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Misunderstanding Yugoslavia

Basil Davidson, 23 May 1996

Balkan Tragedy: Chaos and Dissolution after the Cold War 
by Susan Woodward.
Brookings, 536 pp., £35.50, May 1995, 0 8157 9514 9
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... we see today, a kind of miracle ensued. After the early Fifties, and for the next thirty years, as Susan Woodward explains in this careful and even-handed book, Yugoslavia was ‘a relatively prosperous, open and stable society’. And in this new society the South Slav peoples acquainted themselves with many happier aspects of the modern world. Schooling ...

Miss Fleur gave me the most awful restyle

Elaine Showalter: Joe Orton, 10 December 1998

Between Us Girls 
by Joe Orton.
Hern, 224 pp., £14.99, October 1998, 1 85459 374 9
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‘Fred & Madge’ and ‘The Visitors’ 
by Joe Orton.
Hern, 224 pp., £12.99, October 1998, 1 85459 354 4
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... colloquial diary novel in three sections, detailing the adventures of a young London actress named Susan Hope, as she moves from the chorus line at the Rainier Revuebar in Soho, to a Mexican whorehouse that is half-Marx Brothers, half-Genet, to fame as a Hollywood movie star. In the first part of the novel, Orton establishes a comic voice for ...

From Lying to Leering

Rebecca Solnit: Penis Power, 19 January 2017

... while MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell gave her public instructions on how to use a microphone, Bob Woodward bitched that she was ‘screaming’ and Bob Cusack, the editor of the political newspaper the Hill, said: ‘When Hillary Clinton raises her voice, she loses.’ One could get the impression that a woman should campaign in a sultry whisper, but of ...

Miami Twice

Edward Said, 10 December 1987

Going to Miami: Exiles, Tourists and Refugees in the New America 
by David Rieff.
Bloomsbury, 230 pp., £12.95, October 1987, 0 7475 0064 9
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Miami 
by Joan Didion.
Simon and Schuster, 224 pp., $17.95, October 1987, 0 671 64664 8
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... affiliation with non-American currents of thought, habits of life – styles of radical will, in Susan Sontag’s phrase – have continued well past that now excoriated decade. But a great deal of the change in the country has to do with re-configurations in demography and economic power. Regional characteristics, once as stable and as predictable as any ...

President Gore

Inigo Thomas: Gore Vidal, 10 May 2007

Point to Point Navigation: A Memoir, 1964-2006 
by Gore Vidal.
Little, Brown, 278 pp., £17.99, November 2006, 0 316 02727 8
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... of course, many worlds for Vidal elsewhere: travels through Greece with Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, gluttonous and bibulous tours of French restaurants with his editor Jason Epstein, conversations with his Roman neighbour Italo Calvino, lunch with E.M. Forster, chat with Princess Margaret. But in Rome there were only months of reading, and Old ...

Zeitgeist Man

Jenny Diski: Dennis Hopper, 22 March 2012

Dennis Hopper: The Wild Ride of a Hollywood Rebel 
by Peter Winkler.
Robson, 376 pp., £18.99, November 2011, 978 1 84954 165 7
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... America as it had been to the Early Moderns and the Romantics. Strasberg’s daughter Susan remembers Hopper’s disappointment after a psychiatrist he consulted told him he wasn’t neurotic enough to need therapy. ‘If I’m not sick, how can I be a good actor?’ he moaned, to which she replied, either with sincerity or as an act of ...

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