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The Virtue of Incest

Marina Warner, 7 October 1993

Elizabeth’s Glass 
by Marc Shell.
Nebraska, 365 pp., £30.95, July 1993, 0 8032 4216 6
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... its receivers at least to understand their situation a bit better. In this remarkable study, Marc Shell has widened the range of genres dealing with the personal cost of the dysfunctional family to include a startling and unlikely candidate: a translation of a mystical meditation into English from French made by Princess Elizabeth, the future ...

Owning Art

Arthur C. Danto, 7 March 1996

Kings and Connoisseurs: Collecting Art in 17th-Century Europe 
by Jonathan Brown.
Yale, 264 pp., £35, September 1995, 0 300 06437 3
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Art & Money 
by Marc Shell.
Chicago, 230 pp., £27.95, June 1995, 0 226 75213 5
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... that economic considerations must inevitably affect the way we look at art. A writer cited by Marc Shell in Art & Money asserts that ‘one thing is clear: when vast sums of money are attached to works, their artistic merit becomes confused with their value as commodities.’ But painting has been, as the expression goes, ‘commodified’ since the ...

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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... property-sharing for academics. Among the scholars whose recent work is shown to supports hers are Marc Shell, Kurt Heinzelman, Jerome Christensen, David Simpson, Heather Glen, Paul Magnuson, Lucy Newlyn, Raimonda Modiano and Alan Liu. Titles which reflect their common interests include Heinzelman’s The Economics of Literature and Modiano’s ‘The ...

How to Get Rich

Laleh Khalili: Who owns the oil?, 23 September 2021

The World for Sale: Money, Power and the Traders Who Barter the Earth’s Resources 
by Javier Blas and Jack Farchy.
Random House Business, 410 pp., £20, February, 978 1 84794 265 4
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... Out here vast loading cranes loom and white blisters of oil depots flank refineries operated by Shell, ExxonMobil, Koch, Gunvor and BP. The depots are owned by companies with acronyms for names, cloaking their part ownership by global oil giants: Aramco, Vitol and Kuwait Petroleum International (also known as Q8).Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe, the ...

Along the Voie Sacrée

Inigo Thomas, 8 November 2018

... to German Jews, being made of stone, stand out. Vienne-le-Château to the south-west is where Marc Bloch was posted in 1915. His war diaries convey the boredom of war work behind the lines, with nothing to read and no sense of what was going on elsewhere. ‘I had little comprehension of the battle,’ he wrote. ‘It was the victory of the Marne but I ...


Alison Jolly: Among Lemurs, 2 January 2003

... nobody else around. For the first half of 2002, Madagascar had two rival Presidents. The new man, Marc Ravalomanana, claimed that he had won the elections of December 2001 outright. Ravalomanana is often called the ‘Yoghurt King’. He is a self-made millionaire, head of Tiko, the largest Malagasy-owned private business, which makes and markets yoghurt and ...


John Lanchester, 22 April 2021

Sinews of War and Trade: Shipping and Capitalism in the Arabian Peninsula 
by Laleh Khalili.
Verso, 368 pp., £20, April 2020, 978 1 78663 481 8
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... customers. Instead, you make whatever it is where it’s cheapest, and ship it to them instead. As Marc Levinson wrote in The Box (2006), his unexpectedly thrilling book about the container industry, shipping is so cheap it has ‘changed the shape of the world economy’.My own long-standing, slow-burning interest in shipping came from the fact that I grew up ...

Faint Sounds of Shovelling

John Kerrigan: The History of Tragedy, 20 December 2018

Ladies’ Greek: Victorian Translations of Tragedy 
by Yopie Prins.
Princeton, 297 pp., £24, April 2017, 978 0 691 14189 3
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Greek Tragic Women on Shakespearean Stages 
by Tanya Pollard.
Oxford, 331 pp., £60, September 2017, 978 0 19 879311 3
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Eclipse of Action: Tragedy and Political Economy 
by Richard Halpern.
Chicago, 313 pp., £34, April 2017, 978 0 226 43365 3
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Samson Agonistes: A Redramatisation after Milton 
by John Kinsella.
Arc, 109 pp., £10.99, October 2018, 978 1 911469 55 1
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... the silks; Her head uncrushed by that round weight of hat So strangely similar to the tortoise-shell Which slew the tragic poet.The hyper-pink shepherdess represents the dainty femininity wished on the child by her aunt. The hat, however, suggests to the adult Aurora, by now a poet with an interest in tragedy, the death of Aeschylus, who according to ...

Marvellous Boys

Mark Ford, 9 September 1993

The Ern Malley Affair 
by Michael Heyward.
Faber, 278 pp., £15, August 1993, 0 571 16781 0
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... as the most famous of all doomed Romantics: ‘Yet we are as the double almond concealed in one shell,’ he broods in ‘Colloquy with John Keats’, going on to predict his own equally untimely demise in harsh demotic terms – ‘Look! My number is up!’ After his cremation at Rookwood Cemetery Ethel opened his trunk and set about disposing of his ...

See you in court, pal

John Lanchester: The Microsoft Trial, 30 September 1999

The Nudist on the Late Shift 
by Po Bronson.
Secker, 248 pp., £10, August 1999, 0 436 20477 0
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Infinite Loop: How Apple, the World’s Most Insanely Great Computer Company, Went Insane 
by Michael Malone.
Aurum, 598 pp., £18.99, April 1999, 1 85410 638 4
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Burn Rate: How I Survived the Gold Rush Years on the Internet 
by Michael Woolf.
Orion, 364 pp., £7.99, June 1999, 0 7528 2606 9
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The Cathedral and the Bazaar: revised edition 
by Eric S. Raymond.
O'Reilly, 256 pp., £11.95, February 2001, 0 596 00108 8
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... buggy, crash-prone, counter-intuitive to use, creakily resting on top of its antiquated DOS shell, Windows became the most successfully revenue-generating piece of software in the history of the world. By the mid-Nineties, with his vision of a Microsoft-using computer on every desk almost a reality, Gates was in a position of near-total domination of ...

The Age of EJH

Perry Anderson: Eric Hobsbawm’s Memoirs, 3 October 2002

Interesting Times: A 20th-Century Life 
by Eric Hobsbawm.
Allen Lane, 448 pp., £20, September 2002, 0 7139 9581 5
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... consulted today, are of interest mainly as testimonials of political evasion. Closer to hand, Marc Bloch’s post-mortem on 1940, with its mixture of personal report and general requisitory, is a poignant document, but too circumscribed for more than flashes of self-revelation. More recently, we have the eccentric cameos of Richard Cobb and causeries of ...

All change. This train is cancelled

Iain Sinclair: The Dome, 13 May 1999

... of the lost years of Simon Dee. Finally, on Friday 12 February, it happened. The photographer Marc Atkins and I were signed in for a site visit. The low-ceilinged reception area was chaos. Dull blow-ups and parched greenery. One girl fielding all the calls, trying to find taxis to get impatient suits out of there, back to the outskirts of ...

Russia’s Managed Democracy

Perry Anderson: Why Putin?, 25 January 2007

... into a more coherent structure of power. In possession of voter confidence, he has not needed to shell deputies or forge plebiscites. But to meet any eventuality, the instruments of coercion and intimidation have been strengthened. The budget of the FSB – the post-Communist successor to the KGB – has trebled, and the number of positions in the federal ...

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