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'It's the family Luck', he told us; 'if it ever gets

lost or broken, our luck will go too.' A previously


unpublished preface by Daphne du Maurier and
Dinah Birch's reassessment of the novelist

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so me times "a littl e forc ed ".


John Fanshawe admires
another new histor y. that of
" Man' s delib erat e killing of

T he days after this wee k's


Summer doubl e issue
goes to press should be a
terr estial wildlife". a crim e
for which politician s must
bear only part of the blame.
good tim e to repl y indi vidu- Book s to mark the sixtieth
ally to reader s' letters about anniversa ry of Indi an inde-
our mod est TLS design pend enc e are reviewed by
chan ges. But in case any mes- J . M. Coetzee by Jonathan Da vid Amold, who find s po l-
sages have been missed amid Wateridge itical complacency, then and
Briti sh postal strikes and now, as we ll as cou rage. Luc y
intern ational elec tronic chaff. seve ral mor e than the number Beck ett sees " a bargain" in a
a mass thanks now to all who of those who used to enter it brief introduction to Christian
have appreciated Je' s back- ea ch week. Perhaps at so me belief by the Archbishop of
page prom otion, the better point we will see k another Ca nterbury and TLS co ntribu-
colour reproduction, the liter ary ent ert ainm ent. tor, Row an Will iam s.
improved deli very from our Meanwhil e. Britain' s Before all that , those who
new US print plant and the form er Fore ign Se cretar y. love literary puz zles ca n read
staples to keep the pages Dou gla s Hurd , ha s joined the Eliz abeth Lowr y' s elega nt
tog eth er. Apologies too to rank s of political practition- account of the identity ga mes
tho se who preferr ed JC ers who like to play the histo- pla yed in the latest novel by
Audiobooks. Books for where he was, who think the
fewer pictures the better and
rian of politics too, drawin g
par allel s betw een some
her fello w South African-
born writer J. M. Coetzee ,
people like us. who used to pull the paper
apart each wee k for eas ier
of Sir Rob ert Peel' s failin gs
and tho se of Ton y BIair
finding humour and compas-
sion in thi s " master of the
rea d ing. T he end of our and Margaret Thatcher - an brut al, the unp oetic and the
Author . Author competiti on urge for compari son which relentl essly real".
has been mourned by a few - Ferdina nd Mount find s PS
www.simplyaudiobooks.co.uk/stephen
TLS A UG UST 2 4 & 3 1 20 07
FICTION & E S SAYS 3

Initial contacts
Sexual disguises, false names and other impostures of authorship and life
- as deployed by J. M . Coetzee and the characters in his fiction

" w e used to believe ", laments J. M. E LIZA BET H LOWR Y alluded to in passin g. The temperature rises John Coetzee than was Eliza beth Costello.
Coerzees fic tiona l wr iter Eliza- eve n furth er when it turn s out that JC, too , Now you see him , now you don 't: once again
beth Costello, "that when the tex t 1. M . Coe tzee had a father whose name began with Z (for the author vanishes.
said, 'O n the table stood a glass of water', Zac harias) and that he was educa ted by the Yes, what is rea lism? The nineteenth
there was indeed a table, and a glass of wa ter DI A R Y O F A BAD YEA R Marist Broth ers in Ca pe Tow n, details which century assoc iated it with a trompe-l' oei/
on it, and we had only to look in the word- 23 Ipp. 16.99. will be familiar to Coe tzees readers fro m verisimilitude and with clo sure; we assoc iate
mirror of the text to see them. But all that has 978 1 84655 1208 Boy hood (1997). Can we take all this at it with the abse nce of any claim s to truth .
ended." I N N E R W ORK INGS face value? Is the guarded Coetzee reall y Coetzee has always avo ided realism in its sim-
Q uite. Coe tzee has always avoided the flat Essays 2000-2005 performin g a striptease? No t only is this pler forms , prefe rring the sort of nove l, as he
mirror of realism in favour of the ma ny- 304p p. 17.99. fictional JC eminent, there is also a hint that once exp lained in an address in Ca pe Town,
layered mise en abyme of metafiction, and his 978 1 846550454 he has won the No bel Prize, going by a that evo lves "its ow n paradigm s and myths" .
Eli zabeth Cos tello (20 03) is a case in point: Harv ill Seeker tongue-i n-cheek reference to a framed scro ll His early books were often unapo loge tically
not so much a novel as a ser ies of infinitely on his bedro om wall "in some fore ign lan- fabul ar or allegorica l, making free use of
regressed reflec tions on the nature of wr iting politica l, artistic and sex ual power. guage (Latin") with his name in fancy night marish sym bols and abrup t truncations,
itself and the writer 's con trac t with the Wh at is more, the hero is an age ing writer letterin g with lots of curlicues and a big red indicating a fund amental interest in narra tive
reader. Cos tello first appeared in 1997, in a who bears a striking resembl ance to Coe tzee. wax sea l in the corner". Swe dish, not Latin , form , in the means by which the story -illusion
journa l article by Coe tzee ca lled "What Is His initials are JC ; his fir st name perhaps? But reall y - on the bedroom wa ll? If is created and by which it ca n be disrupted
Rea lism?", later took ce ntre stage in The is John, and like Coe tzee he left his native we care to look , there are other sly ruffl ings (during the Apart heid years Coe tzee ' s novels
Lives of Anim als (1999) - quit e literally, South Africa so me time ago to live in of the mirro r's surface : JC was born in 1934, we re regularly passed by the South African
being Coetzee' s preferred voice for the Australia, which is where the nove l is set. His rather than 1940 ; unlike Coetzee he once had censors not because they did not deal with
Prin ceton Ta nner Lectu res on wh ich that books are Coe tzees books - Wai ting for the a sister rather than a broth er; he is childless; material that might be construed as critical of
book was based - and has since featured as a Barbarians ( 1980) and the essay co llec tion he lives alone. Look aga in, and the mirro r the state, but because their potenti al threat
deus ex mac hina author figur e in his novel, on censorship, Givi ng Offense ( 1996), are cracks . Ceci n 'est pas une pipe . JC is no more was thought to be ame liora ted by their sheer
Slow Man (2005), popp ing up to deb ate the literariness). As Coe tzees writing has
interrelationship between the rea l and the evolved, however, his con tract with the reader
literary with the book' s ma in charac ter, Pau l has changed . His more recen t fiction, after
Rayment. The TLS printed a cartoon of Disgrace (1999), has a naturalistic surface,
Coe tzee in drag (Sep te mber 5, 2003) , and but its smoo thness is decepti ve. His prose is
even the most astute of his cri tics fell into the often described as stripped or blanched: the lit-
trap of accep ting the outspoken Cos tello as a erary equivalent of furnitu re from IKEA, and
surrogate for the notoriously guarded as com fortless . Thi s is ano ther way of saying
Coe tzee him self. that he now displays his conve ntions even
Reader, beware. Cos tello is a fic tiona liza- more know ingly: the narrati ve scaffolding is
tion not so much of Coe tzees self as of what more than eve r on display.
he does - as a novelist, that is. " It is not my Indeed, in the cour se of Diary of a Bad
prof e ssio n to be lieve", she expla ins , "j ust Year, JC beco mes exquisi tely alert to wha t he
to write." Coetzee himself does not deal in ca lls "the impostures of authors hip" . Having
belief : the mise en abyme is a ha ll of mirrors been asked by a German publisher to co ntrib-
that refu ses to throw up final answe rs, a ute a run of essays to a book on "what is
device by which he is able to take apart the wrong with today' s world", he sets about
very nature of conviction. But he wou ld now rec ording his opin ions on a dict aphone tape -
see m to have taken an unprece de nted step. JC, whose handwritin g is deteriorating due to
As a wr iter, Coe tzee is ofte n acc used of a loss of fine musc ular co ntrol, is suffe ring
co ldness, of remo teness, of an excessive from Par kinson's disease. His ass umptions
sobrie ty. Yet in Diary of a Bad Year this about the wo rld , and hi s magisterial writerly
mos t resolut ely private of novelists, whose sta nce , are, however , und ermin ed by his
mem oirs were written in the third perso n and enco unters with An ya, the exo tic young
who routin ely refu ses to respond in the first Filipin o-Au strali an woman he mee ts in the
even when collec ting literary pr izes (take 16.8.07 Ornsbjerg, Denmark laund ry room of their apartme nt buil ding,
Coe rzees elliptica l No bel Lectur e of 200 3, lusts after, and swiftly enlists as his typist.
the scrup ulously imper sonal fable He and Elvis Pr esley, who died thi rt y yea rs ago pitches through some bar", it begins, Anya not only types up the grea t man' s
His Man), appears to enter the fictional fram e last week, is r ememb er ed in two ways: pitching us into Gunn 's ear ly experi- thought s, but takes it on herself to "fix them
in orde r to spea k in w ha t see ms as to nishing ly as th e slende r, sinuous idol of his youth ence of Ameri ca , of motorhikes and up too her e and th er e w he re I ca n" , ge ne ra t-
like his ow n voice, offe ring us a series of and th e bloated "King" of his last Wurlitzer jukeboxe s, with Elvis " in his ing a subtle, ongo ing co medy of co nflict ing
"s trong opinions" on prec isely those subjec ts years. Thom Gunn, the Engli sh poet gangling fin er y I And cra wling side- perspecti ves, as well as so me crude r ma la-
that have been the backb one of his fiction so who lived almost all his life in San burns, wielding a guitar". By 1982 and prop isms thanks to her undi scri min ating use
far. It is all here, in a sequence of fierce ly Francisco, wrote poems about both "Painkillers", Gunn's poetry appeared of her com puter's spe llcheck fun ction (in her
arg ued short essays on topics as apparently Elvises, and both poems wer e impor- to have gone the way of Elvis' s waist- typescript Brezh nev' s generals sit "some-
divergent as anarc hism and the origins of the tant to our own Freelance r , Hugo WH- line: " The King of ro ck 'n 'rolll grown where in the urin als"). The three layer s of
state, personal res ponsibility and ances tral Iiams : " I r ememb er feeling 1 could fac e pudgy, almost matronly, I Fatty in gold the text - Je' s philoso phical essays , his
guilt, eros and the writing life, Mac hiave lli th e world unafraid now that Gunn had lam e . . .", "Both artists", Williams heightened reflec tions on his meeti ngs with
and To ny Blair: the concern, which is one we written the cr ossover poem 'Elvis Pres- thought, "had turned middle-of-the- Anya, and Anya's ow n more sce ptical
have come to ass ociate with Coetzees ley"', he said. This , th e ea rli er and bet- road, Presley in Las Vega s, Gunn in versio n of their unfoldi ng rela tionship - are
best work, with mora l and pragm atic ter known of Gunn's poems, dates San Francisco. 1 see now th at both presen ted in exac tly the same order eac h time
contracts, the nature of rights and from 1957; "Two minutes long it poems are self-satire s." on successive pages, so that the novel
obligations, and above all with the torsions of Continued on page 4

TLS AUGUST 24 & 31 2007


4

Contin ued from page 3


FICTION & ESSAYS 3 Elizabeth Lowry J. M . Coe t zee Diary of a Bad Year. Inner Wor kings - Essays resembles one of those segmented children's
book s in whic h you end up with the head of
LETTERS TO T HE ED ITOR 6 Biography and Kings ley Amis, Sed uctive Sta lin, Reagan revisited, etc a gor illa , the tor so of a po lice man and the
legs of a ballerina (it is possible to read the
POEMS 7 L es Murray So uthe rn Hemi sph ere Gardens different narra tives discretely fro m start to
Jayanta M ahapatra Abo ut My Fat her's Plot to Ge t Home finish, but not adv isab le, as eac h liga men t of
13 St ep hen Knight Everyth ing Mu st Go this hybrid is held in a we ird ly elegant
33 D. Nu r kse Anthropocene tension wi th the rest) .
37 Hugo Williams Depression Olym pics JC is eve ry bit as beguiled , amused and
irrit ated by Anya ' s ineptness and her pre-
BIOGRAPHY 8 Ferdinand M ou nt Douglas Hurd Ro ber t Peel - A biogr aphy sump tuo usnes s as we are . A nya as sumes that
he comes from So uth Am erica rather than
HI STOR Y 9 J ess ica Reinisch G iles M a cDonogh After the Reic h So uth Af rica , and his am biguo us status in the
David Arnold Ram achandra G uha India After Gandhi book as Senor Ju an, or ev en "Senor C, the
Martha C. Nuss b a u m The C las h Within Sen ior Citize n" is a ru nning j oke (in fact
Diary ofa Bad Year diffe rs from almo st all of
LITERAR Y CRITICISM 12 Seamus Perry An gela L eighton On For m
Coe tzees ear lie r fiction in bein g laced with a
James Shar pe Daniel Defo e A n Essay on the History and Rea lity of Apparitions
dry, self-de precating hum our - Anya com -
RE LIG ION 14 Lucy Beckett R owan Williams To kens of Trust. H erbert M cC abe, OP Fa ith plain s, for instance , that JC' "know-it-all-
Wi thin Reason . Nicholas M osley Experie nce and Re ligion tone" as a writer "really turns peop le off ') .
Anya is fa r fro m empty-headed, however,
MEMOIRS 15 G a b r iel Josipovici Daniel Mendelsohn The Lost hav ing a shrew d insight into Je's mela nchol y
yearning for her, the aw kward lofti ness of his
COMMENTARY 17 Dinah Birch Addict of fa ntasy - Daphn e du Maurier's res tles s inquiry self-imposed isolation, and his increasi ng
Daphne du Maurier Pre face to The Glass-Blower s self-do ubts abo ut his wor k and his rep utation
Bernard Bergonzi Down Mexico Way vis-a-v is pos ter ity . His annoyance at her
Mi chael Greenberg Free la nce phi listin ism reveals less abo ut her than it
Then a nd Now TLS February 15, 1957 - The Rise of the Novel does abo ut his own hiera tic preten sion s: " if
you are prepared to hand it over to spe llcheck
ARTS 21 Judith Flanders The Bo lsho i Season (Co lise um) to ru n yo ur life" , he scolds her , "you might as
Lindsa y Duguid The C hang ing Face of Childhoo d (D ulwic h Picture Ga llery) we ll throw dice". Like Go d, JC the di stin-
Toby Li chtig Ri chard Bean In the Club (Hampstead Thea tre) guished wr iter is not the dice -throw ing sor t,
pontificating grandly that there is "nothing
FICTION 23 Patrick Denman Fl aner y Andre Brink The Blue Doo r like the feel of wor ds com ing into the world" .
Tim Sous te r Ben Okri Starbook Wh at Anya brings him, of co urse , in a twist
Fiona Gruber Nicholas Sha kes peare Secrets of the Sea
that turns this pot ent ially purely exp loitative
Al ex Clar k H ari Kunzru My Revo lutio ns relations hip on its head, is a pa inful appre he n-
David M alcolm Ronan Bennett Zugzwang
sio n of his own mort ality.
It is an iro nic inversio n that is familiar
FICTION IN BRIEF 25 Eoin M cNamee 12:23. Jason G ood win The Snake Stone . Al yse Grego r y Hester Craddock.
from Coetzees earlier wor k: like Susan
Val Mc De r m id Beneath the Bleedi ng. Edmund White Hotel de Dream
Barton ' s subtle domin atio n of Foe (Foe,
NATURAL SCIENCE 26 John Fansh aw e Roger Lovegrove Silen t Fields 1986), or Verc ueil' s lugub riou s pre ss ure on
Tim Dee Ri chard Rhodes, ed itor The Aud ubon Reader Elizabeth Curren in Age of Iron (1990)
Peter Col es David A. Weintraub Is Plut o a Planet ? John G ribbin The Unive rse Anya's ero tic hold over JC is som ething that
he is utterly unable to resist. Coe tzee is no t
SCIENCE 28 G eorgin a Ferry G ino Segre Faust in Cop enhagen rea lly interested in sex, but in power : not j ust
Daniel Kennefick Traveling at the Speed of Though t the old quest ion of what power the state can
or sho uld wie ld over the indi vidu al , which is
POETRY 29 April W a rman Nick L aird On Pur pose something that JC ma nages to con sider at
Jane Yeh Dana Goodyea r Honey and Jun k length in these short pieces , but in the power
of the stro ng over the weak, of me n over
PHILOSOPHY 30 J onathan Lear Malcolm Schofield Plato women and women ove r me n; the power of
H elen St ew ard Hel en Beeb ee Hu me on Causation the noveli st over his crea tion , and vice versa.
As Coe tzee puts it in his new essay co llec -
SO C IAL STUDIES 32 M od ris Ekst eins Jon Sa va ge Tee nage tion, Inner Workings, "the stor ies we set
abo ut wri ting sometimes begin to wr ite them-
PO LITICS 33 Edward H adas Paul Co llie r The Botto m Billion
selves, after which their truth or false hoo d is
AR CHIT ECTURE 34 Andrew Saint Al an P owers Brita in - M odern arch itec tures in his tory out of our hands and decl arat ion s of author ia l
intent carry no we ight" . It is Pa ul Rayment
ART HI STOR Y 35 Ro ger Cardinal K arin Orch ard a nd Isabel Schulz, ed itors Kurt Schwitters who really haunt s Elizabeth Cos te llo, rather
than the other way aro und, and it is Anya
BIB LIOGRAPHY 36 J ames Fer gusson Neg lec ted Na po leons - Booksellers and their ca talogues who spea ks the final valedic tory wo rds in
Diary of a Bad Year, over the dyi ng JC, ju st
TRAVEL 37 Cla re Pettitt L eonard Barkan Satyr Sq uare as it is the ficti on al JC who , with terribl e
40 F rancis Robinson R oxanne L. Euben Jo urneys to the Other Shore clear-sight edness, de livers thi s fin al , cutting
verdic t on the no vel s of J. M. Coe tzee : "I wa s
IN BRIEF 38 C h r is Greenhalgh The Invention of Zero. T eren ce The Comedie s. Jon ath an Ned Katz The
never mu ch goo d at evocatio n of the rea l", he
Invention of Heterosexu alit y. S. Harutyunian et al Wine in Traditional Armenia n Culture . Ca m ilo
admits.
J ose Cela Christ Ver sus Ar izona. M atilde As ensi To do Bajo el Cielo. John Thieme and Ira Raj a,
Whate ver art has come from my hand in one
editors The Ta ble is La id. And r ew Galloway Medieval Literatur e and Cu lture
way or anot her expressed and even glorified in
43 This week 's con tributors, Crossword this disengagement. But what sort of art has
that been, in the end? Art that is not great-
NB 44 J. C. Ga llima rd and Ca lder, How to recog nize a No tebook, Metafiction III souled, as the Russia ns wou ld say, that lacks
generosity, fails to celebrate life, lacks love.
He rea lly shouldn' t be so hard on himself.
Co ver pictur e: "Otter Study 11 - "Talisker" Mark Adlington/Brid gernan Ar t Librar y; p2 Jonathan Wate ridge ; p3 Reuter s/Cla us Fisker/S canpix (Denmark);
pS The Art Archive/Eileen Tw eed y; p17 Popperfoto; p l9 Herbie Knottffimes Newspapers; p2 1 Damir Yusupo vffhe Bol shoi Ballet; p27 Ac adem y of Dia ry of a Bad Year proves that Coetzee
Natural Sciences of Philadelphia /Carbi s; p29 Basso Cannarsa/Opale Agenc y; p32 Bettmann/Corbi s; p35 AKG -Imag es Contin ued on page 7

TL S AUGUST 24 & 3 1 20 07
FROM JOE WRIGHT DIRECTOR OF PRIDE & PREJUDICE
JAMES McAVOY KEIRA KNIGHTLEY

JOINED BY LOVE. SEPARATED BY FEAR. REDEEMED BY HOPE.

"
, "
6
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
America n mind. on the other side of
Seductive Stalin Biography and Kingsley Amis which everything had to begin again
Sir, - I was baffled by the key at a lower level - that weak and unat-
mis take in A lfred Rieber' s rev iew tentive man . . . taught the very rich
of my book Young Stalin (August Sir, - I plead guilty to the mistake as we ll as all non- Briti sh writers; it that they could benefit society by
17). I have no probl em with criti- spo tted by Barb ara Everett in her call s Amis "a dominant force in the benefiting themse lves; while, with
cisms of my "readable" and "racy" Co mmentary piece (August 17), but writing ofthe period" , not "the" dom- no less effect, he taught the middle
book by the dis tinguished author of not to what she think s it reveals: an inant force. "We shall have stamped classes that they could retain their
The Politics of A utocracy ( 1965) , ende mic bias toward s the socia l, not our taste on the age between us in prosperity and all the regalia of cul-
pro vided they are valid. But his only only in my biograph y of Kingsley the end", wro te Larki n to Ami s. That ture without renewing one particle
cri ticism of any substance is of a A mis, but in literar y biography in thi s bo ast pro ved well-founded even of their former interest in educatio n.
picture caption: "this leads him " , ge neral. As the paragra phs imm edi- those who dep lore Larkin' s and The welfare of education, like the
writes Professor Rieber, "to his ately following the mistake make A mis's taste have agree d. welfare of society, could be left to
most eg reg ious mis handling of clear , I think Amis sees Mauri ce "Leader wa s himself apparen tly a the experts. All this he taught by pre-
sources " , which "cannot help raise A llington (not "A llingharn" as Ever - friend of A rniss." But I met A mis cept, but he also taught by example,
doubts in the mind of readers about ett names him throu ghout ), the hero only o nce , merely to nod hell o. simply by being who he was; day
other possible misattribution s" . But of The Green Man, pri maril y in Ietters @the-t1s.co .uk Eve rett has mistaken father for son. after day without blame, a president
I fear thi s use of a picture ca ption is, mora l or religiou s rather than socia l Thi s mi stake hardl y invalid ates all who had at his command not a fact
to borrow a word, an "egregio us" ter ms, as "a man in des pair, at a dead trasts with the claims I make for Everetts asse rtions about my of history more than two weeks old.
mistake on the part of yo ur end very like that faced by Roger Amis' s fictio n, which she impli es biograph y (ju st as my mistake, as That sho uld do it.
reviewer. My picture sec tion Mi cheldene" . Eve rett co mplains that are inflat ed . "A modern biography she genero usly put s it, "hardly
co nta ins the photocopy of the first I provide no exp lanation for Ami s' s tends to ju stify its sca le by asse rting cou nts aga inst the pleas ures of 900 ANN E. BERTHOFF
page of a KGB memorandum to ow n destructive prop ensities, by the greatnes s of its subject", she pages" ). Though I think her wrong 14 Thoreau Street, Concord,
Khru shch ev which, wri tes Profess or which she means no single ex plana- writes . "A mis was a brilli ant and to say I slight non- soci al con cern s Massachusetts 0 1742.
Rieber, "he reproduces , purporting tion , the sort that "ri sk]s] bein g ove r- enjoyable writer, but perhaps not a in A rniss writing, or under value its
systematic" . But chief amo ng sev - gre at one ." But as she herself knows ----~,----
to prove that while in Siberia, Stalin seriousness of pur pose, I have no
sed uced . .. a thirt een-year-old girl. eral explanations I pond er is Ami s' s
intense, unab ated fear of death .
- since she quotes it - the first sen-
tence of my biograph y calls Amis
objec tion when she describ es my
book as "admirable" , "tolerant an d
Pugin's diary
But", he writes gleefully, "the photo-
cop y proves nothing of the sor t. It is Th e ex planation Evere tt herself "not only the finest British co mic shrew d in its inte llige nce .. . a bio- Sir, - Ro sema ry Hill, in her
a report of the KGB to the Ce ntral favour s, without much in the way of noveli st of the sec ond half of the graphy un likely to be superseded admirable essa y (A ug ust 3) on
Co mmittee exposing as a forgery a evi de nce, is Amis's "disappointment twentieth centur y but a domin ant soo n, if at all". A. W. N . Pugin's fir st hou se,
docum ent publi shed in Life M aga- with him self and his fate", by which force in the writing of the age" . St Marie' s Grange , need not find
zine . . ." . Th en Rieber od dly co n- she means as an artist, in co mpar i- I'd have thou ght this claim modest. ZACHARY LEADER his brief diary note for M arch 7,
fesses that "the co rrec t descript ion son, say , with Philip Larkin. This It was co nscio usly crafted to ex clude Roeham pton University, Lond on "St Tho mas Aquin as" , cryptic .
of the document appears . . . in the conjectured disappointment she co n- the best of Waugh and Wodehou se, SWI5. He was simply notin g that that day
text" - so why menti on it at all ? is the fea st day of the Angelic
--------~.---------
But in fact , it is worse than that, Docto r, the most celebr ated theolo-
becau se the ca ption is not wro ng in She also disqu alifi es Davies in sty listic gulf, separates them . Time tion s was the most efficient mea ns of gian of the Rom an traditi on. (In
the first place, it is the right mem o- ad vance beca use he did not "else- for a re-think? ensuring peace. But his asse rtion that 1969, Tho mas's comme mo ration
randum . Na tura lly, I am awa re that where show any interest in writing the post- 1945 settlement was based was moved to Janu ary 28.)
the first page of the docum ent cov - 'female compl aint " '. BRIAN VICKERS on "ideals of intern ation al coopera-
ers the Life M agazin e story : I used Such a priori obj ection s obsc ure 7 Abbot's Place, London NW6. tion" expressed "in a democrati c PHILlP PFATTEICHER
the first page to show the addressees the cru cial fact that "A Lover' s rather than an author itarian form" lOO Ordale Blvd, Pittsburgh,
----~,--
and the act ua l sign atures of Khru sh- Co mplaint" is unlike any other reveals such astonishing denial of PA 15228.
chev and the Po litburo which are poe m in thi s ge nre . In Samuel
Daniel' s "Rosarnond" , for ex ample,
Scott's pew historical fact that after reading it I
can only take as a com plimen t every ----~.---
more releva nt to Eng lish reade rs
than a typed page of Russia n in the the fall en wo man ' s ghos t na rra tes
how her beaut y attrac ted a rich and
Sir, - Yo ur readers m ay be sur-
prised to rea d that Sir Wa Iter Sco tt
criticism he levels at my book. Kubrick
middl e of the memora ndum. In fac t,
Khru shch ev co mmissioned KGB powerful man, who seduced and was a Presbyterian (N B, Aug ust ADAM ZAMOYSKI Sir, - Christopher Co ker writes,
Cha irma n Ivan Sero v to investigate abandoned her. She de no unces him 10). Hi s famil y pew, from his 12 Avenue Studios, Sydney Close, " In his film Dr Strange love ,
both the Life Magazine story and while acce pting full mo ral respon si- Ep isco pa l parish chu rch , is on view London SW3. Sta nley Kubrick did for the Co ld
the Siber ian sed uction, and the bilit y for her fall. at St Mar y' s Episcopal Ca thedr al War what he had done for space in
----~.---- 2001" (Au gu st 10). This ge ts the
same memor andu m cove rs both - In the poem that Thomas Thorpe here in Edinburgh.
apparently unb ekno wn st to Rieber, fathered on Shakespea re, the fem ale
narrator, still alive, reveals that she ANDREW HARVEY
Reagan revisited chro nology wro ng: 200 1: A space
odysse y came out in 1968, fou r
who has thu s built the clim ax and
the found ation of his entire review knew how her seduce r had ruin ed The New C lub, 86 Princes Stree t, Sir, - A ny reader who has swa l- years after Dr Strange love.
o n a totall y fla wed corne rstone. other wo men , giv ing them bastard Edinburgh. lowed the po isono us claim s made in
child ren , but that his (not her) beaut y the two rev iews of books abo ut BENJAMIN FRIEDMAN
----~,---
SIMON SEBAGMONTEFIORE and his tearful appeals made her Ro nald Reagan (July 27) need s an 7 Rivington Street, New York
clo Cape l and Land Lite rary Agen cy,
29 Wardour Stree t, London W 1.
yield. As if answering Freud's ques-
tion, "Was will das Weib ?", the poet
The Peace of 1945 eme tic . I recommend
Bro mw ich's Politics by Other
David 10002.

----~,--
itemi zes the supe rficial ma le quali- Sir, - It is never pleasant to read a Means (1992 ) in which the late
----~,---
ties that attract the wea ker sex: long
" silken" hair, a smo oth chin, a sweet
review of one 's book as relentl essly
dero gatory and thorou ghl y mislead-
President is characterized as "a man
whose every unprompted utt er an ce
Buchan
'A Lover's tongue, and grace ful movements. ing as that by Professor Richar d was a testi mony to the aimiability Sir, - Whil e John Buchan was a
mode l of literary indu str y, as Kate
Complaint' Where other narrators regret their
fall from virtue, this one shows no
Eva ns (Jul y 20) , but his concluding
statement made all the difference.
of thou ghtl essness". Bro mwich ' s
focu s is on how Reagan horn swog- Macdon ald ex plains (August 10),
Sir, - In den yin g eve n the poss ibil- remorse , still repeatin g her seducer' s His only criterion for measuring gled the aca de mic Left , but he ca u- he was thirt y-nin e, not twent y-
ity that John Davies of Hereford celebra tion of desire. And unli ke the success of a Europea n peace set- tion s that that is not the who le story: nin e, years old at the onse t of the
wrote "A Lover ' s Complaint", eve ry other victim, she admits that - t ement being the absen ce of world It would be a mistake to regard Presi- First Wor ld War. Th e ex tra decade
Kath eri ne Du ncan-J on es ge ts her- despite kno wing his horribl e qu ali- war , he rates the post-1 945 arrange- dent Reagan' s great work - the educa- ma kes the prodigious output, per-
self into unt enable position s (Let- ties - she could yield aga in, havin g ment higher than that of 1919. He is tion of a whole society down to his hap s, a littl e more co mpre he nsible.
ters, Au gu st 10). Everyone knows learned nothin g from the expe rience . perfectl y entitled to hold the view level - as having affected the mind
that the So nnets were circulating in This mo rali zing poem endorses that handin g half of Europe ove r to and habits of just one class or one pol- PHILlP TERZIAN
1598 already, but she no w claim s many misogynistic attitudes foun d Sov iet dictator ship and subjecting itical side ... . That man, whose years Standard, 11 50 17th
The Wee kly
that "none of Shakespea re 's unpub- in Da vies' s wo rk, but not in Shake- the world to the threat of mutu ally in office will be marked by historians Street NW, Suite SOS, Washington
lished poems" did so before 1609. speare ' s. A huma n, as we ll as a assured destruction for three genera - as a faultline in the passage of the DC 20036.

TLS AUGUST 24 & 3 1 2007


FICTION & ESSAYS 7

Continued from page 4 moreover, Coe tzee has an intuiti ve gras p of


rem ain s the master of the brut al, the un- the erratic and unp rem edit ated natur e of the
poetic , the relentl essly rea l, in the modern crea tive proc ess that enables him to keep the
Southern Hemisphere Gardens
sense, unfailin gly setting up an equation claim s of acade mic jargon in perspecti ve.
bet ween the form of the pro se itself and Thu s William Faulkner "became the darlin g
the desolati on of the experience it describ es. of the New Haven formalists as he was
Th e abs urdity of much of the so-called already the darlin g of the French ex isten tial- This autumn grove , in the half world
rational Western phil osophi cal traditi on, the ists, without being quit e sure of what either that has no fall season, shows a mauve
tediu m and the indi gniti es of encroac hing old form alism or ex istentialism was " . It is as a haze all throu gh its twig-sheaves
age , and the peril ous so lipsism of the writing lingui st, though, that Coe tzee is effortless ly and over a rich spangled gro und
life are superbly sugges ted by the detac hed, brill iant. He has more than a passing know- of Persian leaves.
constricted rhythm s of Je' s medit ation s, ledge of Italian, Frenc h, Greek and Latin Inroads of sun
reminding us that Coe tzee has always been and is clearly fluent in Ge rman: his ca refully are razz le go ld and textile blonde
able to wor k aga inst the limit ations of spare- ca librated eva luation of recent tran slations out to the gree ns and blady-gra ss baulk s
ness by developin g the other dimen sion of of Joseph Roth and Paul Celan, and of mown in drought along the po nd.
language , its sugges tiveness . In its skilful the challenges posed to the translator by Thoth
depl oyment of charac ters who have a rich Ce lan's strugg les to rein vent his mother the many ibis lit for the night perch es,
significance beyond their indi vidual fun c- tongue after it had been brut ali zed durin g the nankeen heron has moved to Japan
tion , its wry explora tion of the failur es of the Naz i era, show an exe mplary se nsitivity but ink-blu e wa terhe ns preen long feet
reciprocity between the self and the other, to the timb re and reso nance of indi vidu al or, flashin g undertail
and its examination of phil osophi es of co m- words . like feather s of the queen pro tea, run
munit y, atonement and sac rifice, this generic Thi s sensitivity is only rarely betrayed each other round the brimming rain dam
cross -breed stands up we ll next to Coetzees by moment s of inattentive ness . It is not the whose inner sky is black belo w shine
previou s books. Let us leave the last word, case, for exa mple, that Brighton Rock' s as if Space we re clo ser do wn.
for what it' s worth, to Anya: "don' t allow poorly educated thu g, Pinkie, is able to "com- Back this summer
yourself to get depressed . . . as for your writ- pose sentences in Latin " . The fragment s he of the out-of-se ason Christmas snow
ing, you are without a doubt one of the best, quotes, not composes, come from the old that sco tched the bushfir es in Victoria
cla ss AA" . Unsurprisingly - becau se for the Latin Trid entin e Mass and as such are I was out under green leaf-tr essed
fict ion writer the real battle for intellectu al memori es of the Catholic childhood that decidu ous, hookin g a pole saw
authority , as Coerzees collaborator David Gree ne so pain stakingly constructs for the high and snapp ing do wn water-stresse d
Attwell has point ed out, will always be charac ter (how can Coe tzee , alumnus of the abortive limb s from beneath China
waged in the fiction itself - Diary of a Bad Catho lic St Joseph' s Co llege in Rond ebo sch , and Euro pe and Am erica.
Year offers us a far more interestin g, and pro- have misread this?). There are other, more Now lich ens up
vocative, handling of the material covered in revea ling instances of a surprising criti cal tin the yeast boughs of those trees are bazaar
Coe tzees real-life critic al and discurs ive ear. Coe tzee commen ds Bellow for his "racy trink ets on the belly-d ance troup e
ess ays than the latter them selves do. The title pro se" and Philip Roth for his humour, but at the rural show , who circle d side -stepping
of Inner Workings might see m to promi se a the praise is automatic, not deepl y felt. to the tappets of a drum .
disinhibited dance of the seve n veils, but the It turn s out that Coe tzee in fact prefers the "Sacred wo men's business",
realit y is cauti ous and chaste. Coe tzee has an ear ly, more butt oned-up Bellow of The they laughed after, adjusting coin s
invitin gly ample criti cal range. These essays Victim to what he primly dismisses as the over thei r flour ed and bake-oil skins,
swee p throu gh Euro pean and New World "portentous rumination and gase ous lan- strolling, antique, unaccusin gly bizarre.
literature from the late nineteenth century to guage" and "lack of dram atic structure and
the present: Italo Svevo, Robert Mu sil, Paul indeed of intellectu al organi satio n" of The
Celan, Giinter Grass , Graham Gree ne, Adve ntures of Augie March , while Ro th L ES M URR AY
Sam uel Beck ett , Saul Bello w, Arthur Mill er, receives a tellin g off for allow ing him self to
V. S. Na ipaul, and the doye nne of the South be "overwhelmed .. . of late" by the influ-
African realist novel, Nadine Gordime r, are ence of Faulkner 's "heady pro se". It is a star t-
all he re, and Coetzee shows an assu red gras p ling lapse in acuity: hyperbolic, carousing,
of the minutes t biographi cal and textu al ove rfull language is the very esse nce of the
de tail in each case . He is equa lly at ease with mature Bello w and Roth - and of Faulkner,
Descartes, Heidegger, Nietzsc he, Fre ud, for that matter. It is what we read them for. About My Father's Plot to Get Home
Schope nhauer, Derrid a; with Lukac s, Coe rzees real admiration is reserved for, and
Aristotle and To cquev ille . his ear attuned to, a type of minim alist
The result is a superbly well-infor med and writing that is "as clean and co ld as a knife", It didn 't com e from the high mount aint ops
always lucid bod y of criticism that is never as he says admiringly of Na ipaul's Half a as one might think , or the white fire of fear
less than scholarly, but neverth eless fails to Life ; for the later Gra ha m Gree nes poli cy of from the razo r's sudden flash in the dark ,
make the pul se race. Coe tzees alertness to "rein[ing] in the poetry when it bec ame obtru- nor did it come from the cloud lost
form as something that is cruc ial to the sive" ; for a Beck ettian super-res traint (the after the rain s had pour ed from the skies .
purpo ses of literatu re is as keen here as it is in ending of "The End" , tellin gly, dis- I rememb er my fath er took my arm
his fiction , and he is unfailin gly percepti ve appoints because of "an uncharacteristic and set out strugg ling for his appare nt hom e.
when pinp ointin g influ ences. Robert Musil dip into plangency" ). Coetzee does not do
is per sua sively identifi ed as bein g indebted plange ncy, ju st as he does not deal in belief. It did not kno w its ow n past.
to Nietzsc he for his essay istic, sce ptica l If he is not always able to keep a com pletely It looked the way it always had,
prose, a prose that constitutes "a mode of stra ight face in these essays - he is refresh- with the pain in its bones and the pleasure
phil osophi sin g, aphoristic rather than sys tem- ingly alive to some of WaIt Whitm an ' s worst burstin g out of its face, and it felt
atic"; while in the ramshac kle edifice of absurditi es - his overri din g aes the tic is all knowled ge sleep ily turnin g within it,
WaIter Benj amin ' s Passage n-Werk (the neverth eless one of a high seriousness , of a wra pped in the innocent fold s of its skin.
Arcades Project), with its decontextuali zed fastidi ousness that prefer s bones to flesh. But
quotation s and its catalog ue of comm oditi es, not too many bones: Gor dimer, too, is Soo n it will return to its nakedness,
Coe tzee detects the perhap s once personal efficiently dealt with, in an eve n-handed as it always has. But it will not matt er
hop e that allegor y "could take ove r the role assessment of her rece nt fict ion that finally if it rises above the vas t field s of blood.
of abstract thought" . At times, his urbane inti- reg isters a regret that "the devo tion to the And if mount ain s rise, and rivers flood.
macy with his subjec t ca n be very seductive : textur e of the real that characterizes her best And bland crac ks appea r like bad dream s
the mord ant lyricism of Becketts pro se, for wor k is now onl y inter mittent " . A nd here lies in the flawless skin of a father ' s world.
instance, is succ inctly and evocative ly the greatest surprise of Inner Workings. Th e
anatomized as bein g based on French models go urmet's choice in metafic tion grumbles
"though with Jonathan Sw ift whispering at bein g served up too meag re a portion of JAYA NTA MAHA PAT RA
ghos tly in his ea r". As a prac tising novel ist, rea lism .

TLS AUGUST 24 & 3 1 2007


8 BIOGRAPHY

Lessons from the Rat


n Brit ain , mod ern politics starts with FE R D IN AN D MO U NT in po wer for the next thirt y yea rs. It is not the for sticking to their g uns, whereas Peel was

I Peel. Wh en Willi am IV sac ked Lord Mel-


bourne and sent for Sir Rob ert, thi s was
the last tim e a monarch dismi ssed his mini s-
Dou gl a s Hurd
least iron y of Peel' s caree r that thi s pion eer
of party polit ics should have been such a neg-
ligent practiti oner of the art. Lord Shaftes-
notori ou s for, in Lord John Ru ssell ' s words,
bein g "a very prett y hand at hauli ng down his
colour s".
ters of his own accord. Wh en Peel repl aced R O BE RT P E EL bur y co mplained that "Peel has co mmitted Hurd acknow ledges his debt to Norman
Melb ou rne aga in, in 1841 , thi s was the first A biography grea t and grievo us mistakes in omitting to Gash' s superb two- volum e Life and so me-
tim e a go vern ment had been ove rturne d, not 436pp. Weidenfeld and Nicolson. 25. ca ll his friend s frequ ently togeth er to state his tim es, for ex ample when describing Pee l's
by the King, not by a vote in Parli ament , but 9780297848448 desires and rou se their zea l. A few minutes death and fu neral, follo ws Gas h almos t word
by a vote of the Briti sh elec tora te. Peel' s and a few wo rds wo uld have sufficed; men for word. Th ere are occas ional signs of haste.
manifesto to his elec tors in Ta mwor th was who had so long defend ed eve ry tariff now would have felt they were companions in Wh en Peel makes a bet with Lord A shburton
the fir st nati on al elec tion manifesto in Briti sh confided to Princ e Alb ert that he had "an arms; they now have the sentiment of bein g that he ca n pull off a John Macn ab- style feat
hi stor y. It was as beautifully vag ue as most imm ense scheme in view " for rem oving all follo wers in drill " . As Hurd points o ut, thi s is of shooting in a sing le day a pheasant , two
manifesto s since , but it se nt a thrill throu gh prot ection and abo lishing eve ry mon opol y. an exce llent descripti on of what goes wro ng types of partridge, both sorts of snipe, a wood-
the newly enlarge d electora te. They could Lik e any twent y-fir st-century Chance llor, he when prim e mini ster s becom e too gra nd to coc k and a wild du ck plu s a rabbit and a har e,
sense that at last their interests and aspira- now beli eved that "we mu st make thi s a culti vate their backb enchers; see Ted Heath Gas h says he wo n 300 guineas , Hurd only
tion s we re to com e first. The manifesto co in- chea p country for livin g and thu s indu ce pass im, and M argaret Thatcher and To ny lOO.Th e larger figur e gives the lie eve n more
cid ed with the growing use of the wor d "Con- parti es to rem ain and settle here". Blair in their later years. dr amatically to the claim that Peel was noth-
serva tive " to describ e the Tory part y. And it No wo nder the Duchess of Richmond In the recent spate of politi cal biographi es ing mor e than a purit ani cal prig. And where
was in these yea rs too that Peel' s confidant decorated her dining tabl e with stuffed rats by leadin g politi cian s - Roy Jenkins on Glad- Gash tell s us that Lad y Floyd invei gled Pee l
Francis Bon ham took up his priva te desk at under a glass cover depicting We llington and stone and Churchill, Willi am Hague on to meet her dau ght er , his futur e wife Juli a, by
the Car lto n Club, "dresse d in a lon g bro wn Peel. A nd John Henr y New man wrote from Wilb erforc e and Pitt the Younge r - yo u ge t promisin g to find some Dresden ice pails for
coat and carrying a large strapped book full Oxford, " It is not pro dignita te nos tra to thro wn in for your mon ey a sca ttering of Peel' s dinn er service , Hurd says they were
of elec tionee ring facts, figu res and calcul a- have a rat as our memb er" . Th ere might be aper,us on the nature of political life and also ice pick s - not normally an item made in
tion s" , and Co nservative Ce ntral Offi ce was mega-ratting to come from New ma n as from quit e a few co mpariso ns between then and porc el ain , otherwise Tro tsky might have
born . lived a bit lon ger.
WaIt er Bagehot , in his scorc hing essay, But Hurd gives as vividly as Gas h the
"The Charac ter of Sir Rob ert Peel" , imm edi- sense of how odd Peel was, so cold out-
ately gras ped that here was the epitome of the wardly, so affec tionate and unbuttoned at
new age . Peel was the ideal constitutional hom e, the fond est of Victorian papas, appar-
states ma n, "a man of common opini on s and ently possessed of an imperturbable calm , yet
uncommon abilities" . Accordin g to Bagehot, not a redh ead for nothing. He nearl y fou ght
Sir Rob ert was never in adva nce of his time. two du els. Hurd does not quit e co nve y the
Unlike the light ning that flashed fro m his Har- full bizarreri e of Peel' s abortive shoot-out
row co ntempor ary Byron (" I was alw ays in with O ' Conn ell at Ostend. Th e new s of the
scrapes at schoo l, Peel never"), "Sir Rob err' s impending duel got into the newspapers and a
opinions far mor e resembl ed the dail y accu- warra nt was issued for the arres t of both men .
mulating deposits of a rich allu vial soil . You Whil e O'Connell was arrested in London, the
sca rce ly think of such a mind as acting; it Chief Secretar y for Ireland , who had already
see ms always acted upon ". In his mo st devas- cro ssed the C hannel, had to skulk about the
tatin g attack on Peel, at the Third Readin g of Ne therlands incognit o for seve ra l wee ks, but
the Corn Law Bill , Di sraeli described him as enjoyed the who le business, acc ording to his
"a bur glar of oth er intell ect . . . there is no friend Croker, "as unaffectedl y gay and at his
states ma n who has co mm itted polit ical petty ease as when we we re go ing to Dover o n our
larcen y on so grea t a sca le" . This view of tour to Pari s". The re was a ge neros ity and
Peel rema ins influ ential to thi s day. Again high spirits about Peel. He was ge nero us to
and aga in, in his light-footed , never less than pa inters and poets down on their luck , like
readable Life of Pee l, Dou gla s Hurd repea ts Benj amin Haydon and James Hogg the
that Peel ' s was not an ori ginal mind , or as Ettrick Shepherd. He collected old masters
G ladstone put it, "he was not a far sighted by the score , including Rub enss "Chapeau
man but fairl y clear sighted" . He had de Pa ille" , and had Juli a paint ed in the same
cha nge d his mind on so man y thin gs. As an ge t-up by Sir Thomas Lawrenc e. He built the
absurdl y yo ung Chief Secretary in Ireland, he mo st mon strous of Vict ori an ex travag anzas
had oppose d Ca tholic Emanc ipation and o n the site of his father ' s old hou se at Dray-
been denou nced by Daniel O ' Conn ell as ton , comp osed of, in Professor J. Mordaunt
"Orange Pee l" , not ju st for his opinions but Cro ok's descripti on:
for "the fopp ery of perfumed handk erchi efs dull cupo las and Dutch ga bles, a Gothic porte
and thin shoes " . Peel then beli eved that "an cochere, and a classical arcade , a "Swiss
hon est despotic gove rnme nt would be by A caricature of Sir Robert Peel (1829); th e orange ribbons are a r efer enc e to Peel's lodge" and "F rench gate s" and an Italian cam-
far the fittest gove rn ment for Ireland" . Few reluctant endorsement of Catholic Emancipation panile. The garde ns includ ed a gas lit co nserva -
wo uld ha ve pre d icte d hi s s low c o nvers io n to tor y copied from Frog mor e , an Ital ian garde n,
the belief that Ca tho lics sho uld not merely Disraeli , but it was Peel who was always no w. Lord Hurd is no slouch in thi s depart- an American pool, an ave nue of mo nkey -
ha ve the vote but enjoy the full est part in to be rememb ered as King Rat. In vain he ment, comparing Palm erston ' s gunboat dipl o- puzzle tree s and balu straded terraces festooned
Irish public life. Th e author of the Act that prot ested that "there was no dishon our in macy to George W. Bush's neo-coloni al mis- with winged cherubs and 209 marble urns.
return ed Britain to the go ld standa rd had or ig- relinqui shin g opinions or measures and adopt- sionary zeal, and Peel ' s dislik e of sentimental Qu een Victor ia, who was by now entirely
inall y voted again st it. Again , he had don e ing others mor e suited to the altered circum- compassion masqu erading as arg ument to rec onciled to Sir Rob ert and no lon ger
everything he could to fru strate the Great sta nces of the country". Th e honesty with Margaret Thatcher's. These co mparisons do thou ght him "chilly and disagreeable", told
Reform Bill , then in the Tam worth manifesto which he ex pose d his chan ge of opinion, the add enjoyment and so met imes illumination , Lord Aberdee n that "Drayton is certainly the
accepted it as "a fin al an d irrevocable settle- factu al power and fervour with which he but now and then they are a little forced . Yes, mos t co mfortable hou se I eve r saw" .
ment of a grea t con stituti on al question " . defend ed his vo lte-faces only furth er enrage d like Hurd ' s two politi cal masters, Heath and By now Peel was enorm ously rich . His
Th en there was corn. Th e arde nt early protec- his cont emp orari es. Th atcher , Peel could be chill y and awkward father, the fir st Sir Ro bert, had em ployed
tio nist became the firs t great globalist, espo us- For the unforgivin g Ultras, he was worse in co mpa ny. Yet the similarities are surely 15,000 peo ple in his mill s, and Peel inh erit ed
ing free trade for Br itain without demanding than a traitor to the goo d old cause; he split less striking than the great difference, which fro m him 9,000 acres in War wick shir e and
anythin g in return from oth er nation s. He the part y so that it didn 't have a prop er spell is that Heath and Th atch er are rem emb ered Staff ord shir e and an income of 40,000 a

TLS AUGUST 2 4 & 3 1 2 007


HISTORY 9

year. He also inherit ed something of the mill Carly le, who was hard to please, found him was trul y original, perhaps the most original Hurd rem arks, "in these years the Empire
owner ' s attitudes, opposing the Te n-Hour congenial: mini ster in modern Briti sh history. Douglas was acquired not so much in abse nce of mind
Bill for fear that redu cin g hour s would dam- clear, strong blue eyes which kindle on occa- Hurd expounds Peel' s achieve ments with as in abse nce of communications". Wh at
age the indu stry ' s competitiveness . But he sion, voice extreme ly good, low tones, some - lucidit y, eloquence and not a little charm. Yet strikes one in foreign as in domestic poli cy
was seco nd only to Shaftesbury in his sympa- thing of cooi ng in it, rustic , affec tionate, hon- he never see ms quit e sure of how rema rkable was the relentless modernity of Peel' s mind,
thy for the di stress of the poor. If he had not est , mildly persuasive . . . . Reserve d seemi ngly those achieve ments we re. his insistence on being guided by the latest
fallen ove r the Co rn Laws , he would sure ly by nature, obtrudes nothing of diplomatic Oft en und errat ed too is the strong-w illed facts. "There is nothin g like a fact" was his
have moved with his characteri stic vigo ur to reserve. On the contrary, a vein of mild fun co ntinence which run s steadily throu gh all favourit e maxim . It is in Pee l's mind and in
reinforce the measures he had already under- in him, real sens ibility to the ludicrous, which Peel' s foreign polic y, fro m the settlement of Peel' s time that the domin ant mode of British
taken to relieve the Irish famin e. He would feature I liked best of all. the furious bound ary disput es with the polit ics turn s from the deduc tive toward s the
cert ainl y not have closed the food depots as Carlyle, like almos t eve ryo ne outside the United States to his last speec h (in which he emp irica l. He more than any states man of
Sir Charles Treve lyan did . ran ks of Peel' s imm ediate political oppo- rebuk ed Palm er ston' s belligerenc e ove r the that period, perhaps of any period, cl ambered
All his life there remained so mething pro- nent s, sensed a kind of greatness in him. That Don Pacifi ca Affair), the night before his from one "platform of und erstanding" , to bor-
vincial about him, not least his slight Stafford- greatness is hard to pin down only if we think horse threw him in Hyde Park , infli ctin g row Michael Oakeshott' s phrase, to the next,
shire accent. One snobbish obse rver noticed of politi cs as a departm ent of rhetori c, which mort al injuri es. It is easy to select damning without regret or recrimination on his side,
that "Peel ca n always be sure of an ' H' when was never Peel's forte. G. M. Youn g' s sculp- quot ations fro m Peel' s letter s and spee ches for he was a for giving man and made up
it com es at the beginnin g of a word, but he is tural analogy gives the clue: "Like an able for use tod ay, for instanc e on the Afghan almost all his quarrels. The Ultras repea tedly
by no means sure when it comes in the artificer, Peel always thought with his hands". wa r: " I fear the possibilit y of a terribl e retribu- said that few tears wo uld be shed for his
middl e" . O' Conn ell was not the onl y one to Anyone could pick off the shelf the idea of a tion for the most absurd and insane project passing. They were struc k dumb by the out-
think him a trifl e ove rdresse d, if not on the profess ional police cor ps; it was what Peel that was eve r undert aken in the wa ntonness pourin g of pub lic grief that actually occ urre d,
Disraeli sca le: his watch and chain we re a made of it - the unarm ed, modest, civilia n of power" . Pee l was an ear ly op ponent of unequ alled at the death of any prime minister
little too large. Grevi lle record s: " I was never force - that becam e imm ortal, enshrined as it Imperi al ove rstretch, ex horting success ive exce pt Pitt and Churc hill, and perh aps not
so struck as yesterday by the vulga rity of still is in the code of instructions which every vice roys not to annex the Punjab. But even he eve n by them. He had led the country throu gh
Peel. In all his ways , his dress, his manner , he recruit has to learn by heart. There was a and his peacenik Foreign Sec retary Lord no great wa rs, he had stoo d con sistentl y for
looks more like dapp er shopkeeper than a rare crea tive vigour in the way he turned bare Aberdee n we re unabl e to check the re morse- no grea t principle, exce pt the dut y to eleva te
Prim e Mini ster. He eats vorac iously and sloga ns, whether financi al or pen al, into less expansion at the furth est reach es of what the condition of those who had no vote - but
cut s crea ms and jellies with his knife". Yet workable, living, enduring systems. In this he Peel called "the ove rgrow n emp ire", for as that was enough.

