To sign or not to sign
Times Literary Supplement
by simonwnewsuk1902
1w ago
Pictured here: the TLS of exactly fifty years ago. The paper was undergoing a year of transition – a minor transition to many, to be sure, but a major one to some, and much debated at the time. That transition is denoted on the first page of this issue for June 14, 1974 by those two fine words “Richard Pipes”. Since its first appearance in 1902, the TLS had kept the identities of its reviewers from its readers; bylines were reserved for poets and contributors of the odd signed essay. Was such a practice (some asked, and not just of the TLS) fair? Was anonymity serving as a cover for the rollin ..read more
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Who wrote Nostromo?
Times Literary Supplement
by simonwnewsuk1902
1w ago
To answer J. C. Davies’s query directly: Osborne writes, “Ford’s account of his contribution to the composition of Nostromo does not stand up to scrutiny” (p459). There have been two detailed scholarly examinations of Ford’s involvement in the writing of Conrad’s novel, that of John Hope Morey in a PhD dissertation of 1960, which broadly supports Ford’s claims to authorship, and an article by Xavier Brice printed in The Conradian in 2004, which precisely and persuasively refutes them (Ford had also claimed in a letter of 1923 to the American collector George T. Keating that he had contributed ..read more
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Crossword 1531
Times Literary Supplement
by lily.herd@the-tls.co.uk
1w ago
A PDF of this week’s crossword is available here The post Crossword 1531 appeared first on TLS ..read more
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Ruthless ambition
Times Literary Supplement
by pablo.scheffer@the-tls.co.uk
1w ago
The Cleopatras focuses on the lives, ambitions and achievements of the seven queens and princesses who bore the name of Cleopatra during the last century and a half of the Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt (from roughly 193 to 30 BCE). In a readable account, Llewellyn-Jones draws on a wealth of primary sources to explore the wider Egyptian context over which the Greek-speaking court of Alexandria held sway – and the unstable world beyond Egypt’s frontiers, from the volatile Syria in the east to the unstoppable juggernaut of Rome in the west. But the book’s two converging aims are to re-assess the unf ..read more
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The volcano and the abyss
Times Literary Supplement
by pablo.scheffer@the-tls.co.uk
1w ago
The Colombian writer Evelio Rosero, a specialist in dystopias, is best known for The Armies (Los ejércitos, 2007), a short, violent novel about a village caught in the crossfire between state forces and drug traffickers, paramilitaries and guerrillas. It won Rosero and his translator Anne McLean the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2009. While The Armies begins in a time of sensual abundance, Way Far Away (En el lejero) is nightmarish from the get-go. In the first sentence, a traveller is shown to his coffin-like hotel room. He’s the only guest in a hotel whose owner also has a business se ..read more
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Reading and writing
Times Literary Supplement
by pablo.scheffer@the-tls.co.uk
1w ago
Masquerading as a wide-ranging collection of literary essays, Unwords is in fact a hybrid work of critical theory and biography. A reader might object that literature is already brimming with such experiments. Yet few are delivered with Andrew Gallix’s charm. Originally published in the TLS, the Guardian, the Irish Times and 3:AM Magazine, the literary website Gallix founded in 2000, the essays in this collection are written in crisp newspaper prose, avoiding the preponderant “I” and paragraph-long sentences frequently found in creative non-fiction. At the book’s heart sits the story of Gallix ..read more
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Streams of consciousness
Times Literary Supplement
by pablo.scheffer@the-tls.co.uk
1w ago
What if, on March 28, 1941, Virginia Woolf had not made her way down to the river Ouse, had not waded into its tidal waters with pockets full of stones? What if we, as her readers, did not have to remember that this is how she died? In the first essay in By the River, Jo Hamya reflects on Woolf, admitting that “guilt dictates” what she writes. She wants to “imagine [her piece] as a river flowing backwards”: well versed in author’s diaries, she wants to renew the positive associations, writing of Woolf lying by the water with Leonard; cheerfully buying a small boat for her visiting nephew; puzz ..read more
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Secret meanings
Times Literary Supplement
by pablo.scheffer@the-tls.co.uk
1w ago
“When I am not writing I am dead.” Clarice Lispector’s words to an interviewer, ten months before she died in 1977 at the age of fifty-six, speak to how she equated literature with living. In the decades since, her novels, chronicles and short stories have thrived: as Earl E. Fitz notes in his new monograph, she “lives in at least sixteen languages and is read in all parts of the world”. Aimed at non-specialist readers, Clarice Lispector: From Brazil to the world explores how and why the author of such enigmatic and esoteric prose, from a relatively under-read country, has become a “global cel ..read more
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Both matador and bull
Times Literary Supplement
by pablo.scheffer@the-tls.co.uk
1w ago
Alix Cléo Roubaud (1952-83) is probably best remembered for her marriage to the poet Jacques Roubaud, who dedicated his volume Quelque chose noir (1986) to her after her death at thirty one. She might also be recalled as a lover of the experimental filmmaker Jean Eustache and the subject of his film Les Photos d’Alix (1980). Yet Alix was much more than a muse. She was a writer – her Journal, recounting her years with Roubaud – was published in 1984. And she was a photographer. Her images only gained limited critical attention in her lifetime, but the Centre Pompidou purchased a number of them ..read more
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In this week’s TLS
Times Literary Supplement
by simonwnewsuk1902
1w ago
Sigmund Freud gets his turn on the couch in this week’s TLS. Frank Tallis’s Mortal Secrets, reviewed by George Prochnik, asks intriguing questions of psychoanalysis’s founding father that bear on the biographer’s craft. What motive led Freud to burn his personal papers at various times in his life? Why did he resist the attention of even friendly biographers? Freud’s brush-off to the novelist Arnold Zweig, for instance, surely demands further interrogation. “Biographical truth does not exist, and if it did we could not use it”, said Freud, adding, “truth is not obtainable, mankind does not des ..read more
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