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Diary

Jerry Fodor: The Elton John and Tim Rice reworking of Aida, 30 March 2000

... How I got into this. John Sturrock called from the LRB. He knows that I like opera a lot, and that I now and then get tired of writing papers about the mind/body problem for philosophy journals. ‘Would I like to report on the new pop version of Aida? (Elton John, Tim Rice and, rumour has it, a transparent swimming-pool ...

He wanted a boy

Deborah Friedell: Condoleezza’s Childhood, 20 January 2011

Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family 
by Condoleezza Rice.
Crown, 342 pp., $27, October 2010, 978 0 307 58787 9
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... A month after she left the State Department, Condoleezza Rice signed a three-book deal, reportedly for more than $2.5 million. The first volume is the story of her childhood, about the parents who raised her with ‘high expectations and unconditional love’. What emerges is a kind of parenting how-to guide, if your goal is to raise a child like her – which she assumes it would be ...

I blame Foucault

Jenny Diski: Bush’s women, 22 September 2005

Bushwomen: Tales of a Cynical Species 
by Laura Flanders.
Verso, 342 pp., £10, July 2005, 1 84467 530 0
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... W. stands for women,’ cried Barbara Bush, Laura Bush, Lynne Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Karen Hughes, Elaine Chao and Gale Ann Norton at the 2004 Republican National Convention, and in case the Good Ol’ Boy’s good old ladies didn’t get it, a banner explained: ‘The country and my administration have benefited from the strong women who serve as senior members of my White House team ...

How good was he?

Iain Fenlon: Antonio Salieri, 6 July 2000

Antonio Salieri and Viennese Opera 
by John Rice.
Chicago, 648 pp., £66.50, April 1999, 0 226 71125 0
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... Berlioz’s full conversion took place after hearing a performance of Iphigénie en Tauride. As John Rice argues here, a number of arias in les Danaïdes are written in a simple and affective melodic style reminiscent of parts of Orfeo and La Rencontre imprévue, and several of their contemporaries thought of the two composers in the same ...

At the Carlton Club

Andrew O’Hagan: Maggie, Denis and Mandy, 2 January 2020

... with the elderly gentleman beside me. He had a lot to say about herbaceous borders. He was John Profumo. But I didn’t know it was him until the end: helping him on with his coat, I saw a little nametag. He liked talking to Denis and they seemed to have things in common.We can now say a bit more about that, thanks to the third volume of Charles ...

Wedding Season

John Burnside, 16 August 2017

... Musik von Soldaten, die in den Krieg ziehen. Heine June will continue white, with outbreaks of rice; though, given the numbers, it’s difficult not to assume that one of these persons now present will soon take the cure in a series of high-ceilinged rooms that was once The Merchant’s House, at the heart of an Alpine town near Zermatt, a resort so ...

Bananas

Jane Campbell, 20 April 1995

The Death of Old Man RiceA Story of Criminal Justice in America 
by Martin Friedland.
New York, 423 pp., $29.95, October 1994, 0 8147 2627 5
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... At first it was supposed that William Marsh Rice, millionaire and founder of Rice University in Texas, had died from eating bananas; nine bananas, in fact, five baked and four raw. He had invited his valet Charlie Jones to join him. The valet, who later confessed that he had Chloroformed his employer, refused: ‘I told him that I was afraid of bananas and wouldn’t try any ...
TheSinking of the ‘Belgrano’ 
by Desmond Rice and Arthur Gavshon.
Secker, 192 pp., £8.95, March 1984, 0 436 41332 9
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Our Falklands War 
edited by Geoffrey Underwood.
Maritime Books, 144 pp., £3.95, November 1983, 0 907771 08 4
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... actions over the sinking of the General Belgrano are authoritatively considered by Desmond Rice and Arthur Gavshon. In Paragraph 110 of HMG’s own White Paper, ‘The Falklands Campaign: The Lessons’, we read: ‘On 2 May, HMS Conqueror detected the Argentine cruiser, General Belgrano, accompanied by two destroyers, sailing near to the total ...

