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A Little Village on the Edge of the World

Adam Mars-Jones: Mike McCormack, 30 November 2017

Solar Bones 
by Mike McCormack.
Canongate, 272 pp., £8.99, May 2017, 978 1 78689 127 3
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... Mike McCormack​ , the winner of last year’s Goldsmiths Prize with Solar Bones, could seem to be redressing a balance by making his book a single undivided utterance. A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing, the novel by Eimear McBride that won the inaugural prize in 2013, was prodigal in its use of full stops: there were often three or four in a line of print ...

The Reality Effect

Jon Day: 'Did I think this, or was it Lucy Ellmann?', 25 November 2019

Ducks, Newburyport 
by Lucy Ellmann.
Galley Beggar, 1030 pp., £13.99, September 2019, 978 1 913111 98 4
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... are measured out with handfuls of semi-colons; in his single-sentence novel Solar Bones (2016), Mike McCormack used forward slashes to mark breaks in the text, as though he had attacked the page with a Stanley knife. Joyce used the word ‘yes’ (which he told Frank Budgen was ‘the female word’) repeatedly in Molly Bloom’s inner monologue. In ...

What’s Coming

David Edgar: J.M. Synge, 22 March 2001

Fool of the Family: A Life of J.M. Synge 
by W.J. McCormack.
Weidenfeld, 499 pp., £25, March 2000, 0 297 64612 5
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Interpreting Synge: Essays from the Synge Summer School 1991-2000 
edited by Nicholas Grene.
Lilliput, 220 pp., £29.95, July 2000, 1 901866 47 5
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... of Irish writing in the 20th century, but also to the playwriting of the modern world. W.J. McCormack’s biography claims to place Synge in the context of turn of the century modernity, but he chooses a pretty perverse point of comparison. His association of Synge with Ibsen (whom Synge himself rejected as one of those ‘analysts with their ...

More aggressive, dear!

Zachary Leader, 31 July 1997

My Aces, My Faults 
by Nick Bollettieri and Dick Schaap.
Robson, 346 pp., £17.95, June 1997, 1 86105 087 9
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... the players Bollettieri coaches are adolescents, accompanied by monstrous fathers. Agassi’s dad, Mike, an ex-boxer from Iran, ‘hung a tennis ball above Andre’s crib so that he would learn to follow it with his eyes’, and had him swinging a full-size racquet ‘as soon as he could stand’. When 13-year-old Andre arrived at Bollettieri’s tennis ...

My Heroin Christmas

Terry Castle: Art Pepper and Me, 18 December 2003

... Sonic Youth, Youssou N’Dour, tons of the Arditti Quartet, Kurt Cobain, Suzy Solidor, John McCormack, Cretan rembétika music, Jan and Dean, Los Pinguinos del Norte, Shostakovich film scores, Some Girls, Wunderlich doing Butterfly (in luscious, spittle-ridden German), Cuban contredanses, Planet Squeezebox, some croaky old Carter Family, Morton ...

The Tower

Andrew O’Hagan, 7 June 2018

... immediately or that provision grew over the days. None of that mattered, it seems.Inspector Mike Rumble, an affable, by-the-book policeman with white hair and a beard, is part of the Parks Police Team. He was woken up at 2.45 that morning. The call came from David Kerry, the borough emergency planning officer. ‘There’s a major fire at Grenfell ...

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