Posted on by David Gelber

Georg Lukac’s fan-club has been dwindling steadily over the past decade. Spurned by liberals as a Stalinist hack, he has also drawn increasing flak from an oedipal Left which, weaned on his writings, has now sought to oust him. Theoretically, Lukács has been denounced as an Hegelian humanist in Marxist clothing, a latter-day Quixote who […]

Heady Celebrations of Style

Posted on by David Gelber

The essays collected in Against Interpretation date from 1961-65, and created enough of a stir to be republished in book form in 1966. In the preface to that edition, Sontag points out that they belong to a ‘period of search, reflection, and discovery’ between the writing of her first and second novels, and she returns […]

Synge, Yeats, Marx and Europe part 2

Posted on by Tom Fleming

Katharine Worth offers her readers a European perspective on Irish drama and a celebration of Yeats as a master of 20th century theatre. With elegance and lucidity she traces the influence of Maeterlinck’s ‘static drama’ on the theories of Yeats, who conceived a horror of excessive physical movement on the stage. Lady Gregory taught her […]

Synge, Yeats, Marx and Europe part 1

Posted on by Tom Fleming

It has been said by more than one Irish writer that the first duty of an artist is to insult rather than flatter his fellow-countrymen. J M Synge incurred the wrath of Irish nationalists for his healthy refusal to idolise the peasant at a time when most native politicians were demanding a drama which would […]

Man of Sixty-Two Words

Posted on by Frank Brinkley

Novelists’ thoughts on their own work don’t always make very edifying reading. Among the Moderns, perhaps only James in his Art of the Novel – and, in a more intimate way, Conrad and Virginia Woolf in their respective Letters – have been able to shed any powerful light on the process and ‘ideology’ of their […]

Did He Jump or Was He Pushed?

Posted on by David Gelber

Primo Levi was found dead at the bottom of a stairwell in 1987, having presumably thrown himself from the landing of his fourth-floor flat. The New Yorker announced that Levi’s act had ‘cancelled’ the value of his writing. The novelist William Styron claimed that antidepressants (to which he has attributed the salvation of his own […]

Something Useful in the New Shakespeare

Posted on by Tom Fleming

The formidable bulk of the new Oxford Shakespeare invites mockery, and the long time that elapsed between the publication of Volume One (the modernised text without a commentary), Volume Two (the text unmodernised but still without a commentary) which followed within months, and now the long promised third volume which has just appeared, invites suspicion […]

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