All That Has Survived

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

When the young Philip Larkin – mole-like, bespectacled, apprehensive, stammering – was a pupil at the King Henry VIII School in Coventry and living with his parents in Manor Road, he began to shape himself as a writer. The house he inhabited was, he recalled in an autobiographical fragment from the 1950s, suffused with a […]

Plots Have I Laid

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

E ven in his twenties Wilkie Collins looked ‘weird and odd’. His head and shoulders were unusually large, but his hands and feet were tiny; when he bought boots for his mother in Paris he tried them on for size. He was severely myopic. He suffered from rheumatic disorders and nervous tics that worsened as […]

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Vowels of Anguish

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure, who died at the age of fifty-five on the eve of the First World War, went on to have a profound impact on twentieth-century thought. More cited than actually understood, he inspired a modernist turn in the humanities in the middle of the century, when variants of structuralism spread through […]

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RLF - March