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Tag Archives: WW2

Kreises of conscience

All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days The True Story of the Woman at the Heart of the German Resistance to Hitler by Rebecca Donner Canongate, £16.99, pp576 . In 1928, modest young blue-collar English lecturer Mildred Fish arrives in Berlin to begin her PhD in American Literature. In the febrile, polyglot atmosphere at the […]

My first Carr

On my personal discovery of eccentric English novelist (and teacher, and artist, and airman, and footballer) JL Carr, the night before what would have been his 108th birthday. — For The Critic

Selassie come home

The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste Canongate, £16.99, pp. 428 . In 1935 the troops of Benito Mussolini’s sinister-clownish Roman Empire II invaded Ethiopia, in large part out of spite for Italy’s embarrassing defeat there 40 years before. Initially largely uncontested – thanks both to emperor Haile Selassie’s desperate faith in international brotherhood and to […]

Hit and miss

Chastise: The Dambusters Story 1943 By Max Hastings William Collins £25 . By 1943, after nearly four years of war ‘ameliorated [only] by a thin gruel of successes,’ Britain and her western allies had little to boast in terms of their offensive victories; the lion’s share of the burden was very clearly being shouldered by […]

Did The English Patient send me to Afghanistan?

Two nights from now, by way of (ahem) a birthday present, I will be attending a live-orchestra screening of The English Patient at the Albert Hall. I had invited an old friend, a raven-haired young lady (named in Debrett’s) of impossibly romantic tendency, who first exposed me to the film in, I’d say, about 1998 […]

Up diddly up, down diddly down

Itchin’ for a Twitch Inn, at the Heritage weekend. — For The Oldie

M.O.’s m.o. – or; Everybody wants to be like Mike

A review of Michael Ondaatje’s Warlight. — For The Spectator

Monty’s trouble

A footsoldier’s review of Antony Beevor’s Arnhem: the Battle for the Bridges, 1944. — For The Oldie

NEWS AT A GLANCE

. In the United Kingdom 200 out of every million persons are employed as writers or editors. — The Nelson Evening Mail, April 2 1907 . No-one has been found in a major search along the Torridge. ‘Pog mahone’ means ‘kiss my arse’, in Gaelic. Some people do not like to read instructions. In South Africa […]

Turning Japanese stomachs

Confessions of a Mask by Yukio Mishima Penguin, 170pp, £8.99 . Born two years after the Great Earthquake of 1923, in ‘not too good a section of Tokyo’, Kochan is a sickly child, brought up by stultifying parents and a morbid grandmother. His first reliable memory is of the ‘night-soil’ man, and he immediately becomes […]