"To
--------------------------~--------------------------

walk throu gh the ruin ed cities of


Ge rmany" , Orwell wro te in April
The old menu
out ' militarism"'. He is also shocked to find
that "not eve n the prin ces" we re spared from
1945 , "is to feel an actual doubt retribution and punishm ent. Prin ce Philip of
about the continuity of civ ilisation." No t only Hesse, an ear ly member of the Naz i Party and
were large part s of Ge rma ny blitz ed, but the SA and Nazi president of Hesse-Nassau , had
same deso lation exten ded mos t of the way J E SSI CA R EI NIS CH eighteenth-century Apostle mosel - survive d by 1945 "already suffered a good dea l" and
from Bru ssels to Stalingrad . Once they unscath ed . Ma ny American service men at any was then hauled throu gh twenty Alli ed
arrived in Ge rma ny, Alli ed so ldiers were Gil e s M a cDono gh rate preferred whisky. ca mps and pri sons; but not before the ma nag-
soo n overwhelm ed by the chaos, destructi on MacD onogh is part ial to Ge rman gas tron- eress of a hotel in Brixe n coo ked him up a
and despond ency that gree ted them amo ng AFTE R TH E R EI C H omy and wine and throughout the book co m- treat of Kaiserschmarrn.
the defeated. A numb er of unsol vable riddles From the fall of Vienna to the Berlin airlift ments on the di shes and drin k consu med by The greatest diffi cult y throu ghout , Mac-
6 18pp. John Murray. 25. his cast, who often lived on comparatively
weighed upon them fro m the start . Whi ch Donogh co ntends, was that the Allies were
978 07 19567704 luscious prov isions. The Austrian diplomat
Ge rma ns coul d be tru sted to coop erat e with "still infected with ' Vansittartism ' and had
Alli ed aims, and how were they to be cho- Josef Schoner, whose vintage wines were yet to learn the real natur e of the Third
sen? Ho w could one ma ke sense of Naz i sian aristocratic stock and sister of one the raided in April 1945, consum ed healthy din- Reich ". In co ntras t, he has no time at all for
rule? How, if at all, could form er Naz is be Jul y Plotters), Ursula va n Kardorff (from an ners of mea tba lls and go ulash, while Eugen the "persistent cl amour". "carping" and
reform ed and reint egrated into socie ty? old Prussian noble famil y), Hans Gra f va n Margareth a, the ec onomist and futur e Pres i- "backbiting" from the "hot-headed" Erika
G iles MacDonogh has other interests. He Lehndorff (of East Prussian nobility, whose dent of the Austrian National Bank , dined on Ma nn and her family in exile. The Ma nns
depicts the Ge rma n and Austrian popul a- cousin had been arres ted after the July Plot), potato soup with meat, pork schnitzel and togeth er, he no tes , were "po uring scorn on
tions' experience of the aftermath of war and Libussa va n Krockow (of noble Pomeranian risipi si. Meanwhil e at the Metterni chs' cas tle the efforts of others to restor e
portrays their first glimpses of the occupiers. descent), Mar ion Grafin Donh off (daughter of in the Rhein gau, Mi ssie Vassiltchikov, culture in Ge rmany" and "wagging their
It is predomin antl y a story of violence and one of the region' s great magnates), Hansel whose sister was married to Prince Paul va n fingers" at Germa ny's so-ca lled "inner
brut alit y, loss of possession s and propert y, the Fourth Prince of Pless (fro m an East Prus- Metterni ch , was not given much to eat, but emigra tion". Thomas Mann "adopted a
rape, exec utions and suicides . His thesis is sian Junk er family), Hans Hasso va n Veltheim was consoled by the wine: "The majordomo typicall y high and mighty attitude to any liter-
that Ge rman suffe ring knew no boun ds. The (from Lower Saxo n noble descent) and Franz serve d M issie exquisite thin gs, mutt erin g ary stirrings that took plac e betwee n 1933
victors of the wa r, he argues, beh aved in rep- Prinz Say n-Wittgenstein. The list could go on. each separate vintage in her ea r" . Erns t and 1945 " , while his daughter Erika struck an
rehen sibl e ways and thu s lost the moral high MacD onogh shares Margret Boveri' s view Jun ger, too, had had the foresight to stash "intransigently anti-Ge rman pose" . In 1945,
ground they may have gained throu gh victory that there were "a good many dece nt sorts" away his Bur gund y, because, in his words, her brother Klau s Mann then "tricked" the
ove r Naz ism. Wheth er it concerned the fail- amo ng the old Junk er class, and is exasper- " It would be a cri min al offence to let nectar compose r Richard Str auss "into sayi ng the
ure to feed the Ge rmans in their care, the mis- ated about reform s which broke up their glori- like this fall into the hand s of the Kentu cky sorts of thin gs that wo uld make A merica ns
guided efforts to brin g dem ocrac y to Ger- ous es tates . As the Co ntinent lay in ruin s, he men". Thro ughout the cou ntry, MacDon ogh believe he was an unrepentant Naz i".
many, the damaging attempts to denazify Ger - appears most devastated by the destruction of tells us, "the important thin g" for the owne rs In large parts of the book M acD onogh
man society, the catastrophic fail ures to pre- their precious co llections of Burg undy wines of the prestigious estates and cella rs was "to simply strings together his spec tators ' obser-
vent the expulsio ns of the German minor ities and Donatello Fountains, the loss of their mon- protec t the most highly prized bottl es". The vations , without offerin g commen tary or
from Eas tern Europe, or the delib erate mal- ogramm ed shirts, watches with imperial signa- preva lence of precious wines in this story is analys is. In the chapter s on the expulsions of
treatm ent of Ge rman POW s - Allied policy ture, famil y porcelain and pricel ess pieces of not ju st a mark of MacOonogh' s affection for Ge rmans from Eas tern Europe , for example,
in Ge rma ny, M acD onogh insists, was a jewellery. Centuries of civilization and breed- the Ger man nobles' way of life, but also dem- he repro duces long excerpts from the well-
hum anit ari an, politi cal and moral disas ter. ing were pillaged and destroyed by these fami- onstrates his frequ ent inabilit y to distin guish known testimonies collec ted and published
The acco unt is marred both by Mac- lies' Czec h and Polish neighb our s and the ava- between the imp ortant and the banal, the in the 1950s by the West German M inistry
Donogh ' s limited sources and his uncritical lanchin g hord es of the boori sh Soviet, typical and the bizarre. for Expellees and the Arbeitsgemeinschaft
use of those he selects. Although he claims to revengeful French, and light-fingered Am er- The old aristocracy was indeed represent ed zur Wah rung sudetendeutscher lnteressen.
portray "the tenor of everyday life at the ican and Briti sh troop s. Mac Do nogh reco unts in the plot to assass inate Hitler on Jul y 20, Curiously, he neglects to mention either
time" , his choice of sources makes this a very how "the world's most famous collection of 1944, but Mac Donog h ignores the ambigui- publi cation in the Further Readi ng sec tion,
partial present ation of Germ an life. It is a his- Germ an wine" at the Rathauskeller in Bremen ties, grades of co llabora tion and cont amin a- eve n though English editions have been
tory written predomin antly from the perspec- fell into the hands of uncouth Am erican GIs, tion which marked the relationship between ava ilable for decades. Overall, Giles
tive of the upper echelons of the defeated who lacked the palate to apprec iate their gain. the Prussian nobles and the Hitler regim e. He Mac Donog h's histor y represe nts a return to a
society. MacDono gh ' s witnesses are people Fortunately, he announces , two of the most is dism ayed about the widesp rea d Alli ed dis- genre of literature that flouri shed in the
like the Pomeranian squire's wife Kathe va n famous wines - a cas k of seve ntee nth-cen tury tru st of the Jun kers and think s that they were 1950 s, as the Wes t German state attempted to
Nor mann, Tisa va n der Schulenburg (of Prus- rose from the Rheingau, and several barrels of unhelpfull y "obsessed with the need to sta mp emerge fro m its status as a pariah.

TLS AUGUST 24 & 3 1 2007


10 HISTORY

rea dily, sees Paki stan as India' s ev il twin

Sixty-year views , an entire ly artificial creation and the main


reaso n why Hindu - Mu slim conflict has
persisted in post-independ ence India), nor for
M. S. Go lwa lkar, the leader of the right-w ing
hat Indi a should be dubbed "the D A VlD A RN OL D dwells on the delib erations of the constituent Hindu org anization the Rashtri ya Swayam se-

T wor ld's largest democracy" is either ,


give n the cou ntry's size and billi on-
strong pop ulation, a trui sm, or a challenge to
R a m a ch andr a Guh a
asse mbly that framed the new constitution,
and the garga ntuan task of organizing Indi a' s
genera l elect ions) , but hi s main narra tive
vak Sangh (RSS). Char isma , too, might have
undesirabl e consequences. He cites Amb ed-
kar, ironi cally him self now revered across
rethink the natur e of dem ocracy itself. In I NDI A A FTER GAN D H I revolves aro und those "remarkable charac - India as a Dalit (Untouchable) leader, who lik-
M ay 2004, in India' s most recent gene ral The history of the world's largest democ racy ter s" whose commitme nt and charisma made ened India' s hero- worshipping of politi cians
election - its fourt eenth since universal suf- 688pp. Macmillan. 25 (US $34.95). de moc ratic nationhood poss ible and gave it to Hindu s' devo tion to their dei ties, eleva ting
frage was introduc ed in 1952 - 400 milli on 97802300 16545 mass appea l. Much the grea test among these blind faith above discernin g ju dgem ent.
peop le cas t thei r votes, thus makin g it, as M arth a C . N uss ba u m was Ga ndhi, whose vision and lead ership The greatest threat to the Nehruvian ord er
Sunil Khiln ani has remar ked, "the largest Guh a sees as trul y inspiration al. In this, ca me with the Chinese invasion of 1962, of
exe rcise of democratic election, eve r and any- TH E C LASH WI THI N though, there is an unexplo red paradox, for which Guha gives a fresh and compelling
where, in human histor y". If dem ocrac y Democracy . religious violence and India' s future the Ma hatma esc hewe d the politics of parti es, account. The unwanted wa r shattered
began its career 2,500 ye ars ago in Athens, it 432pp . Belknap Press. 19.95 (US $29.95). elec tions and con stituti ons that Guha so Nehru ' s dream of coo pera tion with China
9780674024823
has since assum ed such different contexts ex tols : the legacy of his " saintly idiom " was and , by thro win g him into the arms of the
and di sparate form s that, as the sa me writer not always one that sat square ly with demo- British and Am ericans, revealed the frailt y of
put s it, its histor y "can no longer be written violence esca lated between Hindu s, Mu slims cratic instituti ons. Eve n so, his attem pts to the non- alignm ent polic y on which he had
coh erentl y from within the terms of the and Sikh s, cos ting many thou sand s of lives: reconcile the Mu slims and Untouchables, staked India' s international stan ding. But
West' s own historical expe rie nce" . This is a Partiti on spa rked the largest mass migration India ' s largest and most alienated minorities, even his death , heartb roken, less than two
view to which Ram ach and ra Guh a clea rly in histor y across the rav aged fronti er s of the wins from Guha the highest praise, as does yea rs later, did not underm ine Indian demo-
subsc ribes. In his insightful , spirited and ele- Punjab and Bengal. The instit ution s to whom Gandhi's dem ocratic recogniti on that a free cracy in the way that those who imperiou sly
gantly crafted acco unt of Indi a since 1947, he a strife-torn people might have looked for suc- and viable India had to be reconstituted along dem anded "After Nehru Who ?" had antici-
present s dem ocrac y as the central charac ter cour - the civil service and the army - we re lingui stic lines, and his heartfelt concern that pated. Indi a, Guha arg ues, still had viable
in the unfoldin g story of Indian nationh ood , them sel ves partit ioned , and the fate of the India should not become a "Hindu Paki stan" , state and (with the Co ngress still dominant at
but also argues that Indi a' s polit y, now sixty 400- odd princely states that had blot ched and found ed on one faith alone. the ce ntre) Par ty instituti on s, the army knew
years old , need s to be recognized as one of its place (in the barrack s), and the falterin g
the leadin g, if more idiosyncratic, dem ocra- eco nomy was about to be boosted by the
cies of the modern world. India After Gandhi Gree n Revoluti on . The threat from the
is, however , far from platitudinous: it is the "Reds" and their Russian back ers he dis-
hi story of a compl ex, at times fragile, polit- misses as exaggerated; interestin gly, espe -
ical order that has been internall y belea- cially given the form er pro minenc e of Marx-
guered, externally assa iled and, from time to ism in Indian intellectu al and politi cal life,
time, internationally reviled, and yet, despit e this is an almost disdainfull y post-Soviet,
critics ' scorn and enemies ' co ntempt, has anti- Communist histor y. Above all, the cou n-
some how survived. It has done this, Guha try had indi viduals - critics and eo-wo rkers
argues, not by copy ing the West, so often the like J. B. Krip alani and C. Raj agopalach ari -
source of the direst warn ings about dem o- who co ntinued to keep democr acy on track .
cra tic India' s immin ent demise, but by draw- G uha eve n has pra ise for Nehru's imm edi ate,
ing home-gro wn inspir ation from the repub- short-lived success or, Lal Bahadur Shastri ,
lic ' s founder s, by pa instakingly building its especially for the resoluti on he showe d ove r
ow n politi cal instituti on s and by drawin g renewe d war with Paki stan.
strength from a diversity of religions, lan- The second crisis of Indi a' s demo cracy
guages and regional cultures that most West- came throu gh Nehru 's ow n daughter. To fol-
erne rs wo uld regard as in compatible w ith a low Shas tri as Prime Minister, th e C ong ress
fun ctionin g democracy. And yet, Guha freely Party bosses chose Indira Ga ndh i, expec ting
adm its, Indi a has not had an easy ride. Eve n her to be comp liant. Guha spends little time
if his fin al note is relati vely upb eat, and dem- pondering her personalit y, or in aski ng how
onstrates a degree of patri otic prid e in the far her drift towar ds autoc racy was a conse-
way Indi a, like a some times wayw ard child, quence of bein g a wo man in a man ' s world,
ha s ultim ately turn ed out and gained belated needing to act tough domestically and interna-
recog nition as an "Asian giant" and incipi ent tionally in order not to be presum ed feebl e.
superpower, Guha recognizes that the coun- Pu rano QiIa r efugee camp, O ctober 1, 1947; from India Remembered : A personal account Richard Nixo n' s crass view of her as "the
try' s hard- won hold on dem ocracy remains ofthe Mountbattens during the transfer ofpower by Paula Mountbatten (240pp. Pavilion. bitch " and "the old witch", following her
tenu ous. It is even now, he concl udes , no 25.978 1 862057593) visit to Was hington in 1971, at a time of
more than a "fifty-fifty" democracy. mounting conflict with Pa kistan, seems on a
By hi s acco unt, there have been three spec kled the map of British India was left irre- Where Gandhi led , others ably foll owed. par with his genera lly cont emptu ous view of
critica l moment s when India' s democratic sponsibly und eci ded. On top of this, in rapid In Guha's assess ment, Nehru was the Indi an s as "devious", "no goddamn good"
nati onh ood has see med mos t imperill ed . The succession, ca me the first of seve ra l wa rs Mahatm a' s most promin ent disciple in demo- and "bastards anyway", though it does con-
fir st came at the very outset. Jawaharlal with Paki stan ove r Kashmir, one of the larg- cracy, the ma n who - alongside B. R. Ambed- trast with Hannah Arendt' s more poli shed
Nehru, as the country' s first Prime Mini ster, est of these erstwhile states , the assassin ation kar as law mini ster and Vallabhbha i Patel as impression of Mrs Gandhi as bein g "very
might famou sly ce lehrate India' s "trys t with of Mahatm a Ga ndhi hy a Hindu fanatic, and a home mini st er - did m o st to ush er a stable, good-looking, almost beautiful , very charm-
destiny" at midni ght on August 14, 1947, but , mounting agitation for the reorgani zation of sec ular and unit ed Ind ia into bein g. There ing" but also a resolut e wo man who had
as Guha remind s us, the new gove rnment the form er British provinces into states consti- we re issues on which Nehru sens ibly gave already decid ed to defy the United States by
inherit ed from the hastil y departin g Briti sh a tuted along lin guistic lines. For Indi a to have way (states reorgani zation); some (Kashmir) going to war ove r Banglad esh. The A merica n
situatio n close to chaos. Co ntrary to the self- emerged from its pos t-Par tition trauma not where he sought a solution, but ultim atel y failu re to und erstand India (and persistence
flatterin g belief that the co lonial power only terr itorially intact but having drawn up failed; yet others (the loo ming co nflict with in favou ring und emo crat ic Paki stan) repeat-
bequ eathed democracy to Ind ia, he sees the an ambitious co nstitution, held a nationwid e China) where enthusias m blighted his jud ge- edly makes Guha bri stle.
nati on ' s founding fathers as the princip al genera l electio n, and crea ted a union of ment. Whil e Western jererniahs pred icted the But, despite drawing Ame rica n ire and con-
archit ect s and guardians of its democratic lingui stically defined states , was , for Guha, a imminent break-up and "ba lkanization" of tri ving a dipl omati c and military triumph
ideals and institut ions. The British left the rem ark able achievement and one that bod ed India, und er Nehru's leadership the country ove r Bangladesh, Mr s Gandhi is not one of
subco ntinent di vided , its futur e precariou s. we ll for Indi a ' s democratic futur e. emerged from the 1950s diver se but demo- his heroes. Her autocra tic impul ses predated
The improvised bound ary lines between Guha comments informatively on the vari- cra tic. Guha recognizes that not all the person- her eleva tion to Pri me Mini ster (she helped
Indi a and Pakistan we re still in the making ous instituti ons and processes that under- alities of the period we re so beni gn: he has no unseat the dem ocraticall y elected Com munist
as the new national flags unfurl ed . Savage pinn ed Ind ian dem ocracy (he particularly empa thy for M. A. Jinn ah (G uha, rather too gove rnment of Kerala in 1959), and her

TLS AUGUST 2 4 & 3 1 2 007


HISTORY 11

misguid ed sense of maternal responsibility rejects the "fascist" label hurled at the BJP violence and its hate rhetoric by claimin g that dan ger that India now faces, Nussbaum turn s
tow ard s her second son, Sanjay, blind ed her and its sister organi zations, if only because it is now intern ationally recognized that all to the attempt of the Hindu Right to hijack
to his evident weakness and the corruption the Ge rman people under Hitler never had a Muslims are terrori sts, incapabl e of living in histor y and rewrite the Indi an past to
and cronyism that surro unded him . Prag ma- comp arabl e opportunity to vote the Naz is out harm ony with other nation s and at peace with dem onize Mu slims and glorify Hindu s.
tism, not principl e, lay behind her populi st of office. Guha furth er sees the outco me of non- Mu slim neighbours. Nussbaum's sca thing review of righti st
election sloga n "Garibi Hatao" (dow n with the Kargil conflic t of 1999, ove r renewe d In a furth er searc h for explanations, revisioni sm is more than a plea fo r a return to
poverty) in 1971, and success at the poll s Paki stani enc roach ment into the Indian-held Nussbaum turn s to Indi a' s founding fathers, factu ally grounded history (and an attac k on
encourage d her to go furth er, to nationalize porti on of Kashmir, as an encouragi ng sign adding to the inevitable Gandhi and Nehru a the perils of pos tmodernist subjec tivity) . For
the bank s, strip the princes of their pri vy of continuing Indian co mmitm ent to national third figure, the Bengali poet and philo soph er her the Hindu Right , with its intolerant ideol-
purses, and impo se president ' s rule on recalci- solidarity. In his jud gem ent , Indi a rem ain s Rabind ranath Tagore, who in Guha 's book ogy, is an internati onal and not merely an
trant states . Ce nsured by the court s and press, deepl y com mitted to democracy, eve n barely recei ves a menti on . Ga ndhi is acc used Indian issue. She views with deep alarm the
challenged by the move ment led by the though the nature of that democracy has of excessive asce ticism, but lauded for his way in which fun dament alists have verba lly
veteran Ga ndhian soc ialist Jayaprak ash changed mar kedl y ove r the pas t sixty yea rs: insight in see ing the urge to domin ate as the attacked and physicall y threat ened scho lars
Naray an, Mr s Gandhi seized emergency pow- its spirit is still evident in popul ar parti cip a- grea test obs tacle to be overcom e: it is this in the US who have taken a criti cal view of
ers. In describing how Indian dem ocrac y tion in politi cs and elec tions, in the vitality of will to do min ate that Nussba um consider so Indian histor y or who have treated Hindu
sank from Nehru to nemesis in a single gener- the press, and the dynami sm of India' s plur al- inimi cal to India' s democ racy and what she mythol ogy with what they consider less than
ation, Guha gives a tellin g acco unt of the ist politi cal culture . Democracy has been bat- identifi es as its own now threatened tradi- due res pec t. The Hindu Right thu s poses, to
Emergency . This was, in his view, the grea t- tered , but it has not been bettered . tion s of peace and tolerance. Nehru she sees Nussbaum's mind , a threat to academic free-
es t single threat to Indi an dem ocrac y, but as dul y ce lebrating Indian diversity, but as dom and democracy in Am erica . The "clash"
equally it dem onstr ated its und erlyin g uardedly optimistic, Guha depi cts culpable for having been too lofty in his of her title is thu s located, not as Samu el
strength and resilience.
Amid the 36,000 arres ts, the violence
aga inst Delhi slum-dwe llers, and the forced
G India as a success story of sorts - to a
degree that many obse rvers wo uld
find undul y complace nt. Martha C. Nuss -
ideals and too detached from the real need s of
the masses (a Marxist trait, apparently). His
sec ularism and his com mitment to Western
P. Huntin gton claim ed, bet ween the riva l
ci vili zations of Islam and the Wes t but within
soc ieties aro und the globe that are unea sily
vasec tom ies as part of a programm e of popu- baum ' s The Clash Within offers seve ra l rea - science made him, in her view, a poor pro- poised between dem ocracy (ultimately repre-
lation cont rol , Guha reco unts defi ance, as in sons why . She takes as her po int of departure vider when it came to nurturing religiou s sented by the US) and the forc es of neo-
the press notic e that esca ped cen sorship not the confusion and violence unleashed by tolerance and espo using liberal educa tion. fascist intoleran ce. But , like Guha, Martha
announcing the "dea th of D. E. M. O' Cracy, Partition, but a far more recent episode of Her preferenc e is for Tagore, a man of wide Nussbaum draws some solace fro m the out-
mourn ed by his wife T. Ruth, his son L. 1. mayhem, rape and murd er - the anti-Muslim sy mpathies rather than narro w nationali sm, come of the 2004 elec tions and the oustin g of
Berti e, and his daught ers Faith, Hope, and riots in Guj arat in early 2002 . From "geno- whose experiments in educa tion encourage d the BJP-Ied coaliti on: Indi ans, it see ms, we re
Justice". When Mr s Ga ndhi defied her critics cide in Gujarat", and detailin g the upsurge of individual deve lopment and crea tiv ity not so easily hood win ked by righti st propa-
at hom e and abroa d by ca lling a general elect- savage ry in which nearly 2,000 Mu slim s rather than the soulless educa tion currently ganda. Eve n so, The Clash Within does serve
ion to vindicate her poli cies, she was bundl ed were killed , and many more mutil ated and practi sed in Indian schoo ls and co lleges, to temp er Ram ach andr a Guha's underl ying
out of office. But the Indi ra Ga ndhi story was made homeless, while the state's BJP-Ied gov- which she blames for crea ting the intellectu al optimi sm and to present a very different view
not yet ove r. Although troun ced in the poll s, ernme nt failed to act, or eve n sided with the sterility in which fascism thrives. of where India - and "the world's largest
she was able to make a spectac ular return attackers, Nussbaum turn s to consider the As furth er evide nce of the und em ocratic dem ocrac y" - may now be headin g.
because of the ineptitude and infi ghtin g of natur e of the Hindu Right in Indi a today. She
her Janat a rivals. Back in power, she became traces its origins, its Hindutva phil osoph y of
embroiled in a new crisis, this time ove r Sikh
separatism in the Punj ab. She met this with
milita nt Hindu nationhood , its network s of
fundin g and orga nization, and the character
New from Transaction
crushing force, throu gh armed ass ault on the of its leader ship (reco unted through a ser ies
Gold en Te mple in Amritsar in 1984. Guha of disturbing interviews). In a work intend ed GENERAL THEORY THE NEW
por trays this as badly bun gled , yet he is prim arily for an Am eric an reader ship , Nuss - OF LAW AND NATIONALISM
struck that devout Sikhs in the Indi an army baum sounds a wake-up call to those who STATE Louis L. Snydar
coul d loyall y serve the state aga inst their may have been unaware of the ugly nature of Hans Kelsen with a with a prafaca by
even ts in Indi a in rece nt times, and the hate- new introduction by JohnMontgomery
co-religioni sts. However, Operation Blue
A. JavierTreviiio "[A)n indispensable guidenot
drew swift retaliation, as Mrs Ga ndhi was fill ed ideology that inform s them. Where only for the studentof
Hans Kelsenis widely
slai n by her ow n Sikh bodyguard s, unleash- Guh a declin es to call the BJP and its allies regarded asthe most contemporery historyend
ing the anti- Sikh riots that marked some of "fasc ist" , N uss baum, so undi ng a far m or e important legal theorist of internat ional relations but also
the da rkes t days of independent India . alarmi st note, has no hesitation in makin g the twentieth century, known especially for his for the statesman who hasto dealwith these
formulation of the " pure theory of law." General problems andto learn that they are of an
Guha deftl y co mbin es press report s, aca - comp arisons with the Holocau st, with the Hit- importancefar beyond all divisions of ideology or
Theory of Law andState, first publishedin 1945, is
de mic commentary and personal insight, but ler Youth and Nazism . In a wor k that moves the mostsystematic and comprehensive exposition civilization."-Hans Kahn
having arrived at the late 1980 s he admits to at times erratica lly between history, gender of Kelsen's jurisprudence. 978-0-7658-0550-8 2003
findin g it more difficult to locate suitable studies and psycho analysis, she asks why the 978-1-4128-0494-3 2005 Paparback 387pagas $29.95/19.95
sources or maint ain historic al objecti vity. In Hindu Right see ms so obsessed with the idea Paperback 556pages $39.95/26.50
a sense this ceases to be a histor y of Indi a of purit y - whether of the Hindu faith or of REGIONALISM AND
after Ga ndhi, as the Ma hatma's influenc e Hindu wo men - and is so veheme ntly hostile THE IDEA OF NATIONALISM IN
wanes and a new Indi a arises . With the death to a Muslim minorit y that is re latively small, NATIONALISM THE U.S.
of Jayaprakash Narayan the last of the old poor and powerless. She sees the Right as Hans Kohn with a The Attack on Leviathan
Gandhi ans disappeared. having an und erlyin g need to counter the new introduction
New lead ers have com e to the fore, but deep di visions within the highl y heterogene- by Craig Calhoun Donald Davidson with
a new introduction by
they appea r as lesser mort als. Ga ndhian aus- ous Hindu co mmunity by asse rting its ow n In this sixtieth anniversary
RussellKirk
terit y gives way to middl e-cl ass co nsume r- milita ncy and in see king out Mu slim s as its edition of TheIdea of
Nationalism, Craig Calhoun This eloquentvolume is an
ism ; corr uption infiltr ates politics and the irreconcilable opposite. But she also argues, probesthe work of Hans attack on state centralism and an affirmation of
civil service . Despit e the advent of eco nom ic rather less persuasively, that und er co lonial Kohn andthe world that first broughtprominence regional identity. Davidson looks at regionalismin
liherali zation in 1991, mass poverty and dis- rule Hindu s were repeatedl y told that they to this unparalleled defenseaf the national ideal in arts, literature, and education, examining alongthe
the modern West. At its publication, Saturday way varying historicalmemories. the dilemma of
crimination based on cas te and gender were wea k, effeminate and , by British stand- Southern liberals, andthe choiceof expedienceor
Reviewcalled it "an enduring and definitive
rem ain. Guha obse rves, too, the tro ublin g rise ards, not masculin e enough. In consequence, treatise...less a historyof nationalismthan it is a principles.
of the Hindu Right , the conflict unleashed Indi an s suffere d deep psychological humili a- history of Western civilization from the standpoint 978-0-88738-372-4 1991
by the destruction of the Babri Masji d at tion (though the onl y ev idence for what she of the national idea". Paperback 388pages $29.95/19.95
Ayodh ya in 1992 , and the esca lation of ca lls the "piggish rac ism" of the Briti sh 978-1-4128-0476-9 2005
anti-Muslim violence. But if, as it see ms, this seems to be the Amritsar massacre of 1919, Paperback 800pages $39.95/26.50
represent s the third and latest crisis in the life and Wi nston Churchill's undisgui sed loath- IN THE UKANDEUROPE
of Indi an democracy, Guha's response to it ing of Ga ndhi) and so acquired the need to TRANSACTION Transaotion UK
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TLS AUGUST 2 4 & 3 1 2 0 07


12 LITERARY CRITICISM

fter a co uple of decades when "His- of co ntempora ry poet s. Steven s may aspire to

A tory" was all the rage, " For m" now


see ms to be in - or so a q uick glance
at the Lit Cr it section in any aca de mic pu b-
Silent poesy a kind of aes thetic purit y, for instance, but he
still registers in the fin est poem s "the pres-
sure fro m hum an disturban ce" ; and the
lisher' s cata logue wo uld sugges t. Quite wha t devoutl y inward art of Graha m, wh ile enticed
"form" amounts to, however, is a bit less obv i- SEA MUS P ERRY on "Fro m for m to for m", from the imaginin g by the pros pec t of a "pure for mali sm", never-
ous: es pec ially once it is clear that identify- of poe tic for m to the imaginin g of bodil y theless hears enough of the wor ld outside to
ing sonnets or villanelles, or co mpar ing An g el a L ei ght on form, mov ing restl essly between a purely be a "formalism that knows its limits". The
hero ic coup lets, is no t usually what is at beautiful noise and an unshiftable sense of beaut ifull y emptied-out abstrac tio n of Lily
stake. " For m" has had a mo re profoun d but ON FORM perso nal bereavement. Briscoes pictur e at the end of To the Light-
elusive qu alit y than that for some time now; Poetry, aestheticis m, and the legacy of a word That Tennysoni an play of form s matt ers to house is, in some way , ge nu ine ly emblema tic
it is "one of the commonest words in literary 288p p. Oxford University Press. 30 ($55). Leight on because it exe mplifies a much of the aest het ic ambitions of the novel at
criticism", W. P. Ker obse rve d in his grand 9780 19 9290604
wide r hesitancy in nin eteent h-c ent ur y litera- large ; but that sa me emptiness, like the
old book Form and Style in Poetry (1928) , ture; In Memoriam manifests a kin d of dis- absence at the heart ofTen nyson's verba lis m,
"and it is one of the most am biguo us" . which a great mind may take into itself and appo inted or disru pted aes theticism, and in is also the record of a rea l hum an loss - the
Towards the end of her new mon ograph , On natur alize to its ow n heaven". Shakespeare doing so an ticipates a literary epoc h. In thi s, death of Mrs Ramsay, and behind that, of
Form, deft and thou ghtful as we ll as timely, was usually praised for crea ting characters so as in much else, Te nnys on's ge nius shows Woolf' s broth er Th ob y. And so, in diverse
A nge la Leight on too co nce des that the word lifelik e yo u felt you mig ht bump into them in itse lf as the gen ius with which he read Keats. ways, the several cha pters of the boo k wor k
"is a licence for inexactness and an oppor tu- the stree t, so Co leridge was trailin g his coa t "Thou, silen t form , dos t tease us out of varia tions upon the them e with tact and care
nity for doubl e-think" , which might not here for the new aes thetic and the other- thou ght f As doth etern ity" , Kea ts tell s his and delib eration, movin g towards a discus-
sound the mo st obvio us adve rtiseme nt; but worldly char ms of what he called, in his Grec ian Urn, where "form" flickers wonde r- sion of con tempo rary elegy in which In
for Leight on, as for the authors she discusses, lovely poem 'T he Gar den of Boccaccio", "the full y bet ween the mut e ph ysical stuff of a pot Memoriam sta nds, impli citly, as the mode l
it is ju st the scope for doubl eness built into silen t poesy of form " . and an idea l con structi on of the mind . Kea ts for goo d practice ("the lost body of form is
the word that mak es it so useful. In such uses , "form" co mes across as some - contrives to be reverent and sce ptica l abo ut always wa iting to slip back into the pic ture") .
"For m" leads a purp osefull y ambiguo us thin g bodil ess, speec hless , beautifully emp ty, art at the sa me tim e: whe ther it is goo d to be Everything abo ut On Form is j udged and
ex istence in these pages. It is sometimes the free of wo rldly taint, approximately Platoni c; teased "out of thought" rather depend s on po ised , with many thin gs read beautifully and
crea ture of pur e Art , the airy fabric of the but it ca n have quit e another sort of reso- whether yo u' re bein g teased out of a tan gle, trul y. Leighton returns to "for m" and to the
aestheti c - as it is for the character in the nance too. Co leri dge him self, in "Frost at like work ing a bu rr from a dog' s coa t, or pes- "aesthetic" in a way whic h neither succ umbs
Wa llace Steven s poem, who "found all form Midn ight " , gree ts the flappin g film of soot on tered and vexed beyon d yo ur wits ' endur- simp ly to their charms nor dismi sses them as
and orde r in solitude" , and as it often is for his firepl ace as "a com pan ionable form " , ance, like M alvolio. Keats' s poem as a who le a dodgy bit of ideology; and, in this, she effec -
Steven s in propria perso na, of co urse , as which forl ornl y imagin es a real presence, is full of mixe d feeli ngs abo ut the ar twor k it tivel y makes co mmo n ca use with a numb er
when, in "The Pure Goo d of Theory", he of disti ngui shed recent studies, includ ing
cheris hes the inward thou ght of "A form .. . Susan Wolfson ' s Forma l Charges and
protect ed from the batterin g". Steve ns 's Mi chael O ' Neill ' s Romanticism and the Self-
pe nchan t for the abs trac t is at once rapt and Conscious Poem. But who lly up to date as its
q uirky and he sou nds like no one but himsel f; interests are in one way , Le ighton is full y
but , as Leight on usefully rem inds us, he was awa re that , in an other, the qu estion s she
a part of the spirit of the age too. addr esses are as old as the hill s: "How with
What was so wo nde rful abo ut Jacob this rage shall beaut y hold a plea?" Of co n-
Epstein, thou ght Pound , was the way he temporary poe try, it is Sea mus Heaney' s that
spoke of "form, not the fo rm of any thing"; has dwe lt among such q uestions with grea tes t
and it is the sa me high-m inded dismissal of patience and pur chase, intentl y obedient both
the merely rep resentation al that lies beh ind (as he put s it in The Government of the
Cl ive Bell ' s cr iterion of " significant form " - Tongue) to "song" and to "suffering", and
a once fam ou s catchph rase by which he obliged to fulf il that dual obedience because
sought to nam e the true esse nce of a pai nting, of the very stuff out of which poetr y is made.
that wh ich spo ke to the aesthetic sense, and For, rea lly, a poe m ca n never attai n a Paterit e
bes ide which any mere subject matte r that co nd itio n of " m usic" bec au se it is wr itte n in
might ge t into a pictur e was an irrelevant and lan gu age, which belongs to the wor ld out side
humdrum distracti on. You can see what it's art before it belon gs to the wo rld wi thin: " It
like in a ra ilway station by go ing to a rail wa y is both the glory and the shame of poetr y" ,
station: yo u don't need a busy painting by W. H. Aud en mem orabl y ob served, "that its
W. P. Frith. The distill ation of mass and medium is not its pri vate property". Aude n,
sha pe and colour into the or dered uni verse of who liked an titheses, once divided the
a Cezanne, on the oth er hand , is something authorship of poetr y bet ween Ariel, the arch-
not to be had in this wor ld: like the girl o n the for mali st who sang pri vate lyrics of self-
pos ter in Phili p Lark ins "Sunny Prestatyn" , "Souveni r de Mortefontaine" (1864) by Camille Corot; from Nineteenth-Century Frenclz delightin g beaut y, and Pros pero, who sought
it is something too good for thi s life. Art by Sebastien AlIard and Laurence des Cars (464pp. Flammarion. 978 2 0803 0532 9) to ha nd down mor al truth s; and while "every
The background to thi s who le tradition of poem ", as Aud en wro te , "shows so me sig n of
thinkin g abo ut "for m" is Romanti c ideali sm , like a chum ; and in other poe ts form can be osten sibly celebr ates; Leight on is mar vel- a rivalr y" between the two, all poe ts begin
which Leight on sets o ut here with clarity and even more palpa ble. "For m" in Te nnyso n lou sly alert to the dissonances and equ ivoca- with an inclin ati on for one or the other.
co ncision. Kant' s aes thetics pick their way ca n be as ghostly as it is anyw here ; but he is tion s which unsettl e the religion of art that Leight on writes very we ll indeed about Ari el
around the delu sive ch arm s of the merely especially good, too , at bring ing o ut the the Urn anno unces so blith el y (" Bea uty is poe ts who find them sel ves ackn ow ledg ing
figur ati ve or rep resent ation al with a finick y wor d's cont rar y, fleshly potenti al: truth , truth beaut y" ). She rightl y places "Ode kinds of Pro spero truth - abo ut death and loss
wa riness; hut hi s foll ow er s co uld so und from the vio lets her ligh t foot on a G rec ian Ur n" at th e head of an entire lit- a nd absence . Rut Aude n leave s o pe n a possi-
much more simply ex uberant about the way Sho ne rosy-w hite, and o 'er her rounded for m erary tradit ion , in which the aesthetic is cher- bilit y which these exce llent pages do not
that an ideali st Art left everything out. Bet ween the shadow s of the vine-bunc hes ished , but the seren ity of its for ms neverth e- ex plore : that of the Prospero po et surpr ised
In a famou s passage from the Aesthetic Edu- Floated the glowing sunlights, as she moved. less find s itself perpetu ally challenged by a into mo me nts of Ari ellyrici sm ; and I wo nder
cation, Schiller proclaims that , in a beautiful Leight on has some very goo d pages on witness paid to oth er kind s of ex perience and whether, within mo de rn Englis h letter s, that
poem, "the content shou ld do nothi ng, the Te nnyso n's am big uous forms, especially in awa reness . The princip al theori st offere d may not be the more usual case - whether it
for m everything . ... the rea l artistic secret of In Memoriam, where the aes thetic and the pal- here is Pater, "an aes thete whose sense of the is not the case, say, of Bro wn ing, Arnold,
the master co nsists in his annihilating the pable meet in poignant irresolut ion . The intr i- aes thetic ca nnot ever shake off histor y" ; and Hardy, Eliot, Au den, Stevie Smith and
material by means of the form ". In England, cate ly reit erati ve mu sic of the verse offers the irrecon cil ables that are see n to wa nde r Larkin. A nge la Leighton doesn 't see k to
mea nwhile, Co leridge could often be heard itself as some thing intrin sically lovely to set through his evas ive and slippery prose mo ve offer a repr esent ati ve history of mo dern wr it-
ma king the point in a more colou rful way. agai nst death ; but Tennys on never qu ite rel in- too in the oth er authors singled out for discus- ing, of co urse, so say ing so is not doi ng much
Characters in a Shakespeare play, he once told qui shes the unc on soled desire that his sion here - Vern on Lee, Virginia Wo olf, more than asking for ano ther book ; but whe n
his lecture audience, were all "ideal: they are belo ved might yet somehow materialize and Yeats, Steve ns , W. S . Grah am , Elizabeth a book is as go od as On Form, it wo uld be
not the thin gs but the abstracts of the thin gs touch him onc e agai n; and so the poe m flo ws Bishop and Sy lvia Plath , as we ll a ga ther ing od d not to look for ward to the next one.

