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O cruel!

Michael Mason, 16 June 1983

Far Away and Long Ago 
by W.H. Hudson.
Eland, 332 pp., £3.95, October 1982, 0 907871 25 9
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W.H. Hudson: A Biography 
by Ruth Tomalin.
Faber, 314 pp., £13.50, November 1982, 0 571 10599 8
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... land lost by England is Uruguay, given up by her in favour of the Falklands. The novel’s hero, Richard Lamb, at first much regrets the exchange of this ‘green world’ for ‘the desolate haunt of seals and penguins’. After he has roamed its fastnesses and met its half-wild inhabitants his views are different. To introduce the material prosperity and ...

Brave as hell

John Kerrigan, 21 June 1984

Enderby’s Dark Lady, or No End to Enderby 
by Anthony Burgess.
Hutchinson, 160 pp., £7.95, March 1984, 0 09 156050 0
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Shakespeare’s Sonnets: A Modern Edition 
edited by A.L. Rowse.
Macmillan, 311 pp., £20, March 1984, 0 333 36386 8
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... that Shakespeare was trapped into marriage with Anne Hathaway and then cuckolded by his brother Richard. Hence the queen in Hamlet, adulterous with her brother-in-law, while Shakespeare plays the ghost; and hence Richard III, where sly Dick seduces Lady Anne. Perhaps the Joycean influence became unhelpful ...

Blood Running Down

Helen Cooper: Iconoclasm and theatre in early modern England, 9 August 2001

The Idolatrous Eye: Iconoclasm and Theatre in Early Modern England 
by Michael O'Connell.
Oxford, 198 pp., £30, February 2000, 9780195132052
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... that loses France and divides England to the triumph of the Tudors, and from the deposition of Richard II to the glories of Henry V. It is there, too, in the assumption that when the actors talk of horses, the spectators do see them printing their proud hoofs in the receiving earth. If you have been brought up on a theatre that encompasses Heaven and ...

Thoughts about Boars and Paul Celan

Lawrence Norfolk: The Ways of the Boar, 6 January 2011

... more than 42 inches to the shoulder. The largest boar killed by the Nagpur Hunt (the first spear was Captain R.D. Burlton of the second Madras Lancers) was 38 inches high and weighed 358 lbs. These are impressive statistics. Behind the boar’s bulk lies his appetite; he grows according to the food supply, and Sus scrofa is a glutton. The history of ...

Tankishness

Peter Wollen: Tank by Patrick Wright, 16 November 2000

Tank: The Progress of a Monstrous War Machine 
by Patrick Wright.
Faber, 499 pp., £25, October 2000, 0 571 19259 9
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... with Lewis to follow the Italian Futurist, Marinetti. ‘True to his Futurist principles’, as Richard Ingleby puts it, he was quick to join in the war, as an ambulance driver, after completing a course in motor engineering. As might be expected, Nevinson’s painting stresses the mechanical dimension of the war, depicting bodies of troops as mechanical ...

Heart of Darkness

Christopher Hitchens, 28 June 1990

Not Many Dead: Journal of a Year in Fleet Street 
by Nicholas Garland.
Hutchinson, 299 pp., £16.95, April 1990, 0 09 174449 0
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A Slight Case of Libel: Meacher v. Trelford and Others 
by Alan Watkins.
Duckworth, 241 pp., £14.95, June 1990, 0 7156 2334 6
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... outcome, it did seem that Mr Meacher, formerly a desiccated Fabian, had evolved into Tony Benn’s spear-carrier. Well, said my friend (who, though of sound politics, was not a political man), it seemed jolly rum to him. While at Berkhamstead School, he had been visited with scorching castigations by Meacher, a prefect with a forbidding reputation. ‘I can ...

Mganga with the Lion

Kenneth Silverman: Hemingway, 2 September 1999

Hemingway: The Thirties 
by Michael Reynolds.
Norton, 360 pp., £9.95, October 1998, 0 393 31778 1
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Hemingway: The Final Years 
by Michael Reynolds.
Norton, 416 pp., £19.95, July 1999, 0 393 04748 2
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True at First Light 
by Ernest Hemingway.
Heinemann, 319 pp., £16.99, July 1999, 9780434008322
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... for three months. After she leaves camp for Nairobi, Papa goes native, learning to hunt with a spear, taste the shoulder-bone of a wounded leopard and court a Wakamba woman. Some of the trademark dialogue reads like a bad joke: ‘It was a beautiful shot, kitten, and a fine stalk. Now shoot him just at the base of the left ear for kindness.’ The ...

Monobeing

Brian Rotman: Why did the eternal one arrive so late?, 17 February 2005

God: An Itinerary 
by Régis Debray.
Verso, 307 pp., £25, March 2004, 1 85984 589 4
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... locating the source of Greek abstract thought and Plato’s ideal forms in the advent of writing; Richard Seaford’s rooting of these features in the monetisation of Greek society; and of course Marshall McLuhan’s celebration of the medium’s production of the message. Not to mention (and, curiously, Debray doesn’t) the interconnections between base and ...

