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Diary

Adam Shatz: Elections in Egypt, 19 July 2012

... Older, wealthier Alexandrians sometimes talk about their poorer neighbours with disdain, much as Lawrence Durrell once spoke of Egyptian Arabs. Alexandria was the scene of two traumatic events during the run-up to the uprising against Mubarak: the police killing in June 2010 of a young man called Khaled Said, now an icon of the revolutionary ...

After-Lives

John Sutherland, 5 November 1992

Keepers of the Flame: Literary Estates and the Rise of Biography 
by Ian Hamilton.
Hutchinson, 344 pp., £18.99, October 1992, 0 09 174263 3
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Testamentary Acts: Browning, Tennyson, James, Hardy 
by Michael Millgate.
Oxford, 273 pp., £27.50, June 1992, 0 19 811276 9
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The Last Laugh 
by Michael Holroyd.
Chatto, 131 pp., £10.99, December 1991, 0 7011 4583 8
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Trollope 
by Victoria Glendinning.
Hutchinson, 551 pp., £20, September 1992, 0 09 173896 2
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... of the English poetic career (in his chapter on Marvell, Milton and Dryden) without reference to Lawrence Lipking or Richard Helgerson. The Forster-Dickens chapter makes no mention of the alternative line of Dickens biography that descends through Thomas Wright and Katherine Longley to our contemporaries Peter Ackroyd and Claire Tomalin. In his chapter on ...

The Grey Boneyard of Fifties England

Iain Sinclair, 22 August 1996

A Perfect Execution 
by Tim Binding.
Picador, 344 pp., £15.99, May 1996, 0 330 34564 8
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... stock heritage prop. It has passed through the levels of Eng Lit from the coal-owner’s estate in Lawrence to David Storey’s Radcliffe and homoerotic fumblings among the guy ropes. There is the same smack of Mosleyite fellow-travelling that Ishiguro exploits in The Remains of the Day. ‘Stand in the snug every Sunday after service, pull on his thumbs and ...
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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... I didn’t like them.’ And Bair doubts that an evening spent arguing the literary toss with Lawrence Durrell and Henry Miller in fact ended with both men saying: ‘We have a real woman artist before us, the first one and we ought to bow down instead of trying to make a monster out of her.’ These are lies that ‘improve the reality’ and ...

Four in a Bed

Wendy Doniger, 8 February 1996

Vice Versa: Bisexuality and the Eroticism of Everyday Life 
by Marjorie Garber.
Hamish Hamilton, 608 pp., £25, January 1996, 9780241134481
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... have? Even Freud was able to get this much maths right in his famous remark to Fliess (cited by Lawrence Durrell at the start of The Alexandria Quartet and also here by Garber): ‘You are certainly right about bisexuality. I am also getting used to regarding every sexual act as one between four individuals.’ (Garber presents a lively history of the ...

Under the Flight Path

August Kleinzahler: Christopher Middleton, 19 May 2016

... the piano pieces of the Catalan composer Federico Mompou. On another occasion he recounted meeting Lawrence Durrell, a hero of his younger days, in Paris, and not being at all let down. Middleton’s enthusiasms were more wide-ranging than those of anyone I’ve known, and wholly unpredictable, although kitsch or sport never came up, or literary ...

The Colossus of Maroussi

Iain Sinclair: In Athens, 27 May 2010

... massed tents of protesting trade unionists alarmed by threats of cuts and redundancies. Through Lawrence Durrell, Miller meets – and loathes – members of the British expat community, effete classicists and cultural carpetbaggers whose practised ironies he fails to appreciate. He also encounters, and embraces, Greek poets of the ...

Summer with Empson

Jonathan Raban: Learning to Read, 5 November 2009

... but it hardly deepened. Joyce, Hardy, Dickens, Camus, George Eliot, Hemingway, Henry Miller, Lawrence Durrell, D.H. Lawrence, Scott Fitzgerald, Keats, Byron, Auden, Pound, T.S. Eliot … At 16 I was a chain-reader, on a steady three library books a day when not in school, but my style of reading remained much as ...

Plumping

J.I.M. Stewart, 19 March 1981

Abroad: British Literary Travelling Between the Wars 
by Paul Fussell.
Oxford, 246 pp., £8.95, March 1981, 0 19 502767 1
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... with a hatred of poetry and a contempt for beauty; it is in the British in particular that D.H. Lawrence judges it to intensify the innate philistinism of mankind in general. So what follows hard upon the end of hostilities is ‘the British Literary Diaspora’. Norman Douglas is in Capri and Basil Bunting in Tenerife and Julian Bell at Wuhan ...

Rise and Fall of Radio Features

Marilyn Butler, 7 August 1980

Louis MacNeice in the BBC 
by Barbara Coulton.
Faber, 215 pp., £12.50, May 1980, 0 571 11537 3
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Best Radio Plays of 1979 
Eyre Methuen/BBC, 192 pp., £6.95, June 1980, 0 413 47130 6Show More
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... voice as well as a writer. A guest list for a Features party planned in 1951 included Henry Reed, Lawrence Durrell. Christopher Fry, C. Day Lewis, Lennox Berkeley, Michael Tippett, William Walton, Laurie Lee and Stevie Smith. Until the early Fifties the BBC appeared to get a good return from its policy of patronising highbrow talent. From the ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I did in 1996, 2 January 1997

... and remembering some of the books they read then. There’s Camus and Sartre, Colin Wilson and Lawrence Durrell – not quite the literary equivalent of flares but inducing something of the same incredulity: ‘Did we really read/ wear these?’ I miss the atlas I really wanted and come away with one or two biographies, including a memoir of David ...

The Depositor Haircut

James Meek: Cyprus’s Depositor Haircut, 9 May 2013

... is going to happen this time round. At the end of the day they punish the ordinary person.’ When Lawrence Durrell moved to Cyprus in 1953, his ticket from Trieste to Limassol (he went by boat) cost £47, while the beautiful old house he bought near a monastery in the hills above Kyrenia cost £300. Sixty years later, you can still get a one-way air ...

A Kind of Greek

Jeremy Harding: Frank Thompson, 7 March 2013

A Very English Hero: The Making of Frank Thompson 
by Peter Conradi.
Bloomsbury, 419 pp., £18.99, August 2012, 978 1 4088 0243 4
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... 1930s could throw himself into editing and publishing, as Edgell Rickword did at Left Review and Lawrence & Wishart, yet still consider poetry the core of his commitment. By 1945 this was becoming harder. The poet Randall Swingler, also a Communist, soon came to grief after returning from the war: the BBC shunted him into obscurity because of his ...

The Suitcase: Part Three

Frances Stonor Saunders, 10 September 2020

... yelling, the hooting, the screeching brakes, the clanging of tram-cars and howl of tram-horns’. Lawrence Durrell, who had been living in Greece until the Germans invaded, found Cairo (‘this corrupt and slow Nile’) not merely physically disgusting, but morally too: ‘Cripples, deformities, opthalmia, goitre, amputations, lice, flies. In the streets ...

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