TLS AUGUST 24 & 3 1 2007


LI T E R A R Y C R ITIC ISM 13

t is currentl y fashionable to think of to him self to send express messengers of a super-

I Daniel Defo e as a harbin ger of mod-


ernity. With Robinson Crusoe , Moll
Flanders and Roxana he established him self
Home helps ior rank on extrao rdinary occasions.
It was these "ministring spirits" who form ed
mo st of the apparitions in the stor ies which
as one of the founding fathers of what was Defoe recounted. They might be eith er good
then the com ing literar y ge nre, the novel. JAM ES SHARP E realit y of apparitions , an opinion supported or bad spirits, but the only way to tell this was
And in such writings as The Complete with stories dra wn from the Bibl e, from the by the nature of the actions they performed or
English Tradesman and the Tour through ancient wor ld, and from mor e recent histor y, the ends they seemed to be pur suin g.
D ani el D efo e
the Whale Island of Great Britain he along with eyewitness reports. These last, For Defoe' s reading of the funct ion of these
celebr ated the bur geonin g capital ism of the AN ES S AY O N T HE HI STOR Y AN D Defo e normally stresse d, cam e from per son s "ministering spirits" helps make his interest
ea rly eightee nth centu ry - and, of co urse, R E ALI T Y OF APP ARITIO N S of known reliability. in apparitions comp rehen sible by placing
Robinson Crusoe serves as a ha ndy allegor y Edited by Kit Kincade Defoe' s major prob lem was to steer him firml y in the mainstream of Engli sh
for the rise of both wor ld cap italis m and 463pp. New York: AMS Press. $ 158.50 betw een the near-ath eistic positions of out - Protestanti sm . Ever since the Reform ation ,
9780404648565 English Prote stantism had defined itself in
Europea n im peri ali sm . right sceptics (Hobbes was whee led on at this
Yet in the late l 720 s Defoe publi shed point) and compl ete credulity (repre sented by term s of the unfold ing of God ' s providenc e, of
three substantial wor ks on occult them es: The basic s of Christianity as it was und erstood . popul ar ignorance and Jo seph Glan vill). He the Almi ght y' s scheme for hum an ity, through
Political History of the Devil, publi shed in Defo e commen ted in the Political Histo ry of was also, as a good Prote stant, hostile to the national and intern ation al eve nts, or eve n per-
1726; A System of Magick, which also the Devil that allow ing compl ete libert y in firm ly entr ench ed view that gho sts were the sonal ones like meeting an apparition. Deists
appeared in 1726; and An Essay on the Hist- religiou s matter s was a mu ch mor e effective souls of the dead who, for whatever rea son , might cont end that God had created the world,
ory and Reality of Apparitions, pub lished in way of destro ying right reli gion than was could not find rest. Less con vention ally, Defoe and then left it to operate indep endent ly. Defoe
1727. All of these wor ks were long, toppin g persecution. His wor ks on the superna tural marginalized the role of the Devil in raising followed the tradition al premi se that God inter-
400 pages in their or iginal editions, and all were wr itte n as a counterb last to freethinkers apparitions, arguing that peopl e were far too vened in human affair s on a daily basis. For
made an imp act: thu s The Political History of and deists. pron e to ascribe such phenom ena to Satan ic Defo e, God had not ju st created the universe:
the Devil went into a seco nd edition in 1727, Kit Kinc ade and his publishers are there- initiat ives. Conversely, wh ile fully accept ing he continued to go vern it in a fairly hand s-on
and was publi shed in French in 1729, and in for e to be con gratulated in producing a good , the ex istence of angels, he felt it unlike ly that fashion. Apparitions were agents of divin e
Germ an the foll owin g yea r. Defo e, the mod ern edition of what is one of Defo e' s such bein gs wo uld regularl y be called on to pro vidence , one way by which God sent his
harbin ger of mod ern ity, was obviously very lesser -kno wn wor ks , which open s up an intervene in relatively trivial hum an affairs. message s to humanity. Thus their reality
invol ved in a superna tural belief- system important area of that writer 's concern s. What Defo e posited was the existenc e of a helped explode deism and atheism.
which, on many interpretations, was becom- Kincade has pro vid ed a sound and scholarly band of what we re in effect junior angels who Wh ile see ing Defo e as a foundin g fath er of
ing intellectually redundant by the end of the introduction, with both the tortuous prob lem s acted as God ' s agent s: the nov el and a personification of the spirit
first quarter of the eight eenth century. of authors hip and the intellectu al background He has apparentl y posted an army of mini string of cap itali sm , we should also rec all that, as
Such interpretati on s are ill-found ed. First, to the work dealt with effective ly and con- spirits, call them ange ls if yo u will, or what else a young man, he fou ght at the Battl e of
there had been a lively literary debate about vincing ly. His editorial work ex tends to ju st you please; I say posted them ro und thi s convex , Sedg emo or for the Pro testant cause und er a
the realit y of apparitions, ange ls and the over lOO pag es of not es to lines in the text, this globe the earth, to be ready at all events, to bann er reading " Fear Nothing but God ". Th e
Devil for about half a century before Defo e which demonstr ate a profound scho larship exec ute his ord ers and do his will , reserving still ex perience wa s apparently a formative one .
wro te. And seco ndly, the early eightee nth and an envi able knowled ge of the literatur e
century experienced a seve re reacti on aga inst of the period. The text itself demonstrates
writings by freethinkers like John Toland and how complex a matter dealin g with the super-
Ant hon y Co llins which qu estioned the ver y natur al was for Defo e. He fully accepted the

Everything Must Go
Th at afternoon the pavement s shine
like glass although it' s peltin g down/
it isn't rainin g any more

you leav e the station of a town


you've never visited before
pa ssing a taxi rank a red sign
Where
light-headed traffic on the ave nue
of doubl e yellow lines elm trees Iiteratu re
at last com ing into leaf
meets
You co ver your eyes and no one sees
the new taste in your mouth is grief/
is love and no on e spe aks to yo u
the world
. 7,200 exhibitors from 113 countries
Chained up out side a crumbling sho p almost 300,000 visitors
a mongrel watches so meone kiss 382,000 publications
incl. 111,000 newpublications
the window point then say
11.000 journalists from 66countries
That to a woman mouthing This ? 2,700 events incl. readings,
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Or this ? and you are miles away
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10 -14 October 2007 and visit us
while in the violet light clean on line throughout theyear at:
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(your own face something of a shoc k

reflected in the runn y window


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or the wedding ring had been )

OPENING MINDS & MARKETS


ST EPH EN KNIGHT

T LS A UG UST 24 & 3 1 200 7


14 R ELI GI ON

arty years ago the present Pope, then philosop hy is likely, eve n having coped with

P Professor Ratzinger of Tiibingen Uni-


versity, wro te Introduction to Christ-
ianity, an exposition of the Creed. He started
No argument the techni caliti es of "essence" , "property"
and "cause" , to be flum moxed by bein g told
that "for St Thomas , Go d as crea tor mak es no
this best-selli ng book with Kierkegaard's difference to the world, for to exist is not to
story about a clown fro m a travelli ng circus LUC Y B E CK ET T mystery of the Tri nity is powerfull y presented be differen t fro m not existing" or "human
who comes into a village to shout a warn ing in a fashion that takes the reader behind the acts, free and unfr ee, are done by God".
that a fire has started where the performers R o w an Willi am s (unused) term itself. "What is see n in Jesus is Those who enjoy logic expertly deployed will
are encam ped . The villagers only laugh , what God is" ; the Spirit breathes in us. Wil- be impressed; others may find an optimi sm as
because he is a clown in clown ' s clothes. TOK ENS O F TRUST liarns' s image, for the Son in relation to the to the "patterns of reaso nable behaviour" that
Ci rcus and village are then des troyed by the An introduction to Christian belief Father, of a musician playing so as to reveal produce the Thomist virtues, particul arly
fire. The clown is the Christian preac her in t59pp. Canterbury Press. 9.99. the comp oser' s music recalls Balthasar' s use when expressed in quot ations such as "The
the contemporary wor ld: people do n' t take 978 1853 11803 6 of playwright, actor and director as an instruc- virtues concerned with contingen t matters are
him ser ious ly because "they know that he is H e rb e rt M c C ab e , OP tive analogy for the three divine perso ns. dispo sitions of practica l thought" , remote
just giving a perfor mance that has little or Only the pages on the Church seem (to a from their experience whether inform ed by
nothin g to do with rea lity". F AI TH WITH IN R EAS ON Ro man Catholic, it should be said) a little Christianity or not. But there is profound
Of course mos t preachi ng is to the con- 173pp. Co ntinuum. Paperback, 14.99. thin . Alth ough there are exce llen t account s of faith here, some times de livered like an elec-
verted : this is as true of the militan t athe ism 9780826495478 bapti sm and parti cul arly of the Eucharist as tric shock: " [God] makes, if you like, all the
of Rich ard Dawkin s as of serm ons of eve ry N ic ho las M o sl e y where and how we meet Christ in the action difference - which is the same as makin g no
Christian sta mp. Peopl e loo k to preac hers for of the Holy Spirit, the Church itself , in which difference at all. So far as the kind of wor ld
some deepening of what they already believe EX PER IENCE AN D RE LIG ION or whic h the Creeds, Apostolic and Nice ne we have is concerned, the atheist and the the-
and for reass urance that they are righ t to A lay essay in theology respecti vely, say Chr istians believe, is ist will expec t to see exac tly the same fea-
believe it. Those prepared to stop and listen 156pp. Dalkey Archive Press. Paperback, 8.99. desc ribed prim aril y as a co llec tion of hum an tures. The on ly difference is that if the atheist
978 156478 4247
to what is bein g said in any of the three books comm unities, fun ctioning more or less we ll, were right , the question would not arise -
under rev iew are more likely to be Christians as marriages functi on , according to how indeed the atheist wo uld not arise" . Nor
than non-Chri stians; their authors neverthe- in the phrase from the Apostles' Creed) some much give and take, how much sacrifice of would he. Or QED. It wo uld have been more
less hope also to attrac t the attention of unbe- "faint reflection" of what God is "like" . self-interes t, goes on within them. There is accurate, thou gh less eye -catchingly ambigu-
lievers, to interest them in the personal possi- What follows, lucid , warm, never intimidat- no, or no explicit, sense of the doubl e natur e ous, to ca ll this book Reason Within Faith.
bilit y of faith or of at least trying, one way or ing - a sea, as was long ago said of Christian- of the Church as both a divine instituti on, the Rowan Will iams, echoing Pascal, says "the
another, to understand their own experience ity itself , shallow enough for childre n to pad- bride of Christ (a very different use of the numb er of people who come into a living per-
in Christian terms. Like Ratzinger, they see k dle in, deep enough for the wise to swim in - marriage analogy) in whic h we believe, and sonal faith as a result of arg ument is actually
to get the villagers to listen to the clo wn , and could not have been written without, behind it, the corpus permixtum, as Au gustine put it: rather sma ll". Nicholas Mosley in 1965 wrote
eac h must have had at the back of his mind decades of theological and philosophical the hum an institutio n which has a compli- Experience and Religion: A lay essay in theo-
the warn ing sugges ted in Nicholas Mosley ' s study. Great think ers of the past are about in ca ted, so metimes terribl e, histor y, and which logy to make a tentative case for Christianity
sen tence : "What prevent s a reasonable the depths; none is mentioned by name but always inclu des saints and sinners, shee p and as the answe r to the grea t questio ns of life -
di scu ssion about (or indeed a belief in) God their enriching presence is often detectable. goats, whea t and tares which, like eac h soul, "what is the point of the world; what is happen-
is the language and beh aviour of people who Williams' s account of creation, that is of God will be sorted only by Go d. Williams sug- ing and what is its meaning" - in a manner at
talk about Go d but in such a way as to make as creator and sustainer of being, is, for exam- ges ts that the Bible ideall y should be read and the furthest poss ible remove from that of
any connec tion bet ween their words, their ple, Thomist and profoundly orth odox, but reflect ed on in company : "the leaders of the McCabe' s rational argume ntation. Mosley' s
actions, and other people' s exper ience of free of Aristotelian terminology, easy to under- Reform ation wo uld have been surprised to be short book is in some respects a period piece:
rea lity almos t indiscernibl e". stand on a numb er of levels, and a sound basis assoc iated with any move to encourage any- there is more about Freud and Jun g, "the two
Rowan Will iams' s Tokens of Trust is the for his dismissal of "the pointl ess stand-off one and eve ryo ne to form their ow n conclu- great modern religious prophets", than a writer
most straightforwa rd as well as the most per- between religion and science". That "our sions about the Bible". But he describes min- of such a book now would think necessary,
suas ive of the three, although, or perhaps present eco logical crisis" has "a great deal to istry as (o nly) "inhabiting the com mon life and Honest to God-sty le Anglic anism looms
because, it is also the most evidently do with ourfailure to think of the world in rela- with a part icular inten sity", and says nothin g rather large. But the book deserves this reprint.
addressed in the first place to a Christian audi- tion to the mystery of God" is in this properly of the necess ity he imp lies for the Church to Mosley' s attempt to express in non-religiou s
ence. Ta lks the Archbishop of Canterbury established context incontrove rtible. teach and pro tec t ortho doxy. language - the clow n here in ordinary clothes
gave in his cathedral in Holy Week 2005 have In a sim ilar atmosphe re of traditio n so Herbert McCabe, OP did precisely this for - some kind of faith, derived from everyday
become a short, attractive book on the basics - thorou ghly absor bed as to be simp ly present, many years as a theologian in Oxford , proudl y expe rience, in the validity of such words as
impossible now to use the word "fundamen- William s writes of the differenc e it makes to if somew hat ecce ntrically proclaimi ng that "love, hope, truth, freedom" has a moving
tals" - of Christian belief as exp ressed in the a person to trust in Christ as both man and "Dominicans don't pray. They teach" . Faith hum ility and courage in the face of what he rec-
statements of the Apos tles' and the Nicene Go d and to live in his compa ny, so becomin g Within Reason is the fourth collection of Fr og nizes as the only alternative, which is "that
Cree ds, printed at the beginn ing of the book. "a citize n of a new world, the world in which McCabe' s unpubli shed papers and sermons, every thing might be ridiculous" . He sees that
This is no easier a project now, though no Go d's rule has arrived. You will still be liv- edited by another Domini can, Brian Davies, to the space for intelligent Christianity must lie
more difficult either, than it was for Ratzinger ing in the everyday wor ld in which many appear since his death in 200 I. There are four between sceptica l bigotry on the one hand and
in 1968. Dr Williams, careful neither to put off other powers claim to be rulin g; but you will very fine sermons at the end of the book, and religio us bigotry on the other. His prose, light
the beginner with a forbidd ing demandi ngness have become free of them, free to co-operate three crisp pieces at the start, "Is Belief Wish- to read but heavy in effect, is cautious and
nor to blunt the definitiveness of Christianity's or not, dependin g on how far they allow you ful Thinking?" , "Are Creeds Credible?" and qualified , some times to the point of obscurity,
description of the plight of the human race and to be ruled by Go d" . The point of the thou- "Doubt Is No t Unbelief ', in the same territory but he yields almos t in spite of himself to the
the salvation it is offere d, achieves a rema rk- sand pages of Augustine ' s City of God, also as Williams's book but firmer in assertion on liberating, paradoxical freshness of the New
able deg ree of success. He begins, in our written in an intellectu al climate inimical to the Church - "you cannot have faith without Tes tament and at last replies to the old ques-
world pervaded by mistrust because pervaded Christianity, could not be more exac tly put. the community of believers and its traditi on" - tion cur Deus homo? in typically hesitant
by the competitiveness of different versions of That there is mystery and parad ox at the and rather more challenging, for example parentheses: "the world has meaning, is tragic:
the will to power, with the possibilit y of trust. core of Christian faith is nowhere denied in describing people who refuse to accept any man ca n alter it (redeem). This is the point (it
" I tru st in God" is hoth eas ier and harder to say Willi am s' s pre sentati on : God "chose us in "helief which tran scends hum an reason " as is done for him) in religion" , and Mosley does
than "I believe in God": easier because it Christ", but for freedom ; when we speak of refusing "to believe that the adult world mean in Christian revelation.
requires less of an intellectual effort, harder praye r, of miracles, of angels, we spea k of the transcends the child wor ld" . There is scarce ly a boring page in any of
because trusting in God cannot make sense power of God beyond our sight, but we are not The other papers are exe rcises in the prac- these books. Experience and Religion could
unless there is God to trust. Paul' s resoundin g, talking nonsense; when Christians ask the tice of modern Thomi sm. We are warne d. In have done with chapter headings - they are
complex statement of the core of Trinitarian ancient question cur Deus homo? (why did an admiring introduction De nys Turner says give n in a list without page numbers at the end
faith at the opening of Ephes ians is give n at God become man?), the answe r is in the that McCabe was confide nt that "intellect . . . of the introd uction - and the correction of a
the outset as the affirmation without which Creed, "for us and for our salvation", and the is a way, and in the end the only way , of few misprint s. The David Jones paintings
there can be nothin g truly recognizable as (Anselmian) elucidation that "only a human bein g alive". He also always insisted "not reproduced in Tokens of Trust are subtle and
Chr istian belief. In its light, false notions of word, a hum an act" can repair human history that we ought to love Go d but that we are able beautiful , the photographs mostly neither, and
God should begin to fade into the shadows - while "only the divine freedom is adequate to to do so because from eternity Go d has loved the quotations from the text printed in large
and here, for the first but not the last time, Wil- bring this about " by no means exp lains aw ay us fir st" . This, however, is not rea dily gras pa- type at the edge of some pages irritating and
liams sugges ts that we may see in human lives the mysteries of the Incarnation and the ble by most people in term s of Aristotelian unnecessary. But Rowan William s' s book, a
lived in this light ("the communion of saints", redemption of the hum an race. The central anthropology and logic. A rea der untrain ed in neat and nicely printed hardback, is a bargain .

TLS AUGUST 2 4 & 3 1 2007


MEMOIRS 15

he opening of Daniel Mend elsohn ' s merely notes that the Holo cau st is not so me-

T ambitious book The Lost enca ps ulates


both its strengths and its wea knesses.
Beneath a small blurred phot o of a seri ous-
Need to know? thin g that happ ened in the past: it ' s so me-
thin g that' s happ eni ng now. And no w, in the
present of the narr ative, he co ntacts his
lookin g littl e boy we read: "Some time ago , inform ants and asks his qu estion s, while his
when I was six or seve n or eight years old, it G A BRI EL JOSIPO VI CI and Bronia he travels to interview survivo rs brother takes pictur es:
wo uld occasionally happen that I'd wa lk into from the town now livin g in Au stralia, Israel Now, for the first time , I got a cl ear picture of
a roo m and certai n peopl e wo uld begin to Dani el M end el s ohn and Scand inavia, as we ll as in Bolecho w the first Aktion. I needed to know abo ut it in as
cr y" . The sentence is ca refully crafted for itself (twice). In the co urse of thi s he co mes much detail as pos sib le . . . . How, I wanted to
max imum effec t, and it is arres ting, yet its T HE LO ST to a grow ing under standin g not ju st of ho w know, did they round up the people for this
mo ck precis ion ("s ix or seven or eight years A se arch fo r six of s ix million they died but of how they lived: Aktion? Bob said, The Germans were go ing
old") and that initial " some tim e ago" whe n 5 13pp. HarperCollins. 25. (US $27.95). She talked about how she used to ski in the hills round with Ukrainian po licemen, because at
we wo uld expect "a lon g tim e ag o" (Mendel- 9780 00725 1933 outside of Bolechow, how they'd played volley- first they had a list.
sohn is no w in his fifth decad e), make it see m ball in school, how she had played Ping-Pong. In thi s first Akti on, in all prob ability, the
mannered, narcissistic eve n, a feeling growing boy (himse lf one of five children ) (Matt and I exchanged a swift look: Ping- third daught er , Ruchele, died , havin g been
re inforced by the silent ju xtapositi on of and form s the subje ct of thi s book. " It had Pang!?) She remembered the schoo l uniforms: picked up as she wa lked the stree ts of her
image and text. This is dangerou s in any been to rescue my re latives from generalities, berets for the girls, caps for the boys. Every hom e town with her girlfriends . She was six-
me moir, but es pecially in the kind that deal s, symbols, abb reviation s, to restor e them to school had a different color, she said. She teen. A yea r later there was a seco nd Aktion.
as thi s one does, with the searc h for the vic- their particul arity and distin cti veness that I talked about the homework she and her friends Thi s tim e the Ge rmans were bett er org anized.
tim s of the Naz i ge noci de . had com e on thi s strange and arduous trip" , had to get through before the Hanoar meetings. Men, wo men and children we re caug ht in
For the peopl e on whom the yo ung Dan iel he writes of his first visi t to Bo lechow . That What do you expect? she said suddenly. People their hou ses, attics, hiding places . About 660
Mend el sohn had that effec t were ma inly old is why he feels so uneasy with his siblings ' lived as usua l . . . . Life as usua l! children were taken. After the usual incarcera-
Eas t Euro pea n Jews, me mbers of his grand- insistenc e that they visit Ausc hw itz first. "T o Then the war arrived. First ca me the Soviets, tion in the Ca tholic co mmunity ce ntre, with
parents' ge neration, now in retirement in me Au sch wit z repr esent ed the opposite of terro rizing the Ukra inians; then came the the usual beatin gs and tortures, those still
Mi ami Beach , an d the reason he had that what I was interested in, and - as I started to Ger mans, with their pestil enti al dream of a alive we re herd ed to the cattl e trucks and
effec t o n them was (it see med) that he bore a realiz e on the day I actually did go to wor ld witho ut Jews. A ll that time Shmiel was taken to the ex termination camps. Here
striking resembl ance to his mat ernal grea t- Auschw itz - of why I had made thi s trip. writing more and more desperate lett ers to Shmi el , his wife and the yo unges t dau ght er
uncl e Shmi el , the broth er of his moth er ' s Auschw itz, by no w, has becom e the giga ntic, his relati ves in Ame rica , beggin g them to most prob abl y died.
father , and the onl y one of his famil y to have one-word symbo l, the gross ge nera lisa tion, find a way of helpi ng him and his fam ily ge t In his sea rch for the detail that will rescue
been still livin g in his nati ve town of Bol e- the shorthand, for what happ ened to Euro pe 's out. Perh aps they tried , but if so they failed . these eve nts from the banaliti es of generaliza -
chow - now in the Ukraine - when the Jews - altho ugh what happ ened at Ausc hw itz And why, M endel soh n wonde rs, did his tion ("K illed by the Naz is"), Mend el sohn
Second Worl d War started. Shmi el , his wife did not, in fact , happ en to milli on s of Jews gra ndfather, that dapp er ge ntlema n, that grea t does not spare him self or us. He copi es out an
and four daught er s all peri shed in the Holo- from places like Bolecho w." To find out ladies' man and raco nteur, the on e who first account of what happ ened in the Dom
ca ust, and it is the need to know precisely what happ ened to Shmiel and Ester and to told him about the old place, end his life by Katolicki in the first Aktion:
what happ ened to them that preoccup ies the their four dau ght ers, Lor ka, Frydka, Ruchele committing suicide? He does not spec ulate, The rabbis were especially targeted. Rabbi

... l oorS....n..te. dtrS'"d.." gl"ung


, . , fO, Kurtll, una M' dil n
-
...... QQWal1 Skoda o Dresdner Bank
Die aereterbenk
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I

TLS AUGUST 24 & 3 1 2007


16 MEMOIRS

Horowitzs body was literally chopped and Bibl e? Besides, his actu al discussion s of the ca me in, the Ukra inians cowered and the But as he enquires abo ut a possible castle in
shredded. Rabbi Landau was ordered by one of parashot do littl e to inspir e trust in him as a Jews felt safe; when the Ru ssians retreat ed the vicinity no one see ms to have heard of one.
the Gestapo men to stand naked on a chair and Bibl e reader. He parad es his kno wl ed ge with and the Ge rma ns replaced them , the Ukra ini- Th en, by a series of ex traordinary cha nces , he
declaim a speech in praise of Germany. When an air of author ity, but what he says is too ans we re at last able to give vent to the ange r sudde nly find s him self in a house where, he is
he said that Germa ny is grea t, the Ges tapo man often banal and rarely inci sive. and resentm ent they had felt for ge nera tions told , a Jewish girl and her father were hidden
beat him with a rubber stick, shouting: 'You're Nor is he mu ch mor e reli able on the Clas - at what they saw as their pri vileged neigh- by her Polish lover with two Polish teachers.
lying!' After that he shouted: ' Where is your sics, his acad emic speciality. There is a won- bours. But there were goo d Ukrainians and He is show n a cellar, reached by a trapd oor ,
God'?'.. .. Completely naked, Szancia Reisler, derful early mo ment when a remark by his Poles, who sheltered Jews, kno win g full we ll and, though he suffe rs from claustroph obi a, he
the wife of Friedmann the lawyer, had to dance mo the r sudde nly makes him reali ze that the that their lives we re at risk , ju st as there were descend s into the darkn ess. The cellar, which
naked on naked bodies. At midday, the Rabbis man in a ph oto graph with his grea t-uncle, bad ones who denoun ced them out of spite is no more than an underground box, is now
were led out from the hall and there is no trace which he had ofte n look ed at witho ut eve r or, worse , tortu red them in a spirit of sadism, used to store j ams. Sudd enl y he understand s:
of them . It is said that they were thrown into thinking of the other person , is non e oth er encouraged by the Ge rma ns. There we re also he had the information all along but his roman-
the sewe r. than the fright enin g and repul sive old man he Jews who did the Germans' dirt y wor k for tic imagin ation had misled him once again:
Later Mend elsohn spends four pages describ- used to see as a child in those Mi ami apart- them , the so-ca lled Jewish polic em en, kess le, he now rememb ers, is the Yiddi sh
ing in det ail ex actly what he think s Shmiel, ment s, Herm an the barb er. Th e sho ck caused because if they did not they and their famili es word for box; his informants were using a Yid-
Ester and Broni a wo uld have experienced as (to him and to us) by thi s colli sion of two would suffer, and there we re Jews who dish word, not an English one with a Yiddi sh
they were dr agged out of the cattle truc ks, worlds which had previou sly see med herm eti- refu sed . Wh o can say how you or I wo uld acce nt. He emerges . How were they killed? he
mad e to strip naked, and entered what they cally sea led off from one anoth er, is worthy have acted in the circumstances? wants to know. Shot in the back garde n, he is
thou ght was the showe r-roo m. of Prou st. A similar shift of perspecti ve Another strand which grows in importance told , while the Poles who hid them were taken
But there is a probl em here. The idea that occurs when, in Au stralia, he hand s some as the book nears its clim ax concern s the to the nearest big town and hanged, pour
we need to kno w wha t happ ened in the past famil y photo s to the surv ivors he is inter view- encourager les autres. He asks to be taken out
in order to be free of it is an old and powerful ing. Sudd enl y he realizes what he is doin g: into the garde n. He is show n the tree next to
one, give n a new imp etu s by Freud . But , as here he is, which they were shot. And as he stands on the
J. M. Coe tzee has noted, there are some plac es trave lling around the wor ld talking to these surv i- spot where they met their end, he has a final
into which we venture at our peril , places of vors, who had survived with literally nothing but revelation:
the imagin ation where we may eas ily be cor- themselves, and showing them the rich store of For a long time I had thirsted after specifics,
rupt ed by what we find. Eve n the need to photographs that my family had owned for after details, had pushed the people l'd gone all
kno w, far from bein g an unqu estion ed good, years, all those photographs I had stared at and, over the wor ld to talk to to reme mber more , to
may, as Nietzsche thou ght , be ju st as much later, dreamed about when I was growi ng up, think harder, to give me the co ncrete thing that
the produ ct of pathol ogy as the refu sal to face images of faces that, for me, had no emotional would make the story co me alive, But that, 1
the past. For, like jealou sy, it has no end and meaning at all in and of themselves, but which now saw, was the problem. I had wanted the
can becom e a dru g witho ut which we cann ot to the peop le to whom I was now showing them details and the specifics for the story, and had
live. We find our selves wa nting to know more had the power to recall, suddenly, the world and not - as how co uld I not, 1 who never knew
and more and mor e, and nothin g will eve r the life from which they'd been torn so long ago. them, who had never had anyt hing but stories -
who lly satisfy this thirst. Mend elsoh n is too How stupid, how insensitive I had been. really understood until now what it meant be a
American, too much a child of his age and Thi s is terrifi c. But the insight is dilut ed if not detail, a specific . . . . As I stood in this most
place, to see this. "As a profoundl y Jewish negated bec ause it is followed by a lon g specific place of all, more specific eve n than
person", he writes of his one-time Class ics ex curs us on Aeneas arriving in Ca rthage and the hiding place, that place in which Shmiel
teach er, and com panion on some of his trip s, see ing, depi cted on the wa lls, the story of the and Frydka experienced things, physical and
Fro ma Ze itlin, "and, in away, as a person sack of Troy , fro m which he himself had only emotional things I will never begin to under-
who had devoted her professional life to the narr owl y escaped . "For the Ca rthag inians, stand, precise ly because their exper ience was
natur e of traged y, how could she not, in the the war is j ust a deco rati ve motif', writes specific to them and not me, as 1 stoo d in this
end, becom e obsessed by the Holoc aust?" Mend elsohn , " something to ado rn the walls most speci fic of places 1 knew that 1 was sta nd-
(My answe r: Very eas ily.) Though his travels of their new templ e; for Aeneas, of course, it ing in the place where they had died, where the
make Mendelsoh n acknow ledge that "the mea ns much mor e." But that is not quit e life that I would never know had gone out of
wor ld is so much bigger than you ca n poss ibly right: the who le story of Dido and her infatu a- the bodies 1 had never seen, and precisely
imagine, if yo u grow up in a provin cial place: tion with Aeneas ca nnot be under stood with- The door to the gas chamber at Majdanek, because I had neve r known or seen them I was
a New Yo rk su burb, a G ali ci an shretl" , on e out reali zin g that she has long heard of and Poland ; from The World Must Know reminded the more forcef ully that they had
do es not feel that he really understand s this. admired him , and that it is she who has had by Micbael Berenbaum (Johns Hopkins been specific peopl e with specific deaths, and
He writes, for instance, about "my later desire his deed s paint ed here . No t a very impo rtant University Press. 978 0 8018 8358 3) those lives and deaths belonged to them, not
to study the cultu re and language not of the po int in the ge neral eco nomy of Mend el- me, no matter how grip ping the story that may
Jews, the peopl e to whom I belonged, but of sohn's book , but indi cati ve of the way in natur e of stories. Wh en Mend elsohn began he be told about them.
the Greeks and Romans, the Mediterraneans which his sty le and how he has chose n to tell was full of confidenc e that "a story, however So, in the mom ent he finall y find s them ,
of whom Nino him self was so ob viou sly his story, farfrom enriching it, as he see ms to ugly, would give their death some meanin g - he und er stand s that he has to let them go.
one". For him Jews are the inhabitant s of East imagin e, actually detract s from it because it . . . make their death s be about something". At such a mom ent , as reli gion s from tim e
Europea n shtetls ; it never enters his mind that dilutes his point s and, in the sea rch for large But he soo n comes to see that no one who has immemor ial have alw ays kno wn , thou ght
Jews have lived in Medit err anean land s for and po werful reson ances, makes even what is lived to tell wo uld actu ally have been there and imagin ation need to be repl aced by a
mor e than three mill ennia. ge nuine in his book start to sound holl ow. when other s were killed, so that eve ry thing ges ture, an act. And as Jews have always
To differentiate his book from other Th e same hold s of his use of photograph s, comes to us at seco nd or third hand . And then do ne in the presence of their dea d, he bend s
acco unts of the sea rch for Holocaust victims which is clearl y ind ebted to W. G. Sebald, gra dually he co mes to see that perhaps all we do wn , pick s up a stone , and places it in the
Mend el sohn interl aces the story of his qu est but wi tho ut Sebald' s sure touch bot h as to can eve r have are confli cti ng stor ies and cleft of the branc hes.
with medit ation s on the different porti on s of what to show and how to position it on the defecti ve memory. In the en d, thou gh , he As I read this book I co uld not but help
Genesis read in synag og ue on different da ys, page . Too often it feel s like a rhetori cal ploy. und erstand s that it was not, after all , stor ies think of two great novels, one about the searc h
the paras hot . Thus the start is link ed to the Thi s is a pity because the them es Mend el- he was in sear ch of, but something else, some- for one's lost ones, Nabokov's The Real Life
openin g chapters of Genesis; the ex plora tion so hn is dealin g w ith are int er esting and impor- thin g much more diffi cult to gras p, hut fund a- of Sebastian Knight, the other about the return
of the ten sion s between his gra ndfa ther and tant , and, once he ge ts cau ght up in his quest, ment al to our relation ship s with others . to a Ukrainian town after the war, Aaron
the brother who returne d to Bol eshow and what he has to say is ve ry much worth hear- Frydka, the seco nd dau ght er, is the one App elfeld ' s The Age of Wonders. At the end,
died there, and of the relation s over the ce ntu- ing. One strand, which grows in imp ortance who from the first see med the most ind epend- thou gh , it was Wallace Stevens who came to
ries between Poles, Ukra inians and Jews in as he interr ogates the survivors, and visits the ent, more beautiful and wilful than her sis- mind , as Mend elsohn finall y gras ps (and helps
Eas tern Euro pe, is link ed to the episo de of town in which the eve nts took place and talk s ter s. Did she jo in the parti sans, as one rumou r us grasp) that there co mes a point when all
Ca in and Abel; the delu ge that ove rwhelmed to the present-day inh abit ant s, is that of has it? Or was she hidd en in the town by her stories mu st be left behind in the acknow ledge -
Europea n Jewry to the pa rashah of Noa h; his mor al respon sibility. By refu sin g to talk in Poli sh lover? Was she pregn ant by him at the ment of the mystery of other lives and dea ths .
tra vels in sea rch of information to the par- ge neralities, by searc hing for specific detail s, time? Was her father with her ? (The n he Th at The Lost can make one think of such illus-
as hah of Abr aham an d Go d's injunction to he slow ly unp acks the ro le of chance and hadn't died in the gas ch amb er s?) And who trious predecessors, in spite of the sometimes
him to leave his hom e and famil y an d set out ch oice in hum an affa irs. denounced them ? Rumour had it that they annoying preenin g and self-co nsciousness of
on his tra vel s. Thi s at first see ms like a bril- Th ere are no ev il peo ples, he insists. we re co ncea led in a kess le, as Mend elsohn the early pages, is a testim ony, in the end, to
liant insight , but what is it reall y say ing? That Phrases like "the Ukrainians we re the worst writes it, anxious to give us a flavou r of Daniel Mend elsohn' s hard- won artistic and
histor y repeat s itself? Th at it' s all in the of the lot" are unh elpful. When the Ru ssians Yiddish accent s wheneve r he can. ethical integrity.

TLS AUGUST 24 & 3 1 2 007


17

Addict of fantasy
The spirit of restless inquiry that distances the novels of
Daphne du Maurier from those of her peers
aking Daphne du Maurier ser iously DI NAH BIR CH reassembl ed in different pattern s. Sexualit y is to perp etuat e the famil y name, collud ed with

T used to be unfashionable. " Boots


library in its level of appea l" - that
was Lindsay Anderso n's jud gement
of Rebecca , in 1972. A "novelette really" ,
Alfred Hitchcoc k remarked of the book,
stones; they drow ned bec ause they couldn't
sta nd . . .". Hitchcock decided , no doubt
correc tly, that cinemagoers of 1939 needed
so mething a little eas ier on the stomach.
ce lebra ted and see n to be fearful and destru c-
tive, wea lth is at once desired and sco rned.
The dilemmas of these books are still clo se to
women's lives. Domestic safety and defiant
independence might both be desirable con di-
her rejection of con venti on. He praised her
adolesce nt writing, formin g a close and
finall y so mew hat oppress ive bond with his
spirited daughter. Du Maurier' s fiction repea t-
edly features chari smatic and morally flawed
seeing it as rep rese ntative of "a whole schoo l Rebecca was also softened under his direc- tions, but either choice will exact its price. older men , irres istible, but dam aging as part-
of fem inine literature at the period " . But con- tor' s eye . Du Mauri er' s Maxim de Winter is Du Ma urier balances the op tions, cons tantly ners. Her young wome n are prone to lapse
descension did nothin g to dampen the enthusi- an unrepentant psychopath , while Oli vier ' s mea surin g the cost of opp osing values. into odd versions of boyho od . The seco nd
asm of read ers, and the cultural es tablishme nt mildly avuncular and mel anch olic version of These tensions are the express ion of a Mr s de Wint er rem emb ers fallin g in love
is more respec tful of du Mauri er (1907- the chara cter turn s out to be harmless, simply complica ted inherit ance. Born into privilege, with Maxim in Rebecca: " I was like a little
89) these days. The cen tenary of her birth has cove ring up the death that hi s wife had willed Daphn e du Maurier grew up with a sense of scrubby schoo lboy with a passion for a sixth-
been wide ly noticed, with radio and televi- on herself. In the novel, Maxim ' s menacing entitleme nt, but no sec ure identit y. She was form prefect" . Once they are marri ed, grow th
sion coverage, and the welco me reissue by hou sekeeper , Mr s Dan vers, is an indestruct- the gra nddaughter of Geor ge du Ma urier, the into wo manhoo d is not a simple matter.
Arrow Boo ks of Margaret Fors ter's shrew d ible threat; in Hitch cock ' s film , she is safely acco mplished Punch ca rtoo nist and author of "A husband is not so very different from a
and engag ing biograph y, first published in immolated . For all its intelli genc e and style, the ce lebra ted Trilby, the novel which intro- father after all" , Maxim co mment s, discon-
1993 (9 .99; 978 0 099 333 1 9). The Virago Hitchcock' s Rebecca is a tame affair when duced the sinister charms of Svenga li to certingly, to his new wife . "There is a certain
Daphne du Maurier Companion, a rich compa red with the book . an eager publi c. Her fath er was Gera ld du type of kno wledge I prefer you not to have. It
me lange of contributi ons from scholars, is better kept und er lock and key." His wish
admirers, famil y members and friends edited to prese rve the childishly bewildered qua li-
hy Helen Tay lor (9.99; 97R I 84408 235 3), tie s of hi s hrirl e is doomed to fail , as read er s
testifies to the breadth of interest that du knows very we ll, for no one can hope to keep
Maurier' s work now attrac ts. The roots of her knowledge und er lock and key in a romantic
fiction in Go thic and romance traditi ons are thriller like Rebecca . Husband and wife end
thoughtfull y analysed , together with her debt their story, as they began it, bound togeth er
to the Bront es. So too is her identit y as a by guilt. Sa lly Beaum an, who gave Rebecca
regio nal noveli st, with Cornwa ll's " Daphne her ow n voice in her inventi ve novel
du Ma urier country" lining up alongsi de Rebecca 's Ta/e, argues that Maxim "kills not
"Bronte country" and "Hardy country" as a one wife, but two" , crus hing hi s second wife
featur e of England's touri st land scape. Du through their dreary years of ex ile. This is
Mauri er ' s literary credenti als are full y exa m- plausibl e, but the reverse might also be true.
ined in the Companion, but what emerges Rebec ca is the most vital character in the
most vividly from the tribut es and assess - book, dominating Maxim after her death as
ment s asse mbled by Helen Ta ylor is the she did in life, and her successor is ultim ately
fervent devotion that her novels inspire. Julie as much her husband' s keeper as his victim.
Myerson descri bes com ing across a "fat, The seco nd Mr s de Wint er comes to mirr or
ye llow Go llancz hardback wrapped in thick, the fir st. Du Maurier makes the pattern
cloud y polythene" in a Nottingham public ex p lic it w hen th e ner vou s yo ung w ife
library, and findin g herself in another wor ld. ass umes the venge ful Rebecca ' s natur e along
She discovered "a taste of something that with the dead woma n's costume, una ware of
shook me up" in du Mauri ers book s. Others the grow ing bond between them: " I watched
reca ll com parable experiences , of pleasure this self that was not me at all and then
and disturbance mixed . For all her qualifica- smiled ; a new, slow smile" .
tions as a romantic novelist, du Ma urier does Uneas ily duplicated character s recur
not supply the reassuring stuff of esca pism. throu ghout du Maurier' s fiction , and are in
Her perspec tive is frequentl y cynica l, eve n part an express ion of her ow n bisexualit y.
desolate. What she most typicall y cont em- Margaret Forster's research es reveal that
plates is the impossibility of esc ape. though she had male lovers, her most arden t
For many, the first enco unter with du Daphne du Maurier, 1947 relation s were with wo men. Yet she had no
Mauri er co mes throu gh screen adaptations. time for lesbian culture, which she reg arded
Hitchcock was the first to see the potent ial of Give n du Ma urier's refu sal of romantic Mauri er, the most eminen t actor-manager of as brash and self-des truc tive . She valued the
her strong story telling, directin g Jamaica comforts, her persistent popularity, particu- his day. Thi s was a famil y that mattered; they so lidity of families, and her children and
Inn, Rebecca and The Birds . The urbane Alec larly among wo men readers, calls for explana- were rec og nized, central to the cultural life of gran dchildren we re esse ntial to her sense of
Guinness gives an acco mplished perform- tion. Gripp ing plots account for much of her the period. But that was only true of the male continuity. But she took it for granted that as
ance in the The Scapegoat, though Nicho las success . Few read er s, m al e or femal e , fail to du M au riers. T he wo men were ex pecte d to be a talented du M au rier she wo uld pu rsu e her
Roeg ' s ha unting film Don 't Look Now, much fini sh her novels, and the skill with which she daught ers, sisters, wives and moth ers. Ge rald ow n interests, and that her rewa rds would
admir ed by du Ma urier, remains the finest cin- draws us into the mys teries that shad ow her du Maurier ' s wife , an actress before her reflect her place in the wor ld . She received
ema tic interp retation of her fiction. Roeg was sharply realized houses and landscapes is marriage, put up with his serial adultery for I ,000 for her biograph y of her father,
exce ptional in that he did not shrink from the eas y to und erestim ate. But scores of equally yea rs. His sister Sylvia, the mother of the five published when she was twenty-seven. The
bleakness of du Mauri er' s writing. Hitch- capable yarn -spinners have faded from view. boys later cared for by J. M. Bar rie, died of full-time nann y who made it poss ible for her
cock' s Jamaica Inn is inoff ensive beside the What makes her voice distin cti ve is the res t- cance r. Bein g a man seeme d much the most to write the memoir had been engage d at an
crue lty of du Mauri er' s book. Neve r did wild less questionin g that acco mpa nies the enter- promi sing rout e to fulfil ment. The young annual salary of 42. Her husband , "Boy "
Co rnish lawlessness look less glamoro us tainm ent. Though she is no revoluti onary, she Daphn e, beautiful and intelli gent , was Brownin g, was a profess ional so ldier who
than in Joss M erlyns exploits as a wrec ker: per sistentl y divides her sympathies, and inclin ed to masculin e self-asse rtion from was later put in charge of the household
"We had to pelt at 'e m all with sto nes ... we those of her characters and readers, bet ween earliest childhood. She dresse d as a boy, and arrange ments for the young Prin cess Eliza-
had to break their arms and legs; and they incomp atibl e impul ses towards stability and wanted a boy' s scope for actio n. The self- beth and Princ e Philip. He provided social
dro wned there in front of us . .. they dro wned freedom , honour able responsibilit y and ca l- effac ing duti es ass ociated with a wo man 's standing, but nothin g like the incom e that du
becau se we smashed them with roc ks and lous selfishness . Lives are pulled apar t, and life were not for her. Her father, with no son Ma urier' s prolific writing could genera te. Du

TLS AUGUST 24 & 3 1 2 007


18 COMMENTARY

Ma urier never seriously though t of leaving traction and a burden. Though she enjoyed by the need to crea te fict ional ord er out of her twinn ed lovers, a "cold-blooded bitch" ,
Boy , whose exhausting military service being cen tre-stage, and took her status as per sonal confusion. This is what gives her as du Ma urier once ca lled her, or the cour a-
thro ugh two worl d wars reminded her that ce lebrity hostess as her due, she found that work its intensity. geo us and loving prey of male despotism? Or
the adven tures of masculinity exac ted their she could not fun ct ion without regular bout s The Scapegoa t, a late novel ( 1957) , is is her story an explora tion of the corros ive
own price, too. of solitude. The prima ry release came unu sually exp licit in its di ssection of her gras p of obsess ion? The House on the Strand
Boy had a traumatic First Wo rld Wa r. In through writing, wh ich is always an oblique fragment ed iden tity. John, decent but dull , (19 69), du Mauri ers final explora tion of
the actio n that wo n him his DSO, he was the express ion of her own situation. lament s his passionless detachm ent. Return- these issues and one of her mos t co mpe lling
only survivor amo ng the seve ntee n officers She is not unthinking, and certainly not ing from a holid ay in France , he find s him self novels, broods on the addictive dangers of
invo lved . In the Seco nd, he played a leading stupid . But her educa tion had been sha llow impl ausibly prope lled into the life of a man fant asy. Dick, a re luctant and bored publ isher
role in the Battle of Arnhem (he was repre- and desult or y, based on the assumption that whose appearance is indi stin gui shabl e from with a bother some wife, is give n a hallucino-
sen ted by Dirk Bogarde in A Bridge too Far, her futur e would depend on soc ial acco m- his ow n - Jean, a self-indulgen t Fre nch genic drug that allows him to travel back-
a fil m du Maurier resent ed for what she saw plishment rather than profess ional or intellec- count. The aw kwa rdness of John' s first wards in time. He stumbles on a fourt eenth-
as its cas ua l inju stice to the strugg les of her tual disciplin e. Her access to ideas was lim- attemp ts to imper sonate the count , rec allin g ce ntury rom ance that unfold s with all the fire
husband and his men ). Yea rs of strain left ited, and could neith er motivate nor enlarge the second Mr s de Winter' s painful expe ri- that his own tepid ex istence lacks. What he
"Boy" with recurr ent depression and a drin k her wor k. Scholarly instin cts are evi dent in ences in Rebecca, is brilli antl y evoked. watches , and perhaps invent s, soon absorbs
pro blem. Du Mauri er, who ca lled him her dili gentl y prepared study of Branwe ll Daphn e du Mauri er , never wholly sure of her more of his emotional ene rgy than his own
"Moper" , foun d the role of supportive wife Bront e, and in her determin ed investigations position , knew a grea t deal about soc ial disagreeable probl em s. Fiction mig ht be an
irkso me, tho ugh she did her best to play it. into her famil y' s origins. However, these anxie ty. Despite his ear ly ineptitudes, John unwhol esom e displacem ent activity. But
Altern ati ve lives offered the possibi lity of enterprises remain predomin antly autobio- turn s out to be unexpectedl y effective as a Dick is utterly incapable of aban doning the
flight , but also brou ght suffer ing . Aff air s grap hical. She lacked the trainin g that might minor aristocra t, and the novel seems to vindi- story befor e it reach es its end, whatever the
with women, mos t notably with Ge rtrude have developed her historical interests into cate his re liability. But the consequences of cost might be. The doubl ed life, into xicating
Lawrence, ende d in frustration, and Law- some thing more substantial. This need not be his wis h to erase his predecessor ' s transgres- and so metimes deadly, is du Mau rier ' s most
rence' s unexpected death in 1952 hit her a matter for regret. A more acade mic Daphne sions rem ain unclea r at the close of the novel. pers istent subjec t. She exposes its risks with
hard . The soc ial obli gati ons that we nt with du Maurier migh t not have written such Du Mauri er ' s book s often concl ude with a ruthl essness that is still unsettlin g, but like
runnin g an imp osin g Cornis h hou se (her powe rful books. She was thrown back on the open-ended ambiguity. Is the heroin e of the the troubl ed character s in her books, she
beloved Menabill y) we re both a welcome dis- reso urces of memory and imaginati on, driven best-selli ng My Cousin Rachel (1951), with could not do without its excite ment.

-----------------------~-----------------------
Help ers joined in the research, in Lond on,

All in the family and in Paris, and in the prov inces of Fran ce.
Papers, leases, wills, long buri ed und er du st
in nota ries' offices, came to light , and what
was more uncann y still cert ain wild guesses
Daphne du Maurier's previously unpubli shed preface to The Glass-Blowers of my ow n concerni ng famil y histor y were
proved correc t. 1 wo uld jot do wn , at rando m,
ce rtain thin gs that I believed had happened ,
Daphne du Maurier 's preface to The G lass- The original glass had been handed down Made leine Labbe. Ma thurin Busso n, master and back fro m Paris, or the provinces, would
Blowers was fou nd in the Du Maurier archive to him by his father George du Maurier , the glass -ma ker, developed the glass -fo undries come the confirma tio n. It was not ju st mere
at the University of Exeter. The nove l was black- and- white artist and author of Tril by , of la Brfilonn eri e, la Pierre, and le Pless is- dedu ction, it was as thou gh some thing within
first published in 1963; it is not know n when who had received it fro m his fath er, Loui s- Dori n". Fur ther sear ch revealed a long letter, me knew.
the preface was written, or why it was not Mathu rin Busso n du Maurier, a scientist and in the same hand writin g, apparently from the I rememb er on one occas ion having the
published in the author 's lifetime. The village invent or, the son of an emigre fro m the Sop hie Busson menti oned above, giving a weird feelin g that the black sheep, my grea t-
of St-Christophe -sur-le-Nais, where Robert French Revoluti on. My father Ge rald did not lively account of her fath er and mother, and grea t-grandfather, sold glass in a boutiqu e in
Mathu rin Busson du Maurier 's mother know the date of the glass , but he told us of her three brother s and her sister. Some of the Palais Royal. I could see him there, swing-
was born and where his great -great-grand- famil y traditi on had it that the em igre had the more interestin g details were score d ing und er the arcades; grace ful, blue-eyed,
daughter stayed while resea rching The G lass- been a gentleman glass -blowe r - he was very through with a pen by another hand , whic h 1 blond , ju st as his sister Sophi e had described
Blowers, will be celebrating the centenary of insistent about the gentlema n - and that the could onl y read with the help of a magnifying him . Within a few weeks came word from
the writer's birth on September 28 and 29. glass was the only surviv ing objec t from the glass , and it was significan t that these details m y rese arch- w ork er in Pari s. " I have j us t
old famil y glass -works long des troyed. refl ected somew hat on the ch aracter of turned up a letter from Robert Busson, your
hen we we re child ren my fath er, I never thou ght very much about the Luck Sop hies eldes t broth er, who had been the grea t-grea t-gra ndfather, written from No .

W Gera ld du Maurier , the actor, used


to prod uce the glass on grea t occ a-
sions, such as Christmas Day, and displ ay it
or its orig in until long after the war , when my
father had been dead many yea rs, and
becau se I was the onl y one of his three
em igre of the Revolu tion. 255 Palais Royal, whe re it see ms he had a
Was he then the pro verbi al bla ck shee p of boutique." Coincidence or guess -work?
the famil y, and was I, his great-grea t-grand- I prefer to thi nk it was neith er and that
on the mantl e-pi ece of the drawin g-ro om for daughters to marry, and had more house daughter, the first of his descendants to memory, like colour of ha ir and featur es, ca n
all to see. room than either of my two sisters, it fell to discover the fact? be inherit ed too.
" It' s the famil y Luck", he told us; "if it my lot not only to inherit much of his furn i- I looked throu gh eve ry paper in the bureau Love of famil y is a personal thin g. You
eve r gets lost or bro ken , our luck will go ture but the preciou s Luck as we ll. It arrived for furth er evide nce , and found a bat ch of either have it or you don't. When I had fin-
too." He wo uld touc h the glass befor e an down to Cornwa ll in the shabby leather case letters from the em igre's son Loui s-Mathurin ished writing The Glass -Blowers I felt I had
openin g night in the theatr e to ensure success that had always contained it, and when 1 held who had been born in Lond on, and had come very close to those forebear s of mine,
and a long run , and after one particular tri- it in my hands, and examined the fine craft s- return ed to France at the res tora tion of who , some two hundred years ago, fab ricated
umph he had a do zen copies made of the manship, notin g the roy al arms and the fleur- the mona rchy. In three of the letters he the glass that is now in my possession and
Luck, so that these glasses would ado rn the de-Iys, I felt the same thrill of pride that my menti oned meetin g an eighty-year-old aunt which, please Go d, 1 sha ll one day bequeath
dinin g-ro om table and we could drin k out of father and gra ndfather had felt before me, Sop hie, for the first time, who had long to my son.
them on Sundays. and something else as well - curios ity. exp resse d a desire to know her broth er' s It may be that the reader s of the book,
What was its hi story? Who we re these children, and had come lip to Paris for this although they can not share the original exci te-
ancestor s of min e who had made it? There spec ial pur pose. The pieces began to fit ment of the author's searc h into the past, will

FOUR COURTS PRESS

The Mystery of the Holy Trinity in


began for me then a long and exc iting quest,
both in this co untry and in France, which has
fin ally result ed in the book The Glass-Blow-
together. The aunt, having met her nephew, nevertheless experience so mething of the
sent him the family histor y, and those parts atmos phere of days now dead and go ne
that had displeased him he had score d which I hope have been recaptu red in its
the Fathers of the Church ers. 1 discovered the most important cl ue to throu gh with his pen! My curiosity was now pages; days of promi se to some, of terror to
V. T W O ME Y & L. AYRES EDITORS the past when sorting throu gh old papers in full y aroused, and I made several visits to others, in the French countrys ide as my ances-
This collection of essays arises out from the Fourt h the bureau that had belon ged to my gra ndfa- Fra nce, not only to look up the old glass foun- tors knew it: before, and durin g, the French
Int ernational Patristic Conferenc e, which was held in ther, George du Mauri er. It cons isted of a dries, but also to search throu gh parish Revo lution.
Maynooth, C o. Kildare.
scrap of paper , in faded handwritin g, with rec ords, and other old docum ent s, that wo uld
ISBN 978-1 -85182-859 -3 204 pa ges 50
these words upon it, written in Frenc h: "Bus- confirm the truth of Sophi es letter. The The Chiches ter Partnership 2007. We are
Published: 24 August
son du Mauri er , Busson du Charme , Busso n- sea rch was more success ful than 1 had grateful to Anne Hall and the Estate of
7 Malpas Street, Dublin 8, Ireland
Tel. (Dublin ) 453 4668 www.fourcourtspren.ie
Cha lloir, Soph ie Busson, Ed rnee Busson , dreamed was possibl e. Littl e by little the j ig- Daphne du Mau rier for permission to publish
were the children of Mathu rin Busson and saw fitted into place, and the pictu res form ed. this preface.

