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Language Questions

Barbara Strang, 17 July 1980

The Language-Makers 
by Roy Harris.
Duckworth, 194 pp., £15, April 1980, 0 7156 1430 4
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Beyond the Letter: A Philosophical Inquiry Into Ambiguity, Vagueness and Metaphor in Language 
by Israel Scheffler.
Routledge, 146 pp., £8.50, November 1979, 0 7100 0315 3
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Linguistic Perspectives on Literature 
edited by Marvin Ching, Michael Haley and Ronald Lunsford.
Routledge, 332 pp., £9.50, March 1980, 9780710003829
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... Professor Roy Harris’s The Language Makers is the natural starting-point. His book comes oddly naked into the world: we have no statement about the aims or intended audience, no listing or titling (let alone running titles) of chapters, only the sketchiest of indexes to suggest what topics have been covered. It therefore behoves the reviewer to start with an account of what the objectives seem to have been ...

Dignity and Impudence

Oliver Whitley, 6 October 1983

A Variety of Lives: A Biography of Sir Hugh Greene 
by Michael Tracey.
Bodley Head, 344 pp., £15, September 1983, 0 370 30026 2
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... system of thought.’ The reader will find all these items in the identikit portrait which Michael Tracey constructs. Greene was good to work for, and with, above all because he liked diversity among his associates. We were each perfectly free to weave our own views into a harmonious system of thought, if we wanted to, while he relied on his ...

Real Thing

John Naughton, 24 November 1988

Live from Number 10: The Inside Story of Prime Ministers and Television 
by Michael Cockerell.
Faber, 352 pp., £14.95, September 1988, 0 571 14757 7
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... consensus in the early days was that television and politics didn’t mix. Thus Sir William Haley, Director-General of the BBC in the late Forties, believed that television was totally unsuited to political discussion. The ‘Fourteen Day Rule’, under which no subject likely to be debated in the Commons within the next fortnight could be discussed on ...

At the Movies

Andrew O’Hagan: M. Night Shyamalan, 17 July 2008

The Happening 
directed by M. Night Shyamalan.
June 2008
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... than $600 million. The little boy in the film, Cole Sear (played with audience-beguiling depth by Haley Joel Osment), sees dead people who don’t know they’re dead, and when the film came out it was not merely a success on every front, but, like every success of that sort, caused people to see it as establishing a new genre, the emotional supernatural ...

The Doctrine of Unripe Time

Ferdinand Mount: The Fifties, 16 November 2006

Having It So Good: Britain in the Fifties 
by Peter Hennessy.
Allen Lane, 740 pp., £30, October 2006, 0 7139 9571 8
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... olive oil from Elizabeth David’s Book of Mediterranean Food; we hear the first chords of Bill Haley and the Comets. We find, too, the trenchant comments of Richard Hoggart, A.H. Halsey, Anthony Sampson and Michael Young – the Four Evangelists of the 1950s to whom Hennessy dedicates his book. Their increasingly grumpy ...


E.S. Turner, 15 September 1988

Memories of Times Past 
by Louis Heren.
Hamish Hamilton, 313 pp., £15.95, July 1988, 0 241 12427 1
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Chances: An Autobiography 
by Mervyn Jones.
Verso, 311 pp., £14.95, September 1987, 0 86091 167 5
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... to look on it as a national institution or an arm of government. Heren commends Sir William Haley’s clear and sensible definition of what the Times should stand for: ‘It is an entirely unofficial non-party newspaper appealing to men and women of reason and good will of all kinds of opinion. It seeks to judge each issue that arises only by reference ...

At the Café Central

Andrew Forge, 22 March 1990

First Diasporist Manifesto 
by R.B. Kitaj.
Thames and Hudson, 128 pp., £7.95, May 1989, 0 500 27543 2
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Reported Sightings: Art Chronicles, 1957-1987 
by John Ashbery, edited by David Bergman.
Carcanet, 417 pp., £25, February 1990, 9780856358074
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... and to the masters of the past. Entering the National Gallery, he once wrote: ‘I feel like Alex Haley arriving in the Gambia.’ Now he is ready to consolidate these messages. Exile and roots, modernity and tradition, the disjunctives of collage and the densities of the Human Clay, these antinomies and others besides, he brings together under the banner of ...

Most Famous Person in History

Christian Lorentzen, 19 November 2020

... senators Tom Cotton and Josh Hawley, the former South Carolina governor and UN ambassador Nikki Haley – possesses the weird charisma that propelled him into office. Unlike the president, his children Donald Jr and Ivanka haven’t had a hold on the national imagination since the 1980s. Carlson hosts the highest rated cable news show on television, but ...

Flying Costs

Richard Adams: The great Ryanair Disaster, 2 September 2004

by David Pascoe.
Reaktion, 240 pp., £14.95, September 2003, 1 86189 163 6
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Aviation Insecurity: The New Challenges of Air Travel 
by Andrew Thomas.
Prometheus, 263 pp., $21, May 2003, 1 59102 074 3
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Airline Survival Kit 
by Nawal Taneja.
Ashgate, 224 pp., £46.50, May 2003, 0 7546 3452 3
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by Siobhán Creaton.
Aurum, 263 pp., £9.99, May 2004, 1 85410 992 8
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... deputy chief of staff, who lobbies for United; the former Republican National Committee chairman Haley Barbour, now in the pay of Delta; and Linda Daschle, the wife of the senior Senate Democrat Tom Daschle and a former deputy administrator of the FAA, whose clients include American Airlines and Boeing. It hasn’t just been one-way traffic: Elaine ...

Ten Typical Days in Trump’s America

Eliot Weinberger, 25 October 2018

... against Women Act. It ultimately passed the Senate 78-22.)In the merry-go-round of familiar faces, Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for Stormy Daniels, says he has yet another client with information about further assaults by Kavanaugh and his friends in high school. (In Maryland, where they lived, there is no statute of limitations on sexual assault.)President ...

Secrets are best kept by those who have no sense of humour

Alan Bennett: Why I turned down ‘Big Brother’, 2 January 2003

... be kept green against the possible arrival of the men in white coats. 19 January. Watch a video of Michael Powell’s A Matter of Life and Death (1946), the first time, I think, that I have watched it all the way through since I saw it as a child at a cinema in Guildford. Then its particular interest was that the village scenes featuring the local doctor ...

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