 1990, 0 670 83007 0
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Collected Poems and Selected Translations 
by Norman Cameron, edited by Warren Hope and Jonathan Barker.
Anvil, 160 pp., £14.95, May 1990, 0 85646 202 0
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Collected Poems 
by Enoch Powell.
Bellew, 198 pp., £9.95, April 1990, 0 947792 36 8
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... a brilliant and effective one, a lecturer in English at Warwick, where she was a colleague of Germaine Greer, and the author of a subtle and distinguished book of criticism called Transformations of Allegory. She was also a poet, who passionately wanted to be a poet, and to combine it with being a perfect teacher, researcher, lover, mother, perhaps ...

Thought Control

Michael Mason, 15 March 1984

Sex and Destiny: The Politics of Human Fertility 
by Germaine Greer.
Secker, 469 pp., £9.95, March 1984, 0 436 18801 5
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... Germaine Greer has three main propositions to advance in her new book. These are, first, that genital, recreational sex is overvalued in our culture. Second, that birth-control programmes in the Third World are unnecessary, ineffectual and cruel. Third, that families which stress the procreative relationship are preferable to those which stress the conjugal relationship ...

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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... soiling the carpet. No matter what taboos you kick out at, people just smile and shake their head. Germaine Greer has become a licensed controversialist, which is a pity because we ought to have someone in our ageing generation who still has the capacity to really piss people off. But look, here we are in the grip of the most virulent antipathy to the ...

Stubble and Breath

Linda Colley: Mother Germaine, 15 July 1999

The Whole Woman 
by Germaine Greer.
Doubleday, 351 pp., £16.99, March 1999, 0 385 60015 1
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Germaine GreerUntamed Shrew 
by Christine Wallace.
Cohen, 333 pp., £18.99, March 1999, 1 86066 120 3
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... rail. In retrospect, you could argue this was a more apposite image than the artist intended. Greer’s women seem often to lack a head and its contents, not just other body parts. But at the time, the book grabbed with its brilliance. There were those brief, cumulatively hard-hitting chapters, and the irreverent, punchy writing style honed in underground ...

Hagiography

Mary-Kay Wilmers, 3 March 1983

Difficult Women: A Memoir of Three 
by David Plante.
Gollancz, 173 pp., £7.95, January 1983, 0 575 03189 1
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... died in 1979; Sonia Orwell, George Orwell’s widow, a year later. Mr Plante’s third subject is Germaine Greer, who, as well as being a friend with a house near his in Italy, was his colleague for a term at the University of Tulsa (‘from Tulsa I wrote letters to Sonia, one long one about Germaine Greer’). Of ...

Signor Cock

Roy Porter, 25 June 1987

Intercourse 
by Andrea Dworkin.
Secker, 259 pp., £10.95, June 1987, 0 436 13961 8
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... to Medieval chronicles, must have actually killed some men in battle. On the dust-wrapper, Germaine Greer tells us this is ‘the most shocking book any feminist has yet written’, and Shere Hite praises it as ‘ground-breaking, outstanding, original, and an act of forbidden rebellion’. I can’t understand why Dworkin’s rediscovery of the ...

Poxy Doxies

Margaret Anne Doody, 14 December 1995

Slip-Shod Sibyls: Recognition, Rejection and the Woman Poet 
by Germaine Greer.
Viking, 517 pp., £20, September 1995, 0 670 84914 6
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... This is an interesting, infuriating, brilliant, maddening book. In short, it is a work by Germaine Greer, who prefers (or so one sometimes thinks) anything to stagnation. The title is taken from Pope, whose Virgilian Sibyl in the Dunciad is the modern female British poet as satire liked to see her. Possessed by the muse or Apollo though they claim to be, women as poets are untidy, slovenly, careless of housekeeping ...

Greeromania

Sylvia Lawson, 20 April 1989

Daddy, we hardly knew you 
by Germaine Greer.
Hamish Hamilton, 312 pp., £13.95, March 1989, 0 241 12538 3
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... her curiosity and her love. The question presents itself: how much space is there really between a Greer book about her father and the next slab of, say, Maclaine or Taylor, Going Public on some hitherto neglected item of spiritual or carnal adventure? Less, it seems at times, than one might have hoped. Not so much because of the writer’s freedom to fly ...

Diary

Mary-Kay Wilmers: The Menopause, 10 October 1991

... of course, but not nearly as much of one as I would like it to be. I am the same age as Germaine Greer and therefore in much the same relation to the subject of her new book, The Change: Women, Ageing and the Menopause,* as I was to The Female Eunuch. It’s my story. At least that’s how I see it. (‘Oh God,’ my ex-husband said when I told ...

The Greer Method

Mary Beard, 24 October 2019

On Rape 
by Germaine Greer.
Bloomsbury, 96 pp., £12.99, September 2018, 978 1 5266 0840 6
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... In​ 1971 Germaine Greer hosted two episodes of the Dick Cavett Show on American television. How she moved from being a guest on the programme while she was promoting The Female Eunuch to being its stand-in presenter isn’t clear (the suspicion is that the ABC network thought ‘the saucy feminist that even men like’ – in the words of Life magazine – would be a useful weapon in the ratings wars ...

Wonderwoman

Carolyn Steedman, 4 December 1986

The Madwoman’s Underclothes: Essays and Occasional Writings 1968-1985 
by Germaine Greer.
Picador, 305 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 330 29407 5
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... Agendas, and Cora Kaplan’s collection from a ten-year period has just appeared in Sea Changes. Germaine Greer’s Madwoman’s Underclothes, designed, according to the dust-jacket, to demonstrate ‘what a force in our cultural life she is’, covers a much longer stretch of past time, from 1968 to 1985, starting with a piece from Oz and ending with a ...

Dumped

Zoë Heller: Girl Talk, 19 February 1998

Animal Husbandry 
by Laura Zigman.
Hutchinson, 304 pp., £10, January 1998, 0 09 180219 9
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Bridget Jones’ Diary 
by Helen Fielding.
Picador, 310 pp., £5.99, June 1997, 0 330 33277 5
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Does My Bum Look Big in This? 
by Arabella Weir.
Hodder, 246 pp., £5.99, March 1998, 9780340689486
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... juvenilised’, timbre of modern female journalism. In the old days, he said, women like Germaine Greer and Valerie Solanas made men nervous. They produced feisty, aggressive prose. They were rude and polemical. They wrote, in Norman Mailer’s words, like ‘very tough faggots’. But somewhere in the aftermath of Seventies feminism, women’s ...

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