Where have all the horses gone?

Eric Banks: Horse Power, 5 July 2018

The Age of the Horse: An Equine Journey through Human History 
by Susanna Forrest.
Atlantic, 418 pp., £9.99, October 2017, 978 0 85789 900 2
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Farewell to the Horse: The Final Century of Our Relationship 
by Ulrich Raulff, translated by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp.
Penguin, 448 pp., £9.99, February 2018, 978 0 14 198317 2
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... is capable of drawing a line from, say, the Warburgian theorising of the retired cavalry officer Richard Lefebvre des Noëttes to the biopolitics of the Middle Ages; or tracing the mounted political figure from Kant’s grumbling about the new King of Prussia arriving in Königsberg in a carriage to the caparisoned horse of President Kennedy’s funeral ...

Keeping the show on the road

John Kerrigan, 6 November 1986

Tribute to Freud 
by H. D.
Carcanet, 194 pp., £5.95, August 1985, 0 85635 599 2
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In Dora’s Case: Freud, Hysteria, Feminism 
edited by Charles Bernheimer and Claire Kahane.
Virago, 291 pp., £11.95, October 1985, 0 86068 712 0
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The Essentials of Psychoanalysis 
by Sigmund Freud, edited by Anna Freud.
Hogarth/Institute of Psychoanalysis, 595 pp., £20, March 1986, 0 7012 0720 5
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Freud and the Humanities 
edited by Peregrine Horden.
Duckworth, 186 pp., £18, October 1985, 0 7156 1983 7
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Freud for Historians 
by Peter Gay.
Oxford, 252 pp., £16.50, January 1986, 0 19 503586 0
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The Psychoanalytic Movement 
by Ernest Gellner.
Paladin, 241 pp., £3.50, May 1985, 0 586 08436 3
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The Freudian Body: Psychoanalysis and Art 
by Leo Bersani.
Columbia, 126 pp., $17.50, April 1986, 0 231 06218 4
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... science. To an alarming degree, theory preempted argument. H.D. had been abandoned by her husband, Richard Aldington, for another woman, during a difficult pregnancy in which mother and child seemed doomed; her love affair with the feminist Bryher was fraught; writing set up its own strains: but Freud already knew, amid this welter of anxieties, what really ...

Physicke from Another Body

Michael Neill: Cannibal Tinctures, 1 December 2011

Medicinal Cannibalism in Early Modern English Literature and Culture 
by Louise Noble.
Palgrave Macmillan, 241 pp., £52, March 2011, 978 0 230 11027 4
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Mummies, Cannibals and Vampires: The History of Corpse Medicine from the Renaissance to the Victorians 
by Richard Sugg.
Routledge, 374 pp., £24.99, June 2011, 978 0 415 67417 1
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... is to the investigation of such demonic remedies that the groundbreaking work of Louise Noble and Richard Sugg is devoted. The belief that a wide range of maladies could be cured by the consumption of human remains – principally in the form of so-called ‘mummy’ – persisted in Europe for at least six centuries. Although the administration of such ...

Forgive us our debts

Benjamin Kunkel: The History of Debt, 10 May 2012

Paper Promises: Money, Debt and the New World Order 
by Philip Coggan.
Allen Lane, 294 pp., £20, December 2011, 978 1 84614 510 0
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Debt: The First 5000 Years 
by David Graeber.
Melville House, 534 pp., £21.99, July 2011, 978 1 933633 86 2
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... communism rather than hierarchy, a possibility glimpsed, or anyway named, in the literary theorist Richard Dienst’s recent The Bonds of Debt, which at one point rather vaguely imagines a future ‘radical politics of indebtedness’ fulfilling the slogans of classical Marxism.*) But regular monetised exchanges – completed or incomplete – are a ...

Who does that for anyone?

Adam Shatz: Jean-Pierre Melville, 20 June 2019

Jean-Pierre Melville: Le Solitaire 
by Bertrand Teissier.
Fayard, 272 pp., €22, October 2017, 978 2 213 70573 6
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Jean-Pierre Melville, une vie 
by Antoine de Baecque.
Seuil, 244 pp., €32, October 2017, 978 2 02 137107 9
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... Samouraï.’ Delon led Melville into his bedroom, where there was a leather bed, a spear, a sword – and a samurai dagger. To the role of Jef Costello – a contract killer on the run from both the police, who want to arrest him, and his employers, who want to kill him before he’s arrested – Delon brought a ‘virility tinged with ...

Memoirs of a Pet Lamb

David Sylvester, 5 July 2001

... in was a statue two-thirds life-size, a wood carving of a helmeted guardsman with a shield and spear standing on a pediment carved with animal heads. It was one of a number of pieces of furniture and pictures and other art objects which must have been acquired along with the house. Off the hall to the left was a large dining-room with oak-panelled walls ...

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