TLS AUGUST 24 & 3 1 2007


COMMENTARY 19

Down Mexico way


lthough Anthony Powell's A Dance B ER N ARD B ER GO N ZI

A to the Music of Time covers more


than fift y years of English life in the Th e song is "South of the Border" by
twenti eth cen tury , he is spari ng with exact Mi chael Ca rr and Jimmy Kenne dy , wh ich
historical detail or tell ing evocations of was a run away hit in 1939, at about the time
cu ltura l cha nge . But in two of the volumes the war star ted, and stro ngly ev okes the
of the sequence he refers to and qu otes from period for surv ivors from it. I wa s a boy of
spec ific pop ular songs , as a foc us for nos tal- ten at the tim e, precociously give n to listen-
gic feelings. In A Buyer 's Market (1952), ing to danc e bands on the radio, and the song
Powell ' s narrator, Nic ho las Jenki ns, is a sank deepl y into my co nsciousness. The
you ng man beginn ing to make his way in deep-throated singer in Powell ' s novel , Pri-
London socie ty . He is one of the Wa lpo le- vate D. Jones, wo uld ce rta inly have learnt it
Wilso n part y atten ding a ball at the Hu nter- from the radio, as wou ld ano ther so ldier who
com bes ' hou se in Belgrave Squ are. When j oins in the chorus. The Sergea nt-Major tell s
they arrive there is a dense thro ng of gues ts them to make less noise, but Jones pers ists
strugg ling to ge t into the ballro om, fro m until he reac hes the end : "The M ission bell
which the band can be heard playing "My told me / That I rnustn' t stay, / So uth of the
Heart Stood Still", one of the famou s show - bord er / Down Mexico way" . Re me mbering Anthony Powell, Somerset, 1996
tunes of Richard Rodgers and Lo renz Hart. the song, I felt that Powell (or Jenkins, or
Powell quotes a few lines fro m the song: "I Jones) had got the first ex trac t wro ng, since matt er. Attitudes may have been different with a flat refu sal , which was repea ted in the
took one look at you - Th at ' s all I meant to do " Fo r it was maiiana" makes no sense. So it fort y or fift y yea rs ago. face of furth er requ ests. In the en d Lod ge
- A nd then my heart - stoo d still ..." . Later pro ved when I checked with a cont empor ary Nevertheless, David Lo dge has recall ed called his no vel The British Museum is
in the even ing Nicho las, whose heart has been recording by Joe Loss and his band and the that in 1964 he wa nted to call his third novel Falling Down - not a bad title, but not the
flutt ering a littl e in the presence of Barb ara voca list Mo nte Rey. The line should read, "The Briti sh Mu seum Had Lost Its Char m" , one he wa nted . It is poss ible that, if as ked,
Goring, if not actually standing still, goes into " For it was fiesta" . "M afiana" co mes later, in takin g a line from a song by George and Ira the repr esentati ves of Rod ger s and Hart
the gar de n in the square with her. a poignant bit of wor dplay : Gershw in, "A Foggy Day" , which had pro - wo uld have been as unco op erati ve as the
The Hunt erc omb es' band reso unds in the And she sighed as she whispered mafiana, vided the ge nes is of the no vel and sugge sted Ge rshw in Corporation, but they see m not to
summer eve ning , an d so does one from a Never drea ming that we were parting, its setting. He appli ed to the Ge rshw in have spotted Powell' s qu otation s from the
reception at the nearb y Spanish Em bassy : And I lied as I whispered mafian a, Publishing Corporation in New York for songs . After fift y-fi ve yea rs, it wo uld be a bit
"The windows of both ball room s stood open , For our tomorrow never came. permi ssion to use the phrase , and was met late to start complainin g no w.
music from the rival bands playi ng so me- Powell also ge ts some later lines wro ng.
ti mes in conflict, sometimes see ming to Nic ho las says ,
belong to some system of massed orchestra s Jo nes, D., returned to the chant, though more
designed to per for m in uni son" . "The Blu e restra ined ly than before, perhaps on account of
Room " sounds fro m one side of the square, the song's cha nge of mood :
"Mo untai n Greenery" from the other. These, "The re in a gown of white,
too, are by Rod ger s and Hart , whose shows By candlelight,
were imm ensely popul ar in the late 1920 s; She stooped to pray . . ."
and o nce more Powell qu otes fro m them. In fact, "gown" sho uld be "veil" and
The n N icho las and Barb ara return to the " stooped" sho uld be "knelt" .
hou se ; later she is res pon sible for the famou s Powell ' s mi srememb eri ng has ob scur ed
episode in which she inadvertentl y showers the climax of the littl e drama ; the Mexican
Widme rpo ol with suga r. girl, having been aban do ned by the gring o
At that time the onl y way of hear ing such suitor, is becoming a nun. Nevertheless , his
songs was in a theatre or dance hall. But introducti on of the song brings in layers of
radi o was adva ncing rapidly and within a few cultura l impli cati on : two Briti sh songw riters,
ye ars was bri nging po pular songs and dance one of them from Nor thern Ireland, tell a
band s - and man y oth er kin ds of mu sic - into story of love and betrayal in Mexico (w hich
eve ry hom e. Thi s is the back ground to the Jimmy Kenn edy said had been inspir ed by a
viewed
sig nifica nt later introd uction of a song into postcard fro m Tij uana) , sung by a Welshm an All bOolzs re
Powell' s seq uence . The Valley of Bones in wa rtime Britain as "a lament of heartb reak- lLS and over
(19 64) begin s in the icy winter of 1940 , a few ing melanch oly". The incon gruiti es und erlin e in tne "tle in print,
tner tl s
mo nths into the Sec ond Wor ld War. N icho las a mem orabl e mome nt in Powell' s novel, a rnillion 0 ilable frorn
is in the ar my, a rather over- age subaltern in a emphas izing the disruption s of the time. are ava \<.shOP
Wel sh reg ime nt, and is maki ng his first In neith er A Buyer 's Market nor The Valley ,.LS BOO
appearance in his Co mpany 's bill et , a No n- of Bones are the songs Powell quotes identi- tne d prices witn
con for mi st chape l in a sma ll town in Wa les . fied - thou gh they are eas ily reco gni zable - at discounte 'n tne UK.
With his custom ary respon siveness to visual and there is no acknow ledge me nt of author , fREE delivery I
effec t, he see s it as a kind of cave, diml y lit co mposer or publi sher. He wo uld not ge t
hy two feehle gas jet s: away with it toda y, whe n even the hriefest . bOolz
and advIce, .
Then suddenly at the far end of the cave, quotation of copyrigh t ma teria l in a nove l has Assistance rnendatlOns
like the anthem of the soloist bursting to be pro fuse ly and effus ively ackn owled ged. reCorn
catalogues, gestions frorn
glorio usly from a hidden choir, a man ' s (Critic s are in an ea sie r positi on , give n the and sug d nelpful
voice , dee p-throated and penetrating, sounded, "fair dealin g" norm s that permit short able an
rose , swelled, in a lament of heartbreakin g ex trac ts to be qu oted for analysis and discu s- Iznowledge boolzsellers.
melancholy: sion.) A legal source was recentl y qu oted as
"That's where I fell in love, sayi ng that copyright infrin gement is as sensi -
While stars above tive an issue in the US as libel is in Br itain.
Came out to play; Perhaps Powell never gave thi s qu estion a
For it was mafiana, thou ght , or decid ed, in a spirit of Ba lliol
And we were so gay , insoucian ce, that it was better not to ask. An d
South of the border ap parently no one at Willi am Heinemann , his
Dow n Me xic o way . . ." publisher, thou ght it wo rth ra ising the

TLS AUGUST 24 & 3 1 2007


20 COMMENTARY

y friend WaIt er invit ed me to stay in Th e gale passes the next morning, and from

M his summer hou se in Ca pe Breton


whil e he wa s away. " It' s tim e for
you to get out of your air-conditioned , New
FREELANCE the bluff Brend an , Pat and I spo t a pod of
blackfi sh - pilot whales - loggin g in the gulf,
dipping for mackerel , lea vin g brief oil "foot-
York cell. If yo u don 't , your mind will feel MICHA EL GR E E NB ERG Hi s hou se is a typic al croft from the early print s" on the surface of the wa ter as they go
like a car in a junkyard cru sher. Beli eve me, 1800 s, low to the gro und, few windows, and under. A few da ys later, Archi e stops by to
man , I know the symptoms ." Walter ' s plac e with fadin g red hair and a satyr's goa tee that a roof like two eye lids shutting protecti vely wor k on Walter ' s garde n, lingerin g with the
is an austere , vitreo us structure - two part s he ya nks at whe n he talk s. He see ms to over the sides . Archi e is surp rising ly talk a- wee d-whacke r near the study where I am try-
Philip John son , one part Cape Co d-style regard us as squatters rath er than invited tive, tell ing me about his vario us feud s. "Ask ing to write. Th e busted door see ms to pro-
beach hou se. It sits on a bluff overlooking the gues ts. I mention that the phone isn't work- anyone around here. I never back down. " He voke a kind of bitter affection: I' ve pro ved
sea lskin surface of the Gulf of St Lawr enc e, ing. " I only take orde rs from WaIter and Alex- claims to have eve ry one of the island ' s eth- myse lf unworth y of Walter ' s treasure. We dis-
which is froz en four months of the year. The andra" , Archi e says . " Yo u don't wa nt me to nic gro ups in his blood - Irish, Micmac cu ss what needs to be done to rep air it. Wh en
sea mo ve s continuou sly clo ser to Walt er' s have a spite on you." He announces that his Indian , French Acadi an - ex cep t for Scots, I offer him mon ey for his troubl e, Archi e
hou se: the bluff was onc e scraped for coal sister will be coming to clean the hou se in again st whom he nouri shes an animos ity he hold s up his hand and back s away as if I am
and is eroding by at least a foot each wint er. prep aration for Walter' s return. "Good. I'd is unabl e to ex plain. A fight with his fath er trying to give him a brib e.
My wife Pat and our eight-year-old son like to be the on e to pay her" , I say . Archi e ca use d him to lose his share of the old man ' s Aft er a wee k on the island I had to return to
Brendan wa nder do wn to the sho re, while I quotes an ex orbita nt fee , informing us that valuable fishin g licenc e ; his brothers are mil- New York. WaIter had offered Pat and
try to work in Walt er' s study . As usual whe n we ' ll have to leave when she comes, three lion aires from draggin g for scallops and crab. Brendan the opportunity to stay on for a few
I lea ve New York, I feel pit y for the con- days earlier than we plann ed. " No on e sleeps In retali ation , Archie is wag ing a con ser va- mor e days, which the y gladly accepted. Ju st
stricted soul I was on 108th Street. The rack et in WaIter and Alexandra' s bed after the tioni st campaign with the intent of clo sing after I left , however, Archi e arrived with his
ofthe city lingers in my head, grow ing loud er shee ts have been chan ged ." I try to assur e the fisheri es do wn. "I'm always thin kin g, sister, a towerin g woma n, wild-haired and
before it begin s to recede, like a passing train. him that I'll wor k it out with them. " I ' rn the always figurin g, how can I snooker them. " It bri stlin g. Th ey dem and ed that Pat "pay up
I' ve been to Cape Breton before, thou gh not one who wor ks thin gs out with WaIter" , he occurs to me that he is scheming to inh erit and clear out" that instant.
at Walt er ' s, and enjoy reacqu ainting myself sho uts. And with a violent shudde r, he climbs Walter' s prop ert y and sees me as one who "Shut up, sonny", Archi e snapped at
with its particular aura of wildness and deple- into his pick-up truck and dri ves off. could stand in his way . In his mind I am a Brendan when he tried to defend his moth er.
tion. You rarel y spo t an islander between the Th e next morning the suete blo ws in - rival, like his brothers. On hearing this story from Pat , I telephoned
ages of sev entee n and fort y: the able-bo died Cape Breton' s dr eaded so utheast gale - rock- Aft er an hour of thi s pala ver , I tell him WaIter to set thin gs straight, catching him on
ha ve migr ated to the oil field s of Upper ing the hou se on its piles. Brendan rolls ecstat- about the door. Does he have an ex tra key? the road . "Archie has adopted us into his
Canada or to the "Boston Stat es" , Ca pe Bre- icall y in the gra ss, pelted by the rain. I rush Delighted at my helpl essness, he mak es a clan" , he said, laughing. Archies fero ciou s
toners' name for New Eng land. For those out to retri eve him , and the wind rip s the show of lookin g for one, rummagin g around loyalt y is a point of status amo ng his summe r-
who aren' t fishermen , Au gu st, with its sight- screen door from its hin ges, blo win g it across in a dr awer , holding seve ra l to the light and ing friend s. " It' s like having yo ur ow n littl e
seers, is the onl y month for eco nomic action. the bluff like paper, and do wn to the beach putting them back with a sardonic shrug . " I militi a." When I brok e the news about
It' s easy to fill in what isn 't said through sixty feet below. Returning to the hou se, I mu st have mispl aced it" , he says . A kitchen Archi e' s bull yin g, WaIter seemed off end ed. I
the gritte d politeness; com e Sept emb er, it' s realiz e I' ve lock ed us out. I dri ve to Archies, mou se pau ses at his feet. Grabbing a roll of was surprised at how much store he put in
back on the pogie - we lfare chequ es. M any about fifteen miles away , the car listin g off newspap ers, Archi e kills it with a cri sp sick- Archi e' s "authenticity" . It was as if it ful-
visitors are form er Ca pe Bretoners them- the roa d. No one answe rs my knocks, but ening thwack. fill ed an ideal WaIter had about himself.
se lves , reachin g for a dimming conn ecti on when I turn to leave I hear hi s voice call ing I have no choic e but to break down WaI- "He ' s a warrior. He spea ks his mind. Ca pe
to hom e. me back , giving the unpl easant sense that he ter' s door, splintering the woo d and leavin g Breton' s off the grid. That's why we com e
Walt er' s caret aker Archi e com es over, has been wa tching me all the tim e . the vand alized knob hangin g from its sleeve. here, man. "

guage : since the probl em of indi vidual ident-


IN THE NEXT THEN AND NOW ity is clo sely related to the epistemolog ica l
status of proper nam es, a significa nt break
with traditi on was made by giving chara c-

IS
ture, emphas is was therefore laid on what ters invent ed but ordinar y names, instead of
TLS Februar y 15 1957
was ori gin al and invented, as oppo sed to tra- historical or type names .... What, then ,
The Rise of the Novel dition al plot s. Th e action, m or eover , had to was the nature of thi s tim e a nd pl ace w h ich
be pla yed out by particular peo ple in parti- became so particular, of these people who
fan Watt 's seminal work, Th e Rise of the cular circumstances , and not by ge nera l sudde nly became so very real? Professor
No vel , was fi rst pu blished fifty yea rs ago . A hum an types again st a back ground deter- Watt deals mo st successfully with Defo e
review by Christine S m oke-R ose appeare d min ed by literary con vention. and the rise of econo mic indi vidu ali sm ,
Richard Dawkins in the T LS of February I S, 195 7. To read the But the basic probl em of form al reali sm with the form al probl em s left by Defo e and
article in f ull, go to www.the -tls.co.uk. is that of tim e: Lock e had defin ed person al solved by Rich ard son at one stro ke . Th ere
God and identity as on e of con sci ou sness through had been signs - in Spen ser and oth ers - of
he novel as we kno w it to-d ay is com- duration of time. Th e concept of time in pre- a reconciliation between the old traditi on of
Christopher Hitchens
T monl y ass umed to have begun with
Defo e, Rich ardson and Fieldin g.
Ho w then do es the eightee nth-ce ntury no vel
vio us fiction had been eith er nebulous or
highl y con ventional, but now the novel con-
centrated on past ex perience as the cau se of
Cour tly Lo ve and the Puritan conception of
marr iage: Rich ard son not only compl eted
the fu sion but also develop ed a new literar y
Bettina Bildhauer differ from the prose fiction of Greece, of present action, ofte n, as in Richardson, with method which ena bled him to counterp oint
the Middle Ages, or of sev entee nth-ce ntury a minute notation which was nicely paro- his sex ual code wi th the social probl em s of
In praise of Franc e? Professor Watt sugg ests some died by Fie lding; yet eve n Fielding used an the tim e .. ..
answe rs to thi s qu estion in a penetrating almanac for Tom Jones, so that all the Economic indi vidu ali sm was wea ke ning
the whip study of the intell ectual and social condi- events in the no vel are chronologicall y con- famil y ties and creating gro ups which were
tioo s which produced a type of novel differ- sis te nt not onl y in rel ation to each oth er hut conjugal rather than patri archal. Children
en t en ough from previous fict ion to be in relation to "the prop er pha ses of the earned ind epend enc e by marriage, and con-
James Campbell called a new literar y form. mo on and the tim e-t able of the Jac obit e verse ly spinsters we re mor e useless and
A scroll through Fortunately, Professor Watt is not a critic rebellion in 1745, the suppose d yea r of the mor e depend ent than before .. .. Marria ge
so concern ed with back ground as to for get action ." With equal verisimilitude Richard- thu s became mor e and mor e important, and
Kerouac the texts. Througho ut his book he analyses son dates eve ry letter in Pamela. Space , as also mor e difficult to achie ve. Professor
the wor ks of Defo e, Rich ard son and Field- the necessar y correl ati ve of tim e, ass umes Watt exa mines some significa nt ch an ges in
ing, relatin g the new techn iqu es to the the same importanc e ; we get a sense of defi- the mor al and psych olo gical role of the
Mary Beard chan ges in eightee nth-ce ntury socie ty and nite localit y, of topo graph y, which is lack- sexes, chan ges which pro vided Richardson
its outlook. His starting point is the develop- ing in the vag ue Arcadia s and Boh emi an with his plot and class-b ack ground, as we ll
When a Pope ment of philo sophical reali sm from Lock e limbos of earlier ficti on ; also a sense of as with a new admixture all his own , "that
to Tho mas Reid. Truth had com e to be con- mo vable obj ect s, es peci ally in Defoe , who gratified the reading public with the
went to Pompeii ceived as a wholly indi vidu al matter , logi- had a merch ant ' s passio n for inventories. combined attractions of a sermo n and a
call y ind epend ent of past thou ght ; in litera- Profess or Watt also touch es briefl y on lan- striptease "... .

TLS AUGUST 24 & 3 1 2007


21

How a lack of conviction undermines the Bol shoi ' s virtuosity

Collectively beyond belief


JUDIT H FLANDE RS Asaf Messerer (staged by his neph ew,
Mi kha il) . He has also re-ch oreo gr aph ed The
THE BOLSHOI SEASON Bright Stream, a 1935 ball et with a score
Coli seum by Shos takovi ch that van ished from the
repertor y with Shos takov ich's disgrace the
follo wing yea r.
he open ing of the Kingdom of the On first glance, The Bright Stream is a

T Shades scene in La Bayade re has


become almos t a short hand for the
platonic idea of "ballet": a woman,
in white classical tutu and diamante
headdress, appears, arms above her head en
pastora l romp . A comi c ballet that is trul y
fun ny is a rarity , but Ratm ansky manages it
for mu ch of the eve ning. It opens in a co llec -
tive farm at harvest-time, and Bori s
Messerer, the grand old man of Russian
couronne, spotlit against a black bac kdrop ; theatre design (a nd a relation of Asa f and
she va nishes , only to reapp ear in pro file, now Mi kha il; the ballet world is ve ry sma ll), has
spo tlit on a blac k ramp that res ts flu sh aga inst done marvel s: a go lden , oa t-filled set, with
the black backdrop - arabesq ue, port de bras, mechanica l train s and planes that ch uff and
arabesque - whi te on black, abstrac t in its toot le their way across the back drop: folk- art
purity. Then ano ther wo ma n, the same pose, witho ut the kitsc h. The charac ters, taken
then another, agai n and aga in, unt il there is a from the or igina l 1935 libr etto by Fyo dor
long skein of wo me n wi nd ing across the Lo pukhov, are charmi ng: the co llec tive 's
stage in th e sa me repeat ed steps. Van Godovsky a nd Alex ei Loparevi ch in The Bright Stream mo rale office r loses th e love of Pyotr to a vis -
It is hypn otic, sole mn, a hom age to the god iting ballet da nce r. Th e dancer, togeth er with
of da nce . more diffic ult than turns suppo rted by a part- a once -splendid dancer , is reach ing ret ire- her partner and var ious unlik ely cha rac ters,
It sounds simp le: the steps are not diffic ult, ner. Diffi cult equals better. ment , and he is a shadow of his form er self. including a milkm aid , a tractor dri ver and an
there is no acting required. A ll the dancers The Bolsho i at the mome nt does not Svetlana Za kharova, their und oubted star, accordion player, ra lly ro und and in a series
have to do is dance. But to make thi s austere appear to beli eve in visions, only in virtuos- I didn't see thi s season, but reports suggest of imp ostures that makes the plotting of
simp licity wor k, every head must be incli ned ity . The ir Corsaire opene d the season, and it she is beginning to temp er her flat, brittl e Cymbe line look stra ightforward, show Pyot r
at preci sel y the sa me angle; every arabes que drew much (dese rved) praise. Alexe i Ratman- style with so me real feelin g. Perh aps she the er ror of his ways, and all ends happ ily.
must rise at exac tly the sa me spee d, to the sky, the curre nt director of the co mpa ny, and feel s the hot breath of the yo unge r ge nera tion Seve ra l of the dancers in the sma ller part s
same height, using the same bend in the back . dance notator Yuri Burlak a have perfor med a on her neck. Th e darlin gs of the aud ience hol d out real pro mise - two corps memb ers,
A nd then it must be done over and over feat of archaeo logy , resurr ectin g the 1899 ver - were Na talia O sipova and lvan Vas iliev , Denis Savin and Andrei Bolotin, are
aga in, repeated throu gh the line of bodies sion of Petip a ' s adap tation of Byro n's poem. aged twent y-on e and seve nteen respectively . principa ls in the makin g - but they show
without deviation. The ballet itself is musi ca lly and choreog raph- I missed Vas iliev's Don Quixote , which was their skills almos t despite the ch oreograph y.
Th e Bolsho i, in London for a three- week ically a hodge- pod ge (there are at least gree ted wi th rapture. Osip ova ce rta inly has They are ma king Ratm ansky look good, not
season, has been raptu rou sly gree ted . (Eve n twel ve comp oser s involved ); emotionally it charm to burn , and also an ex traordina ry, vice -ve rsa . Lop ukho v was known for insert-
the Financ ial Times' s Cleme nt Cr isp, notori- is pure nineteen th-cen tury melod rama. Petipa boun cy j ump, prec ise, elega ntly neat move- ing gym nas tic mo vements into his ballets,
ously hard to please, gave one perfor mance a him self choreographed it twice, and Ra tma n- ment s and a swee t soubrette -ish manner. To and so Ratmansky has give n us the odd ca rt-
hyperbo lic sixth star out of five .) I am less sky has sa lvage d what he can of the orig inal fulf il her po ten tial, however, these need to be whee l, but apart fro m this, he is unfortunately
co mfor table with what they are doing, and choreography, including the fam ou s Jardin harn essed to so me ideas about present ation . far more ind ebt ed to his predecessor ,
their Bayadere is perh aps the key. Whe n the anime vis ion sce ne. Te llingly, however, it is And here Ratm ansky' s Bolshoi see ms to Grigorovi ch : both have sma ll choreographic
Kingdo m of the Shades scene begins, there is no lon ger a vision , but instead a palace enter- be at sea . Sve tlana Lunkina, a seasoned prin- vocabularies, both rely on masse d rank s of
always a mo men t of shock , before I remem- tain ment, and thu s it loses mu ch of its emo - cipa l, has adm irable technique , but doesn 't danc er s to pro duce effec ts. But unl ike
ber that the Ru ssian ballet companies take the tional pun ch, eve n though Ratm ansky goes have any idea of how to projec t it. Her entire Grigorovi ch's boldl y sketched outlines,
entry much faster than we are used to in the for a full- on nin eteenth- centur y spec tac ular, upper bod y is locked solid, an d thi s is partic u- Ratmansky' s masse d ranks are all too ofte n
Wes t - it was Nureyev, in his 1963 stag ing, fill ing the Co liseum stage at one point with larl y problema tic in Peti pa: he choreo- clotted and fussy.
who slowe d it down , giving it a gravi tas that seve nty-tw o danc ers. grap hed for spru ng-stee l spines, around Fina lly I mu st adm it I fee l unea sy. A ball et
Lud wig Minkuss ru mp ty-tump accom pany - But of those danc ers, non e see ms to which he then wo und beautiful head and arm about the happ y care free days of forced
ing music signally lacks. But as we ll as bein g beli eve in what they are doing. Th e Kirov' s movement s - eac h dancer her ow n M aypole. co llec tivization? Ballet is not an art that lend s
(to us) too fast, this 1991 stag ing by ex- version of Le Corsaire is mu ch sillier - more In tod ay ' s Bolshoi , epuu lement, the sha ping itself readil y to rea lism, but that doesn't
Bolshoi dir ector Yur i Grigo rov ich is clu msy pirate abductions, a wackier plot - but while of the tor so, no lon ger appea rs to be at the mea n we have to leave our mora ls at the
in other ways: it has a do uble ramp , so that the Kiro v dance rs know what they're per- core of eve ry movemen t. Instead it has been door. I gr itted my teeth throu gh what I fear in
the cha in of dancers is not really a cha in. formi ng is utterly ridicu lou s, they dance it relegated to a "character" move , pasted on the ori ginal Corsaire libretto was prob abl y
Instead they intersect at odd ang les - they with total commitmen t. It matters to them. top of a flat presentation in "ethnic" or "peas- ca lled "the dance of the pica ninnies" (sma ll
look more like sma ll white cars bu zzing The Bolshoi' s dancers, by co ntras t, don't ant" da nces . (So, bizarrely, is fifth posi tion, children who tod ay, sha mefully , still appea r
along a busy juncti on of the M 25 than sing le- kno w that what they' re doing is ridiculous, the closed heel-to e turn-out that sho uld be the in black-face) ; I swa llowe d hard at the anti-
minded spirits of the dead. but they don 't see m to think it matt ers, either. basis of all dancin g.) Sem itic depiction of the mo ney -gru bbing
Indeed, on this visi t I had no sense that Me lodra ma, like farce, has to be played as if Despit e these probl ems, the Bolshoi is merc han t in the same piece . But how does the
they knew they were dead. When the spirit of every mom ent we re a matter of life or dea th. fin all y co ming alive aga in, after yea rs of population of the Ukraine respond when the
the murd ered Nikiya (A nna An tonicheva) For muc h of the Sov iet peri od , the Bo lsho i bein g the politi call y correc t face of Sov iet Bolshoi tour s its happy-go-lu cky vers ion of
appears to her faithless lover So lor (Vladimir dancer s were kno wn for their total, some - Soc ialis t Realism . Ratm ansky is salvag ing eve nts that cause d the death s of millions of
Neporozhny) in a vis ion, they eac h hol d one times excess ive, co mmitmen t - they were what he can fro m the Sov iet pas t, to buil d a their compatriot s? On e und erstan ds why
end of a veil - a thin piece of tull e is all that ove r-the-top, eve n vulgar , but that was post- So viet , intern ation al-style ballet futu re. Lopukhov and Shostako vich thou ght thi s was
co nnec ts the livin g to the dead. Ne ither because they beli eved passion ately in eve ry- To thi s end he brou ght to the Colise um a a goo d subjec t in 1935. But now ? I am ge nu-
A ntonicheva nor Nep oroz hny appea red to thin g they were doin g, and were determined triple-bill of two contemporary Western inely uncertain abo ut what our present
have thou ght throu gh the imp licati on s of this to share it with the last occ upant in the fur- ballet s: In the Upper Room, created by Twy la respo nse sho uld be to preserving these
veil, nor of why they were carry ing it - they thest sea t in the high est balcon y. Now they Tharp, and Elsinore by Christop her Wh eel- unpl easant re lics imbedd ed in ma sterpi eces
treated it simply as a method of show ing off beli eve onl y in technique, and here the result s don , and linked them to Class Concert, the of the pas t. Pretend ing they do not ex ist ca n-
their virtuosity: turns supported by a ve il are are patchy. Of the dancers I saw , Sergei Filin, 1960 show piece by the great Sov iet teacher, not be the answe r.

TLS AUGUST 2 4 & 3 1 2 007


22 ARTS

paint ed , setting off decorou sly to his Co pen-

Short of leg hagen schoo l. An drea Appiani empl oys a


motif of intim acy, depi cting his two children ,
Three sorts
n early work by the twent y-one- LINDSA Y D UG UID
Carlotta and Raffaelo, cla sped in eac h other's
arms , but it is an elega nt and uncon vincin g
embrace . And young lren aeu s Cleophas
of folk
A year-old Thom as Law rence, "The
Children of Lord Geo rge Cave ndish"
(1790 ), was the inspi ration behind this
THE C HANG ING FAC E OF
CH I L D H O O D
Ogin ski, in Francois-Xav ier Fabres beauti-
ful, mel ancholy study of 1820, is posed in the
classical manner, legs crossed at the knee,
TOB Y LICHTlG

rewardin g exhibition of portraits of children, British children's portraits and their influence one arm leanin g negligentl y on a mon ument , R ich ard B ea n
which has come from the Stade l Mu seum in in Europe in a way that co ntradicts the message of the
Fra nkfurt to the Dul wich Picture Ga llery . Dulwich Picture Gallery, until Nove mber 4 hoo p and bat at his feet. I N T HE C LU B
Hampstead Theatre
The twent y-four wor ks on displ ay have been Ideas of ow nership and educa bility were
selected and arranged to illu strat e the artistic hard to abandon, espec ially when they ca me
in a fashionable form ; such notion s often ichard Bean ' s new play is billed as a

R
progression that took place durin g the
eighteenth and nineteenth ce nturies, from seem to cloud the paint er' s vision. The "politica l sex farce": and for the
stiff dy nastic compos itions to so mething exc eptions here are all the more preci ous. doubters whose heart s are already
approac hing an evo cation of childhood. Reynold ss Mi ss Crewe is got up in a quaint sinking, let it be swiftly noted: In the Club is
Th e social and polit ical factor s behind this clo ak, bonn et and gloves , with a basket on slick and extreme ly funn y. Bean is a form er
ch ange - which also inform ed the Royal her arm; neverth eless, she is clearly a stro ng stand-up co mic and not shy to lay the abs urd-
Academy' s Citizens and Kings exhibition per sonality, a sturdy, beaming, und aint y ity on thick. The gags - part Carry On, part
ea rlier this year - are set out in the accom pa- child; and this painting also conveys , as Fawlty Towers, part Shakespearean co medy
nyin g catalogue, which has a generous selec- surprisingly few works here do, the funni ness - are unsubtl e and pun-l aden ; but they work-
tion of notable child portraits by artists from of children, their impl acable presence resist- and the play as a whole is well-pace d and
Titian to Hogarth to Run ge. Scholarly essays, ing adult ideal s. Even in the em barrass ingly adeptly exec uted. Farce is all about the tim-
tran slated from the Ge rman, ex amine such stagey "Portra it of Sir Fra ncis Ford ' s ing; David Grindley 's cas t never miss a beat.
thin gs as the influ ence on upbrin ging of the Children Giving a Co in to a Beggar Boy" by Philip Ward robe (played to near perfection
writings of Locke and Rou sseau, Ge rman Beechey (cl 793) , a picturesque fable on the by James Flee t) is a feckless, corrupt MEP ,
ped agogy and land scape gardening, and them e of philanthropic education, there is a nominally soc ialist, more interested in perk s
adduce relevant genres such as the con versa- glimpse of some thing rebellio us behind the than in politics. Workin g for the Euro pean
tion piece and "fancy pictures" . In pract ice, rosy cheek s, bright eyes and info rmal dress; Parliament, he claims, is so much more fun
however, the cur ator s' argument is eas ily and the well-sc rubbed noble boy evinces a frank than Westmin ster, which always see med "fan-
pleasantl y read in the paintin gs. The propri e- curiosity at the appea rance of the pa le, rag- tasticall y pointl ess. The only time I actua lly
tori al titles of the earlier wor ks - "The Balbi ged, barefoot beggar only a little older than felt l'd ach ieved anything was 1997 when I
Children" , "The Children of Duk e Carl him, and his sister's slig ht bossin ess in hand- managed to claim more expe nses than Keith
August of Saxe-W eim ar-Eisena ch" , "Two ing ove r the coin at arm' s length threaten s to Vaz" . Between takin g brib es from Turkey
Children from the Family of the Counts break out fro m the stultifying conve ntions of and bedding his brilliant , bossy Russian sec re-
Thomatis" - sugges t the aristocra tic displa y the image . tary Sasha ("a credit to the whole concept of
fro m which interest shifted to middl e-class The best portr aits here are the most illegal immi gration"), Philip has been busy
daily life. The choice of suitable posin g intim ate and informal, those in which the trying for a baby with his partner. Durin g the
costume also moves, swiftly, from starched unrul y and the indecorou s challe nge the course of a stress ful day in a Stras bourg hotel
ruffs, stiff brocade and go ld thread to white paint er ' s co ncept. Ga insborough's attentive suite, he is forced to ju ggle garrulous Belgian
frock s and sashes, do wn- slippin g stockings clo se-up study of his two daught ers - an oil spy-plumbers, po-faced Germ an socia lists,
and wind-ruffled curls. The paintin gs' prop s ske tch by an ad miring, perhaps slightly oversexed French Anglophil es, as he
tell the sa me story : pet choughs (a heraldi c awe d, father - is neith er charmin g nor swee t. attempts to procreate, manipul ate, extricate
cro w-lik e bird , believed to be particularly It ackn owledges individu al, separa te lives, himself from holes and generally please
tam eable), apples (signifying fertility) and and see ms to hint at the import of Rousseau ' s eve ryone in the bid for politica l adva nce ment
roses (ma ternity) are replaced by cricket bats, Irenaeus CIeophas Ogiitski hy Franeeis- blea k remark " We know nothin g of chi ld- and girlfriend retenti on .
kites and bows and arrows; pillar s, busts and Xavier Fabre (1820) hood " . Lawrence, in his portr ait of the two National stereotypes abound, from hypocrit-
marbl e steps give place to a uni versally Calm ady children, whose portrait he under- ical Turkish diplomats desperate to prove that
bosky back ground. Halfway throu gh the exhi- the lower end of the fashionable paint er' s rep- took for less than his usual fee, is clearly Turkey is a modern dem ocracy to plain-speak-
bition, we gras p Willi am Beechey' s darin g in ertoire, and one imagines sittings could be struck by the rude health of these two ing Yorkshire UKIP members with a mistru st
depicting a child on all four s, in hi s portrait trick y - res tless ness and boredom presentin g ordin ary, unari stoc ratic bein gs: three-year- of "gy psies". Eddie Fredericks (Richard
of the four children of a Lond on lawyer, "The what the cat alogue ca lls "an ex traordinary old Ann e almos t bur sts out of the circular Moore) is proud of his heritage ("there's onny
Oddi e Children" (1789), and are ready to artistic chall enge". Their contempora ries canvas, her tiny milk teeth , shining eyes and three sorts of folk in the world: Yorkshire-
engage with Henr y Raeburn' s strapping, thought it wo rth notin g that Joshu a Reynold s barely constrained little limb s catchin g the men, them as wanna be Yorkshiremen , and
rudd y-cheeked ado lesce nt boys, James and and Lawrence took troubl e with their sitters, paint er ' s fancy as the focus of her elder sister them what lacks ambition"); inevitably, he
John Lee Allen , masters of their rustic bench, talkin g to them , tellin g them stories and even Em ily's admiring but helpl ess attention. An turns out to be the son of a Polish Jewish immi-
their stout stick, and of the picture. No longer rompi ng with them in the studio. earlier wor k by Lawrenc e, the am bitious, grant. The satire is hardl y incisive, though it
plac ed in a form al land scape, they almos t fill The exhibitio n credit s English paint ers antic "Children of Ayscoghe Bouch erett" does say something that Eddie, despite his
the canv as, their matchi ng ye llow ish with making the best use of the new vision of (originally catalogued as the children of John uncom promi sing attitudes, is the most loyal
breech es painted with light and life. children as exe mplifying freedo m, vitality An gerstein , paint ed in Pari s in 1799 ), gives and sympa thetic character. Philip, with his
Befor e it gets here, however, The Chang- and natur al beauty. The way tho se ideas the velvet and muslin their due and places the straight-guy smile and man-of-th e-peopl e
ing Face of Childhood gives a good idea of becam e translated into a set of visua l conven- eldes t boy aga inst a marbl e pillar, but this is a forays into Estuary English, is more remini s-
ho w oft en painters , even prog ress ive on e s, tions is evide nt in the handful of works by painti ng of real untid y children, round of ce nt of To ny Blair at his most slippery.
simp ly fail to show the whole child. Bodies Co ntinental imitator s, who borrowed the neck and short of leg, bein g them selves, loll- In the Club has people hiding in cupboards
are often of adult prop orti ons: in George icono graph y of the outdo or setting, the ing, playing, in a world of their own. and behind sofas; there are wigs and fal se
Rom ney's see mingly natur alistic "Charteris unaccomp ani ed child and the notion of Hung in the last room , alongs ide the moustaches; swa pped suitcases and hidd en
Children" of 1777, the e ldes t boy, Lord educa tional play. They were not so ready to Raeburn, it makes a satisfying conclu sion to microphones. Other prop s in the physical
Geor ge We myss, is oddly elongated; the imitate the English " non-finite" technique, the story the ex hibition tells of natur alness com edy includ e Twiglets formerl y employed
infant Archduchess Maria Theresa, in a the rapidly sketched impressioni sm used by achieve d. The Fra nkfurt vers ion of The to aerate toes, since repl aced in the food
would-be relaxed pa inting by Moritz Michae l Ga insboro ugh and Lawrence to convey move- Changing Face of Childhood , however, bowl ; drinkin g wa ter previou sly used as testi-
Daffin ger, has a finely detailed head on a ment and imp erm anence as well as closeness, ended on a more troubling note with an 1849 cle cool ant ; and sex toys, sent by a di sgrun-
stuffed-looking bod y, apparently made of and one gets the impression of ideas obedi- portrait by Franz Xave r Wint erhalter of two tled constituent, that contravene EU health
mu slin and lace and with an unchildish waist- ently follo wed rath er than a spirit infu sed. of Queen Victoria's children wea ring scaled- and safety spec ifica tions. This is not the mo st
line. Master Francis Co tes , in Lewis Cage's The result is ofte n a lack of sy mpathy. It is do wn Highl and dress, still natur alistic but sophisticated of eve nings, and Rich ard Bean
"The Young Cricke ter" (176 8), lean s on a sad to see Jen s Ju el' s "Running Boy" of presag ing the more sentime ntal and self- has set him self up for a drubbing. Implau si-
giant cri cket bat. Portr aits of children were at 1802, so carefull y fini shed and so nicely conscious images that lay ahead . bly, he gets away with it.

TLS AUGUST 2 4 & 3 1 2 0 07


FICTION 23

n Andre Brink' s nove l The Rights of is also an embrace of a neighb ourh ood redol-

I Desire (2000) , Rube n Olivie r returns to


his hom e in Ca pe Tow n to find that his
young lod ger , Tessa, has invited a gro up of
How to get home ent of the racial and cultural creo liza tion
cha mpione d (although not alw ays rea lized)
in dem ocr atic South Africa . It ca n be see n,
local vagrants in for a meal. He is "para- too, as a form of repara tion: before mee ting
lysed" by "a feelin g of panic at bein g P A TRI CK D E NM A N F LANE R Y who say s he ha s been wa iting 300 years to Lydi a, he had an ab orted affair with another
invaded , as if, sudde nly, the who le unrul y ge t back, presum abl y, to his ow n Lydi a. Co loure d wo ma n, Embeth. With her, there
wor ld out there had taken ove r my intact An d r e Br ink David, thou gh, abando ns his searc h, and had been a trace of exploitatio n, the white
space in here. It was no longer my hom e. I returns to Sara h and the children , a return man using the less ed uca ted Co loure d
had no control over it. They we re simp ly here T HE BLUE DOOR which it is diffi cult not to read as a tacit wo man both as mod el an d lover, while with
as if they belon ged here; if anything, I was t22pp. Harvill Seeker. to.99 . accep tance of the new South Afri ca, of the Sarah (a talent ed photographe r who confid-
the intrude r". The Blue Door, Brink' s new 978 t 8465 5 123 9 poss ibility of a white man havin g a Coloured ently mo dels for her own pro vocati ve self-
novell a, is sim ilarly co ncerned with in- wife and mixed-race children; it is also a po rtraits) there see ms both to be the found a-
vasions and transformation s of the narrator' s the co ttage appears to sugges t he has been turning away , at lea st for David , from the tion of a com mitt ed relati on shi p and the
perso nal, dom estic space . livin g for ma ny yea rs see m at all famili ar. sterility of life with Lydia, in a largely white pro mise of a lon g life togeth er - implicitl y,
The setting is aga in Ca pe Tow n, and it is Wh en he tries to return to Claremo nt and suburb where she had abando ned an invest- too, the larger pro mise of successful rac ial
tempting to see this tale of ge ntle surrea lis m his life with Lydi a, he is met, in a labour ed ment in co mmun ity development in favour of co ha bitation.
as a metaphor for white South Africa ns ' Kafkaes q ue passage, with lifts that never proj ect s that wo uld raise her profile, and Th e true natu re of David ' s state, however,
ex perience of living in a still newl y reach the thirt eenth floor, stairwells that go where David had star ted churning out paint- rema ins ambig uo us ly unresolved . Life with
democratic country, where the prom ised dis- en dless ly up o nly to arrive in the lobb y, and a ings to suit the ma rket. Lydi a might have been nothing more than a
ma ntling of rac ial bound aries, at least in wizene d Anc ient M arin er-cum-Methu selah David ' s return to Sarah and Gree n Point dream (w hen he returns aga in to Clare mo nt,
places like Ca pe Town, is finally beginning the whole apartment block has di sapp eared ),
to show. and altho ugh he finall y appears, happil y, to
Afrik aner David le Roux, a fort y-four- choose life with Sarah, Brink does not eve n
year-old teacher turn ed paint er, is in a allow that this is necessaril y perm anen t.
childless marriage with Lydi a, a success ful Every thing, it see ms , is in a state of ex isten-
archit ect. They live in an ultram od ern tial fluidity, the very natur e of reality in
high-ri se in the wea lthy southern suburb of con stant flu x, so that the conten ts of a room
C lare mont, altho ugh David rents a gar de n change almost as David surveys them.
cottage which he uses as a studio in Gree n Here, the nove l seems too clever for its own
Point , on the other side of the city . One day, goo d. One sometimes feels with Brink that
after taking a break to go shopping, he there are too many purely ornament al
returns to the co ttage studio to find Sara h, a references to other writers and artists - as we ll
yo ung Co loure d woman - apa rtheid cat ego- as Kafk a, the book nod s self-co nsc ious ly, and
ries of race persist - who beli eves David is not particul arly rewardin gly, to Haruki
her husband and the father of their two young Mu rak ami, Jostein Gaarder, Brueg he l, Otto
chil dren, Emily and Tommie. The co ttage Mu eller and Les Na bis. Ultimate ly, Brink
ha s change d, too, into a larger , more chao tic seems to sugges t that accept anc e of change, at
place . Sara h and the children behave as least for whi te So uth Africans, is the only way
thou gh David has always lived with them in to live ; that the only way to ma ke sense of the
the co ttage, has been abse nt only as lon g frequ entl y chao tic present is by accept ing the
as it took to go to the store; David , of cour se, A Senegalese glass painting of a married couple; from Icons: Ideals and power in the art chaos on its ow n term s, to shrug, take a deep
recog nizes none of them , nor does the life ofAfrica by Herbert M. Cole (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1989) breath and open the door.

--------------------------~,--------------------------

en Okri ' s new novel is publis hed by contrapt ion , and bundl ed off on a lon g trek

B Rider Book s, the Mind, Body and


Spirit imprint at Ra ndo m Hou se .
This, along with the claim that " Starbook
As if in a dream across the sava nnah to a wa iting ship" . Th e
tribe o f artists di sperse , the maiden has a
child, all these are ju st "fragments seen in the
opens up the natur e of reality, whe re the TIM SO UST ER wome n of the kin gdom . Meanwhi le the murky mirro r of mort alit y" .
essence of life is revealed" might mak e some pri nce, still hoverin g between life and death , Thi s is not a full or acc ura te summa ry.
readers apprehens ive . Th ey should be. B en Ok ri is revived by a dream in which the maiden Much of wha t happ ens in Starbook takes
The nove l opens with the story of the visits him. His father inform s him that he has place in dream s, or appears to be a dream , or
prince of an ancie nt Afri can kingd om "who STA RBOOK been ill a lon g tim e (alth ou gh " it can ' t be happ ens "as in a dream" ; and the rest of it,
grew up in the serenity of all thin gs". Th e 422 pp. Rider. 12.99. mea sur ed in tim e, but in enchantments"), and like a dream , is incoh erent , unstructured and
princ e likes to wande r in "the myth-i nfested 978 1 84604082 5 the princ e sets off around the kin gdom. " He diffi cult to rememb er once it has finished .
forests" and comes across a maiden . He is wanted to co nq uer himself, his fate, his Wh at lin gers is the style: Okri is fon d of lon g
very struck by her, particularly by her unu sually atte ntive to "the hint ed dialogues destin y, with the simple power of love." The lists, empty parado xes ( "She was profoundl y
answers to his phil osophical enquiries : she of tort oises" and "often followed the path of prin ce sees the ma iden aga in and foll ows her ill and yet rich in health " ) and unfatho mable
tell s him, for exa mple, that the river ends " In an ts, to see where they led" . The girl's father, throu gh one of the "gaps" in the for est that aphori sms ( "If yo u begin with the art of
the wisdom of Go d". The prince encounters aided by invisible spirits, crea tes a sculpture the white wind has left. misun derstan ding, yo u will find yo ur way to
her a seco nd tim e, but on the third occasion of three men and a woma n bound together, Finding himse lf in the tribe of the artists, the ga te of illumination " ). Th e pro se is so
she fail s to appea r and the prince see s instead which profoun dly affec ts the tribe. the prin ce serves the maiden ' s father for liberall y sca tte red with words such as "his-
a heron , "like an actor on a stage with a majes - Eve n after it is taken away , it is "more seve ral seas ons, and he learn s the "tranquil- tory" , "destiny", "enchantment" and "truth"
ticall y me lancho lic mon olo gu e" . Whil e he po werful , majestic , tragi c , s ub lim e and heart- lity of statues" hy sta nding very still. He co m- that they see m to lose all meani ng. Indeed,
watches the hero n, a ma squ erade materi al- breakin g in its invisibl e for m" . Th e maide n, muni cat es with the princess throu gh dream s O kri ' s prose appears to asp ire to the co ndi-
izes in the air and begins to destro y the after encountering the work, also suffe rs and defeats his rival the Mamb a in a fight , tion of meanin glessness: "Like a faun awa k-
wor ld, onl y to des troy itself. Th e prince, who from bafflin g drea ms. In her turn , she makes witho ut touching him. (He enlists the anim als ened from a ge ntle sleep by a rainb ow that
we are told is sensitive to all kinds of inequ al- a sculpture of a wee ping prince that astounds of the for est: "the mosquito tau ght him the art played a haunting melod y in the sky" is typi-
ity and deepl y loved by everyone, suffers and troubl es the tribe, and she furth er of irrit ation and oblique motion ". ) Wh en they ca lly sonoro us non sen se.
fro m monstro us dreams and fall s danger- upsets them by faili ng to accept any of her eve ntua lly meet as lovers, they move Starbook atte mpts to say so mething about
o usly ill. Crowds ga ther to pay their respect s, man y suitors, setting them strange and cry p- together "in the rh ythm s of the waves of the slavery, which is describ ed both fairl y
and the king is " moved by the tendern ess of tic trial s instead. river as it crashed on the sho re or lapped rea listically and using metaphors like the
hi s peopl e" . Th e third story is called "The Whit e Wind" silently on the rim ofthe land " . Aft er con sum- white wi nd. But the transatlantic slave trade
The seco nd story in Starbook takes us into after the wind which blows across the mating their love, the prince and maiden are was , among other thin gs, histori cally
a tribe of artists who form "the secre t heart of kingd om and begins "to erase that which it set on by the Mamb a and his alli es. Th e specific and econo mica lly motivated ; Ben
the kin gdo m" . We follow an od d maid en, the passed over". It is the first sign of a plag ue pri nce escapes , but is sold into slave ry : " He O kri ' s "fragments seen in the boo k of life"
dau ght er of a master sculptor, who is which rem oves man y of the yo ung men and was caught, chained, gagged wi th a metalli c are an infuriatin gly inadequ ate res po nse .

