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Out of the closet

Tom Paulin, 29 October 1987

Emily Dickinson 
by Helen McNeil.
Virago, 208 pp., £3.50, April 1986, 0 86068 619 1
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Emily Dickinson: Looking to Canaan 
by John Robinson.
Faber, 191 pp., £3.95, August 1986, 0 571 13943 4
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Emily Dickinson: A Poet’s Grammar 
by Christanne Miller.
Harvard, 212 pp., £15.95, July 1987, 0 674 25035 4
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Emily Dickinson: The Poet on the Second Story 
by Jerome Loving.
Cambridge, 128 pp., £20, April 1987, 0 521 32781 4
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... of what poetry can know (and write) changes when her work is taken into account’. Unfortunately, Jerome Loving practises a form of traditional close reading; Christanne Miller’s study is more densely researched and much more living and contemporary in its readings of the poems. Miller works from the assumption that Dickinson sees herself ...

The Genesis of Blame

Anne Enright, 8 March 2018

... it from the first letter from St Paul to Timothy as translated in the late fourth century by St Jerome, whose Latin Vulgate version survived to become the official Bible of the Catholic Church more than a thousand years later. The passage was often used to justify the bar on women priests. ‘I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to use authority over the ...

Don’t look back

Toril Moi: Rereading Duras, 13 April 2023

The Easy Life 
by Marguerite Duras, translated by Olivia Baes and Emma Ramadan.
Bloomsbury, 208 pp., £12.99, December 2022, 978 1 5266 4865 5
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... final sentence, that ‘it was as before, that he still loved her, that he could never stop loving her, that he’d love her until he died.’ How much truth is there in this novel that so many critics refer to as ‘autofiction’? In Un Barrage contre le Pacifique, the lover is white. In L’Amant and L’Amant de la Chine du Nord (her second novel ...

Homo Narrator

Inga Clendinnen, 16 March 2000

Mirror Talk: Genres of Crisis in Contemporary Autobiography 
by Susanna Egan.
North Carolina, 275 pp., £39.95, September 1999, 0 8078 4782 8
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... Some years ago, I heard the psychologist Jerome Bruner give a talk about a girl named Emily. At two, Emily was a virtuoso night talker: put to bed, storied, kissed and left, there would be a brief silence, and then the small voice would begin. It could go on for hours. Her loving, anxious parents installed a bug in her bed and recorded her talk – so much for infants’ right to privacy ...

Heart and Hoof

Marjorie Garber: Seabiscuit, 4 October 2001

Seabiscuit: The Making of a Legend 
by Laura Hillenbrand.
Fourth Estate, 399 pp., £16.99, May 2001, 1 84115 091 6
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... and lived out his life in exclusive hotels and clubs in the eastern United States, to Pollard’s loving Irish father, who made and lost a fortune in the bricklaying business, and from whom the boy parted, for good, at the age of 15 to pursue a career as a jockey – to, needless to say, the lineage of the book’s eponymous hero, from his great-grandsire ...

Watching himself go by

John Lahr, 4 December 1980

by Noël Coward.
Eyre Methuen, 358 pp., £5.95, September 1980, 0 413 46050 9
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... myself go by – that’s what’s so horrible – I see myself all the time, eating, drinking, loving, suffering – sometimes I think I’m going mad.’ Essendine is another of Coward’s irresistible heterosexual postures: ‘Everyone worships me, it’s nauseating.’ Garry is fantastically successful – and success can be the most effective mask of ...

A Messiah in the Family

Walter Nash, 8 February 1990

Kingdom come 
by Bernice Rubens.
Hamish Hamilton, 312 pp., £12.99, February 1990, 0 241 12481 6
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The Other Side 
by Mary Gordon.
Bloomsbury, 337 pp., £13.99, January 1990, 0 7475 0473 3
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The Alchemist 
by Mark Illis.
Bloomsbury, 244 pp., £13.95, January 1990, 0 7475 0468 7
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The way you tell them: A Yarn of the Nineties 
by Alan Brownjohn.
Deutsch, 145 pp., £11.95, January 1990, 0 233 98496 8
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... existence and rum doings of one Sabbatai Zvi, holy roller, profligate, manic-depressive, loving son, passionate friend, a light never quite to lighten the gentiles, but certainly a light of a fitful and most garish kind. Ms Rubens obviously knows the difference between historical identity and fictional personage, and would not expect her readers ...

Utopia Limited

David Cannadine, 15 July 1982

Fabianism and Culture: A Study in British Socialism and the Arts, 1884-1918 
by Ian Britain.
Cambridge, 344 pp., £19.50, June 1982, 0 521 23563 4
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The Elmhirsts of Dartington: The Creation of an Utopian Community 
by Michael Young.
Routledge, 381 pp., £15, June 1982, 9780710090515
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... and that, at different times, their society was adorned by literati such as Wells, Shaw, Bennett, Jerome K. Jerome, Harley Granville-Barker, Rupert Brooke and Virginia Woolf. Britain shows that the society sponsored lectures on a broad spectrum of arts subjects (with literature predominating), provided a forum for sustained ...

