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Off-Beat

Iain Sinclair, 6 June 1996

... suits and ties. I’d read the free-wheeling interviews in fugitive magazines, such as Arthur and Kit Knight’s The Beat Diary. I’d clocked Corso, along with the other survivors, on the conference circuit. Bearded, lived-in faces confronted by batteries of microphones – as if on trial, undergoing public McCarthyite interrogation. Burroughs, the ...

Daisy Chains

Emma Hogan: Sappho 1900, 20 May 2021

No Modernism without Lesbians 
by Diana Souhami.
Head of Zeus, 464 pp., £9.99, February, 978 1 78669 487 4
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... surnames, as if they were soldiers or schoolboys, or gave each other boyish nicknames – Tommy, Kit. They were no longer criticised for wearing androgynous clothes; indeed, Vita Sackville-West’s land girl uniform brought on ‘wild spirits’ and, Souhami notes, soon afterwards she seduced Violet Trefusis.In 1917 Stein and Toklas volunteered to distribute ...

Upriver

Iain Sinclair: The Thames, 25 June 2009

Thames: Sacred River 
by Peter Ackroyd.
Vintage, 608 pp., £14.99, August 2008, 978 0 09 942255 6
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... Ackroyd knew more than enough about the glittering particulars of Charles Olson and William Carlos Williams to give them their due, while gliding effortlessly in another direction. One of the characters in The Great Fire of London calms his rising panic by swimming lap after lap in a neighbourhood pool, a facility conscious of its uncertain status, its ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: Allelujah!, 3 January 2019

... Stalinist as no one wants to be the first to stop clapping. Coming out I find myself behind Simon Williams, who has been mentioned by his son as one of Ben’s closest friends and am cheered by the possibility that if Ben could play Ambrose, so could Simon – which happily he does. But ‘lovely Ben’ the overwhelming feeling.24 February. Watching Dad’s ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I Didn’t Do in 2007, 3 January 2008

... much relish. She was ‘a good drinker’, Leader says of the Swansea original of Mrs Gruffydd-Williams, and while one feels this is very much an Amis-type judgment, it’s not one Leader dissents from – or dissents from sufficiently, drink and good fellowship equated throughout. Never having been able to drink much, partly through not having been ...

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