TLS AUGUST 2 4 & 3 1 2 007


24 FICTION

Bulgarian pro verb - "A Hom e is lip gloss . Later she appears as the moth er of

A Like the Sea" - open s Nicho las


Shake speare ' s new novel, and it is
the ocean' s mysteries and gifts that fram e the
Blow-ins Zac, Mont ana, Savannah and Cherokee . The
taciturn store owner Albert Talbot , a form er
Second World War radi o operator , has go ne
narr ative. Its characters includ e the voyage rs from survei lla nce of Japanese troop s in
who have made the southern island their FIONA GR UB ER the novel follo ws the course of a seve ntee n- Papu a New G uinea to followin g the move-
hom e. Pre-eminent among them is Alex yea r marri age. ments of Point Wellin gton ' s citizens with
Do ve, an introvert ed loner whose English N ic ho las Sh ak e sp e a r e Along the way, other blow-in s from shores the help of binocul ars from his attic . His
par ent s, after a stab at Au stralian farmin g, are di stant and near affect the lives of the locals. carefull y worded newsletter is silent about
killed in a colli sion with a logger' s truck. An SECRETS O F T HE S EA Th e mys terious Joseph Silkleigh, identifi ed the irregularities, usually sex ual, that he
orphan at eleve n, he is packed off to boardin g 402pp. Harvill Seeker. 17.99. as a "pom" by his accent , appears from the obse rves. These bull etin s are reproduced in
school in Cumbria, but after Oxford and 978 I 84655068 3 sea in a wet suit to guide Merridy towards the novel, alongs ide community notic es for
teacher trainin g, find s himself back on the a career as an oyster farmer. He flit s throu gh bowlin g and cricket matches, j azz socials and
island in his old home near the insular , keep the farm and start a famil y. Thi s pro ves the novel as a stone skims wa ter, lightl y prop ert y stolen.
wind-buffeted town of Wellin gton Point on harder than the coupl e anticipated; the touching do wn at seve ra l cruc ial point s. Nicholas Shakespeare has a magpie' s eye
Tasmania' s east coast. It is here, at the ends anguish of childless ness is one of the strands Th e sea deli vers another more dangerou s for shiny colloquialisms; the local publican
of the earth, that Alex, who had intend ed to that knit together this well-cra fted tale. chara cter in the form of Kish, a young delin- describ es Wellin gton Point as "heaven on a
sell his inherit ance, the land s and bui ldin gs of Merrid y casts her mind back to the past, to quent dressed as an eightee nth-ce ntury sailor, stick", peopl e bet eac h oth er "London to a
Moulting Lagoon Farm, decid es to stay. a childhood blighted by the strange disappear- who is plucked to safety when the crew of a brick " when describin g a prob able outcome.
The impetu s com es from an encounter ance of her brother at the age of six . Alexs repli ca brigantin e are shipwrecke d in a storm. Shakespeare' s 1999 biograph y of Bruc e
with his childhood enemy, Ray - "as in English blood, we are told , enco urages him Just as an oys ter need s seve ra l shocks to its Chatwin necessitated global perambul ations,
sunshine" - Groga n, now a charming but "to overlook what had not happened", and nervous sys tem in ord er to produc e edible and he is quoted as say ing that he was
bull ying es tate agent , who has neglected keep his sights firmly on the futur e, but the meat , so Merridy and Alex need discour age- attract ed by the beauty and rem oteness of
the farm in his compa ny's charge, and who house rema ins a shrine to his dead parents. ment in order to act. Tasm ania, as well as by the fact that Chatwin
cond emn s the propert y, and Alex as "back to His father' s obsess ion with ships in bottl es Secrets of the Sea depicts many of the had never been there. In Tasmania (2004)
bug gery, not worth a thin g" . The sting stirs also ca ptivates Alex. These full- sailed craft, inhabitants of this small Tasmani an town. was his perso nal exploration of the island' s
defiance in Alex, but it is his enco unter with j ourn eying nowhere in vess els that once held Th e warm-hea rted and haph azard Tildy is histor y and hi s disco very of famil y connec-
a young woman, the aloof and wounded the gin hi s father drank to excess, are a first see n as a tarty teenager with a casual atti- tions. Secrets of the Sea reveals his island
Merrid y Bo wm an, which fixes his decision to met aphor for the entrapment that both feel, as tude to sex and a firm belief in the power of home is rich soil for his ficti onal skills .

--------------------------~,--------------------------

vinced, capable of ruthl essness and violence


Left in the name of the masses; eac h deviati on
from the politi cal hardline is see n as a wea k-
Do you sign?
luggage ness born of an outmoded attac hment to the
indi vidual. It is to Kunzru ' s credit that his
charac ters - of whom Mike's sometime lover
DAVID MAL COLM detecti ve plot have contemporary reso-
nances; the setting is a pretext for a politi cal
Anna is the most sharply and pro vocati vely Ron an B enn ett and moral discu ssion. It asks what we should
AL EX C L A R K drawn - do not tend toward s caricatur e, but do in times of tyrann y and inju stice.
instead elicit our sympathy and eve n, occa- ZUGZ WANG The novel' s Europe is a place of exploit-
siona lly, our admiration. 334pp. Bloomsbury. 14.99. ation, instituti onalized prejudice, state vio-
H a ri Kun zru 978 0747587 118
It is Anna who provides the novel' s central lence and politi cal terrori sm. Spethmann,
MY REVOL U TIO N S mystery. She is thought to have been killed who wa nts to keep out of troubl e and pur sue
272pp. Hamish Hamilton. 16.99. in an action at the Ger man embassy in " H e will expec t you at midni ght at his psychoanalyti c career, insists " I have
978024 1 143100 the Imperi al Yac ht Club" , the no politic al allegia nce of any kind ", but
Co penhage n in 1975 , but Mik e has recentl y
see n a wo man who looks rem arkabl y like beautiful Ann a Petrov na says to Benn ett shows that he cannot maint ain this
he protagoni sts of Hari Kunzru' s the narrator of Zugzwong. It is that kind of detachm ent and must, in the end, take action.

T
her in a sma ll town in the Languedoc. As he
pre vi ou s no vel s, The Imp ression ist dri ves Mir and a' s silver BMW - the fruit s of no vel , always abo ut to tip over into Will iam For Zugrwang is full of politica l and moral
(2002 ) and Transmission (2004), are her ethically sound beauty produc ts compa ny Le Queux melodr ama, but with substance dilem mas. Onc e you escape from the shtetl
defin ed by their shifting identiti es and in - through France, in sea rch of the ghost of a behind the prop s of the shocker, a thrill er and the slums , do you forget tho se you have
thrall to their need to make sense of them , wo ma n who was all but unkno wabl e to him, with a com plex plot and serious subtex ts. left behind? In jail, do you sign what they
so it is little surprise that his new book ope ns he pain stakin gly disint ers memories whose Set in St Petersburg in 1914 , it is full of wa nt you to sign, or keep your integrit y and
with a man tellin g us that he is not who we meanin g he ha s long suppressed . murd er , politi cal intri gue and moral dil em- see yo ur daughter lose her youth behind
think he is. Mike' s narration is characterized by detach- mas, and, eve ryw here, there are lies and bars? What do yo u do if the Central
Mik e Fra me - about to celebrate his ment; he recalls heated ideological debate, betrayal. Th e Great War and the Bol shevik Committee tells you to do something you
fifti eth birthday, with hi s go-ge tting partn er, brutal confrontations with the state and Revolution loom on the horizon. think ill- advised? Whom do you choose -
Mi rand a, and his teena ge stepdaughter, in cland estine guerrilla operations, but his tone Ron an Bennetts characters includ e a your daughter or your mistress? And if you
the affluent West Sussex count ryside - steps sugges ts that, eve n when present , he was beautiful female studen t involved in radical are Jewish in a viciously anti-Se mitic wor ld,
qui etly out of his life, appare ntly imp elled always marginal, pro vision al. His post-revol- politi cs, a grande dame with a painful past or if you are a Po le whose country has been
by the threat of bein g unm asked as a form er utionary retreat into heroi n addiction, fol- and a sensual present , a complex police taken away , do you try to integrate (though
terrori st. Soo n, however , it emerges that lowed by salvation at the hands of Buddhi st detecti ve, a brilliant Polish-Jewish violinist, a they will send the Cossacks round to talk to
alth ough his involvem ent in the revoluti on- monk s, accounts for some of that; but Kunzru chess prodi gy from the shte tl, the in-count ry you soo ner or later)? Do you try to beat them
ary politi cs of the late 1960s and 1970 s also hint s at a character trait that has some- leader of the Bolsheviks, a sinister right-wing at their own ga mes (alth ough Spethmann
provides a genuine threat to his present life, how prevented him from identifying with the plutocrat , and assorted Coss acks, secret fin ally sees that Rozenth al, the chess genius,
he is mo st co nce rned w ith excava ting the sig - causes that superficia lly ga lvanized his life. agents and Bolshevik hitm en. All of them are never had a chance)? Do yOll take lip arm s
nific ance of the past for reason s of perso nal "Nothing is perm anent ", mu ses Mi ke. see n through the eyes of Or Otto Spethmann, against them (eve n to suicide bombin g)? The
and politic al auth enticity. "Everything is subjec t to change ." As the the "respected psychoanalyst and upstandin g novel' s Jewish themes are valid in them-
Kunzru is adept at conj uring the intellec- mech anics of his impendi ng ex posure gradu- member of the St Petersbur g bourgeoi sie", an selves, but like so much here, they resonate
tual fervour of the radic al grou ps with whom ally unfold , it is the weightless ness of his intelligent , apolitic al, Jewish practitioner, beyond , into other times and other places.
Mik e - or Chris Carver, as he was then - previous life that most impr esses him . "After emotionally dam aged by his ow n losses and The novel' s final question is: what can you
thro ws in hi s lot , after a stultifying suburba n so many yea rs", he reflect s, "it felt strange to betrayals, who is drawn unwillin gly into the achi eve? Spethmann com es to reali ze that
childhood has give n way to student life at find out that 1 matt ered so little." Thi s per- machinations of the men and wo men around the autocra cy has it all sew n up. He looks to
the LSE. The novel both confir ms and compli- haps explains the rea son for Kunzru ' s calm , him, all hell-b ent on disruptin g the status quo. the masses and their anger for hope in a final
cates a sugges tio n that direct action is an uninfl ected pro se, a pro se that see ms at odd s Zugzwang is a thriller with ambitions. It rhetorica lly powerful flou rish. The rea der
antidote to a kind of personal roo tless ness , with the turbul enc e of the eve nts it desc ribes . has echoes of Graham Gree ne, Brian Moor e may have doubt s, but wi ll be full of respect
that its adherents are entra nced by a rigidit y My Revolutions might des cribe radic al poli- and Alan Furst and cover s some of the same for Benn etr' s ability to provok e them .
of belief which is ultim ately redu cti ve, ster- tics to us, but it leaves the wider question of territ ory that Emmanuel Litvinoff covere d. Zugrwang is an enterta ining and serious
ile. Kunz ru ' s radica ls are fearless and con - commitment unanswered. The historic al eleme nts in the novel and its work of fiction.

TLS AUGUST 2 4 & 3 1 2 007


FICTION IN BRIE F 25

Eo in Mc Nam ee the city 's layout , and indir ect ion thicken s the Gregory's tale revolves around the them e of Ne ither of these cases is quit e what it see ms .
12 :23:PA RI S , 31ST AUGUST 19 97 story . Th e series of murders co mm itted in po ssessive desire and j ealou sy. Yet Hester McD ermid' s capac ity for inventi on has not
304pp. Faber. Paperback, 12.99. 1838 may be connec ted to Byron ' s death at Craddock is a more intell ectu alized work. It failed her , and one criti ci sm of what is not
978057 1 2234 1 I Mi ssolon ghi so me fourt een years earlier , or tell s of two wo men, Hester and her sis ter amon g her mo st me mora ble novels is that she
to the deterior atin g qu alit y of the currency, Ne lly, who se routine lives are shaken up by should have let each storyline have its own

O ver the ten yea rs since her death , the


publi c has grow n used to the sight of
figur es fro m the margin s of Princess Dian a' s
or the missing trea sur es of Aya Sofia , or the
activ ities of a Greek nation ali st sec ret
soc iety, probl em s in the city 's water supp ly,
the arri val in their local village of two men -
Edw in Pall ant, a writer-critic whose physical
defor mit y has result ed in psycho- sexu al
book rathe r than cr ammin g them in togeth er.
In both cases, the stea dy slog of chec king
facts and the sudden psyc ho log ist's insight
life tradin g on their co ntact wi th her - or the missing heads of the famou s statue of complexes, and his hand som e artist friend wor k together; one of McDermi d' s stre ngths
Paul Bur rell and Pier s Morgan being three intert wined serpents. Halm ath Tryan. Th e developm ent and unrav- has always been her pacing.
notable exa mples . For his thrill er about the Thi s is the second of Goodwi n's novel s elling of their me nage ii qua tre is relat ed in She is also skilled in mi sdir ecti on , in point-
car cras h that killed the Prin cess, Eoi n featur ing the eunuch detective Yashi m, prose that is both incisive and rhetoric al , ing the reader' s atten tion in the wrong direc -
McNameeinven ts more of these margin al foll owin g on from The Janissary Tree ex pos ing the intri cacies of hum an thou ght tion while playin g fair with the we ll-timed
ch aracters. Th us , to the rea l-life butl er and (2006) . Attitudes to Tur kish eunuchs have and the absur diti es of hum an behaviour. release of relevant fact s, though she some -
newspaper Editor, who in their ow n ways chan ged ove r the yea rs, and Goo dw in's Edw in is mod elled on Gregory' s friend tim es ex tends thi s into the mind of her perp e-
wa ited on the Princess, are added the security hero contrasts strikingly with the villa ino us Ra ndo lph Bourn e, the brilliant Am erican trator s and villa ins. She allows us only a very
service personnel who shadow her. As peop le crea ture conjure d up by Dermi s Wh eatley in critic who died in the flu epidem ic in 191 8 selective view of their thou ght proc esses in a
who stand to prof it by witness ing a death , The Eunuch ofStam bou l: "a mon ster of sadis- at the age of thirty-t wo (a stra nge ly unsym- way that ob scu res other thi ngs which might
McNam ees charac ters surpass the traditi onal tic cruelty" with a rosebu d mo uth an d huge pathetic portrait), while Hal, the objec t of be going on. She is a good trickster who does
villains of the piece, the papa razz i, in moral han gin g cheeks. Goo dw in is a much bett er attrac tio n for both sisters, is prob abl y based not need to cheat eve n to the min or ex tent she
sor didness. writer than Wh eatley, and his eunuch is a on Ge rald Brenan (though also Llewelyn does here.
Harper , a former Be lfas t policeman sympathetic charac ter. As befit s a detecti ve, Powys) . The portrait of Ne lly draws on Ro z KAVEN EY
ex pelle d fro m the sec urity services for Yas him is an imp assive, slightly grey fig ure Gamel Woolsey, Powys' s love r and later
pu shin g a wi tness off a ferr y, heads thi s who ca n becom e invisibl e in a cro wd , but he Brenan' s wife . Hester resembl es both
gr im cas t. Alon g with an alco ho lic ex-GC HQ has some distin ctive qu aliti es. He is fond Philip pa Powys and Gregory herself.
staffer, Grace, and Ben nett, who was also of French ficti on and read s Stendha l and Barbara Ozieblo pro vides an inform ative Edmund White
involved wi th the ear lier killin g, he has been Benja min Constant. He is kee n on cookin g introdu ction that see ks to rescue A lyse HOTE L D E DRE AM
hired to keep an eye on Princess Di ana, and and some Turkish dishes are alluringly Gregory fro m oblivion, though the degree to 226pp. Bloomsbury. 14.99 .
to look out for the dri ver Henr i Paul and the described . A traditi on ali st, he refuses to which Hester Craddock is a "feminist" no vel 978 0 7475 9059 0
pho tographer Jam es And anson. The acti on of ado pt the fez, insistin g on wearing a turban. is perh aps mor e debatable than she sugges ts.
12.23 is co nfined to Par is in the four da ys and
night s leadi ng up to the car cras h; as they
watch and wa it, Har per and his colleag ues
Yas him is suspicious of mod ernity
and Western ways . But the onc e crow ded
Top ka pi Palace has been all but abando ned,
It is certainl y an impressive and mem orabl e
wor k.
A NTH O NY H EAD
I t is 1900 and the A merican writer Stephe n
Crane lies dying. Although supp osedly
engaged in the co mpos ition of a comme rcial
begin to guess at the murd erou s di rection so that "the djin ns have roo m to breathe at po tboiler which will pro vide an incom e after
eve nts will take. last" ; and in the Wes tern-style Besikt as his death for his co mmon law wife Cora,
A goo d deal of the nove l is devoted to Palace, Sulta n Ma hmud 11, the architec t of Cra ne 's thou ght s per sistentl y return to a
building an atmosphere in whic h political Ott om an refor m, is dying. Go odw in's Istan- Val McDermid novel he embarked on and aband oned yea rs
murde r seems possibl e, and McNamee bul is not some thing frozen in tim e, a con ven- BENEATH T HE BLEED ING before. It is a story taken from true eve nts
emp loys so me we ll-worn thrill er techn iqu es. ient backdrop for a gripp ing murder myster y. 404pp. HarperCollins. 17.99. and fro m peopl e he knew, abo ut a strange
Bac kgro und is imp ort ant : the novel keep s As Yashim reflect s, a "city is not a na me: it' s 978 0 00 724326 6 love affair bet ween a newspap er boy named
returning to the High- Veldt upb ringin g of the a seq uence of lives, ges tures, mem ori es, all ElIiott and Theodore Koch , a melanchol y
middle-age d bank er whose face, on the first
cold-bloo ded South Afri can hitm an Fur st,
and to Harp er' s pas t in rain y, violen t Belfast.
As a result , the reader some times
en tw ined ". The Snake Stone, a success ful
co mbination of crime fic tion and histori cal
fiction , portrays a society o n the cha nge;
S uccess has its traps; a good thrill er
becom es a sequence of good thrill ers,
perha ps even a television dram a, and the
occas ion we enco unter him , "would have
looked beseeching if it was n' t so resign ed" .
forgets that this is a no vel abo ut a specific history has a role in sha ping its narr ative. autho r find s herself con str ained by audience As Cra ne slides in and out of co nsc iousness ,
hi storic al even t; the main weak ness of 12:23 RO BERT I RWI N ex pectations. The relati on ship between her the story takes on new shapes in his mind and
is that it co uld almost be about any mu rder. detecti ves becom es a romance whose twists Cora, desperate to give hi m rea son s to clin g
N IC H OLAS CULLEN and turns are no w w hat pe ople rea d for ; int er- to life, offers to act as his am anu en sis.
es ting mino r characters have to ge t their du e Edm und Whit e ca lls Hotel de Dream his
AIyse Gregory in each success ive volume. In addition, there "fantasia on real them es pro vid ed by history"
HES T ER C RAD D OC K is an expec tation that there wi ll be something and while some of its eleme nts have their
Jason Goodwin 220p p. Sherborne: The Sundial Press. 19.50. new and sensational, eac h tim e; where police basis in fact - Cra ne's relation ship with Cora,
T H E SNA KE STONE 9780955 152337 work is a sequence of drab variations on a lim- his friendship s with Henr y James an d Jo seph
320pp . Faber. 12.99. ited number of banal them es, ficti on al detec- Conrad (bo th of who m appea r in arch
978 0 57 1 22925 3

A ll over Istan bul, muezzins in their minare ts


I n her lifetim e Alyse Gregory publi shed
three novels, a typic all y oblique auto-
bio graph y, a collec tion of essays and num er-
tives live in a con stant crisis.
Beneath the Bleeding is the latest of
Val McDermi d' s thrill ers about the foren sic
cameos) - and others are inspired by rum our s
that Cra ne once started a story abo ut the
ero tic life of a newsboy, much is undiluted
threw back their heads and began to chant. It ous other pieces for journals in Brit ain and psychologist Tony Hill and Ca rol Jorda n, the inventi on. White inter sperses ex trac ts from
was a goo d time to kick a man to deat h in the the United States. Yet fro m the tim e she Chief Inspector whose rise has been based on the dy ing man' s imagin ed no vel with his rem-
stree t. The grainy ululation s swept in sobbing marr ied Llewelyn Powys in 1924 and hand ed intelli gent use of his expe rtise. One of the iniscences abo ut the real-life Elliott, in a pa l-
waves acro ss the Go lden Horn, where the over the editorship of the pion eerin g New strengths of the book s is their friend ship , a impsest of ficti on and truth , scho larly spec ula-
Greek oar sme n on the gliding caiq ues were York j ourn al The Dial to her friend M ariann e friend ship all the stronger for not bein g tion and poetic guessw ork.
lighting their lamps. The notes of prayer rolled Moore, Gregory seemed happy to devote her sex ual. Investigation s need co mpli cation s, Whit e ' s se ntences co nstantly surprise : a
over the Euro pea n town at Pera, a few lights life to her hu sband and live in his literar y ho wever, and here Hill is hospit ali zed after a wo man has tears in her eyes , "as if so meone
wavering against the black ridge of Galata Hill. shadow . Eve n lon g after Powys' s death in pa tient has run amo k and hit him wi th an axe, had hand ed back a shea f of blackm ailer' s
They skimmed the Bosphorus to Uskudar, a 1939, she concent rated on seei ng his wor ks lea vin g him at the mercy of his diffi cult letter s" , and a boy gazes round the room "like
smudge of purple fading into the blackness of into print rather than her ow n. She has been moth er who has hith erto been kept offstage . a Red Ind ian co ntemplating his first Rub ens".
the mou ntai ns. long neglected - despi te her early wor k in the Ca rol, meanwhil e, has the ill-n amed intelli- It soon becom es clear that the author is inter-

T he fir st page of The Snake Stone pro-


mises what the rest of the novel will
deli ver: a richl y imagined tou r of Ottoman
wo ma n's suffrage move ment - and is now
almost forgotten, so thi s attra ctive re-
issue of her third novel , Hester Craddock , an
ge nce services under her feet. One of the pri v-
ileges of series writing is that the author ca n
editor ialize about any subjec t which takes her
es ted in mo re than aca de mic ga me-p lay ing or
acrob atics of style. Hotel de Dream offers a
touchin g depicti on of ro ma ntic love: Cora's
Istanbul, its waterfro nt, the Fe ner, Aya Sofia , acutely ob ser ved psyc ho log ical dra ma, is fancy, so we get a tim ely complaint abo ut the unquenchabl e ado ration for Cra ne, whose
the bazaars, the underground cisterns , espec ially we lco me . way co unter-terro rist thugger y now has prece- lifeless body she cla sps to hers; and
To pkapi, the dar k and twistin g streets of It was writte n around the sa me time as denc e ove r pro per polic e trad ecraft. Th eod ore Koch ' s doom ed pa ssion for Elliott:
woo den hou ses; a tour made more exc iting The Blackthorn Winter by her sister-in-law , A footb aller dies of what appe ars to be flu , "his on ly desire was to hold him and kiss
by the certa in knowled ge that emissa ries of Phili pp a Powys (rev iewe d TLS March 2, but turn s out to be ricin poi sonin g; a bomb er him , to squeeze him so hard that they wo uld
ev il lurk in the shadows ready to strike . 200 7). The charac ter of Hester is based partl y goes throu gh his last days of planni ng before becom e one person ".
Jason Goo dw in's plot is as complicated as on Philippa Powys, and as in that novel, blowin g a hole in the local footb all stadium . J ON BARN ES

TLS AUGUST 24 & 3 1 2007


26 NATURAL SCIENCE

toda y' s popul ation of more than 1,000 begin .

For fun and fur If this success continues, some believe the
red kite could aga in be our most comm on rap-
tor and reach in excess of 50,000 bird s.
Lovegro ve quot es Clare a numb er of times.
n Silent Fields, Rog er Lovegro ve charts JOHN FANSHAW E Among the mamm als, an obvious exa mple is In recent yea rs, the resuscitati on of the poet

I "the histo ry of Man' s delib erat e killin g


of terrestri al wildlife - specifically nati ve
bird s and mamm als - from about 450 years
R o g er Lo v e grov e
the otter - beloved by wildlife ca mera men,
celebr ated by Henr y Willi am son as Tarka.
Lovegro ve notes that otters are totemic of
has gathered momentum with new selections
of his work - including The Wood Is Sweet
(2005) , produ ced by David Po well , with fine
ago to the pre sent". Henr y VIII's Vermin SIL E N T F I E L DS UK conservation success , so much so that linocuts by Carry Akroyd - lain Sincl air' s
Act s begin the analys is. Alth ough Lovegro ve The long declin e of a nation' s wildlife the origin al Otter Trus t, es tablished by Philip wonderful Edge of the Orison (rev iewe d in
ackn owledges that our interactions with 4 16pp. Oxford University Press. 25 (US $50). Wayre in 1971, con siders its miss ion accom - the TLS, Oct ober 7, 2005) and Jonathan
English, Scots and Welsh fauna can be 978 0 1985 207 19 plished and has not released ca ptive-bred Bate' s biography (reviewe d in the TLS,
traced back to the po st-glacial millennia, it otters since 1999. Full legal prot ecti on for Novemb er 7, 2003 ). As well as the red kite
was this Tudor legislation that creat ed a basis passed a fin al sumptuary Act in 1532 - the otters was only secured in England and (twice - both in ce lebration, and ackno wledg-
for the organiz ed slaughter of comp etitor same yea r as his vermin law - regulatin g a Wales in 1978, and four years later in Scot- ing their skills at takin g chicks, ducklings and
species until at least the Second World War. hierarch y of who could wea r which fur. Not land . Thi s is aga in a far cry from the Tudor gos lings), Silent Fields has Clare lines
Lovegro ve quot es a maximum combined pop- that he stinted on hi s own account, usin g 350 period, when kin gs had "Otter Masters" , and on the hedgeho g and the mole. But far more
ulation for England, Wales and Scotl and of (albeit imported) sable skins to line a single otter-h ound s were bred for the cha se. Otters importantly, he is also quot ed railin g aga inst
3,3 10,000 peopl e in 1525 , less than half that satin gow n in 1530. Even this pal es by com- then comp eted for freshwater fish on natur al the changing land scape: " lnclosure thou 'rt
of London in 2001. Sixteen years after Henry pari son with hi s for ebear Henr y IV, whose lakes and rivers, and plund ered man-made a curse upon the land , I And tasteless was
VIII was cro wned , Lond on was estimated to " splendid robe-of-nine garments was made pond s with glee . Addin g to ott er woe was the wre tch who thy ex istence planned". Help-
ha ve 50,000 resident s. Mo st people then from 12,000 squirrel and 80 ermines" . their pisci vorou s diet which meant that the ston was enclose d in 1820 , and Clare 's
wer e rural , a sce ne far remo ved from that of Lovegro ve lament s that the data he used Catholic community conve niently consid- G louces tershire cont emporary Jam es Knapp
tod ay when - for the first time - more than for Silent Fields, deri ved from church- ered their flesh fishy enough to be valid wrote at the time, of di sappearin g wildlife :
half the world's popul ation is urban. In fact , wa rde ns' accounts now held in municipal Friday fare. "Some of our bird s are annually diminishin g
by 200 I only 20 per cent of peopl e in Eng- and county archives across the country, are Lovegro ve ' s introduction also consider s - popul ation , plou gh , enclos ure, clea rance,
land lived in the "country" . Such statistics are by no mean s compl ete. Many have been the contemporary and chan gin g value of drainage". Although Clare was actually
critical to unravellin g the evolving social destro yed , and eve n his hard work onl y money. All the species accounts chart sums briefly emplo yed to plant the hawthorn hedges
fabric that lies behind Lovegro ve' s analys is. scratches the surface of 10,819 potenti al par- paid , and the pric e per otter head ranged from we so ofte n celebra te, it see ms that he and
Mod ern conc ept s of wildlife and "wildlife ishe s in England (he trawled throu gh 1,429 of 2d, spec ified in the 1566 Act , to the fairly others were reco gnizing that a semi-natura l
watchin g" were way off on the horizon. them ). His study celebrates localness; the high pric e of 7s 6d offered by the Prestbur y mosaic of wildlands and agriculture was to
People lived with and surrounded by natur e. pain stakin g lists of vermin killed - docu- ves try in 1731. Daniel Defo e' s 1704 defini- be transform ed irretrievabl y. And all this
Doctrine also pla yed a crucial role. Befor e ment ed by ge nerations of church ward en s - tion of a "poor man" in Kent as earning before the modern conservation movem ent
Darwin , no chall enge ex isted to the Crea tion brin g to life an aspect of how peopl e experi- "between seve n and ten shillings a week" is had begun ; more than a century before
myth, and peopl e believed absolutely in the enced wildlife at a time when pari shes lay at cited - for Lovegrove "a figur e that still Rach el Cars on's Silent Spring.
biblical concept of hum an do minion "over the heart of eve ryo ne's lives, when the paro- applied in most areas, cert ainl y in the south- Cha nge flows throu gh Lovegro ve ' s wor k
the fish of the sea and the fowls of the air and chial was reality and a basis for under stand- ern counti es, for the remainder of that cen- like a tide; and his ow n career , as a prim e
ove r eve ry living thin g". Lovegro ve writes ing biodi ver sity. tury". Hunting ver min was potentially very move r in Welsh con servation - notably as
that anim als "were here to be employed as The core of the book is individual species profit able. At Prestbury, wily cro ss-bo rder Welsh regional director for the Royal Society
bea sts of toil , as food , for sport . . . or what- accounts, dealin g first with twent y-on e bird s; sneaks we re discoura ged by having to for the Protecti on of Bird s - spans a period of
eve r other requirement ". Concern for animal most are either raptors or cro ws, thou gh some "declare befor e a lawful magistrate that the remarkable change for many of these spec ies.
right s or welf are, such as over vivisection, surprises , like kin gfisher and dipp er, appea r. said otter was taken and killed within the par- To quibble over his thorou ghn ess see ms rid-
was negligibl e. Crue lty was ramp ant , as was For mamm als, there are eleve n, and they are ish precinct s" . Such strictures notwith stand- iculou s, but there is an iron y in his subtitle
poverty: pro vision for poor relief was yet to a ro ll call of the stars of children' s popul ar ing, there was con siderabl e room for crea tive "The long declin e of a nation' s wildlife"
arrive, and rural peopl e, es peci ally in famin e literatur e: hedgeho g, mole , polec at, pin e mar- accounti ng. give n that many of his vermin spec ies are
years, had a high depend enc y on what ten, fox, rat, wild cat, badger, wease l, stoa t Am ong the bird s, two charismatic raptors , now starting to thri ve in what are otherwise
Richard Mabey ca lled Foo d fo r Free in 1972 . and otter. Man y read ers will strugg le to avo id sea eag le and red kite - both the focu s of days of extreme biodi versity loss. Some, like
Berri es, eggs, wild me at, fun gi and fruit were flashes of Nick Butter worth ' s illustrations success ful reint rodu ctions - have chapter s badgers, may once again becom e the target of
lifesaver s. Findin g such food meant country for his Percy the Park Keeper series. At dedi cated to them . Lovegrove opens his kite centr ally sanctioned control. Lovegro ve tack-
peo ple had an inti mate knowledge of their first sight, cur iou sly, Butt erworth' s miscreant account with some lines from John Clare - les some of this in his final chapter s, notin g
hom e gro und, of seas ons, faun a and flor a, bunni es are missin g from the list, but this the poet deplo ys an early nam e, "paddock", that the raven , for ex ample, is recoverin g
and also the wherewithal to resist competi- under scores a constant them e of Lovegro ve ' s "riding in the sky, above the oaks, in easy apace. But other species, bird s that we re
tor s that threatened cro ps and livestock. Thi s work. Percepti ons and attitudes ch ange over sail, on still wings and fork ed tail" . Kite never vermin, and that were so abunda nt ove r
was largely unwritt en kno wledge, but it repre- time. Rabbit s have becom e pests compara- flight is always spectacular, and Mark the early peri od of this analys is - like the
sented a time when an instinct for natur e tively recentl y, swapping places with spec ies Cocker's account in Birds Britannica lapwin g, skylark and common partridge -
rivalled that now confin ed to indigenou s com- like wild cat and pine marten - curr ent red- (rev iewe d in the TLS, Decemb er 9, 2005 ) are in declin e which not eve n Clare
munities in Afri ca, Asia, the Am ericas and list ca uses celebres. Introduced to Britain by captures its mastery perfectly with the wo rd could have fo reseen. Lovegrove has a final
the Pacifi c. the Normans, knowledge of rabbit s' reprodu c- "languid" . Cocker also lists oth er form er section in which he reviews a whole series
Underlining Lovegro ve' s book is a patient tive capacit ies meant that their wa rrens were names, "glede" or "glead" (from the Saxon of curr ent issues, including the rolling
study of pari sh records . (Scotland is excluded first confined to offshore island s (another for "glide"), and notes that kites we re once so red-grouse-mo or-versus-hen-harrier conser-
from the analys is, and has a separate chapter demon stration of changing times, given the common as to enter local place names, such vation debate, and the Hunting with Dogs
devoted to killin g there, including a section massive efforts now dedicated to eradicating as Gleadthorpe in Nor thamptonshire. Clare 's Act.
on the "wanton slaughter by English ' sports- "a liens" like cats, hedgeho gs and rats from "paddock" , a variant of oth er colloquial The most moving point , however, lies at the
men ' in the nineteenth ce ntu ry".) Writin g in many of tho se same island s). As land-h ased nam e s, "p uttoc k" and "p uddock", was also heginnin g of Silent Field." befor e the story
1768, Robert Smith described stoats as wa rrens we re es tablished, often by monastic used for buzzard, the origin s of which Co cker really unfold s. Lovegrove' s dedic ation is
"prone to wanton killin g" , and in the Co rnish communities, rabbit s disper sed and colo- says are obscur e. longer than many, and he rememb ers a friend ,
coa stal pari sh of Mor wen stow, Thom as nized with predict able success. They were Th ese days it is comm onpl ace to see red Fred Farrell, "w ith whom I spent the jo yous
Trumble specialized in killin g these rem ark- soo n an important source of food (and kites on the wing clo se to the reintroduction years of youth roamin g the hills, marshes,
able little mammals, takin g thirt y-four in incom e) to the poor ; so naturally a dim view sites ove r, for instanc e, the M4 . Such new- fields and woods of Cumberland". If Roger
1694. Am azin gly, game keepers on the was taken of their native predators, such as generation kites whee l lazily ove r "John Lovegro ve' s lessons are to be learned, then we
Elveden Estate in Suffolk accounted for fo xes and buzzards. Rabbit s were an asse t Clare country" . Clare "bemoaned its loss at need to see the story spun as emblematic of a
8,883 in the decade beginnin g 1920. Num- worth protectin g too. David Di mbleby ' s the hand of Man in 1830", and by the time he far wider crisis. We need to return nature to
bers like these pepp er Silent Fields and are a opening BBC flagship episode for How We was buri ed in his beloved Help ston pari sh in the heart of our culture, to the centre of com-
con stant source of surprise . Fro m Elspeth Built Britain visited the robust and we ll- 1864 , kite numb er s were in free fall. Only in munities. This can only really happen if the
Veale's semina l 1966 study , The English Fur fortifi ed The tford Warrener' s Lodge. They 1903, when memb ers of the Briti sh Ornith olo- rich mosa ic of nature that Cumbria repre-
Trade, eme rges parall el evid enc e of excess meant significant money for land owners. gists ' Club form ed a Kite Co mmittee, did the sented a working life ago is secured for all of
killin g in pursuit of regal finery. Henr y VIII All the species account s are fascin atin g. climb from a low of five pairs towards us - in all our backyards, our parishes.

TLS AUGUST 2 4 & 3 1 2 0 07


NATURAL SCIENCE 27

Threads of light A dwarf by


any name
M
ovement defin es the life and art TlM D E E natur e, as we ll as his liberal sympathies
of John James Audubon. Al most for the Na tive A merican s (an d adm iration
all of the bird s illu strated in the R ich ard Rhod e s , e di t or for their "talents of the highest ord er" and
famou s 435 plat es of The Birds of America appa rent harmoniou s coex iste nce with their P ET ER COL ES
are doin g something : alighting or fightin g, T H E AUDUB ON REA DER wor ld) are striking .
feedin g or breedin g. Win gs are rai sed , tail s 656pp. Everyman's Library. $27.50. Extrac ts from Aud ubo n's Ornitho logica l
978 I 4000 43699 D a vid A . W eintr aub
fann ed, beaks ope n. Hardl y a sing le bird is Biography make up the bulk of The Reader
show n side-on in what had been, for exa m- and its most interestin g sec tions. No mor e I S PL UTO A P LANET?
ple, Tho mas Bew ick's con venti on born of So methi ng of Audubon' s life on the move than ten pages each, these are energe tic, char- A historical jo urney through the solar system
necessit y (dead bird s dr awn in a studio) or ge ts into his paintin gs, and The Audubon acterfu l ess ays full of obse rva tions and - 254pp . Princeton University Press. $27.95 ; distrib-
what was to becom e the standar d fun cti on al Reader has him on the go thro ugh out. The o nce aga in - movement. There is very littl e uted in the UK by John Wiley & Sons, 16.95.
978 069 1 123486
field- guid e illu stration as pion eered by fir st essay, abo ut "Pewee Flyca tchers" (now ornitholog ica l writing as goo d as thi s, and
Audubon ' s compatriot Ro ger Tory Peterson call ed eas tern pho ebes), has A udubo n's Audubon deser ves to be better kno wn ; it
John Gribbi n
(ide ntifica tion features highli ght ed in a plate descripti on of the first-ever ringin g of a bird com es clo se to makin g him an American
of related species). The Audubon Reader, in North Am erica, when he tied " light silve r G ilbert Whit e. Espec ially fascinatin g are THE UN IVERSE
edited by Rich ard Rhodes, reprod uces six- thread" aro und the leg of a breedin g fly- Au dub on ' s acco unts of no w-exti nct or super- A biography
teen of A udubo n's wa terco lours , and in only cat cher to see if it returned the next spring. It rare bird s: the ivor y-bill ed woodpec ker, 256pp. Allen Lane. 20.00.
one of these has movement appare ntly 97807 1399857 3
stopped : tellin gly, this is the portr ait of the
least bitt ern , a me mber of a famil y of bird s f the Sun we re the size of a go lf ball , then
known for their frozen postures. Audubon
cl aim ed that one of the bittern s in thi s plate,
which came to him havin g fallen down a
I the Earth wo uld be a spec k of du st, a few
metres from it, but the near est star would
be hund reds of kilom etres away. And thi s is
chimney in C incinnati, stoo d "per fec tly still what it is like in the relati vely crow ded env i-
for two hou rs" on a table as he drew it. ronm ent of the Mi lky Way. The unim agina-
The Au dubon Reader is conc ern ed with ble sca le of o ur Unive rse means that as tro-
Audubon ' s words, but here, too , action is all. nom y has never really becom e an ex perimen -
Hi s writings are fluid , for ever registering the tal science , but has largely rem ained an obser -
diffi cult y of man ' s mo vem ent across the land vational one, havin g mor e in co mmo n with,
and sea , and co ntras ting it with the wo nder ful say, archaeo logy than chem istry or other labo-
and apparently effortless flight of his beloved ratory -base d discipl ines. Conseq uently, eve n
birds. The last piece that Richard Rhodes thou gh it is perh aps the oldest science, it is
includes is the introduction to Audu bon ' s last also in some respects the least matu re. Th e
vo lume of the Ornithologica l Biography , the abse nce of the traditional interplay between
supporting text for The Birds of Am erica. theory and experime nt, the inability to per-
Audubon recou nts, or invent s, a dream: for m repeated ex perime nts und er slightly dif-
The sky was serene, the air perfum ed and ferent cond itions, and the sheer difficulty of
thousa nds of melodious notes from birds all measuring anything at all have stunted its
unkn own to me urged me to ar ise and go in developm ent co mpare d to yo unge r field s.
pursuit of those beautiful and happy crea tures. For thi s reason, one oft en find s in astro no my
Then I would find myself furnished with large cert ain tend encies that other subjec ts have
and powerful wi ngs and, cleaving the air like largely grow n out of, such as a mania for
an eagle, I would fly off and by a few joyous cl assification and nom enclature. Ta xon om y
bounds overtake the objects of my desi re . has its place within the scientific method :
Awake an d gro unded, it was n' t so easy, and modern chem istry owes much to Dmitri
the lett ers, essays and jou rnals gathe red in Mend eleev' s peri odic table ; botany co uld not
The Audubon Reader recor d the arti st ' s The Roseate Spoonbill (1836) by John James Audubon have prog ressed witho ut Linn aeu s; and the
strugg les with natur e and with men. Wh ere theory of evo lution was found ed on Darwin' s
the "Pinnated Gro use" (grea ter prairi e did: migra tion was bein g unloc ked . On only amazi ng ly rediscovered in Arkansas in 2004, painstak ing studies on the Ga lapag os Island s.
chicke n) goes "s coorn ing over the undul atin g two or three occasions does the beaut y of whose Old M aster plumage prompts But arra ng ing thin gs in groups and giving
gro und" , A udubo n has to trud ge. bird s lead Audubon to nod toward s the Audubon to ca ll out when he sees one, "there them nam es does not in itself constitute scien-
America is mostl y pathl ess, and has "s ublime Creator of all"; nor is there mu ch goes a Vandy ke!": the Caro lina para kee t, tific pro gress, no matte r how sys tematica lly it
mosquitoes, ice, and stor ms; on the prairie, speculation about other forces opera ting in which can be "easily tamed by being fre- is don e. The grea t ex perime ntal physici st
"buffalo gnats" bite so viciously Audubon natur e. The stro nges t sense is of the grea t qu entl y immersed in water", a flock of whic h Lord Ruth erford dismi ssed thi s kind of activ-
has to put his horse into a pantomim e-li ke plenitude of thin gs o ut there that mu st be look like "a brilli antl y colored ca rpet"; the ity as not sc ience but " stamp coll ectin g" .
pyj am a suit to prot ect it; the same hor se falls see n, collec ted, draw n, bar rell ed in ru m, Eskimo curlew, which "fee ds on berri es it Thi s brings us to the gran d de bate that
fro m und er him "a-groaning piteou sly" as it salted in a box (a caribou like thi s is procures with a rapidity equalled only by that took place in Prag ue last summe r under the
detect s the arrival of an earthq uake . Makin g requ ested ), or fetch ed back alive. Audubon ' s of the Passenger Pigeon " ; and the passenge r ausp ices of the Intern atio nal Astronomi cal
business is even more exasperating: there are under standin g of the pot enti al to co nve rt thi s pigeon itself. In his essay on the latter, Union, and which provid es the co ntex t for
ag itated j ourn eys to and from Brit ain to raise raw materia l into mon ey run s through out , but Audubon writes lyricall y of the midd ay sun David A. Weint raub' s book Is Pluto a Planet?
subsc ribe rs; ri val s tr y to befri end Auduhon it never destro ys his natur ali st ' s wo nde r: he bein g "obscured as by an eclipse" by the The probl em hefore the IAll Ge neral Assem-
onl y to pinch his materi al ; the postal system is a business-minded tra nscen dent ali st: " I vas tness of their flock s; but he also does bly was what to do about the fac t that recen t
is useless ("w hen will the flamin goes peeped into their nest an d saw there their his sc ience and ca lculates that pigeon s investigations have revealed the prese nce of a
come???"). But Audubon emerges from first egg, so white and so tran sparent - for I killed in New York with undi gested rice numb er of obje cts orbitin g the Sun that are
these thickets into a clearing, a one-ma n believe, reader, that eggs soo n lose thi s pecu- in their crops co uld only have ea ten that osten sibly as worthy of the nam e "planet" as
indu strial dyn amo , a yo ung Am erican alive liar transparency after bein g laid - that to me food in Ge org ia or Ca rolina , and so are able Pluto, which in our curre nt textbo ok s is the
in an old Ede n. Flatt ered and wea ried by turn the sight was more pleasan t than if I had met to fly "one mile in a minut e" . Such observa- ninth one out. Ob viou sly, which objec ts
on his trips to Britain (in "infernal smoky with a diamo nd of the same size " . Because he tion s on the passen ger pigeo n's spee d of should be called plan ets depend s on how yo u
Lond on ", he has "the blu es with a venge- made his business in the wild, he knew, as he flight have a poign ancy now that Aud ubo n defin e what a plane t is. The solar system co n-
ance" but also audiences with roya lty) , he tramp ed thi s Ede n, it was on the po int of dis- could not have predi cted : tain s obje cts of all shapes and sizes, from tiny
lon gs to ge t back to A merica to "ransack" , as app earin g. He is not so precocious as to When an individual is seen gliding through the astero ids to imm ense gas giants such as Jupi-
he put it, the wo ods, lakes and prairies. In implicate him self in the coming traged y, but woods and close to the observe r it passes like a ter and Saturn . Wh ere should one dr aw the
Labr ador , he draws for seve ntee n and a ha lf his early co nse rvation-minded writings , his tho ught and on trying to see it aga in the eye line? The or iginal pro posa l was to increase the
hours a day on board a pitching shi p. under standin g of the indu stri alization of sea rches in vain; the bird is go ne. numb er of planets to twelve by admitting

TLS AUGUST 24 & 3 1 2 007


28 SCIENCE

some lowly new memb ers to the club , but in formati on than the few objec ts that happ en to researched acco unt of the ongoing strugg le refut ation has emerged a cosmol ogical frame-
the end the lA U decided to demote Pluto to have form ed in our parti cular vicinity, so to establish the credenti als of solar-sys tem work that acco unts, at least in a broad-bru sh
the status of a "dwarf ' planet thu s restrictin g why are they excluded from the definiti on? research as a truly scientific disciplin e. sense, for how the Universe is co nstructed
the numb er of true planets to eight. Thi s was a In any case , what have we learned scientifi- At the other end of the distance scale of and how it is evolving . There are some impor-
controve rsial decision, at least in the United cally from the new nomencl atur e? Pluto is astronomical investigation lies cos mo logy , tant gaps, and the precise nature of many of
States, because the vital vote was taken on the still the sa me object that it was before August the scientific study of the Universe as a its constituents is yet to be under stood , but the
last day of the meeting when most of the 200 6, and astron om ers still don 't und erstand whole. The sca le of the so lar sys tem is chal- establishment of the "concordance model" is
US delegates had to take flights home. what one can infer from its ow n particul ar lenging enough, but the co smos is really big. a sign that cos mo logy has come of age .
Pluto was discovered by an Am eric an, Clyde prop erti es about the general process of planet Until recentl y, cosmology was so lackin g in In The Universe : A biograp hy, Joh n
Tomb augh, in 1930, so the decision deprived form ation. Is it a plan et? Who cares? In this reliable obse rvational input that it was Gribbin poses a series of basic questions
the nation of its only planet-di scoverer. case there reall y is nothin g in a name. thought of as a flaky offshoot of astronomy, about the nature of the cosmos: " How did the
The "no" decision hinged on the ado ption Despit e his title, Weint raub does not allow more a branch of metaph ysics than a proper Unive rse begin?" , "What is it that hold s the
of three criteria: that the object be round , i.e. his book to get bogged down by this pett y scientific disciplin e, a paradi se for theoreti- Unive rse together ?" , "Where did the chem i-
have a shape determin ed by internal grav ita- terminological dispute. In fact, he pro vides cians whose wildes t speculations stood no ca l elements co me from ?" ; and so on. In
tional forces; that it should have cleared its a very nice histori cal survey of the develop- chance of ever being tested with real measure- answe ring these, he takes care not to present
own orbit of debris; and that it should be orbit- ment of our understandin g of our solar ment s. Ove r the past twenty years or so, how- eve rything as fact , but to elucidate the some-
ing our ow n star, the Sun . No ne of these has system, from ancient times to the modern era eve r, staggering adva nces in astron omic al times bizarre proc esses throu gh which cur-
any spec ial scientific value; the resultin g of high-technology observation s and space instrum ent ation have allowe d astronomers to rent under standin g has emerged and what
decision was therefor e pretty arbitrary . More- probes. This field has generally been regarded prob e the darkest depths of space, capturing pieces are still missing from the puzzle. John
ove r, deep- space observation s have led to the as part of astronomy, but it has now ceded light that has travelled for almos t 14 billion Gribbin writes with a lucidit y few science
discovery of literally hundred s of planetlik e some of its territo ry to planetary scientists who years on its way towards us. Theories are now writers ca n match , so eve n if the material is
objec ts orbitin g other stars. These exoplanets are more likely to belong to geop hysica l socie- so tightl y constrained by these observations famil iar to armch air cos mo logists, it is a tale
offer much grea ter pro spects for scientific ties than to the IAU. David Weintraub has pro- that there is very little room for manoeuvre. we ll told. He eve n discu sses planets, but does
progress into the gene ral theor y of plan et duced a balanced, accessi ble and thoroughl y Fro m this interplay between conjectur e and not was te time on whether Pluto is one.

