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At the Royal Academy

Peter Campbell: Rodin, 5 October 2006

... rhetoric of those pieces also aggrandises the maker. They haven’t the humility which marks, for example, the Gothic sculpture Rodin admired. His work is at the service of his genius, not of the story. Touch is manifested by marks fingers made in the clay as they modelled a cheek, a mouth, the curve of a ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Dictionaries, 24 August 2000

... heavy overcoat)’, ‘smasher (late Victorian hat)’ and ‘directoires (long knickers)’. Marks & Spencer, despite their profits (see page 4), could maybe do with reviving some of these. Who knows, they could even weave them from triffid. The bird on the cover of Stephen Green-Armytage’s Extraordinary Chickens ...

The Ultimate Novel

William Empson, 19 August 1982

Ulysses 
by Hugh Kenner.
Allen and Unwin, 182 pp., £10, March 1980, 0 00 480003 6
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A Starchamber Quiry: A James Joyce Centennial Volume 1882-1982 
edited by E.L. Epstein.
Methuen, 164 pp., £9.50, February 1982, 0 416 31560 7
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... own book. He puts a new idea of his own into both of these books, and it urgently needs refuting. Stephen, he says (Kenner’s Ulysses, p. 152), is practically blind all through the book; his eyes without his glasses focus eight inches in front of his nose, and he broke them ‘yesterday’. This proves that whenever he claims to see anything he is ...

The Ultimate Novel

William Empson, 2 September 1982

Ulysses 
by Hugh Kenner.
Allen and Unwin, 182 pp., £10, March 1982, 0 00 480003 6
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A Starchamber Quiry: A James Joyce Centennial Volume 1882-1982 
edited by E.L. Epstein.
Methuen, 164 pp., £9.50, February 1982, 0 416 31560 7
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... argument. I need now to list the main details throughout the book which prepare the reader for Stephen to accept the Bloom Offer. There is at once a rather quaint obstacle. Most readers of Ulysses do not believe in omens, but Joyce eagerly did; in this he is genuinely like Homer. Four of the characters receive omens, and Joyce would regard these as ...

Diary

Stephen Smith: In LA, 25 March 1993

... of Florence and Normandie, the eye of last year’s disturbances, where a neat grid of ash marks out where single-storey homes and businesses stood. Over the murmur of the disc-jockey on KGFJ, there’s the pop and rumble of a clotted engine; it could be an out-board motor. A mauve Buick, its fins twisted, its radiator concave, barrels up alongside me ...

No Man’s Mistress

Stephen Koss, 5 July 1984

Margot: A Life of the Countess of Oxford and Asquith 
by Daphne Bennett.
Gollancz, 442 pp., £12.95, May 1984, 0 575 03279 0
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... have posed a dilemma for both of them.) Gladstone also resorted to ‘far go’, but won higher marks by extending his ‘argot’ to embrace ‘embargo’. For all his ingenuity, however, the Grand Old Man did not use ‘farrago’, a term which Daphne Bennett’s new biography shows to have been singularly apposite. Although Margot wrote no fewer ...

Drabble’s Progress

John Sutherland, 5 December 1991

The Gates of Ivory 
by Margaret Drabble.
Viking, 464 pp., £14.99, October 1991, 0 670 84270 2
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Happily Ever After 
by Jenny Diski.
Hamish Hamilton, 245 pp., £14.99, September 1991, 0 241 13169 3
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Of Love and Asthma 
by Ferdinand Mount.
Heinemann, 321 pp., £13.99, September 1991, 0 434 47993 4
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... year – she memorably called ‘The Middle Ground’. The novel of that title – her ninth – marks a reflective moment in Drabble’s evolution. Between The Middle Ground and her next work of fiction there was a seven-year pause (partly taken up with her immersion in the revised Oxford Companion to English Literature). The Radiant Way (1987) inaugurated ...

Going Native

A.N. Wilson: Theroux’s portait of Naipaul, 13 May 1999

Sir Vidia’s Shadow: A Friendship across Five Continents 
by Paul Theroux.
Hamish Hamilton, 376 pp., £17.99, December 1998, 0 241 14046 3
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... I regard as almost his most triumphant book the one which his true disciple, Paul Theroux, thinks marks the great falling-off: The Enigma of Arrival. This is a book about Naipaul having stopped writing. He is living in Wiltshire within a stone’s throw of a large house in which a scarcely-disguised Stephen Tennant is, like ...

Diary

David Kaiser: Aliens, 8 July 2010

... rarely calls to talk about my research. In April, however, she rang to ask: ‘Do you agree with Stephen Hawking?’ That’s usually an easy question to field. On topics ranging from the behaviour of black holes to the structure of the early universe, a safe answer is yes. But that wasn’t what my mother wanted to know. She wanted to know whether I agreed ...

‘Ulysses’ and Its Wake

Tom McCarthy, 19 June 2014

... trading-floor is fully up and running, but the process begins back in Ulysses. ‘The problem,’ Stephen tells Buck Mulligan after Buck scolds him for trying to trade Shakespearean theory for a bit of English coin, ‘is to get money.’ Should they solicit it, he sarcastically asks, from the milkwoman who’s just passed by? She takes money from them and ...

Roses

Stephen Wall, 27 June 1991

Regeneration 
by Pat Barker.
Viking, 252 pp., £13.99, May 1991, 0 670 82876 9
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Rose Reason 
by Mary Flanagan.
Bloomsbury, 388 pp., £14.99, April 1991, 0 7475 0888 7
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Rose 
by Rose Boyt.
Chatto, 182 pp., £13.99, April 1991, 0 7011 3728 2
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... trust in simple if well-phrased description and too little concern for its narrative function also marksRose Boyt’s much briefer story of another Rose. Rose’s first fifty pages offer short scenes from childhood – first at sea in the Baltic and then in Trinidad – in which an appropriate and vivid naivety of style combines ...

Last Stand

Stephen Smith, 8 May 1997

Solidarity on the Water front: The Liver pool Lock-Out of 1995-96 
by Michael Lavalette and Jane Kennedy.
Liver Press, 147 pp., £5.95, December 1996, 1 871201 06 3
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... of his landlord: ‘bread-and-butter which had often been cut overnight and always had thumb-marks on it. However tactfully I tried, I could never induce Mr Brooker to let me cut my own bread-and-butter; he would hand it to me slice by slice, each slice gripped firmly under that broad black thumb.’ It may have been something to do with this, but I ...

On the Rwandan Border

Stephen Smith, 9 June 1994

... were able to offer the soldiers, but I doubt if it was a match for whatever it was that left entry-marks in its masonry the size of small soup plates. Two people died on the premises, their former neighbours told us. Tension was rising in the city. There were reports that the Burundian Government now backed the Rwandan Patriotic Front, and was supplying the ...

Second Time Around

Stephen Sedley: In the Court of Appeal, 6 September 2007

The Court of Appeal 
by Gavin Drewry, Louis Blom-Cooper and Charles Blake.
Hart, 196 pp., £30, April 2007, 978 1 84113 387 4
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... European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, gives a single judgment which sometimes shows the brush marks of several painters and sometimes bears the scars of compromise. The practice of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg is perhaps better: a majority view, laying down the law, will be set out in a single judgment, and each judge is then free to ...

Diary

Stephen Smith: Make sure you sound British, 22 December 1994

... driving up a ramp. In common with the vehicles of the other booze-cruisers, ours was shown to its marks on the car-deck without going through a single check. A giant hoarding in the dock was flashing up an advertisement for Beers Are Us, Calais. The ferry operators, perhaps nettled by frequent taunts that they manage gin palaces, have opted to go up-market ...

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