‘My God was bigger than his’

Colin Kidd: The Republicans, 4 November 2004

The Right Nation: Why America Is Different 
by John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge.
Allen Lane, 450 pp., £14.99, August 2004, 0 7139 9738 9
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Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush’s War Cabinet 
by James Mann.
Penguin, 448 pp., $16, September 2004, 0 14 303489 8
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Nixon’s Shadow: The History of an Image 
by David Greenberg.
Norton, 496 pp., £9.99, November 2004, 0 393 32616 0
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America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism 
by Anatol Lieven.
HarperCollins, 274 pp., £18.99, October 2004, 0 00 716456 4
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... also provoke a degree of puzzlement, as much on the right as on the left. In The Right Nation, John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge, two centre-right journalists who work on the Economist, ask why only 54 per cent of voters earning over $100,000 a year voted for Bush in 2000. Why does the party of big business, deregulation and tax-cutting engender less ...

Three Poems

John Levett, 6 June 1985

... collapse, The tilting coasts of snow give way to ice Then bergs of light on Asian belts of rice. At eight you plan to have the hotel fix Your hair and come to meet me in the town, Its chill and its salinity that pricks And tightens up a skin that’s nicely brown: Those stars we hope to drink beneath tonight Are pledged to North America, that white ...

Diary

David Bromwich: Putin to the Rescue, 26 September 2013

... and wickedness that is equally hard to make sense of. The American secretary of state, John Kerry, obscured the issue in late August by asking for UN inspectors and then warning them off because the US intended to bomb immediately. This brought echoes of Bush in Iraq in 2003, and Kerry countermanded his own prohibition; but, surprisingly, he ...

My Word-Untangling Machine

Jenny Diski, 9 September 2015

... tentacles. Who did it? Another ‘sufi’ story comes to mind that Doris used often. A bowl of rice has been stolen and the possible culprits are made to stand in a line. ‘We shall see who took the rice.’ There is a silence and then the Mullah speaks and points to the villain. ‘It was you.’ But Master, how did ...

In Memoriam

Paul Sieghart, 19 March 1981

Mandy 
by Mandy Rice-Davies and Shirley Flack.
Joseph, 224 pp., £6.95, November 1980, 0 7181 1974 6
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... For those too young – or too old – to remember, Mandy Rice-Davies had a walk-on part in the Great Profumo Scandal of 1963. Now she has published a racily ghosted autobiography. It says nothing of much interest about anything or anybody that matters, and paints the predictable sympathetic picture of a fun-loving girl more sinned against than sinning ...

John and Henry

Christopher Reid, 2 December 1982

The Life of John Berryman 
by John Haffenden.
Routledge, 451 pp., £15, September 1982, 0 7100 9216 4
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Poets in their Youth: A Memoir 
by Eileen Simpson.
Faber, 272 pp., £10.95, September 1982, 0 571 11925 5
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... When John Berryman’s first full-length collection of poems, The Dispossessed, was published in 1948, Yvor Winters wrote a notice of it for the Hudson Review. Here Winters drew attention to Berryman’s ‘disinclination to understand and discipline his emotions’, and went on to suggest: ‘Most of his poems appear to deal with a single all-inclusive topic: the desperate chaos, social, religious, philosophical and psychological, of modern life, and the corresponding chaos and desperation of John Berryman ...

From the National Gallery to the Royal Academy

Peter Campbell: The Divisionists and Vilhelm Hammershoi, 17 July 2008

... Modern Chromatics encouraged the Divisionists in their experiments. Angelo Morbelli’s In the Rice Fields is a good example of what came of them. A row of young women, skirts hitched up, stand knee-deep in a paddy field. Clothes, skin, the leaves of rice, water and sky, are done in tiny strokes so glossy that the paint ...

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