-----------------------~-----------------------

n 1932, a gro up of mainly Europea n phys- one or the other dependin g on the tools you

I icists gathered in Co penhage n, as they


had done eve ry spring since 1929 , to
discu ss the fund ament al natu re of matt er. It
Making waves use to detect them.
Thi s compromise so lution has satisfied
physicists ever since, yet it is so mind-
was the ce ntenary of the death of Johann G EORGI NA FE R R Y Other s entered a Fa ustian pact with their numbin gly counter-intuitive that it rem ain s
Wolfgang von Goe the and, in hon our of that gove rnments and put their dangerou s new tant alizin gly beyond the gras p of those to
rem arkable polymath , the younger partici- Gin o S e g r e knowledge to work in the lab s at Los Alamos whom the beautiful equations that describ e it
pant s decid ed to base the theatric al skit that and Berlin . At the sa me time "big science" , are so much Greek. Seg re avoids all equa-
traditi onall y ended the conference on his play FAUST I N C OPENHAGEN invol ving vas t team s working at factor y- tions apart from E=mc', and writes with an
Faust. Th eir elders, all genially caricatured in A strugg le for the so ul of phys ics sized, atom-smashing faciliti es, began to take accessibl e, narrati ve sty le. Ho wever, instead
the perform ance, were the T itans who had 3 1Opp. Cape. 20. ove r from indi vidu als with blackboards, and of presentin g a strictly chronological
9780224072564
caused a seismic shift in their subjec t in the the United States to ec lipse Europe as the account , he ranges back and forth in time as
previous two decades, ove rturning the New to- D ani el K enn ef ick main source of energy in the field . he highli ght s indi vidu al biographi es, so that
nian cert aint y of eternally orbiting spheres What happened in the yea rs after 1932 is the uniniti ated may well have difficulty fol-
and replacin g it with a theor y - quantum T RA VEL ING AT THE SPEE D O F not Segres main concern. Wh at interests him lowin g the train of ideas fro m Ruth erford ' s
mech anic s - so arcane that eve n today few TH OUGHT is the intellectual net work that linked a do zen descripti on of the atom in 1913 to the " mira-
Einstein and the quest forgravitational waves
claim full y to und erstand it. Central to this or so rem ark able think er s durin g the fir st cle year" of 1932. Gino Segres non-lin ear
3 19pp. Princeton University Press. 22.95 (US $35).
group was Niels Bohr , the Dane whose insti- three decades of the twenti eth ce ntury . A approach entails repeatedl y reminding us of
9780 69 1 11272 0
tute hosted the meetin g, a man of piercin g theoretical physicist him self , and neph ew to the date and of the rel ative ages of his main
intuition allied with a generos ity and human- a Nobe l Pri zewinn er who began his career prot agoni sts, which can become wea ring.
ity that mad e him a father figur e to subse- its innocence. The neutro n, discovered ju st on the edge of this charmed circle , Segre Alb ert Einstein was not at the 1932 meet-
quent ge neratio ns o f physic ists . tw o mo nths before the c o nfe rence, w ithin adeptly sketches the perso na l characteristics ing, though the skit rep rese nted him as
G ino Segre , in Faust in Copenhagen , a few yea rs had opened the way to nuclea r that made these men and wo men grea t scien- Goethes " King", trailin g his annoy ing but
locates this gathering at the mom ent when fission and the construc tion of a wea pon so tists. Most valuably, he shows that eve n irrelevant "pet fleas" - his attempts to unit e
theoretical physics, until then an exe rc ise in deadly that some physicists rejected the sub- within a single narrow field , scientists repre- electromag netism with grav ity. Einstein's
pure thou ght buttr essed by experiment, lost jec t they had loved and switched to biology. sent the full range of hu man var iability, field theor y of grav ity predicted that ju st as
and that much creativity in science deriv es waves had pro ved a fruitful analogy for the
from the ten sion s that ar ise where different transmi ssion of electromag netic radi ation,
appro aches collide . grav itational field s would entail grav itationa l

Have you The socially awkward Paul Dirac, the only


British member of the group, had a mind so
logical that only perfect math ematics would
satisfy him. Lise Meitner was a skilled experi-
waves . The probl em is that while we have
made numerou s devices that detect and
exploit the ex istence of electro magn etic
waves , grav itational waves have to date

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menter, able to ground the wilder ideas of the
theorists in reality. Plump , sarcastic and hedon-
istic Wolfga ng Pauli (represe nted in the skit as
Mephi stopheles) was respected by all for his
eluded detect ion. Since the 1960 s, seve ral
"big science" facilit ies have been built with
the so le purpo se of glimpsing these spectres ,
and bets taken on when they will show them-
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3.5 0 per co py within the UK and 5. 00 ove rseas (please note that not all iss ues are available ). launched quantum mechanics while recove r- In Traveling at the Speed of Thought,
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An index of all past issues is available at www.ocsmedia.netltls North Sea island of Heligolan d; later the same insider' s acco unt of a scie ntific phenomenon
year, Erwin Schroedinger developed the equa- that more or less eve ryone in the field
tions of wave mechanics on an illicit wee kend believes to ex ist, yet no one has ever see n.
with a mistress in the opulent Alpin e resort of Thi s is a scho larly contribution to the
Arosa. Heisenberg saw the fund amental units histor y of twenti eth- century physics, not a
of the quantum world as particl es, Schroed- popular introduction. Yet like Gin o Segres
inger as waves . It was Bohr - the Lord in the Faust in Copenhagen , it provides a rare
Faust story - who sat in j udge ment and came insight into the tension in physics bet ween
up with what is known as the Cope nhage n the abstrac t rea lity that emerges from
Interp retation : the idea that quanta are neither mathematics , and the wa rm body of natur e
waves nor particl es, but appear to be either that we can see and touch .

TLS AUGUST 24 & 3 1 2 0 07


PO ETRY 29

ick La ird's first co llect ion, To a absenc e of apparent wo rk on the part of the

N Fault, received a num ber of awards .


On the show ing of his seco nd, On
Purpose, thi s seems mos t attributable to the
Other sins poet: the seq uence, "The Under wood No. 4",
is dram aticall y satisfyi ng, eve n funn y, as it
develop s a wry se lf-aw areness in the course
fact that his wor k so we ll exemplifies a cer- A P R I L W A R M AN of its tenuou s atte mpts to make the solidi ty of
tain strand in co ntem porary (and ge nera lly the epo nymo us typewrit er, "something dead
yo ung me n's) poetry. Nic k L ai rd and centred" , guara ntee a corr esponding sta-
A defining fe atur e of such poe try is a sur- bilit y in marriage. Oth er exceptions are less
face eschewal of significa nce, a deliberate flat- O N P URP O S E creditable. A note tell s us that " Lipstick" is
ness. So me poem s in On Purpose are en tirely 65pp. Faber. Paperback, 8.99. based on the diary of a Brit ish so ldier at
inconsequ ential ; some have con sequ entiality 978057 1237388 the liberated Belsen; it treats an incident
thru st upon them in the form of abrup tly por- fro m thi s (the writer's horr or at fem ale
tentou s last lines ("T he brok en lamp . The the Grea t, I coun sellor to Nec tarius", in case inmates' unseemly avidity for lipstick )
book s on the floor" ; "a nd from the right , word- yo u didn't kn ow) who identifi ed an eighth with unu sually profo und attention (eve n
lessly, came Death" ); many includ e subjec t deadl y sin, "s adness " . La ird also shares with relis h), but does not show awa reness of ,
matter of some significa nce, but with a listless his co ntem poraries a predil ection for writing let alone disco mfort with, its fund ament al
lack of engagement that eva des substantial in the seco nd per son: oft en the poem s' voye urism. Laird's reli ance on eso terica
utterance. The book' s first poem , "Conversa- addressee is clearl y located as the other half (the diary becom es, in his hand s, a scaven -
tion" , begins by ges turing toward s a stor my of the diffi cult relations hip that dominates ge r's troph y), and his fondn ess for the
relations hip ("Y ou can' t believe the kind of the vo lume ; elsew here, ho wever, such decl a- thu mping last line (on this occasion the
thin g I my kind go on about") , and en ds in rations as, " You have to take the seco nd left I artfully sensationa list, "who' s colour ed in
shoc king brut alit y ("they gutted a ma n like a to find yo urse lf, lost, of course, I in a haml et the colour of her screa ms"), becom e, in this
suckling pig I and beat him to death with with one phon e box" , reac h ou t, patro nis- mi sery: cont ext, pro blems on an ethica l, as we ll as
sewe r rod s"), but the conn ection of the two, ingly, to implicate anyo ne and eve ryo ne in Lately the tablets are making no difference. aesthetic, level.
and what might be bein g said about either, the book' s insistence that life is fundame n- I have started to cry during adverts again, On Purpose takes as an epigraph the pro-
rem ains reso lutely unclear. The hope or expec- tally, predictably, unsati sfactory. and dogs in particular set me off like a drain. test, " I believe in dem on strati on s" ; dem on-
tation see ms to be that readers wi ll see all the Laird is less typical in occas ionally adve rt- But if these factors raise the stakes for stration is, however, prec ise ly what much of
more in such writing because it purpor ts to do ing to possibl e ratio nales for the collecti on ' s anyo ne inclin ed to doubt the value of the the book lacks. Lar ge areas of mat erial are
so little. lifelessness. One is the suggestion, present in po etr y, they do not really infor m the work ges tured towards, an interest in them dispas-
This kind of poetry can be techn ically very "Conversation", that a damagin g Northern they might claim to validate. The unremit- sio nate ly signalled, but any meanin g the poet
able. Laird produces so me goo d images like Irish upbrin ging might somehow lie behi nd tingly ton eless (sometimes pompous) dict ion intend s to sugges t throu gh or abo ut them is
the "cloud-shadow graz ing I on hayfield s and the poem s' refu sal to co mmunicate (in of the po em s mean s that inf orm ation as to rarely demonstrated. We are left to wor k it
A -roa ds" , lines which also sugges t his skill in " Scouts", a "tin I of biscuit s packed with factor s behind their flatness rem ain s simply out for ourse lves; and Laird has taken a risk
drawing poems togeth er throu gh struc tures of Serntex" fleetin gly material izes, without that: it fail s to transform lack of animation in writing poem s so flat that they se ldom pro-
unobtrusive co nso nance and asso nance . makin g an impression on the rest of the into convincing dr amatiz ation of miser y. mise to reward the effort.
A nother famil iar featur e is a dabbli ng in poem). Anoth er appears in the collec tion's Violence and depr ession see m indi cated to
eso terica, as if far-f etched fact s might co m- spo radic indication s of a dep ressi ve writer: lend a serious we ight to the poetr y, which
pe nsate for lack of substa nce : "N umber 8" Evag rius 's "sadness" pro vides a hint ea rly in itself lacks the sustai ned developm ent that
pro ffers by way of interest the discovery of the volume; by "Offensive Strategy", in the would ea rn thi s.
English Association
o ne Ev agrius ("favo ured adherent of Basil fin al seq uence, we are hit with full- on There are exceptions to thi s frus trating Fellows' Poetry Prize
-----------------~,-----------------

2007
How long can this last? Panel of Judges

"D on' t ca ll out to the sha pe o n the dark


stree t," advises the Americ an poe t
J A N E Y EH tural an d gold". The last adjec tive seems ran -
domly chose n, bearin g no discernibl e rela-
John Hegley
Robert Hampson
Carol Rumens
Dana Goo dyear in a poem abo ut D an a G o od y e ar tion to the rest of the poem. Elsew here, she
supe rstitions for warding off bad luck. The dub s the pupil of an eye "a disapp earance
HO NE Y AN D J U NK 1st Prize: 500
om ino us sha pe is, of co urse , a fig ure for bag, I a dark hood for the hangin g, I port abl e,
death, and it' s dea th that shadows mo st of the 80pp. Norton. Paperback, 8.99. and light in its own way" . The inexactn ess
2nd Prize: 300
poe ms in th is de but co llec tion. 978 0 393 329032 of such images wea kens Goodyea r's 3rd Prize: 200
Goodyear dissects the after effec ts of loss, work, lea vin g the poem s to gesture towards
whether that of her parents or a partne r, with eve ntual fadin g-away of her ow n ang uish; meaning rath er than achiev ing it. Entries are invited for the
a clini cal pen, writing in a cli pped, plain- eve n in the throes of grief, Go odyea r impli c- And while her unsentiment al approach to Association's 2007 Poetry Prize
spoke n lan gu age that see ms designed to itly realises, she can' t keep mourning her the loss of loved ones shows a refreshing Competition. Entry is limited to UK
deflect sentimentality . (Even when recount- father for ever. " How long ca n thi s last" restraint, ove r the course of the collecti on the residents aged 16 and over,
ing her drea ms, as she does frequ entl y, she becom es at once a cry of pain and a rueful effec t is less self-effac ing than self-co ngra tu- entries (maximum 30 lines) must
sounds notabl y det ached , more obse rve r than acce ptance of loss. lator y. In an ars poetica of an as ide, she be in English and should not have
particip ant. ) The spareness of Good year' s Go odyea r's memories of famil y life are ex plains , "Pan, as yo u know, I is a radio sig- been previously published.
style neatly match es the mood of "Pine", a also co mpe lling ly dr awn. In a series of nal for distress. I Deadp an, then, is wha t you
qui et poem of mourning that depict s a wintry poems on her yo uth, she rec all s, "M other' s ge t I when yo u have no other cho ice". The Further details, entry fees and
land scape. A tree is a "skeleton" that "shrugs vac uuming, a black hole, kn ow ing I nothi ng deadpan tone of her poe try , she insists, is not forms available from
and point s all ways" ; "the elk descend, I the happen s here. Her eyes hadow a gibbous ca use d by a lack of feelin g, but the op posi te; The English Association
stars pull back into thei r holes". Goo dyear moon " . The author 's father was "an athlete, were she to give in to grief, she would be
University of Leicester
allows such images to stand as subtle dislocated" , while she herse lf was "q uiet as a over whelm ed by it. Goodyears coo lly under-
University Road
correlatives for her grief over her father' s can of worms". The ex treme concision and stated res po nse to life' s disas ters see ms
unemotional ton e em ploye d throughout mod elled on that of Dorothy Parker, like
Leicester LE1 7RH
death , with only the tree ' s imagin ary vo ice to
hint at the sho ck of death ' s ar riva l: " When ? I Honey and Junk here succee d in sum moning her self a New Yorker staff writer. The last
You never know". In "Message" , the author an en tire childhoo d throu gh the briefest of sec tion of Honey and Junk includes seve ral Tel: 01162523982
listens to her father ' s voice on an answering descripti on s - yea rs of di sapp ointment and Par ker-es que poem s that cas t a j aded eye on engassoc@leicester .ac.uk
machin e, the preciou s last remn ant of his alienation, co nde nsed into a few sho rt lines. mod ern-day urb anites and their ways: "There www.le.ac.uk/engassoc/fpp.html
living presence . "How long ca n this last," she Man y of the poem s, thou gh , fail to make as are men down stair s who thin k I that gin's a
wo nders , wor rying that the reco rding w ill much imp act , thei r sy mbo lism rema ining too breakfast drink". Th ese tales of summer holi- Closing date for entries
degrade or erase itself after a fixed period - cryptic or inward to be mov ing. In a poem day hou se-shares and meanin gless coup lings , 31 December 2007
" I' ve heard they build the obso lesce nce in" . abo ut clearin g away her fath er' s effec ts, while pith y an d acc ura te, are ultim ately as
Th e recordin g' s imper manence mirrors the Goodyear writes, "My lungs run , sick and gut- superficial as the charac ters they satirize.

TLS AUGUST 24 & 3 1 2007


30 PHILOSOPHY

here is, Ma lco lm Schofi eld says, a eac h other if the city itself made sure that it

T "curious paradox": that while the


invention and practice of democracy is
the greatest legacy of ancie nt Greece to
The city prefect had not j ust an educational sys tem, but an
entire cultura l enviro nment designed with the
single-mi nded aim of fosterin g virtue and the
modern politi cal thought, most of the reflec- desire to become a ' perfect citi zen " '. Plato ' s
tions on politi cs that surv ive are critical of it. JO N A TH A N L E AR life, Plato thinks, is a vain and petty farce. beautiful city, the kallipolis , is a brilli ant , dis-
Although it does not strike me as paradoxical Socrates ' trial and dea th was, Scho field grun tled Athenian's imaginati ve construction
that the best minds of an age should be M alc ol m Sc ho fie l d says , "the defi ning cataclysm shaping Plato 's of an ideali zed Spartan other.
attuned to the faultli nes of a politi cal system emotional and intellec tual outlook", and it set I am least persuaded by Schofie ld's inter-
und er pressure, it cert ainly is curious. And PLATO for him "the ulti mate probl em of politi cs: its pretation of tho se aspects of Plato' s po litical
Schofie ld's Plato: Political ph ilosophy does Political philosophy need for a rationality it rejec ts". Plato 's "fun- theory that we find most alien. Consider, for
a mas terful jo b in brin ging Plato' s critique of 394pp. Oxford University Press. 55: paperback, dament al charge aga inst democracy" is that it exa mple, what Schofield, foll owin g others,
democracy into view. The book is eve ry- 18.99 (US $99: paperbac k, $35). fails to provide an adequate ro le for wisdom ca lls the No ble Lie. It is a noble pseudos,
9780 19 92496 19
where thoughtful and judicious; it is wide - in gove rnmen t. Instead, it turn s to the igno- which can also be tra nslated as a "fa lsehood"
ra nging and often illu min atin g. At a time rant opinions of the man y. Plato is sca thing or "untruth" ; so in calling it a lie Schofield
when the world has had to suffer an ill- from that which is studied by modern eco nom- about their ability to turn the mean ing of val- wa nts to emphas ize that Plato thi nks it
thought-out attempt to export democracy, ics and rational choice theory - that pursue ue-wor ds upside-down. Politi cians will be necessary to deceive eve n the best people in
there is reaso n to look aga in at a contrar ian's essen tially different kind s of obje cts? For ca lled wise when they figur e out clever ways the best po lis. But when we look to the
view of democrac y ' s ability to make good Hum e and Sm ith, reason is a ca lculative fac- to tell the popul ace what it wants to hear. content of the Noble Lie it seems like a
deci sions and to live by them . Plato' s Repub- ulty whose task is to figure out means to Plato ca lled it feeding the beast. Publi c child's tale, containing in allegorica l for m
lic was meant to be read aga inst the grai n. It satisfy one 's desires. For Plato, that is wha t deb ate and speec h-ma king will degenerat e beliefs whic h the Socra tes of the Republic
impu gned the democ racy in which it was writ- reaso n will look like to those brought up in into, as Schofield puts it, "a device for flatt er- took to be true. There is an autoc hthono us
ten; more radically, it impu gned the very idea myth of ances tors eme rging from the ear th -
of dem ocracy as a way of life in which which need mean no more than that we are
hum an happi ness is possibl e. (me taphorica lly) rooted in this land -
For Plato, one ca nnot und erstand po litics foll owed by a myth of metals meant to ju stify
unless one gras ps the natur e and structure of a socia l stra tifica tion of classes. Such a view
hum an desire. Politi cal scie ntists must thu s may be politi call y repugna nt today, but
be students of the hum an soul: for one can not this most likely expressed a view that Plato
und erstand the problem of demo cracy if one since rely held: that there were innate differ-
sticks to the rhetoric of its self-understa nding ences amo ng hum ans that ju stifi ed their
in terms of equality and freedom. On e needs being in different classes.
to see these values as und erwritin g, and giv- Socra tes makes it clear that he doesn 't
ing licence to, a for m of human desire which thin k that adults told the story will believe it
Plato ca lled appetite. In fact, he has a diffi cult for a moment, but it will have an effect on
time telli ng us what appet itive desire is. He childre n. Why think of this as a lie,
picks it out via paradig m instances - hun ger, when the spea ker takes it to be allegorica l
thir st, sex ual desire - but then goes on to say and believes the underlying meanin gs?
that this are na is multiform and thu s, strictly Give n that Plato thought that one needed to
spe aking, lacks a name adequate to it. It communicate with children via stor ies and
co mes to be know n as the mon ey-loving or allegories that they did not full y grasp as
profit-l oving part of the soul, Plato tells us, such, why isn't the "Noble Lie" an attem pt to
because appetites are most easi ly satisfied by co mmunicate the truth in age -appropriate
money . But, as Schofie ld explains, the fact form? Plato does say , as Schofie ld poin ts out,
that appetite ca n transfer desire from its origi- that a useful pseudos ca n be used as a dru g
nal objects onto that which can purchase (pharmakon) , and thu s must be adm inis tered
them sets us up for psyc hic co nflict and po lit- with care by the experts . But the fac t that
ical confus ion. Psych ic all y, if o ne co mes to falsehood has to be adm inistered carefully
develop an appet ite for money, one will tend does not impl y that the falsehoo d is a lie.
to be re luctant to spend it on the thin gs that To give a salient exa mple: Republic 11 and
would gratify other appetites . And since one III are devoted to purging literature of
of the hallmarks of hum an appetite is a certa in damaging falsehoods, but there is no
tendency towards insatiabilit y, one should evi dence that the poetic fict ion s that survive
expe ct a money -lover to be pulled powe rfully are delib erate deceptions.
in di sparate direction s. Polit ically, as It is notoriously the case that the
Schofield puts it, "given the social freedo m philoso pher-rulers of the beautiful cit y will
to do as one likes, what people in genera l will rig the sex ual po litics so that the best and
do under a democ racy is the thin g money brightest will get to mate with each other,
gives them the ca pacity to do - satisfy their while the losers will think they have lost at a
appetites". Beca use appet ite is multifarious, lottery. This is decept ion and it deserves to be
democracy will in fact be a co ngeries of ca lled a lie. But even here there is some trut h
people pur suing different ways of life acc ord- in what the losers are bein g told: they are
ing to disparate appe titive co nceptions of the "An Inter esting Mov em ent to be Inaugurated in Our Parks in Spring to Lightly Turn losers; they have lost at life ' s lottery. Better
goo d life. Plato liken s it to shopping for con - Young Men's Fancies to Thoughts oflntellectual Development" (1923) by William Heath luck in your next incarnation ! There is no
stitutio ns in a market. Rohinson ; from Heath Robinson 's Helpful Solutions hy Simon Hen eag e (I 44pp. Cartoon evidence in the Repu bl ir that the philosopher-
Of course, the mode rn liberal democrat Museum, 35 Little Ru ssell St, London W C lA 2HH. 14.99. 978 0 9537263 4 9) rulers will have to tell what Socrates ca lls a
will applaud such an outco me. Schofield "true lie" as opposed to a verbal falsehood:
helpfull y contrasts Plato's scepticism about the distorti ng conditi ons of democracy. When ing or sucking up to people". When one sees one that will come to res t in the soul of tho se
demo crac y with David Hum e' s and Adam reaso n is funct ioning pro perly, Plato think s it politici ans testin g their comments out on who hear it and distort their outlook.
Smith ' s defences of trade and fair markets. has desires of its own: for instance, to know focus gro ups, one can see that Plato's criti- Sc hofield's interpre tation of the No ble
Smith gra nts that hum ans are ruled by appeti- what ju stice itself is; not merely to know what cis ms still have bite. Lie leads him to misund erstand why the
tive desire, that eac h "intends only his own the ju st society or the j ust person is like, nor Even more intri guin g is Sc hofie ld's philoso pher who has asce nded out of the
gain" , but argues that with pro per arra nge- indeed how ju stice manifests itself in an acco unt of the "ambiguous fascination" that Cave will return to gove rn the po lis . He
men ts of trade, the pursuit of private ends ca n orderly cosm os, but to grasp the form of Spa rta he ld for Plato. Tho ugh Plato' s mus- correc tly says that conte mplating the for ms
have wides pread socia l benefit. Herein lies ju stice and understand how this form is a ings are marked by "inwardness and ambiva - is so much more valuable than political rule
the crux of the debate between modern liberal- manifestation of goo dness whereve r it is lenc e" , he was capti vated by the idea that that the philosop her will be comp elled to go
ism and ancient Platonic po litica l theory : are instantiated. Without at least a ded icated "society and the developm ent of an indi vid- back down. But the compulsion is no more
there other form s of hum an desire - different effort to achieve such understandin g, hum an ual alike co uld be transform ed in tune with than the compulsion of a good argum ent pre-

TLS AUGUST 24 & 3 1 2007


PHIL O S OPHY 31

sented to a j ust and rationa l person. In their ("Sceptica l Doubt s con cerni ng the Opera-
upb ring ing and educa tion they have incurred a
political ob ligation which, when it is poin ted
out to them, they can clear ly see . Schofie ld
As custom has it tions of the Unde rstan di ng") with a sec tion
entitled " Sceptical Solutio n of these Doubts",
in which he offe rs an explanation of where
claims that the argumen t "could on ly be effec- our causa l beli efs com e from . But sure ly that
tive with someo ne who recognizes that he or ccording to a traditi onal readin g, is a mu ch better solution if the pu zzle with

A
H EL E N S T E W ARD
she is before all else a citizen of a good city". Hum e claim ed that ca usa tion was which he was co ncerned was one about the
But this underestimates the reso urce s ava il- reall y noth ing but regul ar succession. H el en B e eb e e source of the vas t bulk of our factu al beliefs,
ab le to prac tical reaso n. I may take myself When one billia rd ball hits ano ther, for exa m- than if it is the tradition al probl em of indu c-
before all else to be a philosop her, but never- ple, we tend to ass ume that so meth ing HUME ON CAUSATI ON tion. Indeed, if his puzz le is the traditi on al
theless recogn ize that in pursuit of a philosoph- "makes" the second move off at a particul ar 248pp. Routledgc. 50 (US$110). probl em of indu cti on , one might argue
icallife I have incu rred ob ligations. (I give up spee d and in a particul ar direction - that a 978()41524339 I that what he offe rs in Section V is sim ply no
a day from my research and teachi ng to make real ca usa l power woven into the fabric of the so lution at all.
myse lf ava ilable for j ury duty not because I uni ver se is res po nsible. But Hu me is cus to m- is her claim s abo ut what Hum e means to say Despite the power of thi s arg ume nt (a nd a
recogn ize that I am before all else a citize n, arily supp osed to have insisted that thi s is a abo ut indu ction that I think are likely to number of subsidiary ones), I am not con-
but because I recogni ze that, give n the way mistake - that a pattern certa inly ex ists in our attrac t the most atte ntion and interest, per - vinced that Beebee is right. One questio n o ne
society is struc tured, this is the way to live a experience , but that there simply are no real haps because it is here that it is hardest to might as k is why, if Hu me does not have an
life devoted to researc h and teach ing. My time powers woven into the fabri c of the universe. believe that what she prop oses can be right. epis temo log ica l thesis in his sights at all,
spent on a j ury is for the sake of a philosop h- Th is ass umption abo ut what Hum e Rereadin g the relevant part s of the first what is present ed in Sec tio n IV of the
ical life.) Socra tes asks Glauco n whether the thou ght, though, has been cha llenge d in Enquiry in the light of her view, however, has Enquiry would eve n count as a set of "scepti-
philoso phers will disobey and he respo nds, recent years by a numb er of "sceptical real- co nv inced me that there is plenty to be sa id cal doubts" - rather than ju st an an thro po log i-
" No, they co uldn' t possibly. After all, we will ists" (among who m one migh t numb er, for for it. ca l question to whic h he does not yet have a
be givi ng j ust orde rs to j ust people". And Soc - ex amp le, J. P. Wright, Edwa rd Craig and satisfac tory answer. The tru th of the matter
rates respond s that those who do go back Ga len Strawson), who have arg ued that mu st sure ly be that Hu me simply did not sepa -
dow n to rule will be "truly rich" - "not in gold Hume was not in the least interested in mak- rate ge netic fro m epistemo log ica l question s
but in the wea lth the happy must have: namely ing claim s abo ut metaphys ica l causa tion - as clearl y as we are used to doin g, so that
a goo d and rational life". The comp ulsion to and mor eover wo uld not have suppose d him- doubts abo ut whether the or igin of a set of
return to the Cave is the comp ulsion of self entitled to do so. Ce rta inly he co uld not beli efs could be attributed to a suitable fac-
rational freedom . have inten ded to do anything so presumptu- ulty or process of reaso ning wo uld, for him,
Schofie ld sees the No ble Lie as a pre- o us as den y its ex istence, as the traditi on al quit e natur ally have co nstituted a doubt abo ut
rat ional indoc trina tion that instills in the interp ret ation ass umed. In so far as he had its ju stifi cation. Thus , thou gh Bee bee is right
yo ung philoso pher -to-be obedience to the views abo ut metap hys ica l causa tio n, they to poi nt out that he constantly co uches hi s
po lis - this is the compelling force - eve n insist, he, no less than the res t of us, was pe r- cl aims in ter minology that invites a ge netic
when its dictate goes aga inst what he or she fectl y co nfide nt that it ex isted. The main interpre tatio n, Hum e simply takes it for
wan ts to do. This is a picture of psych ic point s he wa nts to make abo ut causa tion , gran ted that the ge net ic and the episte mo log i-
disharmo ny which is at ser ious odds with acc ording to these sce ptica l rea lists, are all ca l are related . Wh at cann ot be attributed
the ove ra ll co ncep tio n of the ju st person and epistemo log ica l and seman tic, not metaph ysi- ei ther to Reason or to imm ediate ex perience
the ph ilosopher in the Republi c. And I think cal. He simp ly did not intend to put forw ard as its source is thereb y automatica lly in wa nt
it is a mi sinter pret ation of the text. Aga in, cl aims abo ut causa tion in the natura l wo rld. of an alterna tive ju stifi cati on.
Schofie ld is right that the No ble Lie is a So me of us have grow n quit e co mfortable Wh at rem ains pu zzlin g, admittedly, is why
pre-rational indoctrin ation , but it has the with this " new Hum e" and with the ass o- Hum e see ms to have thou ght that tracin g the
opposite role to the one he describ es. Th e ciated idea that Hum e was not partic ularl y or igin of thi s vas t set of beli efs to "C ustom or
huma n psyc he is trip artit e, and two of those interested in makin g claims abo ut metap hys - Habit " co nstituted a sat isfac tory answer to
parts - appetite and a part ca lled spirit, co n- ics at all. It wo uld be more surpr isi ng, the epistemo log ica l qu estion. Tha t the pro-
cerned wi th victory , recog nition , honour, thou gh , if so meone we re to den y that Hum e ced ure works is a poss ible ju stification - one
success - are not them selves rational. Thus if was centrally co nce rne d with epis temo logy - sugges ted by Beebee - but it is open to the
a ju st person is to live in psychi c ha rmo ny - in question s abo ut which of o ur beliefs can ob viou s co ncern that it is itself vulnerable to
if, say , w hen she deci des to return to th e and can not be prop erl y j ustified, abo ut how the probl em of inducti o n - why should its
Cave, she is to act wholehea rtedly - there mu ch we know. Per haps no one is brave (or "Purple Mekle Lippis" (1961) by Jules havin g wor ked in the past constitute a rea son
must be ways of bringin g appe tite and spirit fooli sh) eno ugh to deny thi s altoge ther - OIitski ; from Abstract Expressionsim and for believing that it will contin ue to wor k in
into line wi th reason' s decision . G ive n that cert ainl y, Helen Bee bee is not so fooli sh. Other Modem Works: The Muriel Kallis the futur e? It seems to me that the best inter-
these are non-r ational parts of the soul, this Nevertheless , it is a centr al thesis of her exce l- Steinberg Collection in the Metropolitan pretation of Hum e, therefore, must co ntinue
can not be achieve d by rational argument lent new book that Hume is, in some respect s, Museum ofA rt (214pp. Yal e University to see him as the promulgator of an unea sy
alone . The No ble Lie is reaso n's attem pt to less of an epistemo log ist than ph ilosoph ers Press. 30; US $50. 978 0 300 12252 7) combination of scep tic ism and natur ali sm .
fashion a reasonab le story that will be persua- ge nera lly ten d to beli eve. Hi s solutio n is "sceptical" because (co n-
sive to the part s of the soul that are swayed by Perh aps next to hi s views on causa tio n, Wh at does she propose? Beebees ma in fessedl y) it does nothi ng to und erm ine the
images, my ths, and ap pearances . Th e No ble Hu me is most fa mo us for having dr awn atte n- claim is that Hum es centra l con cern is to power of the or iginal sce ptica l argume nt. But
Lie is the truth , as told to appetite and spirit. tion to the prob lem of induc tion. What ju sti- give an acco un t of the ge net ic or igin of the it is accomp anied by a way of recon cei ving
This is more than a debate abo ut how to fies me in supposing that the Sun will rise huge repository of factu al beliefs we possess hum an powers of inf erence which in any case
rea d a text. A ge neration brou ght up on the tomorro w? Hum e is suppose d to have which do not pertain to what is "present refu ses to adm it that Reason is much more
idea that Plato endorses gran d decepti on answered this qu estion by saying that no thing to the memory and senses", ie which than a rather unprodu cti ve tool of very lim-
have either dismisse d him as inimi cal to does. I expect the Sun to rise because of past co ncern places and times remote from us. ited app lica tion. That arg umen ts ca nno t be
de mocracy or, more ominously, have go ne experie nce . But past ex per ience pro vides me, Hum e' s question , according to her , is how fou nd to ju stify our beli efs co ncerni ng dista nt
into po litica l life thinking that deceit goes in fact , wi th no reason to suppo se that it is on earth we com e to ge t any such beliefs - times and places is not therefore a pro spect
with the job . The latter is a terrihl e legacy eve n more likely that it will rise than that it not whether or not they ca n he ju stifi ed . that grea tly trouhl es Hum e; for these beli efs
and it comes, I th ink , from a misread ing. The will not do so . All it pro vid es me wi th is a And it mu st be admi tted that her ce ntral are under writt en by ano ther principle "of
proper lesson of the so-ca lled No ble Lie is brut e ex pec tation, and that ca nno t bestow any arg ume nt has co nsidera ble forc e: eq ual we ight and author ity" with Reason -
not at bottom abo ut decepti on, but abo ut rhet- degree of ju stif ication on any of the beliefs I Suppose, for the sake of argument. that the principle of C ustom or Habit. The pos i-
or ic - that is, the proper form s of persuas ion. form as a result. Hume' s interes t in causa l reasoning is prima- tion is admittedly uncomfort able in some
If, co ntra Plato, we are to take democracy Th is is a hugely imp ort ant ep istemo log ical rily an interest in ju stification or rationality. respect s; in particul ar, one wa nts to know
serio usly as a political form, we mu st acce pt thesis - on which Hum es not or iety and sig- Then .. . we wou ld ex pect him either to offer a what it is that ju stifi es Hu me ' s confide nce in
that politi cal pers uas ion often occur s by nificance is nor mally thou ght in large part to solution to the problem which is plausible by the autho ritative ness (as we ll as the de fac to
means other than rationa l arg umen t alone. If rest. But Beebee claims that Hume did not in his own lights or else to hold that the problem power) of C usto m. In the end, thou gh ,
we do not acce pt res po nsibility for the fact fact inten d to offer this argume nt at all. She cannot be solved and hence to be an inductive Bee bees attempt to save Hum e fro m the
that we are not en tirely ratio nal animals, the also has thin gs to say about the new Hu me sceptic. Unfortunately, Hume does not follow ten sions he provokes by simply denyin g his
demos will co ntinue to be swayed by images, and the old; and she develo ps what one either of these paths. ep istemolog ica l ambiti ons in th is area makes
appearances , cliches and myth s whose power senses is rea lly her preferr ed inter pretation , Inste ad, Hum e follows his presentation of him out to be a less interestin g phi los opher
it does not full y und erstand . "projectivism", with care and panache. But it the problem in Section IV of the Enquiry than he really is.

TLS AUGUST 24 & 3 1 2007


32 SOCIAL STUDIES

"B e a proper spokes man . . . won' t all Gls looked , in compari son to her ow n
you? Mak e sure you' re reall y cas-
ual, singing or whi stling English
hits all the time, abso lutely smashed and
Spirited compatriot s, "like film stars" . We laugh , we
cry, we prot est, and we read on .
Prot est? Yes, it would have been nice if
always surrounded by reall y amazing Jon Savage and his editors had paid more
women." One can imagin e such instructions MODRIS E K ST E IN S tion, and the reach of the medi a deserve to be attention to acc uracy. Errors offact and spell-
addr essed to tedd y boys travellin g to Boul- treated as mo re than statistics or casual side ing abound. On one page we have references
ogne, skinheads off to Torrem olino s, even Jo n Sa v a g e issues. Simil arly, reactions to parent s, and to the J ungd eut schlandbund and, seve n lines
punk s heading for LA, but Germ an youth set- authority in genera l, require not merely docu- later, to the Jugendeutchlandbund. The Bat-
tin g out from Kiel , the Kaiser ' s old port, in TEENAGE ment ation but analy sis. It' s not that Savage tle of the Somme is moved con siderabl y
the middl e of the Second World War ? The creat ion of youth 1875-1 945 does not broach these topi cs; he simply does nort h and placed in Flanders. The wa r play
Hardly. But ther e it is: advice to a depart- 576pp. Chatto and Wiudu s. 20. not stress or develop them with any con sist- by R. C. Sherriff (Journ ey 's End), and novels
ing friend , in the mid st of yet another war 978 070 1 163617 ency or finesse. by Richard Aldin gton (Death of a Hero) and
US: Viking. $29.95. 978 0 6700 3837 4
again st perfidious Albion, from a memb er of His structura l fram ework is lightl y dialecti- Erich Maria Rem arqu e (All Quiet 01 1 the West-
the Plutocrats, a Kiel swing club. Here is evi- cal, with chapter titles like "Heaven and ern Front) are all wrongly called memoirs.
dence that modern youth, regardl ess of nation- comp are, of experience beyond represent a- Hell" , for an openin g section devoted to the The Jul y 1932 elections in Ge rmany are
alit y, race, gender or class, has promoted sen- tion , should produc e an enchantment, even spiritualist Marie Bashkirtseff and the boy delayed until Au gust. And so on. Some of the
sation and rebellion, vitality and life, instead an obsession , with the unadulterated is hardl y sadist Jesse Pom ero y; and then on to "Nation- sec tions on Germany are simply wea k. Sa v-
of rules and regul ations. Antith esis has com- surprising . But the broader scheme of thin gs alists and Dec adent s", "Hooligans and age uses spec ific figur es and their fate to
monl y been its social and cultural role in the - cities and massific ation, machin es and Apaches" , "Peter Pan and the Bo y Scouts" , und erpin his comm ent s about a particul ar
modern age. "If individuality means any- mechanization, wars and annihilation - is all and such, throu gh to "J itterbugs and Ickies", period , which is fine - that' s how most histo-
thin g" , wrote H. G. Wells in his scanda lous important. until we reac h 1945 , " Year Zero", kno wn rian s work. But the choice of historic al figur e
novel of 1909, Ann Veron ica, "it means is critica l. For the Weim ar peri od Savage has
breakin g bounds - adve nture . Will you be used Sebastian Haffn er, the outstanding j our-
moral and your species, or imm oral and your- nalist and television comm ent ator who was
self? We ' ve decided to be immoral." But this eleve n yea rs old in 1918. Haffn er may have
exaltation of per sonal experience with its com e of age durin g the fourt een yea rs of
likel y impropriety was also the impul se Weim ar, but he was never really at the centre
behind moderni sm as cultural urge from of any action, and to base an account of the
roughl y the 1870s on. Moderni sm was an We imar years - often describ ed as the cruci-
adversarial outcry aga inst predictability, con- ble of moderni sm - on the memori es of a
vention, and stifling noti ons of dut y and man who came to prominenc e much later,
respon sibility. Mod erni sm , with its counter- after his esca pe to Engla nd in 1938 and then
cultural esse nce, embraced sponta neity and his return to Berlin in 1954, is to miss the
surprise . It pointed to the rot within the time- target by a mile. With his own bent for music,
honoured and it in fact feted that rot. cinema and pop culture, Savage might have
Indeed, moderni sm and the culture of turn ed to Marlene Dietri ch , Leni Riefenstahl ,
youth have go ne hand in hand . "Don' t trust or Valeska Ge rt to prov ide the necessary
anyo ne ove r thirty " was the mant ra of the conn ecti ve thread .
1960s flower childr en , but this caveat has Ge rt, fam ous for her "grotesque dances"
been the inspiration of both youth and mod- and author, by the time she died in 1978, of
erns for well over a century. Thu s a histor y of four different versions of memoir s, would
moderni sm is bound to be a histor y of youth, Bobby-soxers, Los Angeles, 1944 have provided compellin g fodd er, as would
and a history of modern youth must perforce the perip atetic and insecure Erich Mari a
be in large part a hi story of moderni sm. "Francie had a nickel, Franci e had power !" usually fo r its revelatio n of Naz i atrocity and Rem arqu e or anyone of the young artists
Jon Sa vage, in this imm ensely readable but Betty Smith wrote of her eleve n-year-old images of mushroom cloud s but here also, studying at the Bauh aus. Whil e with some of
not always reliable book, has written the one heroine Fra ncie Nolan in her evocative novel most enticingly, as "The Teenager Trium- his formul ation s - in 1945 "C oca -Co la
with little of the other. Teenage asse mbles a A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Early in his phant " . On open ing the book and sca nning replaced the swas tika" - he hits the nail
myriad of entertaining vignettes in what pur- account, Jon Sa vage ment ion s this tale of the table of content s, I was struck by the squarely on its head , with others - Berlin' s
port s to be a history of the emergence of Am eric an life before the Great War and embryo nic brilli anc e of this last chapter' s moral "brazenness" in the 1920s "was a
youth consciousness. But apart from positing reminds us of how Francie strolled up and two-part title, with its enormously sugges tive symptom not of coll apse but of stability" -
a rather wea kly formul ated thesis about the do wn the aisles of the Broad way five-and- dualit y, and was eage r to see how this argu- Savage hamm ers his thumb. Full of clich es,
conn ection between consumerism and genera- dim e store, feelin g privileged by her nick el ment would unfold . Enterta ining as the subse- the sections on Germany lack credibility.
tional awa reness, it does not investigate the and henc e ex amining any item she fancied . quent read was, the initial exciteme nt was Despite having read a grea t deal, in this area
broad er histori cal and social-psy chological Thus, already before the 1914 -1 8 war, never match ed . he has not read enough.
subsoil that led to the self-ass ertion and, for mone y in the hand s of youth amounted to But perhap s the avoida nce of theor y and And credibility is, of course, the name of
that matter , the ve neration of youth. opportunity and identit y. Having then connecti vity is all to the good. Ca usa lity as the ga me. In an ea rlier book , England 's
Savage is awa re that the celebr ation of reach ed 1945, Savage ends his story in historical enterprise see ms dead anyw ay . Dreami ng, his gripping acco unt of the short
youth as life forc e must be see n again st the Am eric a as well with a vision of, in his Histor y as explanation is passe. History and unh app y life of the Sex Pistols, Jon
backdrop of mass death - literal and, with the words, "the new globa l society where social today is all about feelin g the past. And on this Savage was in his element and produced a
steady encroachment of mach ine civ ilization, inclusion was to be granted throu gh purch as- level Jon Savage' s book has an imm edi acy con vincin g state ment about the painful
figurati ve as well - and he spen ds con sider- ing power". Teenagers had been acknowl- appropriate to his subje ct. am biguities of youth in the 1970s. Savage
able time probin g the meanin gs of Rupert edged as a grouping, he claim s, largely Like a prec ociou s teenager him self , intent clearly got to know the world of punk fro m
Brook e, Nathan Leop old and Rich ard Loeb , becau se of their spending potenti al. Since on writing a book that will be notic ed , he inside; he interviewed many of its leadin g
Al Capone, Anne Frank, Han s and lnge com m odifica tion and con sumption w ould romp s throu gh the hetter part of a century of prot agoni sts at length . That hook , relea sed
Scholl , but he shies away from developin g defin e the postwar world, "the futur e" , Sav- incredibl e conflict and uph eaval with envia- recentl y in a second edition, has power
any real conn ection s between the wider cul- age concludes with a grand flouri sh, "w ould ble energy and narrati ve skill. He pull s because it rings true. Thi s volume, while
tural cont ext and the activist youth culture it be Teenage". Leaving aside the probl em s of together the most disparate material s, Briti sh, full of tasty morsels, offers no similar satisfac-
spaw ned. Of Leopold and Loeb , well-t o-d o logic in this final paragraph , one might ask Am erican , Germ an, and French, in an engag - tion. alth ough the sections on music and
offspring of Chicago 's elite turned brutal mur- what the differenc e is betw een Francie Nolan ing fashion . Som e of the detail is deliciou s: cinema are again prob ably the best.
derer s, he writes that "they internali zed the at the turn of the centu ry and the young read er Rup ert Brook e as "dead poster boy" , the " Youth was not an age but a state of
dehumanizing indu strial drive that lay behind of the newl y es tablished Seven teen magazin e crush of incon sol able humanity at Rud olph mind " , Savage says at one point. How true.
the mass society of the I920 s" , but that' s in 1945 who bubbl ed about "how grow n up it Valentino's funeral, Frank Sinat ra pelted by But that state of mind did not ex ist in a vac-
about as deep as we get. feels to get Seventee n for Christmas when one panti es at the Paramount Thea ter in New uum. Had the old farts not stunk up the joint
Childhood and ado lesce nce have always is only thirt een" ? The difference is of cour se York , and then the fourt een- yea r-old Sussex so abys mally bet ween 1875 and 1945, that
been associated with innocenc e, pro mise, and the size of the respecti ve peer group and its girl who describ ed how she loved to danc e state of mind , as self-awa re count erpoint,
a new beginnin g. Tha t an age of unimagined attitude toward its elders. the "A-Train" with the Yanks stationed wo uld not have flouri shed in the sa me way.
and unimagin able horror, of calamity beyond And here issues of demo graphi cs, urbaniza- nearb y, and the seve ntee n-yea r-old to whom The stink need s more atten tion.

