The Wittgensteins

Jonathan Rée, 19 November 2019

Wittgenstein wasn’t particularly impress­ed by Bertrand Russell’s adoration. If his philosoph­ical capacities were as exceptional as Russell seemed to think, then this was a curious...

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On Octavio Paz and Marie-José Tramini

Homero Aridjis, translated by Chloe Aridjis, 13 November 2019

One afternoon in June 1962 Octavio Paz and I, until then only acquainted through letters, met at the studio of the painter Juan Soriano in Mexico City. From there we went walking down Paseo de la...

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Hitler in the Head

Christopher Clark, 7 November 2019

Whether Hitler gets into our minds, or we mislay something of our own inside his, it’s clear that this strange and hateful man, who has been dead for 74 years, is still messing with our heads.

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Diary: Bearness

David Trotter, 7 November 2019

Bears, we have been led to believe, are super-cuddly – right up until the moment when they rip your throat out.’

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Auberon Waugh

Rosemary Hill, 7 November 2019

While his men were getting into position, he noticed that something was blocking the elevation of the machine gun on the front of his armoured car. He got out to fix it, taking the opportunity to ‘seize...

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Short Cuts: Would you whistleblow?

Joanna Biggs, 7 November 2019

How can a girl believe in an institution that asks her to gather blackmail material to make it easier for her country to begin an illegal war? How can a girl believe in a government that asks its people...

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David Jones removes himself

Paul Keegan, 7 November 2019

‘You​ ought to be in a kindergarten,’ a Canadian nurse exclaimed to David Jones, aged twenty, awaiting transfer home in July 1916 after being wounded in Mametz Wood. Even a decade...

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Max Beaverbrook’s Mediations

Neal Ascherson, 24 October 2019

‘It’s a​ disgusting case – her face lights up whenever that animated little deformity so much as turns to her.’ This was Diana Manners, writing to her fiancé, Duff...

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The Upsides of Sontag’s Downsides

James Wolcott, 24 October 2019

Arguing about Sontag is one of the things that keeps her alive for us, as a figure of contention. We may end up arguing about her longer than we continue reading her, but that’s for posterity to...

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Diary: The Monsters of #MeToo

Anne Enright, 24 October 2019

Last year​, I spoke to a young female doctor who has on occasion been sexually assaulted or insulted by men under her care. What are they thinking? One answer is that they think she is a nurse...

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Ben-Gurion’s Obsession

Adam Shatz, 24 October 2019

David Ben-Gurion​, the founder of the state of Israel, was brooding, explosive, often on the verge of collapse: every obstacle he faced was a ‘catastrophe’. He dabbled in...

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Diary: The Peruvian Corporation of London

Iain Sinclair, 10 October 2019

Out of​ the shuddering car and into the dance. The holy medallion is still swinging like a hanged Disneyland midget in a gale. The eyes of the skull knob on the gearstick pulse dangerously. The...

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What Struck Cameron

David Runciman, 10 October 2019

Cameron says of his time in government: ‘We proved in an increasingly polarised age that politics wasn’t either/or – you could be pro-defence and pro-aid; pro-family and pro-equality;...

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Lucian Freud’s Outer Being

Colm Tóibín, 10 October 2019

After he left school, his father took a piece of sculpture – a sandstone horse, almost two feet high, ‘three legs serving convincingly as four’ – that Lucian had made, to show...

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Hipsters in Beijing

Sheng Yun, 10 October 2019

A typical​ Chinese millennial hipster will turn up to see you wearing a snug designer jacket, really saggy jeans or super-tight leggings, and white sneakers. They’ll be carrying an...

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Diary: Prisons in the Mountains

Ben Mauk, 26 September 2019

In​ August 2018 I was in Zharkent, a market town in Kazakhstan near the Chinese border, reporting on the extradition trial of an asylum seeker named Sayragul Sauytbay. She claimed she had been...

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Davenport and Kenner

August Kleinzahler, 26 September 2019

In​ 1882, the year Virginia Woolf and William Carlos Williams were born, Friedrich Nietzsche bought a typewriter, a Malling-Hansen Writing Ball. It wasn’t as good as a Remington but it...

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Enoch Powell

Ferdinand Mount, 26 September 2019

Here, I think, is Enoch Powell’s abiding legacy: not his undeniable racism, or his cold disregard for the welfare of those he identified as ‘an alien wedge’, but rather the lurking angst...

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