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harry roberts

harry roberts's Public Library

  • “The bulk of humankind, today and in history,” he writes, “has been far too busy struggling for survival to engage in lengthy philosophical analyses. So if an examined life is one in which more than just a little investigation takes place, by implication, huge swaths of humanity are ignorant beasts.”
  • is profoundly elitist.
  • Pro bono and NHS work notwithstanding,

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  • In fact, despite their ostensible variety of concerns, all of Phillips's books orbit a topic he has not addressed directly in any of them:
  • seduction.
  • You flirt with reading them.

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  • It implies an acute sensitivity to conflict and a fear of being rude or mean to others.
  • However, by resorting to the phrase, what we actually do is unleash a stranger and more reckless situation
  • Compare the way we behave over aesthetics to the way we behave around food and music, two fields where strong opinions and a love of arguing our case come naturally

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  • So you can't blame these films for not doing that. If you really want to find and expose "bad slow films", you will have to deconstruct what "slow films" intend to achieve and demonstrate they didn't deliver that.
  • Boredom for film critics is like loss of appetite for food critics.

  • Amis doesn’t provide the humanist pieties Updike looks for in his fiction:
  • The moralist and the celebrity are awkward bedfellows; they have to be as artful as Amis can be to pull it off."
  • "the moralist in Amis has always insisted that not everything is literary.

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  • eluding paraphrase and landing unfailingly on the right side of cleverness.
  • or that old friend of Hampstead and Tavistock psychoanalysis, The London Review of Books

  • Dyer’s work—part essay, part travelogue, part fiction—sometimes reads like a less melancholy, more comic (and more English) variant of Sebald’s peregrinatory prose
  • Like so many German men of his generation, Sebald’s father refused to speak about his war experiences, and this reticence, with that of post-war Germany as a whole, is what impels Sebald’s narratives of shame and historical occlusion.
  • He wrote—as was often remarked—like a ghost.

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  • Routinization is the only way to make progress, and that leads to a growing disconnect between your writing process and
  • your emotional state
  • You have to be able to meet your wordcount even on those days when you are fully convinced that your project is utter nonsense that no one will read and everyone will mock and revile. Only then have you really become a writer.

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  • Instead it is something luxurious, coveted, and glamorous, associated with long days of reading, plenty of room to sprawl in bed, ecstatic self-communion, and, as befits the former executive editor of the decorating magazine Domino, a well-appointed apartment of one’s own.
  • spinsterhood as an identity available to any woman, married or single, who sometimes feels suffocated by conventional cohabitation and who has decided to prioritize me-time:
  • ’m in my 30s and haven’t married yet, but marriage is not in my own top five questions and hasn’t been for some time. I’m much more interested in whether I’ll write a book or have kids, and much more defined and governed by race, class, gender, and the changing climate.

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  • ‘Was I a man or a jerk?’
  • was a worker of slow, monkish application
  • was, in a way, worldlier

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  • "the saddest heart in the post-war supermarket"

  • Think of Plato’s ‘argument from imperfection’: in order to perceive a particular thing to be imperfect, we must have in mind some ideal of perfection.
  • any specific metrical pattern (iambic, dactylic, anapestic etc) or mode (pastoral, elegy or ballad).
  • t’s consonant with the emphasis across her work on potentiality over actuality:

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  • But yes, it does seem that there's an advantage to cultural scarcity, in a sense. It makes people hungry, it makes them more inclined to make their own excitement.
  • so maybe the folk memory of the failures is part of what disinclines people from doing it now.
  • ed less and less plausible. By the time of Billy Bragg, some people of my generation would still say, "Great! The Protest Singer -- shouting down power!" And then people like me would think, well, this is just like preaching to the converted and it's pointless.

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  • A slight deterioration in his eyesight had convinced Frampton that he could no longer paint to his previous high standard and meticulous detail. With his wife he moved to a hilltop house in Monkton Deverill in Wiltshire

  • young drivers, high performance, Japanese imports, kit cars, taxis, driving schools and commercial insurance.
  • intermediary market as a distribution channel for providing insurance
  • first insurer established in Gibraltar, underwriting in the UK

  • react to their "radical conditionedness.

  • due to growing up with an alcoholic and abusive father.
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