TLS AU GUST 2 4 & 3 1 2 0 07


POLITICS 33

hen Max Weber wro te The Protes- He is still right to point out that the "bottom

W tant Ethic and the Spirit ofCapita l-


ism in 1905, industrial pros perity
was scarcely found outsid e North ern Euro pe
Still with us billi on" countries have problem s that cannot
be fixed solely by pa inless chan ges from the
top countries.
and the United States. Weber identifi ed a Co llier does sugges t so me ch anges of
common factor in these rich nations which he E D W A R D HAD AS anti-industrial attitude. Co llier see ms per- that sort - more appropriate aid, fewer
ca lled the "Protestant ethic" - a histori cally suaded that his modern meth od has help ed res trictions on trade and, more unu sually
unprecede nted socia l endorse ment of hard P aul Co l l ie r him thi nk more clearly. That may be so, but but quit e plau sibl y, laws and charters that
wor k and thrift for the sake of mat erial ga in. geography has been a featur e of cultural would set an achieva ble stan dard for troubl ed
Weber ' s theological explanation was unp er- THE B OTT O M B I L LION analys is since Montesqui eu , and any visitor cou ntri es. The arg umen t for the last is
suasive , but it addr essed the historic al realit y Why the poo rest co untries arc failin g to Africa can provide tales of corruption that clear sta ndards would support the
- prospe rity was largely limited to predomi- and w hat ca n be don e abo ut it and str ife holdi ng back pros perity. Collier "heroes" inside the cou ntries in their battl e
nantl y Pro testant countries . 288pp. Oxford University Press. 16.99 (US $28). provides quit e a few of his ow n. with the villains. It is not clear whether
978 0 19 53 1145 7
Paul Collier's The Bottom Billion shows The scientific air gradually fades away Co llier's prim e goa l is to get a few count ries
ju st how much the world has changed since in the seco nd half of the book , as Collier off the desperate-p overt y list or to help all
Weber ' s day, in both the actual eco nomy and ca use fro m effect. For ex ample, conflicts turn s from ex planation to practical sugges - the very poor countri es be a little less chaotic,
in the explanatory sty le of social scientists . may help create povert y, as Co llier arg ues, tions. The more polemic al tone makes for but , either way, such charters are worth a try.
The ec onomic changes have been dram atic. but the causalit y may wo rk in so me other better readi ng, as he attacks the "villains" The most important changes have to come
The book' s title refer s to the biggest reve rsa l: direction. Povert y may spur conflict, the two who run corrupt cou ntries and the fooli shness within the poor countries them sel ves. Better
the once exceptional wor k ethic has become may be mutually re inforcing, or there could and hypo cri sy of many would-be friend s laws may lead to better attitudes , but it
the near-global rule. A ce ntury ago , what be some other factor - the lack of the wor k of the poor. It also allows for so me sloppy seems more likely that the prim e direction
needed exp lanation was the 15 per cent of ethic, perh aps - that causes both bitter con- analys is - as in the largely unsub stanti ated of causa lity is in the other direction , from
the world 's 1.5 billion peopl e who enjoyed flicts and the persistent pove rty in the botto m claim that globalization makes grow th harder the soc iety to its rules. Co llier pro vides
pros perity. Produ ction has since increased billi on count ries. for the very poor. The most cont roversial goo d advice on which barri ers to develop-
enough to allow for more than a four-fold It is much the same with the other three recom mend ation is prob ably for for eign ment should be attacked first, but he has
increase in the world's population. The excep- trap s. Oil and mineral wea lth have clearl y military intervention after ci vil wars and no magic formul a for persuadin g the last
tion is still 15 per cent, but they are now the created seve re probl ems in many countries, regional conflicts . Collier argues that only holdouts to give in to the modern way of
one billi on poor peopl e, out of a total of but not in Norway or the UK. Those Euro- out siders ca n be suffic iently fair and firm doin g business.
6 .7 billi on . The depr ived live in what Co llier, pean countri es have the "culture" to deal with to disco urage disgruntl ed groups from start- The Bottom Bill ion is not the last word
Professor of Econom ics at Oxford and Direc- windfa lls in a di sciplined way . The disadvan- ing up aga in. The troops should be willing on developm ent economics or eve n the best
tor of the Ce ntre for the Study of Afric an tages of bein g landlock ed are real enough, to take ca sualties and should plan to stay curre nt word on the very poor countries. But
Eco nomics, misleadin gly call s "fourteenth espec ially when the relevant coastal coun- for years. Co llier's case is goo d, but he it is a goo d and helpful book. Co llier uses
century" conditions. tries are also in the bottom billi on, but the is recommending much more intervention his basic insight - that the very poo r are in a
Collier di scu sses the distin ction between probl em s should be surmountable. Bad gov - than most rich country gove rnme nts are pre- very different situation from the rest of the
very poor and merely poo r countries only erna nce is sure ly part of the pove rty pro blem , pared to countenance and more integrit y than world - to cha llenge the conve ntional wis-
briefl y, but the differenti ation is prob ably this but it seems more an effec t than a ca use of an most poor country interveners can manage. dom of both Left and Right.
book ' s most significa nt contribution . In the
less poor countries, the basic goods of indu s-
trial prospe rity - clean water, decent housin g,
electricity, universal education - are spread-
Anthropocene
ing quickly. Co llier's reliance on national
bord ers to mark off the very poor excludes
hundred s of milli ons of very poor peopl e in l e vous ecris d 'un pays lointain . . .
countries such as China and India , but their (Henri Michaux)
numb er should steadily dimini sh, if rece nt
trends continue. It is quit e different in the 2
fift y-eight countries of the bottom billi on. She writes : the air here Yesterday a boat set sail for Altair ,
Collier coy ly refrain s from nam ing them , but changes like a face in a mirror. pitch-caulk ed , loaded helo w the waterline,
they are mostly in sub-Sa haran Afri ca. The In the flight of moth s at du sk a toothl ess deckhand at the rudd er,
pro blem is not that they are stuck in the we see unkn own prim ary colors . an old wo man with dangling brea sts
Middl e Ages. Quit e modern weapons are We have no word for that radiance. bent over a green scuffed oar.
used in their too numerous wars; there are Who knew we wo uld lac k a final language ?
airpo rts and mobil e phone net work s, and Wh y Altair , I asked, now that the sea is recedin g?
usuall y politi cian s who have mastered the The bird s sing with their eyes . Simple, a child answe red. You can get there
modern skills of money laun derin g. What is They watch us with their voices j ust by holding your brea th.
missing is clearly not all of modernity, but from the huge parch ed trees.
some aspect, basicall y the attitude identifi ed
by Weber: the work ethic. The lea ves have begun to drift do wn ,
Eco nomic prog ress has allowe d Weber ' s findin g nich es, alcoves, plateau x, 3
question to be reve rsed, but analytic progress de lays in mid air - their shadows in dust There is no sequence anymore .
ha s been much slowe r. Co llier might dis- rise, reluctant and trembling. Onc e we leveled a found ation
agree. Although the book is written for and then framed the roof.
laymen , it is based on the latest and best You might say : cycl one, tsun ami, fire. Now a nail here, a hamm er blow there,
techniques of quantit ati ve politi cal science. It But the shifts are too sma ll to see . in the night sky.
is studded w ith referen ce s to statistica l tests , A blue shee n over a bee ' s wing,
peer -rev iewe d rese arch and data qualit y. The like a cataracted eye . And you, friend ?
method is more rigorou s, but the result s do The grass hopper hesitatin g; Do you still fill your notebook
not look much different from the sort of intui- the cricket plun ging on. with equations and erase them ,
tive sum mary that made Weber ' s analysis so listen for rain and turn
appealin g. Collier focu ses on four "traps" We still find shade in the garde n to caress your wife in a dream?
that keep prosperity away : co nflict s, natural but our nakedness scares us
resource wealth, bad geography and bad as if we we re touching Or have you found refu ge
gove rna nce . The trap s are more concrete than the pupil of an eye . in the blank page?
the nebulous Weberian ethic, but they are
not necessaril y more profo und explanations. There is no more space bet ween words .
Some of the sta tistics can be question ed , but They run togeth er in a wall of text.
Collier's main wea kness is the grea t cur se of We don' t wa nt to see dawn. D. N URK S E
all statistica l ana lysis, the diffi cult y of tellin g

TLS AUGUST 2 4 & 3 1 2 007


34 ARCHITECTURE

In by
the side
door
ANDR EW SAINT

Alan Po w ers
BRITAI N
Mod ern archit ecture s in history
272pp. Reaktion . Paperback, 16.95 (US $29.9 5).
9781 861892812

an there be a clum sier Engli sh word

C than modernity? Modernismu s, moder-


nite: it sounds that bit better in other
languag es. Nor can anyone agree what it St George Wharf, London SW8; from London High: A guide to the past, present andfuture ofLondon's skyscrapers by Herbert Wright
means. Etymology tak es you to fashion and (238pp, Frances Lincoln. 30, 978 0 7112 2695 1)
the suspicion that mere chan gefulness lies at
the heart of the mod ern. If you prefer usage, the onl y entry qualifi cations for the modern this respect. No great designer him self , nor of Loui s Hellm an , a mol e in the Briti sh archi-
you must pick your path throu gh a welter of architecture club. In that brief period and spec ially theoretical , he rapidl y learnt that tectural es tablishment since the 1970s and a
confusion. Yet some such path must be found difficult idiom a single powerful design- architec ture must exc ite, soothe and flatter token of its inveterate liberalism. Nothing
if you see k a broad und erstanding of what intellig enc e, the emigre Berth old Lubetkin, as well as dict ate. Abo ve all, he engage d with is con sidered too seriously or, this being a
went on in twenti eth-century art and architec- made his maste ry felt. But already by 1939, a public disillu sioned by his profession , but general survey, too long.
ture. Th ere is no alternative , encompass ing Pow ers make s cle ar, architects we re bored never immun e to per sua sion or teasin g. With Not that intellectu al input is wa nting, for
idea. with white boxes (though in fact , many were the adve nt and intern ation al success of High Power s enjoys and is patient with archit ec-
Settin g off on this sparkling first of a ser ies never white) and eage r to make their peace Tech , moderni sm in Brit ain adv anced from tur al idea s. Though chro nologica l in arrange-
about modern architectures (the plur al is now with stone walls and pitch ed roofs. bein g marginall y interestin g for its brand of ment, the book also adopts seve n Ruskini an
de rigueur in academic writing) country by The afterma th of the Second World War compromise to something quit e darin g and chapt er headin gs - Efficiency , Co mpass ion,
country, Alan Power s takes a tentati ve, is often presented as the time when Britons potent. From that point the moderni st tide Poetic s, Production, Happin ess, Co nscience
personal stab at the conc ept. " It changes em braced moderni sm. If so, it was partl y sw ung back. At present it seems to have and Differenc e. Like the Seven Lamp s on
shape and direction, but for me, the definition because the times were purit anic al and the plent y of force, but how long it will stay full , which they are modelled , these headin gs tend
of Mod erni sm could well be that of mission , moralizing message could get throu gh . But it who can say? When all is said and don e about to multipl y (in Ruskin ' s own words) into "a
of almo st any kind. " Flat-roofed or pent , was also because the new architecture was techn olo gy and ecology , architec ture is still vulgar row of footli ght s" , with the architec-
situationist or fogey, any building or idea still far from dogm atic. The compromi ses of about style. ture caught in the cro ss-beam s. On the whole,
about a building is grist to Powers' s mill so the late 1930s held; the Scandin avian thread Powe rs's strategy in this book is to turn the the story rattles along better when out side
long as it is imbu ed with the urge to ch ange ran on. The Festiva l of Brit ain was friendl y national streak of foot-draggin g and resist- forc es are in play than when Powers tackles
thing s for the better, be they lives, mind s, and popular, Co ventry Cathedral almost ance to regul ar dial ectic al adva ntage. Half the internal theologians of architec ture -
heart s - or architecture itself. It is through equally so. Hou ses we re of brick , while the apo state him self , he simply open s up Briti sh Ali son and Peter Smit hson in the 1950s, the
the promise of impro vin g us, not ju st best of the intern ation all y admired new pri- moderni sm to the opposition. By so doing he situatio nists in the 70s, or the phe no me no lo -
chan gin g us for change ' s sake, that mary schools were tailor ed to the children makes it more inclusive, humane and amus- gists of the 90s . Perhaps that is because a
modernism claim s to stand aloof from and look ed chee rful inside , eve n when clad in ing. Much of this is achi eved by sheer variety book see king to welcome out siders into the
fashion. So in arch itec ture, at any rate, the cheap concrete. The wors t you could say of of exa mple. The illustr ations cover a ga mut modernis t church is better di spen sing with
thru st of its rhetoric ha s always been moral. Briti sh mod ern architecture in the reconstruc- of familiar and unfamili ar buildings, all in herm etic insider argumentation. Toward s the
Onl y by stirring con scienc es can you get tion yea rs is that the average was pretty dull. black-and-whit e and often show n in unu sual end there is some breathl essness, as Powers
peopl e to accept something which they But should not most buildings be ordinary? shots, rangin g from James Stirling's Leices- races to make space for each of the four
may not want or care about, and which The troubl e began when architects for got ter University Enginee ring Building and the nation s now so consciou s of sharing the phys-
may well boil down to self-ex press ion on that moderni sm was mostly about sty le and beautiful brick Buckin gham shir e hou ses of ical context of Britain, and to find so me fresh
the donor' s part. Henc e the missionary con vinc ed them sel ves it was a righteous way Peter Aldin gton to obscure Welsh housin g region al prin cipl e in modern architec ture.
alignm ent of architects, ma ybe also their of life with a trajector y of its own. In the last es tates. Eve n Poundbury and the work of Th at game has been going on since the 1970 s
flirtin g with Jesuiti cal black. analysis, the excesses of 1960s hou sing (by Quinl an Te rry get in, since they can at least and , as in Art s and Crafts days, see ms still to
It goes without sayi ng that the Briti sh have no means due to archit ecture alone), and the be con strued by antithesis as reaction s to com e down to a balance between unch anging
enjoyed a wary rel ation ship with modern aes thetics of brutali sm were sym ptoms of mod erni sm. Now that the postmoderni st materials and fluctu atin g sentiments .
archit ectu re. That was not unique, and with sty lists out of the ir depth , playin g at socio- label has fallen from favour it is hard to kno w Thi s then is not a book for beginn ers
the virus of revi sioni sm now infectin g other logy. In face of this rank amate urism, roya ls, what to call such project s. Since labels so lookin g for a down-the-line histor y of Briti sh
countries, it may be hop ed that other titles in intellectual s and the public at large turn ed often act as blink ers, perha ps they are better modern archit ecture. The story Powers tells
the se ries w ill turn out as truthful and hetero- sce ptics and co nse rvatio nists. They we re ahe t- w itho ut a nam e . If yOIl focu s o n the hi stori- i s more hon est, more com plex, less do gmatic
do x as this one. Still, there was cert ainly ted by man y architects, for despit e modern- cism of the Poundbury development , you are and less moralizing. Without eve r quit e los-
something peculiar about Britain. Secur e in ism ' s claim s to universalit y, architec ture has likely to miss the novelt y of its infrastructure. ing his thread, he contri ves to persuad e the
the pra gmatism of its Arts and Crafts tradi- never been a single church, least of all in Powers adopts the take-it-or-Iea ve-it line reader that Britain reall y contributed some -
tion, hostile to Ge rman culture after 1918 and Britain . That at its simplest is the moral of that anythin g fresh or intelli gent like that thin g uniqu e to mod ern architec ture. What
untaint ed by the politic s of style that rent Pow ers' s story . is modern. His open-mindedness is always that was is hard to put into few words . It lies
interw ar Europe, Britain ass imilated the new Mayb e it was this robu st resistanc e of the refreshin g, extending to an out spok en advo- somew here betw een an instinct for propor-
archit ecture obliqu el y, Powe rs explains. On 1970s, less full y articulated else where, which ca cy of sneered-at Milton Keyne s. tion and compromi se, an attitude of outri ght
the whole, the patient sea rch of Holl and and allowe d Briti sh mod erni sm to develop the Along with that goes hum our. Missionar- stroppiness , and the occ asional surge of dar-
Scandinavia was preferred to the outre expeti- zest it has since develop ed . The arguments ies are not renow ned for their wit: who last ing. If truth be told, it is all rather confusing.
mentalism of Franc e and Germany, countries had to be articul ated better , the styles put smiled in front of a building by Mies van der On e might now sugges t a moratorium on the
in cri sis. Ream s of prop aganda eve ntually togeth er more winningly to serve and to Rohe? Power s' s ow n mission is to keep the modernis t label for a while, to see if Briti sh
elicited a sma tter of the cem ented and over- plea se. The career of Richard Rogers, not tone light. Instead of the earnes tness of plans archit ecture might not bump along better
glazed buildings that many still think of as much emph asized by Po wers, is significa nt in - bann ed from his pages - he has the cartoons without it.

TLS AUGUST 2 4 & 3 1 2 0 07


ART HISTORY 35

here is something paradoxical about tion was never bound by strict categories .

T devoting an ex ha ustive cata log ue rai-


sonne to the art of so meone who spent
so mu ch of his time sorting throu gh rubbi sh
Found in pieces Sch witt ers him self opined that " M er: is the
art of con sistency [Merz ist die konseq uen te
Kunst"], but there is a sense in which the con-
bi ns and plucking litter off the street. Kurt sistency lies in the un errin g pur suit of devi-
Sch witt erss creative proj ect was an idiosyn- ROG ER CA R D IN AL when he was living in ex ile in the Lake ance, quirkiness and the miscell aneou s.
cratic exercise in the rec yclin g of trash, while Di strict : during thi s, the last full yea r of his Schwitt erss sculptura l wor k included the
this painstaking and gigan tic publication - life, Schw itters made 2 13 of these sma ll, inti- ear ly Mer; co lumns, which we re built up of
spa nning three heft y vo lumes and runnin g to K ari n Or ch ard a n d I s ab el mate wor ks . (Since many were con ceived as indi vidu al sculptural pieces and were eve ntu-
2,000 pages and some 3,6 00 items - might S ch ul z , e d i t o rs present s for friend s, it is likely that he made ally subsume d wi thin the Merzbau ("Mer z-
seem a doom ed effort to bring ord er to law- CATA L OGUE RA IS O N NE eve n mor e which have since va nished.) Now Building"), the centr al mas terwork which
less pro lifera tion. Kurt Sc hw itters that thi s rich seam has been identified , one ramified in Schw itters 's Hanover studio over
When Schw itters began his caree r in Volume One: 1905-1 922 might hope that it will attrac t scholarly atte n- three deca des. The Merzbau was com pletely
Hanover in the aftermath of the First World 634p p. Hatje Kanz. 2 1O. tion . A remark able sum mation of Merz, it destro yed by Alli ed bombing in 194 3, leav-
War, Germ any had been metaph orically 37757 09266 has a di stin cti vely Eng lish "feel" , due to ing us with only a handful of tant alizin g
reduced to smitheree ns. His artistic vow was Volume Two : 1923-1 936 the lin gui sti c content of its sources . But what ph otogr aph s taken by his son in 1930- 32 .
to re-establish meani ng and structure by co n- 604pp. Hatje Kanz. 2 1O. is mo st striking is its ran ge of mo ods and A nd alth ough he mad e a few subse quent
juring art out of broken bits and pieces. His 37757 09886 mann ers. Man y of these co llages are scra ppy attempts to start afres h, he neve r achieved
mos t charac teristic early wor ks are the "Mer; Volume Three: 1937-1 948
and low ly, manifestin g a sor t of Arte povera anythin g on a like sca le again; the M er zbam
783pp. Hatje Kanz. 2 1O.
Pictur es", asse mblages of found wooden or mod esty, while others ha ve a slick and he began in 194 7 near Ambleside remains
3 7757 09894
metal fragment s, and the "Mer; Drawings", form ali st fini sh. Some make ec ono mica l use but a poign ant fragm ent. Schwi tters 's late
collages co mposed of incoherent shreds of of dozen s of thin paper trimmings, glued in output in the Lake Distri ct durin g 1942 -47
pape r. Schwitters ado pted the term Mer; to sonne is meticulous. Var ious limin al texts, a horizont al or ver tica l layers; several are includ es a go od man y sma ll-sca le sculptura l
designate the proce dures of salvagi ng and re- bio gr aph y and ex planatory notes appear in highl y remini scent of the urgent yet feckless pieces done in wood an d plaster and usuall y
deployment which underp in his enterp rise . both Ge rma n and Eng lish, and the Englis h cram mings of the ear ly 1920 s. A few mak e pa inted a neutral white. These range from
Originally scissored from the letterhead of a reader should have no trouble in navigatin g hu morou s use of magazin e carto on s. One droll sty liza tions of birds and anima ls, such
local Hano ver bank, the Kommerz- und Privat- the technical det ails, give n in Germa n. Eac h bears the announce ment that "Mr Churc hill is as a stork or a dog, to elega nt abstraction s,
hank , the meanin gless syllable becam e the item is listed by actua l or put ative date, and 7 1". A nd there are occa sion al autobi ogr aphi- some a littl e like Brancu si ' s "Bird" . Th e
ge nera tive principle of his art. He never quite bears a title and brief mat erial descripti on , ca l remn ant s, such as wo rn-out shoe soles, a unpr etent iou sness of these lacon ic pieces
pinn ed it dow n to a narrow definiti on , tendin g as we ll as notes on pro venance, ref erences in crumpled telegr am envelope , a cutting of the strikes a touchi ng note in the contex t of the
rather to invoke it in am big uous asides, such print sources , ex hibition appeara nces and so Norwegian flag or a lock snipped from the arti st ' s deterior atin g health.
as "Everything starts out with Merz" or "Merz forth. Most entries carry a sma ll identifi ca- hair of Edith Tho mas, Schw itterss Eng lish Fro m qu ite early on, Schw itte rs had com-
is the smile at the graveside and the frown tor y illu stration in mon och rom e ; where these compan ion and legatee. plement ed his collage -ma king with oil paint-
amid jollifi cations". Mer; sounds the same as are mi ssing, it is because pieces have dis- The bulk of M er; production ca n be ing in a moderni st, predo min antl y abstrac t
M ii r; (Ma rch). Co mmentators have also noted appea red or were destroyed in the wa r. There roug hly di vid ed into two- and three- man ner. But all the while he was wor king as
the rhymes Her; (hea rt), Scher ; (joke) and are 34 1 fin e co lour plates of select major dim ension al work, with the fo rmer ca tegory a co nscious ava nt-ga rdist, he was also produ c-
Schmer; (pain). Each association co ntributes works . Th e third and final volume upd ates co vering the artist's paper-b ased co llages, ing occ asion al , qu asi- am ateur paintings in a
its special flavour to the Mer; aesthetic, the internation al Bibliogr aph y and comprises and the latter his j un k co nstruc tions. The late Impr essioni st or Express ionist idiom. Art
without necessarily clarif ying the mixture. some 1,700 entries. collages draw on bottl e labels, shreds of wa ll- histor y has tend ed to ignore these works as
In his pur suit of a kind of battered beaut y, slightly embarrassi ng abe rra tions that co m-
a harmony that ca n ju st about be discern ed promise the image of the dedic ated Dadaist,
amid pa inful disord erlin ess, Schw itters, the but they are so plentiful as to prompt queri es
ind epend ent Dadaist of Hanover, may have as to what Schwitt erss art was reall y all
been a step or two ahead of the far noi sier about. Th ey compri se still-lifes and interio r
Dada activists in Zurich, Pari s and Berlin. sce nes, but above all portrait s an d land-
Hi s apparently hapha zard and messy scapes. The po rtra its include inti mate studies
approach is off set by an inter mitt ent alle- of the artist's wife Helm a, and of Edith
g iance to a so ber, formal purism, mo de lled Thom as, but are largel y co mmissio ned por-
on the De Stijl ex ample. Thu s, for all its air of trait s, ma ny de picting fell ow intern ees at the
dabbling futilit y and plain tomfooler y, M er; Isle of Man ca mp where Sch witt ers was kept
aspir ed to transcend the tragic scrap piness for four mon ths in 194 1, or of neighbo urs in
of life and to install a rede mp tive vision of the A mblesi de area where he lived out his
arti stic who leness and stability . Seve ral of last and imp ecuni ou s years. The wor k is com-
Sch witt erss Dada cont emp orari es tend ed to petent and occas iona lly quit e di stin gui shed ,
di sparage hi s effo rts, and it is true that his but doesn't altoge ther rise above the level of
reputation in his lifetime was that of a qui eti st docum ent ar y interest.
maverick not to be taken too seriously. However , Schw itters's sec ret passion for
To day , he com petes with Duch amp and Arp land scape painting strikes a more inten se
for the title of Dadaist supre me. Recent major note . The cata log ue reveals a predilec tio n for
shows at the Sprengel Museum in his native the stark fjord s an d mount ain s of Norway,
city have present ed him as a pivotal figur e in where he first holidayed in the early 1930s
the narrative of Mod erni sm and have traced and where he wa s to spe nd his first yea rs of
hi s influ ence on such artists as Robert ex ile after hur ryin g out of Hanover in Janu-
Rau schenb erg, Joseph Beuys, Rich ard Hamil- " U 11" (1921) by Kurt Schwitters ary 1937. Som etim es boldl y stylized, some -
ton and Ton y Cragg . tim e s delin eated w ith unusu al ca re, the se
Schw itter s was in the habit of annotating All works are gro uped by yea r of co mp le- paper, sweet wrappers, ciga rette packet s, do i- non- Germ an sce nes spea k of an attac hme nt
hi s invention s wi th a title, a date and a series tion , with each annual production depl oyed lies, theat re tic kets, bus tick ets and eve n to settings sugges tive of tou ghn ess and nobl e
numb er , alon g with his signature . After his accor ding to the artist's var ied formats - reproduction s of famous paintin gs. News - resistance. It is true that these land scapes
death in 1948, the task of cataloguin g his asse mblages, reliefs, pa intings , collages, print is a frequ ent element, es pec ially head- prob abl y started out as a mean s to en hance
highl y disparate oeuvre fell to Erns t Schwi t- sculptures , and so forth . Thi s arrangeme nt lines, usually cut apart so as to wrec k the orig- the famil y budget. Yet they progressively
ters, his photograph er son, whose car d index makes it easy to count up the annual output inal message . The asse mblages and re liefs hint at a them atics of mor al and politi cal
cove red some 2,000 items. Ernst died in in a give n form at and to see the shifts in tend to be fixed with nail s as we ll as glue, and steadfas tness which it wo uld be interestin g to
1996, havin g turn ed over his index and a Schw itterss preferenc es across his ca ree r. It compri se offcuts of woo d, bit s of rusty met al, set alongsi de the often erra tic messages of
large qu antity of origin al wor ks to the Spren- is not surprising, for instance, to not e the chicken wire, butt on s, twine, cotton reels, bro- M err . Ju st as the indi vidu al coll ages chal-
ge l Mu seum, which set up a special archive; predo minance of co llages in the early 1920 s ken toys - anything brok en or aba ndo ned . len ge us to loo k for coh erenc e, so the pano-
the do nation pro vided the incenti ve for the (more than 100 "M er; Dra win gs" we re made They frequ entl y incorporate paint , as we ll as rama of diversity surve yed in thi s cata log ue
prese nt publica tion, the fruit of seve ra l years in 1920 and aga in in 1921 ). But 1 was taken paper scraps, phot os and playin g-cards, and challe nges us to fin d con sistenc y in Schwi t-
of ex tensive research. Th e Cata logue Rai- abac k by the surge of co llages da ted 1947, in ge nera l it ca n be said that the Mer; opera - terss career at large.

TLS AUGUST 2 4 & 3 1 2 007


36 BIBLIOGRAPHY

put ati vely pir ated edition of Mad am e

Neglected Napoleons d' Aulnoy' s fairy tales Les Comes des tees
(Th e Hague, 1698 , 3,5 00). Th ey have also
show n at Sack vill e Stree t a se lling ex hibition,
"The Graphic Wo rk of Erte" , eighty-six
" N e v er try to write" , David Garnett's JAM ES FE R GU S S ON (1860 -1 944 ). His father died in 1875, leaving item s from print s and go uac hes to ex hibition
publi sher father told him . "Never his wife, Sarah, age d forty-six, living ove r the posters and Harper 's Bazaar co vers by the
have anything to do with publi shin g Halewood (Ha lewoo d & So ns), Ch as P. shop with ten children. Non e of the Edwa rds cos tume and set design er ( 175- 35,000 ).
or the book trade." "And I shall add" , said Porter (Ga lloway & Porter), Henr y N. family is in the ODNB, but their shop M aggs Bro s (50 Berk eley Sq uare, Lond on
Garne tt, ponderin g advice to his ow n sons in Steve ns (Henry Stevens, Son & Stiles), surv ives , hardl y changed, as the headqu arters WlJ 5BA), meanwhil e, in an 116-it em
1929, ''' Above all, never be a bookseller. Th at R. E. Stiles (ditto) or for any of the family of of Daunt' s. cata log ue numb ered 1409, "Continental
is the wors t of all: the hardest wor k and the Maggs Bros. Bern ard Qu aritch is the best docum ented Boo ks", offer s eight pieces of incun abul a,
wors t paid. ' " Garnett had ignor ed his father Maggs is a London institution . Since 1938 of Lond on book businesses, and the ODNB beginnin g with "three leaves from the third
and in 1920 set up shop in Bloom sbu ry, with it has been at 50 Berk eley Square, a grand entry by Arthur Free ma n is a mod el. But why book print ed in Oxford " , Ari stotle ' s Ethica
his friend Francis Birrell. They dealt , as did 1740 s townh ou se onc e the hom e of Ge orge are there no entries for those indi vidu al ad Nicomachum (14 79, 2,5 00), and
many bookshops then, in book s old and new. Ca nning and sa id to be horribly haunted. doyens of book sellin g that he mentions, F. S . including a fir st edition of Gregor y the
But , after the success of his novel Lady into Book s fill eve ry room , down to the stables Ferg uson and the Drings, who managed Grea t's Dialogi (Stras burg, cl 472-74,
Fox (1922), Garnett gave up book sellin g, and and pant ries. It hold s the Royal Warrant as Quaritch so successfully for a century? And 15,000 ) that boa sts "a mo st distin gui shed
he is listed in the Oxf ord Dictionary of "purveyor s of rare book s & manu scripts" to why are there no entries for , for exa mple, pro venance" - it was bou ght from the
Nat ional Biography as "writer and publi sher" . the Qu een, as it once did for her uncl e, the Bertram Rota (grandson of Bert ram Dobell ), 178 9- 90 Amsterd am sale of the co llection of
Of the 280 entries there bearin g the occup ation Prin ce of Wales, and her grandfa ther, Kin g who made mod ern fir st editio ns respectable ; Pietro Antonio Bolon garo- Cr evenn a by
"bookseller" , ma ny have clearly been includ ed George V. So why is there no ODNB entry for Christopher M illard, Osca r Wildes Tho mas Payne (another boo ksell er capture d
less for their book sellin g than for another occu- for M aggss founder Uriah Maggs (or for his bibliographer; for Gustave David , kin g of the by the ODNB ). "A superb cop y of one of the
pation; and hardly any of them for their contri- four sons who too k over, Be nja min, Henr y, Ca mbridge book stall s; for Percy Muir, who most imp ortant document s of the Refor ma-
buti on to the antiquarian book trade. Charles and Ernes t)? wor ked for Elkin Ma thews and becam e an tion " , Eras mus 's De libero arbitrio diatribe
B. T. Bat sford , Frede rick Warn e, Leonard Uriah's story is sketchy but fascin atin g. He ev ange list for book co llecting ; for David (15 24) boun d with Luthers De servo arbitrio
Smithers and Ton y God win are better know n ca me to Lond on from the So merse t coal- Low, a friend of Gr aham Greene and the best (15 26), is pric ed at 10,000 , and a "very
as publi sher s. Elkin Math ews, Basil Black- field s, in abo ut 1850 . In the 1851 census, he anecd otali st in the trade; for G . F. Sim s, cata- rare" and appare ntly unr ecorded 1525 Book
well and his son Rich ard are eq ually we ll is foun d, aged eightee n, working as a foot- log uer ex traordinaire and second-best anecdo- of Hours at 22,000.
known as publisher s. Bertram Dobell and man in Gower Street for Or Barn ard van talist ; or for the Robin son broth er s, Philip G . Heywood Hill (10 Curzo n Street , Lon-
Harold Monr o are also writers. Frede rick H. Oven, a camp aigner for Jewish emancipa- and Lion el, who in purch asing the Phillipps don W lJ 5HH) is a shop with influ enc e and
Eva ns is better known as a photograph er , tion . Uriah's father, also Uriah, describ ed as collection of book s and manu scripts in 1946 access far beyond what its diminutive size
Dou glas C leverdo n as a BB C producer, Gra- a port er, lived in Paddin gton, where, in 1854 , pull ed off what Anthony Hob son has ca lled wo uld sugges t, and has a happ y reput ation in
ham Poll ard (w ho bou ght David Ga rne tt out) the yo unge r M aggs set up in Westbourn e "the grea tes t book selling coup of all time" ? produ cin g catalogues of book s asse mbled by
and John Ca rter as bibliograph ers. Rob ert Te rrace and then in Church Stree t as a named indi vidu als (rarely co llectors as such),
Bowes (Bowes and Bo wes), J. G. Wil son stationer, newsagent and boo ksell er- cum- rinted book catalogues are still the tradi- such as A. L. Rowse and J. Enoch Powell . In
(Bumpus), Willi am Foy le and his dau ght er
Christina (Foy le 's), Una Dill on (D illon's)
and Reub en Heffer (He ffe r's) all represe nt an
circulating-library. By 1870 he was a special-
ist second-hand book sell er, and so he con-
tinu ed until 1894. Hi s sons took the business
P tion al selling mediu m of choice for the
old-established bookdealers. Bern ard
Quaritch (8 Lower John Street, Lond on WI F
200 6, the year of their seve ntieth anni versary,
they issued a 45 6-it em catalo gue, "From the
Libr ary of Sir Edwa rd Heath" , and this year
old guard of big boo kshop s before the days of to the Strand , and then , from 191 8, to elega nt 9AU) , fou nded in 1847, iss ues we ll-made, they have followed it with a 592 -item "From
Waterston e ' s. Christopher Ro bin Miln e (pro- Co nduit Street. They had mad e it from genero usly annotated and illustrated cata- the Lib rary of Sir Edward Heath Part 1I". His-
prietor of the Harb our Book shop , Dart- Paddin gton to Ma yfair in a ge neration. logues, curre nt subjec ts including Photogra- tory does not relate what the urbane found er ' s
mouth) is the odd one o ut, while F. S. Ellis Anoth er Lond on book shop that see ms to phy, Witt genstein , Maritim e and Milit ary, views were on the form er Prim e Mini ster. He
(of New Bond Stree t), Ge offrey Watkin s have ex isted for ever (a nd indeed their web- Medieval Manu script s, Americ ana, Art and is not me ntioned in the letters between Hill
(Cecil Court), Peter Eaton (Holland Park Ave - site assert s, cautiously, "We are not the oldest Architectur e, "Rights of War, Right s of and his sometime employee and partn er
nue) and Robin Waterfi eld (O xford ) are the book shop in the wo rld but we believe that we Peace", Mu sic , and Guillaume Postel. Th eir Na ncy Mitford, publi shed as The Bookshop at
ecce ntric antiquarian rump. But there mu st be are the longest established book shop that has latest, 1352 - "English Books" , subtitled "Lan- 10 Curzon Street (2004), thou gh Mitford does
m an y more th an these. always dealt with antiquar ian book s") is guage , Poe try, Music, Fables, Chapboo ks, comm ent to Ray mo nd Mo rtime r during the
At the 200 6 centenary of the Antiquarian Henr y So theran , of Sac kville Street. Shakespea re, To uris m, Germa ny, No ncon- 1970 election campaign, " Heath is co nsidera-
Bookse llers ' Associati on there were still nine So theran 's (by appo intme nt to King Edwa rd formism" , and runnin g to eighty-five items - bly more horribl e than Wil son in my view". A
surviving memb er firms from the orig inal 112. VII ; pur cha sers of Dickens' s library, among includ es two attrac tive Samuel John son year later, she report s to the same corres po nd-
Black well' s is represented in the ODNB , as man y others) has spacious premi ses into pieces, the first an unrecord ed book from his ent, "The B.B .C. rang up & asked what I think
we have seen, by Sir Basil (" the Gaffer" - in which they moved as recently as 1937. But library and bearin g his ow nership signature, of Mr Heath ' s French acce nt? I lon ged to say
1906, only seve nteen and still at schoo l), but they claim a found ation date of 1761: the first Jo seph Trapp's Prae lectiones Poeticae (172 2, it' s his English accent which is so fearful . . .".
not by his grandfather, the found er. Thomas London Sotheran, Th oma s (178 2-1866), had 9 ,500), a series of lectu res by the first Profes- Poor Ted Heath. Both Heywood Hill' s cata-
Chatto of Pickering & Chatto receives a been apprenticed to his uncl e Henr y, a sor of Poetry at Oxford , and the second, "one logues are titill atin g (a necessary attribute),
passing mention in the ODNB's notice of his book seller in Yor k, and Th om as' s son, also of the rares t of John soni an book s" , John co ntaining book s inscrib ed to Heath by,
publi sher father Andr ew Chatto (Chatto & Henr y (1820 -1 905 ), was the dri ving force Paynes New Tables of Interest (175 8, among others, Jon athan Aitken, Leonard Bern-
Windu s), thou gh William Pickerin g, the behind the firm in the nineteenth century . 5,7 50) , with a preface on stockbro king by stein, Win ston Churchill, Charles de Ga ulle,
firm' s nineteenth-c entu ry found er, is duly No ne of these Sothera ns is in the ODN B, and John son - "Among the Brok ers of Stoc ks are J. K. Ga lbra ith, Roy Jenkins, John Maj or ,
honoured. Bern ard Quaritch, the " Napoleon of for biographic al inform ation we must look for- men of great honour and probity, who are can - Richard Nixon , Victor Roth schild and Harold
Bookse llers", who died seve n yea rs befor e the ward to a history commissioned fro m Victor did and open in all their transactions, and inca- Wilson. They are instru ctive catalog ues,
ABA was inaugurated , is we ll recorded . But Gray to celebr ate the firm ' s 250th anniversary pable of mean and selfish purp oses". Th e respectful and of perm anent interest - the first
there is no entry for H. M. Gilb ert , Alfred in 2011. auth or is describ ed as "John Payne, of the featu ring an ex planatory introduction by John
Peter Eato n, th e Old La bour entreprene ur Rank of England" , hUI is much hetter kno wn Saumarez Smith , the seco nd a deft Irihut e hy
whose ex traordinary story is well told in the as a book seller - as which he is included in Kenneth Baker. But should Heath ' s book s
Dr Jan Clarke (University of Durham)
ODNB by Brian Harri son , used to say that his the ODNB. have been sold at all? When he died in Jul y
Th e Guenegaud Theatre in Paris ( 1673-168 0)
stylish 1975 glass-fro nted shop in Holl and So rheran's (2 Sackvilie Stree t, London 200 5, he left the bulk of his 5,3 62,2 40 estate
Volume Three: The Demi se of the Machine Play
Park Avenu e was the first purpose-built W I S 3DP), bigger and mor e obv ious in their to the Sir Edwa rd Heath Charitable Founda-
sec ond-hand book shop since Francis Edw ards present ation , have publi shed a cat alogue, tion , with the intent ion that his hou se in Sa lis-
50-lpp 84.95 Hardcover
develop ed its wonder fully deep, galleried "Children' s and Illu strated Book s" , 189 bur y sho uld be opened to the public and that
9780 77345 3135 Pub. July 2007 shop in Ma rylebone High Street in 191 2. item s rangin g from a 1916 Dul ac watercolour all appropriate "furniture, pictures, memora-
.....1have rarely read a work wh ich :>0 ~U'(~1if\lIl)' combi nes Fra ncis Edwa rds only surv ives now as a illu str ation ( 15,000) , and Te d Hughes' s first bilia and chatte ls" there, and all his papers,
thoroughness and intellectua l rigourwith reada bility.....
Or Willium Brooks . Uni\'ersil)'of B3Ut marqu e of the Hay C inema Book shop , rather book for children , M eet My Folks! (1961, sho uld be made ava ilable as a resource for his-
TIl e' Edwin Mcll en Pm.. Ltd than as an independ ent entity, but for 120 65 0) , inscrib ed by the author, to a "fine torians. What are all the book s he kept scrupu-
TeI:01570 423356 years at least the Edwa rds famil y held sway in crisp copy" in its du stwrapper of w illiam - lously and signed and da ted if not of historic
Emai l: cS@melkn.ocm(.lt.l.co.uk
www. mclle npress.com
Ma rylebone, for nearly sixty-nine of them in the Goo d (192 8, 2,5 00) with an autog raph interest? What are these assoc iation co pies if
the person of the seco nd Francis Edw ards lett er inserted from Ric hma l Crom pton, and a not mem orabili a?

TLS AUGUST 24 & 3 1 2 007


TRAVEL 37

Character in Waiter Savage Land or' s statue that the Rom ans call the Babuin o

A Hig h and Low Life (183 1) excla ims


"A man to lea ve Italy and not to write
a book about it ! Was ever such a thin g heard
Talking waters (baboo n) - one of the so-ca lled talkin g stat-
ues which in the fifteenth ce ntury the locals
used to hang with satiric and iconocl astic
of?". Satyr Square, Leonard Bark an' s writings by night to be read in the ear ly morn-
account of a year spe nt in Rome, is the latest CLA RE P ETTITT ing more genera lly, which must always be a ing before they were rem oved - he des cribes
in a long and remarkably dur able genre, and record of misunderstanding as much as und er- its "Terrifying empty stare, eye less but sav -
one that has produced some dreadfully dull L eon ard B ark an standing. Like Dicken s, who believes he age, like Beelzebub in a grace fully rec um-
books. Barkan' s co ntribution to the genre is really is see ing the Inqui sition tortu re cha m- bent postur e. He is wedge d in between a
not dull. It is all sor ts of other thin gs - at S A T YR S QUARE ber s when show n the kitchen of the Palai s des newspaper stand and a flo wer kiosk, the wall
times self-indulge nt, whimsica l and preten- A year , a life in R ome Papes at Avignon , much of what we see and behind him cove red with om inous, not
tious, at other times acute, reflecti ve, hon est 289pp . New York: Farrar, Straus & Giruux. US $24. hear in unfamiliar places mu st be created always deciph erabl e, signs and sym bols of
and moving. But not dull. 978 0374254052 by our involuntary assoc iations with the po litica l rage " . Bar kan dates his trip to
Barkan is no idle touri st. He is in Ro me famili ar , or with what we expec t to see. How around 1988. Now adays the wall behind the
with a mission altho ugh it is not altoge ther biograph y is a particularly insidious act of man y of us, for exa mple, have sca lded our- baboon is whitew ashed clean of graffiti. But
clear what that mission might be - it has as decepti on" . This see ms to undermine his ow n selves on a fir st trip to Italy turnin g on the tap it is curious that little if any of the politi cal
much to do with sex , food and wine as it does attempt at self-telling, but then he add s " I marked C expecting Cold and getting Ca ldo? rage of the 1980s seems to have mad e itself
with his official research project which was couldn' t turn my eyes away from the gory Barkan sees Rom e throu gh his culture . In one felt to Barkan , for who m it rem ain s indeci-
ultim ately to lead to his exce lle nt scholarly wreck that de Man had mad e of writerly lan- of several refere nces to Natha niel Haw- pherabl e "signs and sy mbo ls" .
monogra ph, Unea rthing the Past: A rchaeo- guage" . Barkan's impatience with de Man ' s thorne' s The Marble Faun, he writes : "I The Italy he experiences see ms to be exclu-
logy and aes thetics in the maki ng of Renais- suspicion of language reveals his ow n old- could hear the Trevi Fountain gush in the sive ly one of food, coo king, wine and art. In
sance culture (1999) for which he wo n the fashion ed respect for creativity - not as sa me language for Hawth orn e as for Holly- fact, he find s he ca n' t get in to see a lot of the
Harry Lev in Pri ze. Durin g his " late 1980s "dece ption" but as our only sublunary chance wood" - but the book leaves us wo ndering art. For ex ample, he sets off to see the Narcis-
Rom an yea r" on which this travelogue/mem- of gras ping a fistful of beauty and transcend- if perh aps the fount ain gushed in a different sus by Alb erti but he find s it is in tran sit from
oir/autobiog raphy is based , he is wor king on ence. Thi s saves eve n his most purpl e and language for Fellini. Tra stevere to the Palazzo Barberini: "Mea n-
the redi scovery of ancient sculpture in Rome narci ssistic passages from emptiness . And he Durin g his Roma n sojourn Bark an find s while - and meanwhil e could last for yea rs -
in the fifteenth and sixtee nth centuri es and so can write beautifully: the extended descrip- him self at a dinn er party where everyo ne nothin g was open to the publi c, and I had to
he is already at ground level and below, think- tion of cookin g dinn er while listenin g to Don see ms only to wa nt to talk about gays, Jews hit the streets" . Thi s happen s to him often.
ing about the accumul ated trash of ages , the Giova nni, and his musings on The Merchant and Am eric ans - a hat trick for the author, But it does not prompt him to make politic al
mut ilations of time and the misund erstand- of Venice are virtuoso performances. who ca n tick all three boxes: " I had entered a conn ections or to reflect on fundin g for the
ings of the past. In the introduction to Bark an' s sense of alienation in Rom e is time and space (so hard to for esee in the days arts at this peri od. This was, after all, also the
Unearthing the Past, he comments of his increased by his misund erstandin g of the of Vietn am , so hard to recon struct in the days time when Silvio Berlu sconi was sys te mati-
rented flat in Piazza dei Satiri that the build- Italian language, of which he clearly has little oflraq) , in which clever, engage d, liberalltal- cally buyin g up Italy' s television stations
ing "probably of medieval origin s, was in grasp when he arrives, and learn s slow ly as ians found them selves drawn to certain glam- and equally sys tematica lly pushin g "high cul-
part supported by the top of a classical col- he goes . It see ms he never reac hes fluenc y, orous minorities and equally mesmeriz ed by ture" off the air and substituting the empty
umn whose capitol was about wa ist high on but his determination to avo id hanging out American culture". But Rome has never been gla mour of round-the-cl ock games hows .
me , but whose base doubtl ess extende d deep with ex-pats is impressive and there is a very an easy place to be gay. A famil y-ori ented Barkan' s grasp of a counter culture in Italy
into the ground where ancie nt Rom e lay fun ny description of a dinner at the Am eric an culture wh ich still strugg les to assi milate the is wea k - he never mentions readin g an Ital-
buri ed". Like man y others he is fascin ated by Academy in Rome where he does once, and private interests of famil y and the publi c inter- ian newspaper or going to the cinema to see a
the millefe uille layerin g of the cit y of Rome, once onl y, see k so lace amo ng his com patri- es ts of the sta te does not admit much space recent Italian film . Thi s pro mpt s impo rtant
Christian culture literall y built on pagan as is ots. The book opens with a Prol ogue entitled for other ways of bein g. Casual homophobia questions about cultural enco unter: is Bar-
exe mplified by the church of Santa Maria "C ircle of Shades", set in 1998 in Ve nice, still see ms to be acce ptable in eve n the best- kans Italy, the aes thetic Italy of food and
sopra Min erva - "Freud loved it becau se where Barkan is mu sing ove r the Venetian educated circles. Certainly, Barkan ' s half- wine and T usca n sunsets, the "real" Italy
eve n its name came in layer s". And although word ombra to desc ribe the aper itivi that he hearted attempts at cruising don't mak e becau se it is the onl y Italy that we ll-hee led
he cl aim s not to be a Freudian, Barkan uses drink s in the shady eve nings in dark Ve netian Rome seem very enticing as a gay touri st visitors will eve r see or want to see? Is it sim-
the layer s of Rome as a kind of fu nction al bars. He speculates that it is perh aps bec ause destin ation (although why he chooses the ply impo ssibl e to "understand" another cul-
metaphor to help him peel back some of the they are served at du sk that these drinks are depressing and seedy area aro und Termi ni sta- ture? One cann ot he lp but thin k that Charles
layers of his own life. ca lled ombrette (little shadows) but in fact tion and no t the happi er or at least more Dickens did better, strugg ling to under stand
The most success ful part s of his book are ombra is the Veneti an word for a glass of scenic hunting gro unds around the Valle the com plex ity of eve ryday life in Ameri ca
less about Ro me itself than about the aliena- wine regardless of when it is drun k. Barkan Giuli a and the Cam pidoglio is unclear). and Italy in the l 840 s - and Ma rgare t Fuller,
tion and acut e self-co nsciousness brou ght on may or may not know this - and in so me At the sa me inter minabl e dinner party, who sent her dispatches back to the New York
by an extended stay in any for eign country. ways it does not rea lly matter - his riff on the Barkan find s that the Italian s' view of Am er- Tribune from the front durin g the Roma n
Barkan writes exquisitely well about discom- idea of shadows in the city of shades and his ica is all "MGM and Motown" and that their revolution of 1848 , is exemplary as an
fort and embarrass ment and mispri sion. quot ations from Dant e are interestin g enough "social analysis was so simple" that it would engage d foreign obse rver.
There is a memorable acc ount of the time he in them sel ves. have been too big a task to try and correct To be fair, und erstandin g modern Rom e is
ends up with one foot in and one foot out Thi s points to something import ant about their misund erstandin gs. But what of his not Barkan ' s mission . He tells us that Rome
of an ove rloa ded gondo la in Venic e; and Satyr Square, and perh aps about travel writ- own social analys is? Discussing the cla ssical is the place where "my ow n archaeo logy was
he describ es his ago nies ove r throwin g the fir st brou ght to light ", but this pa rticularform
weighted key to his fifth-floor flat down to of tra vel writing always teeters on the edge of
visitors at the front door in the street (Will he solipsism. The movement of this travelogue
break a windscreen, or hit his unfortunate is centripetal - Barkan swa llows all thin gs
guest on the head? Will the key fall down a into himse lf. In The Europea n Tour: A hand-
drain never to be see n aga in?). His soc ial Depression Olympics book for Americans and colonis ts (1899),
embarrass ment at not kno win g when to leave Gr ant Allen describ ed the Am erican touri st
a Rom an dinn er part y will he recogni zed hy "whose c om mand o f langua ge is rudim en-
ma ny A nglo- Saxons who have found them- I was holdin g my head in my hand tary" and "whose serious purp ose in going
selves at one of these insid er occas ions at two like a shot-put or discus thro wer. to Europe, if he has one at all, is to visit,
o ' clock in the mornin g on a work night , won- I wasn ' t bur yin g it in the sand, reimagine, and con sum e the past" . Barkan
derin g if they have mistaken the signal to I was holdin g my head in my hand. is exac tly this: a consumer. A consum er of
depart and whether it would be an unpa rdon- I wo ndered where it wo uld land Mich elangelo ' s parti all y restored frescos in
abe faux pas to leave befo re breakfast. if I hurled it with all my power. the Sistine Chape l, the pasta, the fave , the
In his fir st lonely days in Rom e, Bar kan I was holdin g my head in my hand 1978 Barol o - his appetite is prodi gious and
find s Paul de Man on the book shel ves of his like a shot-put or discus thro wer. the most engag ing side of this book is that it
rented apartment and read s him wa rily, sum- rem inds us how much joy and plea sure there
ming him up thu s: "Writing about onese lf can be in wor k when it is properly braided
pro mises the supre me authority of language H UGO WILLlAMS into the res t ofthe stuff of life, and that the art
ove r subje ct matt er ; and since no writing pos- of living matt ers ju st as much - if not more -
sesses authority outside language itself , auto- than any other art.