‘I merely belong to them’

Judith Butler: Hannah Arendt, 10 May 2007

The Jewish Writings 
by Hannah Arendt, edited by Jerome Kohn and Ron Feldman.
Schocken, 559 pp., $35, March 2007, 978 0 8052 4238 6
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... she has said she can love not a ‘people’, only ‘persons’. What is wrong with the notion of loving the Jewish people? In the late 1930s, Arendt argued that efforts to ‘emancipate’ the Jews in 19th-century Europe were invested less in their fate than in a certain principle of progress, one that required that the Jews be thought of as an ...

Going Postal

Zachary Leader, 5 October 1995

The Paperboy 
by Pete Dexter.
Viking, 307 pp., £15, May 1995, 0 670 86066 2
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Third and Indiana 
by Steve Lopez.
Viking, 305 pp., £10.99, April 1995, 0 670 86132 4
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... of Negroes’, and only last spring ‘kicked a man to death on a public street.’ That man was Jerome Van Wetter, Hillary’s cousin ‘once or twice removed’ (the family is notoriously primitive and inbred), and when Call’s disembowelled and half-skinned body is found one morning, attention immediately focuses on Hillary, the ‘most unpredictable and ...

Controversy abating and credulity curbed?

Ronald Syme, 4 September 1980

... Educated Christians had been employing familiar techniques for polemical ends or for edification. Jerome now wrote his Life of Paul, duly equipped with ‘corroborative details’ – among them metal gear in a cave left there by forgers of coins in the days of Antonius and Cleopatra. This Paul is put on show as the proto-hermit of the Egyptian ...

Mongkut and I

Ruth Bernard Yeazell, 30 January 1992

The Romance of the Harem 
by Anna Leonowens, edited by Susan Morgan.
Virginia, 285 pp., £10.50, August 1991, 0 8139 1328 4
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... the forlorn stranger to her bosom, and comforted her with such words as women who have great and loving hearts only can.’ As at many other moments in The Romance of the Harem, Leonowens’s oriental women speak with the accents of domestic sentimentalism. In The English Governess Leonowens introduced the ‘romantic and mournful’ story of one of the ...

Thinking without a Banister

James Miller, 19 October 1995

Hannah Arendt/Martin Heidegger 
by Elzbieta Ettinger.
Yale, 139 pp., £10.95, October 1995, 0 300 06407 1
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Essays in Understanding, 1930-1954: Uncollected and Unpublished Works 
by Hannah Arendt, edited by Jerome Kohn.
Harcourt Brace, 458 pp., $39.95, May 1994, 0 15 172817 8
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Hannah Arendt: A Reinterpretation of Her Political Thought 
by Margaret Canovan.
Cambridge, 298 pp., £12.95, September 1995, 0 521 47773 5
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Between Friends: The Correspondence of Hannah Arendt and Mary McCarthy 
edited by Carol Brightman.
Secker, 412 pp., £25, July 1995, 0 436 20251 4
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Hannah Arendt/Karl Jaspers: Correspondence, 1926-1969 
edited by Lotte Kohler and Hans Saner, translated by Robert and Rita Kimber.
Harcourt Brace, 821 pp., $49.95, November 1992, 0 15 107887 4
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... plans and the travails of ageing. By the end, their correspondence has come to exemplify the ‘loving strife’ of thoughtful ‘communication’ that Jaspers long celebrated in his philosophy. Although Arendt’s élan and keen insight is evident in these letters, as in her work more generally, anyone coming to her essays and books in search of clear ...

Wordsworth and the Well-Hidden Corpse

Marilyn Butler, 6 August 1992

The Lyrical Ballads: Longman Annotated Texts 
edited by Michael Mason.
Longman, 419 pp., £29.99, April 1992, 0 582 03302 0
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Strange Power of Speech: Wordsworth, Coleridge and Literary Possession 
by Susan Eilenberg.
Oxford, 278 pp., £30, May 1992, 0 19 506856 4
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The Politics of Nature: Wordsworth and Some Contemporaries 
by Nicholas Roe.
Macmillan, 186 pp., £35, April 1992, 0 333 52314 8
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... of the group, ‘To Joanna’, Wordsworth has allowed Joanna Hutchinson a joke against his nature-loving circle, Who look upon the hills with tenderness, And make dear friendships with the streams and groves. But Mason really doesn’t care for ‘a coterie keen on pathetic fallacy’, and a touch of self-satire on Wordsworth’s part won’t win him ...

Stage Emperor

James Davidson, 28 April 1994

Reflections of Nero: Culture, History and Representation 
edited by Jás Elsner and Jamie Masters.
Duckworth, 239 pp., £35, January 1994, 0 7156 2479 2
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... do wholeheartedly believe that Nero is still living.’ Three hundred years later, in the time of Jerome and Augustine, stories were still going around that Nero was alive and ready at any time to make a reappearance. At this late date, however, there was much more involved in Nero’s nachleben than the prospect of a comeback concert tour. The tyrant’s ...

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