thu 19/07/2018

literature

DVD: Al Berto

There are plenty of reasons to be apprehensive about biopics of poets. The activity of writing is most often, after all, anything but cinematic, unless its moments of creativity are forced, while the “myth” of the poet all too easily becomes...

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Sarah Langford: In Your Defence review - messy lives

When Sarah Langford goes to work, she puts on warpaint and wig and acts. But she is not an actor. She defends those who might or might not be guilty of the crimes with with they’ve been charged, or she acts on behalf of those bringing prosecutions...

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The Town Hall Affair, The Wooster Group, Barbican review - electric anarchy

Iconoclasm, orgasms, and rampant rhetoric are all on irrepressible display in The Wooster Group’s recreation of the 1971 Manhattan debate that pitted Norman Mailer against some of the leading feminists of the day. The evening proved almost as...

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Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott: Swan Song review - Capote redux

Here you will find Babe Paley, Slim Keith, CZ Guest, Gloria Guinness, Lee Radziwill, Marella Agnelli, the stylish leaders of society, gorgeous, gilded, well-married ladies: the men they were with – billionaires, corporate and cultural leaders –...

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'That brick red frock with flowers everywhere': painting Katherine Mansfield

The well-known portrait of New Zealand’s greatest writer, Katherine Mansfield, is exactly 100 years old on 17 June 2018 (main picture). It was painted by the American artist Anne Estelle Rice. At that time, Mansfield and Rice were both staying in...

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Sancho: An Act of Remembrance, Wilton's Music Hall review - pure entertainment

One space, one person, one story, one voice – the monologue is theatre distilled, the purest form of entertainment. On a stage of packing boxes and boards, over the course of just over an hour, Paterson Joseph relays and plays the life of...

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Lisa Halliday: Asymmetry review - unconventional and brilliant

Lisa Halliday’s striking debut novel consists of three parts. The first follows the blooming relationship between Alice and Ezra (respectively an Assistant Editor and a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer) in New York; the middle section comprises a...

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David Lodge: Writer’s Luck - A Memoir 1976-1991 review - literary days, in detail

Metaphor, metonymy, simile and synecdoche, anyone? FR Leavis, Roman Jakobson, Jacques Derrida, Frank Kermode? If any of this, and more, turns you on, this lengthy memoir will be irresistible. It is almost a day-by-day account of 15 years of the...

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Marcel Proust: Letters to the Lady Upstairs - a very slim volume

Marcel Proust was a prolific letter-writer. He wrote tens of thousands of them, and at speed, as can be seen from the two facsimiles which are included with the text of Letters to the Lady Upstairs (there are quite a few more in the original French...

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Claire Tomalin: A Life of My Own review - the biographer on herself

The title says it all, or at least quite a lot. Luminously intelligent, an exceptionally hard worker, bilingual in French, a gifted biographer, Claire Tomalin has been at the heart of the literati glitterati all her working life. Here she turns her...

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The 'self-experimenter': Howard Brenton on Strindberg in crisis

I wrote The Blinding Light to try to understand the mental and spiritual crisis that August Strindberg suffered in February 1896. Deeply disturbed, plagued by hallucinations, he holed up in various hotel rooms in Paris, most famously in the Hotel...

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John Man: Amazons review - the real warrior women of the ancient world

As Wonder Woman hits screens worldwide, the publication of a book that explores the myth and reality of the Amazon seems timely. The latest of John Man’s works of popular history is opportunistic enough to end with a fascinating account of the...

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