TLS AUGUST 2 4 & 3 1 2 007


38 IN BRIEF

ethics shifted their basis to sex ual obje ct


cho ice and erotic fulfilm ent , and subordi-
nated the importanc e of procreation . Rich ard
von Krafft- Ebin g' s Psychopathia Sexualis
(1886) marked a cruci al moment in this trans-
formation . Its English translation of 1893 pop-
ulariz ed the word "heterosexual" in the US,
althou gh for thirt y years the conc ept of
"heterosexuality" was linked with fetishi sm
or sex ual acti vity dri ven by the desire for
pleas ure rather than the drive for procreation ,
and given such dictionary definitions as
"abnormal or perverted appetite towards the
oppo site sex". Freud, who m Katz subjec ts to
Poetry a clo se and hostile readin g, is characterized
Chris Greenhalgh as the leadin g "heterosexuality prom oter" ;
T HE INVE NTION OF ZERO Katz traces the mali gn influ enc e of bastard-
64pp. Bloodaxe. 7.95. ized Freudi ani sm in his later chapters.
978 I 85224 773 7 The Invention 0/ Heterosexuality is a wor k
of etymolog ica l histor y which exa mines what
hris Greenhalgh ' s third coll ection, The booki sh people thou ght rather than the pri-
C Invention of Zero , investigates the mean-
ings of zero , nothingness and absence; this
vate acts of the popul ace. Katz believes in
destabilizing hierarchi es, and it is a shame to
lead s into the book ' s con siderati ons of time, see such a free spirit submitting to the authori-
ro mantic love and death. Stylisticall y, the tari an dogmas of Foucault and socia l con-
poem s are mostly spare: they usually inten- struc tivism, which now see m rath er dat ed .
sify at the inclu sion of a single rich simile or Katz believes that sex ual identit y is soc ially
phr ase: breasts respond to the touch , "prink- construct ed and changeable by discour se;
ing / like branch es of hyacinth" , and a lift that the false distin ction bet ween
glides downwards hetero sexualit y and hom osexualit y deni es the
like a diving bell wide continuum of human sex ual prefer-
ences, and is intended to uph old heterosexual-
through the bottomless ist supremacy ; and that biological explana-
ocea n tions of homo sexualit y are defen sive strate-
of the hotel. gies intend ed to prot ect the notion that there
The openin g line of the book - "Nature is a profound antithesis between homosexual-
ador es a vacuum" - introduces Gree nhalgh's ity and heterosexualit y. The fir st edition of
tend ency to take a slight, sometimes playful this book was publi shed in 1995, and in a
turn from the expected. Corpse, 1974-75, from the collection ofDavid Whitney ; from Jasper Iohns: Drawings, new preface Katz decl ares his con victi on
The fir st half of the coll ection con sists of with an essay by Mark RosenthaI (80pp. Yal e University Press. 18.99. 978 0 300125016) "that hum an bein gs use words as tool s to
lineated poem s, the second of a prose crea te particular sex ua lities as spec ific kind s
sequence . Whil e many of the poem s are con- Clayton (191 3- 99), form erl y Professor of of phenom ena, and that the realit y of a parti-
templative in mood - not surprisingly, give n
Classics Classics at the Unive rsity of Exeter. Clay- cul ar sex uality is dependent on and insepara-
their subje ct-matter - two narrative poe ms Frederick W. Clayton, translator ton ' s rhyming coupl ets grate a bit and bear lit- ble from the different words we use socially
obt ain an engaging energy. In "The Unfaith- TH E CO ME DI ES O F TER ENCE tle relation to the originals' compl ex versifica- to describ e it" .
ful Wife " , "after Lorca" , a man tells the story Introduced by Matthew Leigh tion . But the tone is lively and readable. Thi s is a very Am erican book, not onl y in
of his lovem akin g with a wo man by a river , 288pp. University of Exeter Press. There is also an interestin g mock epil ogue in the vio lence and Purit anism that it describes,
and his reacti on whe n he re ali ze s she is not Paperback, 12.99. the vo ice of T er ence w hich C lay to n com- but in the readin g on which it is based , and
"an innoc ent girl" ; while in "Meeting Bill y" , 978 0 859 89763 I posed him self. It spea ks openly of the clash many of its argume nts seem inappli cabl e to
the writer-spea ker exuberantly relates his rela- bet ween modern and anci ent sensibilties the historical experience of wes tern and
when it com es to making comedy out of southe rn Europe, and ce rtainly of Eng land
tionship with Bill y Wild er in a dream-like
success ion of vivid scenes . These poem s,
alon g with some sec tions in the pro se
T he six surviving comi c drama s by P. Ter-
entius Afer ("Te rence") were written in
the 160s BC. They are a fascin atin g cultural
sex ual violence, and is infu sed with the dark
morality of the Second World War. We learn
since 1997. The Invention of Heterosexuality
is, however, a book of shining integrit y, and
sequence , are comp ellin g in their vigour and respon se to the fact that Rom e now domi- from a biogr aphi cal note that, after a spell at eve n readers who doubt some of Katzs con-
lively, insightful description. nated the Greek mainl and for the fir st time, Bletchl ey Park , Clayton suffered a break- clu sions will be grateful for his etymolog ical
Whil e the book jac ket calls the writings but elite Rom ans started philo sophi zing, hunt- do wn because his code-br eakin g work analyses.
that constitut e the book ' s second half "prose ing and whoring like Greeks. Exa ctly how far aga inst the Japanese was so sought after. RI C H ARD D AVE N PORT-HI N ES
poem s", they are not exa ctly that; they lack Terence departed from his ma inly-los t Greek Alth ough he had been a brilli ant Class icist
at Cambridge befo re the wa r, he never
the internal cohesion that phra se sugges ts, sources rem ains a mys tery. Unlike his prede-
publi shed on Class ica l literatur e when he was
Wine
and they put narrati ve ahea d of met aphor as cessor Plautu s, he see ms not to have camped
the vehicl e of meanin g. The sec tion is, in up and embroidered his versions of the origi- ali ve. S. Harutyunian, A. KaIantryan,
fact , closer to experimental ficti on, and it nals with songs , artificial langua ge and witty JO N H ES K H. Petrosyan
works with the precedin g poem s in its recur- slaves . Instead , Terenc e' s plays offer a pure WI NE IN T RA DITI ONA L AR M EN IAN
CU LTU RE
rin g allusions to absenc e, nothingness and and real form of Latin while retainin g the Cultural Studie s 306pp. Center for Agribusiness and Rural
identit y. Gree nhalgh frequ entl y changes the se nse th at it is Greek s w hom we are w atching
point of view to evo ke the collisions that getting them selves into all sorts of misund er- Jonathan Ned Katz Development, 74 Teryan Street, Yerevan
occur in an adulterous affair, and the ten sion sta ndings and embarrass ments. Northrop THE INV ENTIO N OF 375009, Armenia. $100.
in the shifting view points, sometimes within Frye once claim ed that "all comedy ends HE TEROSEX UALI TY 978 9994 1 2 000 0
a single sce ne, creates a sense of unease that with a wedding". Terenc e find s ways of mak- 292pp. University of Chicago Press.
culminates as the affair becomes known and
ultim ately ends . The qualit y of the writing
wave rs occasionall y, as the spea ker's earnes t
ing such "happy endings" slightly unsettlin g:
not so hard to do when the plot s often hinge
on a young man getting away with rape und er
Paperback, $ 16; distributed in the UK
by WHey. 10.50.
978 0 226 4260 I 3
F or those who coll ect beautiful wine
book s, this one will be a real ch allenge to
find . Funded by the United St ates Depart-
appr eciati on of the roma nce slips into senti- the cover of darkn ess. ment of Agriculture, Wine in Traditional
mentality, but by and large the narrati ve is
effec tive and enticing, both in itself and as an
unex pected complement to the poem s that
All of the abo ve and more is found in the
likeable introduction by Matt hew Leigh to
The Comedies ofTeren ce. But the meat of the
U ntil the nineteenth century, Jonathan
Ned Katz argues, sex ual ethics gave pri-
macy to the imperati ve for procreation , and
Armenian Culture, publi shed in Arm eni a,
has 260 pages of colour plates and a bilin gual
English-Armenian text of about fort y
precede it. book is a newly publi shed tran slati on of condem ned all non-procreati ve sex ual acti v- more, tellin g the history of wine in the South
C ARRIE E TTE R all six of the plays by the late Frederick W. ity. In the late nineteenth century, sex ua l Caucas us. The grape itself is anci ent. Palaeo-

TLS AUGUST 24 & 3 1 2007


IN BRIEF 39

bot ani sts tell us that there are imprints of Th e narr ati ve co nsists almost entirely of French, but then there are also charac ters unf amili ar with the best of Western literar y
fossiliz ed gra pe leaves disco vered from the the monologu e of an elde rly man, born in the who are nati ve Spa nish spea kers. The lan- food writing, they have made an anth ology in
Middl e Pli ocen e (4 to 5 milli on years ago ) early yea rs of the twenti eth century, who pro- guage is colloquial and rather cont emp or ary which the mostly exce llent se lectio ns can
but their culti vation ste ms onl y from the Mid- vides very brief anecdotes (w hich are con- ("por si las rnoscas" - just in case - "se puede stand on their ow n. The Table Is Laid will be
dle Bron ze Age (ninetee nth to eightee nth cen- stantly repeated or reworked) abo ut the activi- saber qu e narices" - what the hell ' s going o n) of interest both to food studies specialists and
turies BC) in the South Ca ucas us. Large wine ties of peopl e livin g in the To mbsto ne area in while the characters are see n to respond to the ge nera l reader.
urn s, eve n w ine cell ars, preser ved since the the period, more or less, 1880 to 1920 . But the China of the 1920 s throu gh the eyes of PAUL LEVY
seve nth century BC, are situated in pre-Arme- there is no sense of a changing way of life dur- imp eri ali st co lonizing Euro pea ns of the
nian Urartian sites . Charred grape pit s and a ing these dec ades: the focu s is simply on the period . Medieval Literature
wine press are known fro m the third century dep ravity of the Ari zoni ans. This plotless But then thi s is an adve nture stor y which
BC. Earlier, in the fifth century BC, Herod o- novel is struc ture d as a litan y of references to crea tes its ow n world, somew here between Andrew Galloway
tus tell s us of shipping wi ne from Ar meni a to copul ation (incl uding incest, sodo my and bes- Tintin and Indiana Jones. Th e puzzles are MEDlEV A L LI TERAT UR E
Bab ylon downr iver in huge ski ns. tialit y), rape, castrati on , raci sm , child abuse, clever and the plot fairl y or iginal. The ten- AN D CU LTURE
There are so me insight s into the or igin of mutil ati on (and sundry other kind s of vio- sion is not maintained as we ll as it might be, 154pp . Continuum. Paperback, 9 .99.
the word "wine" . Th e fir st Arm enian form lenc e), ge nitalia, masturbation , micturition , thou gh the chases are goo d and the episode in 978 0 8264 8657 8
was a prehi storic ' woyn which became Clas- defecation , and so on . A nd where does Christ the Empero r's tomb with the autom atic cross -
sica l Arm eni an gini follo win g regular sound
laws, a for m later borro wed into Georgian as
gvini, and into early Greek as (w joinos, and
fit in? At one point the narr ator not es that
hum ans are puni shing God, while near the
end of the wor k he ob ser ves that Christ "rides
bo ws and the sarc ophag us floatin g in mid- air
is ex citing . Th e fin al cha pter, explaining ho w
eve ryone lives happily eve r after, comes as
A s the first publication in a new ser ies of
introductory guides to "key literary peri-
od s", Medieval Literature and Culture sets a
fro m there into Latin as vinum ; all furth er o ut towards Ari zon a and towards wherever" something of an anticl imax . daunting precedent for the forthc omin g
movement into Europe was from Latin (Ger - - but presum abl y to no ava il. TIM C ONNE LL books. In ju st ove r 150 pages, Andrew Ga llo-
mani c win, Slavic vin, etc.). Parall el form s of Th e tran slation of the Spanish ori gin al is way gives an accessible, wide -rang ing and
the word (pro bably as loans from earliest acc ura te and ce rta inly vigo ro us. However , Food coh esive ove rview of a spraw ling nea r-mil-
Ar menian) are known in Heb rew as yayin, readers anticipating a powerful wes tern narra- lennium of Briti sh history and literature, as
liberally used in the Old Testament , and, as a tive after the mann er of Cor mac McCarth y John Thieme and Ira Raja, editors we ll as mor e than 450 yea rs of subse quent
loan from pre-lit erat e Hebrew, "wine" is will be fru strated and perhaps shoc ked. T HE TABL E IS LAID literary study, witho ut over-simplifying hi s
found in medieval Arabi c lexicon s as wayn , Ce la's mon ologu e on turn-of-the-centu ry The Oxford anthology of South Asian subje ct matt er.
meaning "black grape" . Accordingly, con sid- Arizon a is ce rta inly no novel for the right- food writing Th e book ' s focu s is a survey of medi eval
ering the we ll kno wn lingui stic and archae - eo us, the sq uea mish, or ind eed, for anyo ne 415 pp. Oxford University Press. 18.99. literatu re in Eng land, supported by a brief but
olog ica l ev ide nce, we mu st ass ume that wine lackin g sta mina. Unfortunate ly, those who 978 0 195674446 instru cti ve politi cal histor y, and a summa ry
was fir st produced in Arm enia . grapple with it will prob abl y not be enco ur- of medieval literary study since the Renai s-
Arm eni a still produc es a grea t deal. It is
famou s for its brand y, fa vour ed by Win ston
Churchill and now made, as is some of the
age d to try any of the author 's much mor e
interestin g, ear lier ficti on .
D AVID H ENN
I t is not difficult to asse mble a substa ntial
selec tion of passages about food from the
ficti on of writers of South As ian ori gin ;
sa nce. As modern scho larship no lon ger
favour s "excl usively textu al linea ges or nar-
rowl y literary or polit ical contex ts" , Gall o-
table wine, by a French con cession . Th e indeed , it wo uld be possibl e to put together way 's priority is not to exa mine clo sely the
bran dy is mos tly priced out of the Arme ni- such an anthology and restri ct yo urse lf to indi vidu al prim ary sources , but to present
ans ' reac h. Now peo ple are drinking, as they Matilde Asensi book s that had figur ed in the lon g list for the ways of und erstanding their cultura l con-
had before , we ll made village moon shin e TO DO BA JO EL C IE LO Man/B ook er prize ove r the past ten or fifteen texts. He does thi s by survey ing the literature
called "o ug hi" , of which there is plenty. Th e 457pp. Barcelona: Editorial Planeta. 21. yea rs. So it co mes as no surprise that the edi- of the Middl e Ages twic e, first giving a histor-
most fa vour ed type is from Qarab agh, where 978 84 08 06809 9 tor s John Thieme and Ira Raja have included ical overview of literar y trend s, then ca tego -
it is distill ed from grapes. There are reason a- in their volume ex trac ts from writers such as rizin g the same texts by ge nres such as "the
atilde Asen si has made a name for her-
bly (but not cheapl y) priced reds and whites .
Th ey make an abs urdly swee t red (12 per
cent) and have a prop er dr y red which pos-
M self both in Spain and abroad for histori-
cal thrill ers. She has used the Tru e Cross, the
Rom esh Gunse kera, Kiran Desai, Rohinton
Mi str y, Salman Ru shdi e an d Arundhati Roy.
If yo u' re interested in the subje ct, yo u have
lyric" , "prose" and "drama" . This approach
has the significant benefit of highli ghting not
ju st the chro nology of texts and literary move-
sesses a moderat e fini sh an d goo d tannin, but Road to Santiago and treasures looted by the prob abl y already read these snippets of nov- ment s, but also the formal and intell ectu al
those I have tasted are not parti cul arly full- Naz is as them es in such wo rks as The Last els. Exa mples of writing mor e interesting to connecti on s bet ween , for example, sa ints'
bodi ed . The Arm eni ans have no particul ar Cato, Iacobus and The Am ber Salon. She has Western read ers, becau se less famili ar and lives and An glo-S axon heroic poe try or the
need to import wine, thou gh neighb ourin g beeo co mpared to Dao Bro wo for her ability ac cessible , are an effe ctive po e m abo ut a Canterbury Tales.
Ge org ian whites can be terrific. to weave a story around legend ary eve nts with literar y meat vendor, "A Butch er" by Agh a Abandonin g the traditi on al lingui stic dis-
JO H N A. C. G RE PPIN a histori cal slant, and she has used thi s tech- Shahid Al i, and the touching story, " Fish tinction s of "Old Eng lis h" and "M iddle Eng -
niqu e aga in to good effec t with Todo Bajo El Mayonn aise" , by Kishori Charan Das. Most lish" in favour of less prescripti ve histor ical
Cielo, which has not yet appeare d in English. of thi s hand som e book is of the latt er cate- ca tegories such as "A ng lo-No rman Eng -
Spanish Literature Thi s part icul ar tale is set in the China of gory, makin g it a valuable additi on to a liter- land " , he creates a sense of continuity, but hi s
Camilo Jose Cela the 1920 s and revol ves aro und the fabl ed ate foodi es librar y. approac h is never teleological or linear.
CH RIST VE RSU S A RIZ ONA treasur es hidd en in the tomb of the First However, the lon g introduction by the edi- Throughout the book , he emphas izes the
Translated by Martin Sokolin sky Empero r, Shi Huang T i (fo unde r of the Qi n tor s is a shocking piece of work, incorpor- cruc ial con cept that scholarship has no intel-
Afterw ord by Lucile Charlebois Dyn asty and master of the Te rraco tta Arm y). ating eve ry chic Eng lish departm ent shibbo- lectu al endpo int. Unreso lved issues - such as
274pp . Dalkey Archive Press. Th ere is a curious mix of co nte mpora ry poli- leth of aca de mic literary criti ci sm of the pa st the reason s behind the fourt eent h-c entury
Paperbac k, 8.99 . tics (even Primo de Rivera ge ts a menti on ) twent y-fi ve yea rs, while endors ing the alliterative poetr y revival - are identifi ed
978 I 56478 34 1 7 with the Kuomintan g, the nascent Co mmu- fashionable pieti es of all the "studies" - ge n- as such, and he prese nts his summar y of post-
nist Part y and local wa rlor ds wa nting to ge t der, raci al, anti-co lonial, anti-imperialist and medi eval literary criti ci sm not as a definitive
their hand s on the treasure, too. Th e settings
T he publisher' s blurb on the du st-j acket
states that this wor k, which app eared the
yea r before Ca milo Jose Ce la (1916- 2002 )
are evocative of the period , thou gh there is a
ten den cy to fall into stereo type . Pigtail s,
so on. They do this in lan guage so stiff and
clotted wi th j argon that the piece comes close
to se lf-paro dy, and excl udes the "common
pott ed histor y, but as a mea ns of under stand-
ing the "options" no w availabl e for acade mic
study in the field.
was awa rded the 1989 Nohel Pri ze for Litera- bound feet and elonga ted fin gernails all fea- se nse " in re spect to food that A . K. Ram anu- Ine vitahly , a sli m volume w ith suc h a
ture, "turns on the eve nts in 1881 that sur- ture, and there is no shor tage of inscrutable j an claim s for his diffi cult but rewardin g broad remit cannot cover eve rything. Gallo-
round ed the shoo tout at the OK Corra l". How- character s. Th e action is held up by len gth y essay, " Food for Tho ught: Towards an antho- way omits materi al which wo uld be central
eve r, Christ versus A rizona (a straight transla- o utlines of Chinese custom s and hi story, logy of Hindu food-images", which the edi- to a mor e traditi on al introduction : we ll-
tion of the Spani sh title) cont ain s onl y fifteen though Eng lish readers will hardl y need intro- tor s say is their inspirati on for the vo lume , rehearsed but quit e fundam ent al issues, such
or so references to the fam ou s gunfig ht in du ction s to Feng Shui or Kun g Fu. The foot- and which they offer as the prolegomenon to as qu estion s of tran slation or the re lationship
To mbstone, Arizona. Readers who approa ch notes which appear are not very helpful ; an their book. It is tempting to regard their ow n bet ween histor y and literatur e in the Middle
the no vel ex pec ting a paell a wes tern or eve n edition in tran slation wo uld benefit from the introductor y ess ay as furth er ev ide nce of the Ages, receive littl e or no attention. But
so me kind of refl ection on religion and the use of an appendix for such inform ation. dam age don e to clear thinking by the late stude nts of medi eval literature ca n eas ily
Amer ica n way of life are in for a disapp oint- A curious lingui stic feature of the novel is Edwa rd Sa id's capti vatin g co nce pt of "Orien- find num erou s guides which address these
ment, not to menti on a relentl ess ass ault on that the main chara cter is a Spanish wo man tali sm", But despit e the fact that the editors , argume nts ; amo ng introductor y texts, Gall o-
their patience - for the work is a 90,000-word who is the widow of a Frenchman who has one of who m is an academic at a Briti sh way 's approa ch is innovati ve and unu sual, if
sentence: no chapters, no para graphs, merci- died in Shan ghai. It is fortuitous that all the universit y and the other at the Unive rs ity of not uniqu e.
full y lots of comm as, but j ust one full stop. C hinese characters have managed to learn Delhi , appear from their footn otes to be A LYSSA M cDo NALD

TLS AUGUST 24 & 3 1 2007


40 TRAVEL

sense of new experience whe n they describ e

Learnt at both ends it in their ow n ter ms, they also distort what
they have see n.
Eube n approa ches the heart of her book by
demon strating that both for Helleni stic and
n 1999 Roxa nne L. Euben publi shed F RANC I S ROBI NSO N gro und for the developm ent of a more inclu- for Muslim civiliza tion there was a co nnec -

I a path- breakin g book, Enem y in the


Mirror: Islamic fundame nta lism and the
limits of modern rationa lism - a work of
R o x ann e L . E u be n
sive co mparative polit ical theor y. tion between travel and the acquisition of wis-
Eubens Journeys to the Other Shore: dom. For the Gree ks it was expressed in the
Mu slim and Western tra velers in sea rch of concept of theoria. Thus Herodotu s makes
comparative po litica l theory. In th is book she J O UR N E Y S TO THE O T H ER S HOR E know ledge aims to build on this argument Solon the Lawgiver travel from Ath ens for
started from two intellectu al preoccupat ions. Muslim and Westerntravclcrs in search for a comp arati ve po litica l theory, and "in the sake of theoria and wisdo m. For Mu slim s
The first was the paradox of con temporary of knowledge particular the cla im that theorizing invol ves it was exp resse d in the conce pt of ta la b
politics in which sec ular liberal de mocrac ies 3 13pp. Princeton Univers ity Press . $29.95 ; exa mining and makin g exp licit the ass ump- al- 'ilm, travel in searc h of knowledge, as the
distributed in the UK by Wiley. 17.95.
were expe riencing both declining voter turn- tions and commitmen ts that und erl ie eve ry- Proph et Muh amm ad said, "even if it be in
978 069 1 127217
out and increasing aliena tion from pol itics at day actions, a practice on which no time, cul- China". Such travel involved , inevitabl y,
a time when religio-p olitical movem ent s ture or institut ion has a monopo ly" . She does flawed actions of translati on : indeed, Eube n
were "galvanizing peoples into extraor dinary Sayy id Qutb ( 1903-66), in which she demo n- so by exa mining and comparing tra vel describes it as not only a prac tice of tran sla-
attempts to rema ke the politi cal world". This strated that Qutb share d a similar analys is of acco unts: tho se of a Mu slim in the Mu slim tion but a "term of translation" , which both
par ado x see med to sugges t that religion, and the natu re and limits of rationalism to those world, of Wes terne rs in and beyond the West- brin gs wis do m but also misrepresent ation.
religious experience , might have answers to of leadin g Western soc ial theori sts such as ern wor ld, of Mu slim s in the West and of a She then emba rks on three distin ct and fasci-
how hum an bein gs might live we ll in the Hann ah Arendt , Char les Tay lor, Alasdair Western er, in his imagination, in the Mu slim nating comparative studies.
wor ld, whic h had been con signed to the MacI ntyre, Rich ard Ne uhaus, Robert N. world. At the same time she makes clear the The firs t compares the Histories of Herod o-
periphery of politics by the onwar d march of Bellah and Daniel Bell. All see in modernit y unsatisfactory nature of the represent ational tus (ci rca fifth century BC), in which he
reaso n. The second preoccup ation concerned a crisis der ived fro m the impact of Enlighten- ca tegories of "Islam" and the " West" , which explains non-Greek s to Greeks and in the
a tension within Western politi cal theor y ment rationalis m and the loss of meaning in have come to have such dangerou s weight for process gives the Greeks a stronger sense
which arose from the aspir ations of politi cal authority, moralit y and co mmunity. But if ex tremist think ers, both Western and Islamic, of them selves, with the Rih/ a of the
theori sts to engage with question s about the Qutb' s analysis was similar to those of West- in the contemp orary wor ld. What she is inter- fourt eenth-centu ry Moro ccan traveller, Ibn
natu re and value of politi cs, which might ern theori sts, his solutions we re, as we might es ted in is the way in which traveller s' Battuta, who spent nearly thirt y yea rs wa nder-
cl aim relevance to a wide range of peoples expec t, different. On the basis of this acco unts "adopt representational practices ing throu gh the Middl e Eas t, Asia and Africa,
and cultures, while embracing a canon of pol- research Euben raised issues about how West- that arrange human experience into narrati ve fin ally returning to his homeland to record ,
itical theory which was almos t entirely of ern polit ical theory addresses the non- ra- acco unts, and in parti cul ar what such prac- with the help of his editor and ghos t-writer
Western texts. The outco me was a study of tional and tra nscendent, and sugges ted that tices disclose about the ways in which these Ibn Juzayy, the story of his travels. Ta ken
modern Islami c polit ical thought , in parti- Western politi cal theor y ca n be enriched by tra veler s make sense of themselves and the togeth er, Euben decl ares, these two works
cular the Islami st ideas of the leadin g theori st explor ing non-Wes tern perspecti ves on worlds through which they move". She rec og- enable the developm ent of three argume nts
of the Mu slim Brotherhoo d, the Egy ptian debates about co-ex istence , and prepared the nizes, moreo ver, that, as travellers make centr al to her book: that the assoc iation of

TLS AUGUST 2 4 & 3 1 2 007


TRAVEL 4]

travel and the pursuit of knowledge is not con- both to democ racy and to Am erica. views that regard phil osophic al treatises as which has been obscured by the contem po-
fined to any particul ar culture or time; that From this ingeniou s compariso n many tell- the prop er material of politic al theory, dis- rary focu s of analysis and also to recall that
knowledge about what is unfami liar and ing co mmo nalities emerge : the wo rk of both missing the memoir, the novel and the travel openn ess to ec umenicism tend s to flouri sh
famili ar is produ ced comparatively by what auth ors is emb edded in the nation- state acco unt as bein g beyond its purview. Mo re when a civiliza tion is domin ant and declin e
she ter ms "nested polariti es" - Greek and proje cts of their soc ieties ; they both find the parti cul arly she argues that the multivocal ity when it is not.
non-Greek, Sunni and Shia, barba rian and civ- futur e of their societies in tho se they of the epistolatory genre confounds widely A furth er important conclusion is that,
ilized , male and fem ale, Mu slim heartl and describ e; they both regard the position and held oppos itions such as West and Eas t, although Mu slim and Europea n acco unts of
and fronti er ; and that the outcomes of expo- freedo ms of women as mora l indices of the dom estic and po litica l, male mobilit y and travels do point to numerou s differenc es,
sures to the unf amili ar are unpredi ctable in entire cultures in which they are located; and fem ale imm obility. Moreo ver , when we look they also reveal common pattern s of which
part becau se they transform under standings Ta htaw i is as aghas t at the ramp ant materi al- at the writings of Sa lme we come to see the the most import ant, at a time when in publi c
of home and forei gn "at once occas ioning a ism of the French as To cquev ille is at that of "reach and limits of com parative theorizin g, debate a West of boundl ess curiosity is coun-
perspecti ve of critical di stance producti ve of the Ame rica ns. But they are both subjec t to the politi cal complexity of dom estic rea lms terpo sed to an insul ar Islamic civilizatio n, is
wha t I have ca lled theoretical moment s and the inevitable limit ations of the exe rcises of often hidd en from view , and the rough and that "M uslims and Europea ns have long com-
enacting sha rp clo sures in which prejudices translation in which they engage . Cer tainly, gritty und erbell y of what [Edward] Said has pared and und erstood them sel ves in term s of
harden and commitments congeal" . they deri ve authority from standing apart ca lled the ' privilege of ex ile'", Euben con- a shifting panopl y of others" . We share com -
The seco nd study ju xtapo ses the j ourn ey of fro m and seeing for them sel ves the societies clud es by considering the impli cations of mon mec hanisms of translati on and of mis-
an Egy ptian, Rafi al-Tahtaw i, to Pari s in the they descr ibe. But , on the other hand , "this these investigation s for those engage d in translation .
I 820 s, with that mad e by the Frenchma n, makes them blind to the limits of their ow n debat es about a "new cos mopolitanism" , and Such common pattern s, Eube n concl udes,
Alexis de Toc queville, to Am erica in the visio n". Most assuredly their travels brought the cha llenges of a world in which ide ntities "challenge the presumption that politic al
1830s. Both we re j ourn eys to stra nge land s in an enlarge d und erstandin g of the wo rld to the are shaped not only by nation and culture but theory is a field not onl y produced by
sea rch of practical wisdom to brin g hom e, soc ieties from whic h they ca me, but at the also by rapid eco nom ic globa lization. Such but coex tensive with the Wes t, one recen tly
classic exa mples of the Gree k theoria. sa me time they introdu ced distort ion s, con- theori sts, she says , tend to see an unpr ece- reinforced by scho lars anxious to sec ure a
Tahtawi was a me mber of the first stude nt stra ints and their unconsciou s predilections dented level of contac t and exc hange in the certain spirit of intellectu al inquir y as a
mission Muh amm ad Ali sent to France to into these und erstandi ngs. con tempora ry world, and as a result a real Euro-Ame rica n possession and establish
brin g back advanced know ledge and the The third compar ison ju xtaposes Mo nte- need to rethink the mor al and politic al obliga - Islam in particular as the antithesis of critica l
means of new pro sperity to Egy pt. He pub- squieu's Persian Letters of 1721, a novel in tion s of hum an bein gs whose identiti es and reflecti on".
lished his acco unt of the mission in 1834 epistolatory form which tell s of Persian trav- loyalties are no longer co-exten sive with the Thus she ca rries for ward her ca mpaign to
under the title Takhlis al-lbr i; ita Talkh is ellers to Pari s who ca ll them sel ves "searchers modern nation- state. Her research , on the fashion a more inclu sive com parative polit-
Bari; (The ex trac tion of gold from a distill a- after wisdo m", with the writings (ie, books other hand, has dem onstr ated that the fluidity ical theor y, while at the same time arg uing
tion of Paris), which had a major imp act on publi shed as Memoirs and Letters Home) of in the identiti es and asso ciations of the glo- back against those such as Bernard Lewis,
proc esses of mod erniz ation not ju st in Egy pt Sayyida Salme, an Arab princess born in Zan - bali zed wor ld reach es back long befor e the who have peddl ed unfavour abl e views of the
but in the wider Ar ab wo rld. Tocqu eville, zibar in 1844 , who fell in love with a Ge rman sprea d of Western cultural and eco nomic modern Islami c world and are believed to
with his friend Gustave de Bea umont, tra v- merchant and, amid the tribul ation s of the power. Islam , for instance, was a global civil have had a ma lign influ ence on the outl ook of
elled to Am erica to observe first hand Am er- early death of her husband and much poverty, soc iety befor e the age of globaliza tion, and the curr ent US administration. The argu-
ican meth ods of imprisonm ent as a means to Ii ved in Hambur g, Dresden, Lond on and one co nstituted in part by a prin cipl e of free ments of this book are important , persuasive
stimulate reform of the French pen al sys te m. Beirut. Euben argues that these wor ks of movement which both confounded state and nuanc ed; they are the produ cts of erudi-
The visit, of course, inspired Toc quev ille's Mont esqui eu and Sa lme undermine both efforts at control and conferred legitim acy on tion and intellectu al power. It is a pit y that its
Democracy in Am erica , publi shed in two ideas of travel and travel writing as "heroic, states which ena bled such movem ent. We prose makes it rath er mor e challenging to
volumes (1835 and 1840 ), which is a hymn masculine, Western , and scie ntific" and need to recall the Mu slim cos mopo lita nism read than is necessary.

TLS AUGUST 2 4 & 3 1 2 0 07


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43

Da vid Arnold' s mo st recen t boo k is The ed iting a new Penguin book of bird poetry . publi shed last yea r. Se amus Perry is a Fellow of Balliol Co llege ,
Tropics and the Tra veling Gaze: India, land- Oxfo rd , and the author of Coleridge and the
scap e and scien ce, 1800- 1856, publis hed last Modris Eksteins is the author of Rites of Gabriel J osipovici' s mos t recent books Uses of Division, 1999.
year. Sprin g: The Great War and the birth of the inclu de The Singer on the Shor e: Essays :
modern age , revised edi tion 2000 , and, most 1991-2004 and a novel, Nur ein Schertz; Clare P ettitt is a lectur er at King' s Co llege
Jon Ba rness first nove l, The Somnambulist , recent ly, the co-author of Diaghilev Was both publi shed last yea r. Lond on . Her book Dr Livingstone I Pre -
was published earlier this yea r. Here, 2004. sume ?: Missionaries, journalists, explorers
Roz Kaveney' s book Teen Dreams: Reading and empire was publi shed ea rlier this yea r.
Lu cy Beck et ts most rece nt book, In the Carri e Etter is an Associate Lecturer in teen fi lm and television from Heathers to
Light of Chris t: Writings in the Western tradi- Crea tive Writing at Bath Spa Univers ity. Veronica Mars was published last yea r. Jessica Reinisch is a Research Fellow and
tion, was published last year. Lectu rer at Birkb eck College, Univer sity of
John Fanshawe lives in north Co rnwa ll, and Stephen Knight' s novel, Mr Schnit zel, was Lond on .
Bernard Bergonzi is Eme ritus Pro fessor in works for the co nservation ch arit y BirdLife publi shed in 2000.
the Department of Eng lish and Comparative International. Francis Robinson is Professor of the Histor y
Literature, Univers ity of Warwick. His mos t Jonathan L ear is Professor of Philosop hy of South Asia at Royal Holl oway, University
recent book is A Victorian Wanderer: The James Fergusson was founding obituaries and a mem ber of the Co mmittee on Socia l of London .
Life of Thomas Arno ld the Younger, 2003 . editor of the Independent, 1986-2007. Thought at the University of Chicago. His
most recent book is Radical Hope : Ethics in Andrew Saint' s books includ e The Image of
Din ah Birch is Professor of Eng lish Litera - Judith Fl anders ' s most recen t book, Con - the face of cultura l devastation , published the A rchitect , 1983, and Towa rds a Socia l
ture at the Univers ity of Liverpoo l. She is the sumin g Pass ions : Leisure and pleas ure in last year. Arc hitectu re, 1987.
Ge nera l Editor of a forthcoming edit ion of Victo rian Britain, was publi shed last year.
the Oxford Comp anion to Engli sh Literature, Paul L evy was for some yea rs restaur ant J ames Sharpe is Professor of History at the
and her new book, Our Victorian Education, P atrick Denman Flaner y recentl y finished a critic of the Observer, as well as of the A mer- University of York . His most recent book is
will be published this year. doctorate in English at Oxfor d. He is writing ican magazine Trave l & Leisure. Remember Remember the Fifth ofNovember:
a book on adaptation and cano nicity. Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot, 2005.
Rog er Ca r dina l is the author of Henry Eliz abeth Lowry ' s novel The Bellin i
Moore in the Light of Greece , 2000, and Fiona Gruber is the foundi ng hostess of Madonna will be published in 200 9. Tim Souster is a teacher in a prima ry schoo l
Expr essionism, 1985. Gerts, a monthl y salon in Melb ourn e. in New Cross, Lond on.
Jayanta Mahapatra is a poet and edi tor of
Alex Cla r k is dep uty Literary Editor at the Edward Hadas is Associ ate Editor at Break- the jou rnal Chandrabhaga , in Cuttack, Eas t H elen Steward co-edited Agency and
Observer . ingviews.com . His book on eco nomic theor y, India. Action, 2004, and is the author of The Ontol-
Human Goods, Economic Evils: A mora l ogy of Mind: Events, processes and states ,
Peter Coles is Professor of Theoretical Astro- approach to the disma l science, is published David Malcolm is Professor of English 1997.
physics at the University of Cardiff. His mos t this month. Literatur e and Chair of the Departm ent of
recent book is From Cosmo s to Chaos: The Literary Studies at the Unive rsity of Gdansk. April Warman is completing a DPhil on
scien ce of unpredictability, published last Anthony He ad is a writer and editor who has co ntemp ora ry poetr y at Pemb roke Co llege,
year. lived in Japan for twenty year s. Al yssa McDonald works for the New Oxford.
Statesman.
Tim Conne ll is Professor of Languages for David H enn is a lecturer in Spanish at Uni- Hugo Williams' s new collec tion of poems,
the Pro fession s at City Univers ity London . versity Co llege Lond on. Ferdinand Mount' s most recen t novels are Dear Room, was published last year.
The Condor 's Head , publis hed this year , and
Nicholas C ulle n is a reporter on The Kentish J on Hesk is Lectur er in Gree k and Class ica l Heads You Win, 2004. Jane Yeh ' s fir st co llec tion of poem s,
Expr ess . Studies at the University of St Andrews. He Marab ou, was published in 200 5.
is the author of Deception and Democracy in L es Murray' s New Collected Poems
Ri chard Davenport-Hines is com pleting a Classica l At hens, 2000. appea red in 2003. Correction : The credit for the "Grafton"
biograph y of Lady Des boro ugh. port rait (p 12, August 17) sho uld have rea d:
Robert Irwin' s For Lust of Knowin g: D. Nurkse is the author of eight books of The John Rylands University Library, The
Tim Dee is a BBC radi o pro ducer. He is eo- The Orie nta lists and their enemies was poetry, most rece ntly Burnt Island, 2004 . Universi ty of Manch ester.

ACROSS
TLS C ROSSWORD

1 Accomplice on battlefield described by


Defo e (4, 8)
9 Bapti st' s father at a loss for word s (9)
DOWN
709
1 Pole apart for Byron and Pushki n (7)
2 Something lacy I adapted for old
coastal region (5)
s

F
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10 Jellicoe' s mad mother (5) 3 Some of Terence Rattiga n' s leading A N A H e R L .
11 Body of Hoist' s work (6) Iigbts (5, 4) [ N S T [ N C T
,
L A Y si
12 A cony-catching rascal with a bulbous
red nose (8)
4 It may be over when the overwe ight
so prano offer s it (4) H
c
A W A ,, T H
E X
S
e A v A T
E l

13 Sett ing of Coo per book , ashore as well


(6)
5 No Haydn I played sugges ted Hungar-
ian piani st (8)
0
S
T T 0
T H
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W
T 0
R
R
E
S H ,
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p i
E w R N 0 E G .
15 John Gait was interested in its legatees 6 "Wide - the batt le in the plain"
e R A N F 0 R D . P S Y e H E l
(8 ) (Scot t, Marmion) (5)
18 Short cut to useful inventio n for Sir 7 His poem s contained French wisdom SOL UTIO N TO CROSS WOR D 705
Ga wain verse form (8) (8 )
19 Extend ed descriptio n of Margaret 8 Nymph's laure l is hardy (6) The winner of Cross word 705 is
Ken nedy offeri ng (6) 14 Gerard de Nerval's was gallant (2, 6) Nest a Thomas, Swan sea .
21 Well-fo unded by Isaac (8) 16 Grave and serious wor k of lam es
23 Morgan leading character, boxer' s boy (6) Herbert (9)
26 Is fairy queen confused within these 17 Gala at reportedly di stant cross ing by
measures? (5) Priestley (8) The sender of the first correct
solution opened on September 2 1
27 Virginia has vain refor m for Hindu 18 It was a game to Deighton (6)
sectarian (9) wi ll recei ve a cas h priz e of 40.
20 Import unes no matter wh ich play-
En trie s should be addre ssed to
28 Thackera y' s naive girl who had a sharp wright (7 )
friend (6, 6) 22 "The Englishwoman is so refined I She TLS Cro ssword 709,
T ime s House, I Pe nningto n Street,
has no - and no behind" (Stev ie Smith)
London E9 8 I BS.
(5)
24 Her lover was said to be co nstant (5)
25 Lambeth girl in first novel (4)

TLS A UGUST 24 & 3 I 2007


44

A curious "Announcement" appea red in


the Aug ust 16 issue of the London
Review of Books. It was paid for by the
peo ple can agree?" - it is best left alone. Lik e-
wise, it' s safer to skip the en tries under Fa il-
ure (" the writer 's bedfello w") , Money ("very
French publ isher s Editions Ga llimard and seldo m en ough to live on" ) and Envy ("mos t
Les Editions de Minu it, and refer red to an envy is about .. . mon ey"). But be sure to
ad verti sem ent in the Jul y 19 issue of the same rea d und er Beginning, Middl e and Ending.
jo urna l, in which Oneworld Class ics of Rich-
mo nd, Surr ey, offere d "A New Read ing Expe-
rience " . The ex perience involved the publi ca- M etafiction Ill , co ntd: in which we see k
charac ters fro m the work of one writer
tion of " mainstream and lesser-known Euro-
pean classics" , including Canti by G iaco mo
Leop ardi, in a du al-l anguage edition, and
A classic case who turn up in that of another. The critic
Jam es Wo od, writing from Boston , draws
attenti on to Chapter 7 of Vanity Fair, in
the "unexpurgated" Lady Chatterley's Lover. which Thackeray, "talking abo ut the decl ine
Nex t to these were advertised Journey to authors such as Ce line, Artaud, Duras, and tion - thou gh John Ca lder did not inform us of the old coachm an, writes ' Is old We ller
the End of the Night by Lou is-Ferdi nand Robbe-Grillet under the Calder imprint. of thi s at the tim e - went into liqu idation in alive or dead ?' This is a referenc e to the
Cel ine , Moderato Cantab ile by Marg uer ite It was this that pro mpted Gallimard and 199 1 and was dissolved on Aug ust 25, 1992" . coachm an father of Sam Well er in The Pick-
Duras, Jealousy by Alain Robb e-Grill et , and Minuit to place the A nno unce ment in the The nam e of the liquidator is supp lied. wick Papers". Mr Wood also tell s us that in
multiple works by Sa muel Beckett and LRB , which was co ncerne d wi th According to the source , contracts between Jo se Sararn agos novel , The Year of the
Euge ne lonesco. These we re on offer "fro m the following Editions Gallimard authors: Ca lde r and the French pub lishers "were non- Death ofRicardo Reis, the hero Re is, a docto r
the Ca lde r list" . Readers with half an eye to Antonin Arta ud, Louis-Ferdinand Ce line, tran sferabl e and state that bankruptcy auto- and poet in Lisbon in 1935 , "communes with
the soap ope ra of Briti sh publi shin g w ill Euge ne Ionesco and Ray mo nd Queneau; matically invalidat es the contracts" . Th e ex ist- the soul" of the Portuguese writer Fernando
know that the veteran indepen dent publisher and the following Editions de Minuit ing stock "should be pulped or, if allowe d to Pessoa. "R icardo Reis" was in fact one of the
John Ca lde r recentl y sold his famou s list of authors: Marguerite Duras, Alain Robbe-Grillet be, so ld out" , but " in no case ca n the wor ks pen names and alter egos used by Pessoa him-
No bel Prize wi nners to On eworld Class ics . and Samuel Beckett. be reprinted or the rig hts be sub-licensed or self, when writing his verse. As Mr Wood
The On eworld webs ite an nounced the news Gallimard and Minuit hereby confirm that transferr ed to others, all publi cation right s put s it, Re is is thu s "fictional twice ove r".
following the sa le in the spring: they recog nize no right whatsoever on the part havin g reve rted to the Prop rietor". Other read ers have cited Pessoa as a
Onewo rld Classic s is delighted to anno unce the of Oneworld Classics to these authors . Ga llimard say that they offered Onewor ld supreme Metafictionist (gra de Ill ); yet others
purc hase of Calder Publications. Alessandro It sugges ted that "any query" regardin g the the opportunity to sign "a valid co ntract wi th tell of Metafiction al visits by Bill y Bunt er of
Gallenzi, publisher of Oneworld Classics, con- named authors should be addresse d "directly" us" , which coul d have led to new publishin g Greyfri ars Scho ol to Bessie Bunt er' s neigh-
firme d that Ca lder Publicat ions will co ntinue to the French publi shers. ag ree men ts. "A ll they needed to do was bourin g Cliff Hou se. It seems the right
as a separate co mpa ny , wit h its own imp ri nt. Th e issue is com plex, but a source at to offer mode st adva nces a nd sig n ne w moment to con clude thi s e njoyable excur-
The new acqui sition will ena ble Onewo rld Ga llimard tell s us that it involves "John co ntracts for wor ld-literature mas terpieces . sion, thank all who co ntributed, and look
Classics to expand its list dramatically. It will Ca lde r Publi shers Limited (co mpany numb er Instead of their offers cam e thi s uncalled-f or towards Metaficti on IV.
publish some of Ca Ider' s . .. seminal Europea n 1227392 ) which, acc ording to our infor ma- adve rtise ment. And we felt cheat ed."
We aske d On eworld for co mment. They
for ward ed a brief message from John Calde r:
"Gallimard 's and Minuit' s claims are wro ng .
C orrections, cl arifi cation s, etc. In last
wee k's item about bird s in supers tition
and literatur e, we said that writers "fro m Aris-
The right s are still with Ca lder Pub lic ation s." totle to Shakes pea re" have indul ged the folk
belief that the swa n sings swee tly before its

I f you haven 't started writing yo ur book yet,


don 't do so unt il you have con sulted Every -
thing You Need to Know Abou t Creative Writ-
ow n death. A reader writes to say that the
ear lies t literary occ urre nce is a full century
before Aristotle, "in a passage near the end
ing, by Heather Leach and Rob ert Graham of Aga memnon by Aesc hy lus (458 BC).
(Continuum , 12.99), an A- Z of essential Clytemnes tra is gloa ting over Agamernnon ' s
tool s of the writer's trade. It is a sign of the paramou r Cassandra , who m she has j ust
tim es that a book about artistic ex press ion killed alon g with Agamemno n him self, and
has en tries und er Race, Ge nde r, Politi cal says she has sung her swa n-so ng". In the
co rrec tness and Quilting - " stitc hing togeth er same item, we qu ot ed Em ilia , " stabbed by
cha pters which, when com pleted, form a Othell o" , say ing, "1 wi ll play the swa n, I A nd
picture" - but we reco mm end starting at a die in mu sic" . As seve ral readers have
mor e basic level. Notebo oks, for exa mple, point ed out, it is Emilia 's husband lago who
are defined as "devices for co llec ting ideas wields the knife .
and material ; see also Journ als" . Lik e the G igi Santow of New South Wa les is dis-
No teboo k, the Journ al is a useful reposi tory tressed by the use of "decimate" to mean dev-
of "notes, first-draft s, wor ds yo u wo uld like astation , and particularly distressed to co me
to use" , but also "a pri vate place where one upon an instance " in a review o n p2 2 of the
may pour out tho ught s and feelings". TLS of Jul y 13 ... . Man y peopl e appea r to
Once your writing is up and running think decimate a more dram atic word than
("cliches have been useful since tim e imm e- devas tate, altho ugh it refer s to the destru cti on
mori al"), it is tim e to think about a Roo m - of a mere on e-tenth " . Give n that opportuni-
"quiet and privacy are imp ort ant in orde r to ties for the precise use of decim ate are lim-
deve lop the crea tive state of mind that com es ited - Chambers : "to puni sh by killin g eve ry
when you ge t deepl y into your writing" - and tenth man" - it is not surpr isi ng that a loo ser
a Desk - "most people need a flat surface" . appli cation has arrived (Cham bers aga in: "to
The n yo u mu st decide whether yo ur Ta len t reduce very heavily" ). However, when we
(no entry give n) is best suited to Fiction ge t round to upd atin g the TLS Reviewer 's
("m ade-up stor ies, usually in pro se" ), or Non- Handbook, we will do as our NS W reader
ficti on ("prose that has not been made up"). sugges ts, and adv ise: "We avo id" .
As for Poetr y - " What exa ctly is poetr y? Few J .C .

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TLS AUGUST 24 & 3 1 2 0 07