News and reviews

Filmed Thought reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement

Added on 03/04/2020

There is a shot in The Godfather (1972) that I’ve always loved: Don Corleone (Marlon Brando), leaving the Genco Olive Oil Company, in Little Italy, stops to buy some fruit from a street vendor. Two gunmen head his way.

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An interview with Mat Osman in the Sunday Times

Added on 02/04/2020

When I went off to London with Brett Anderson and formed Suede, Ricky stayed at home. I suppose I saw less of him for the next few years, simply because being in a band is all-consuming and not particularly healthy.

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Steal As Much As You Can recommended in Evening Standard

Added on 01/04/2020

‘This razor-sharp polemic exploring class, taste and culture, is one of the most insightful analyses of the British class system I’ve read in years.’ – Otegha Uwagba, author of Little Black Book

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The economy has been forced to slow down – for the good of us all

Added on 31/03/2020

We have decided that we care more about people than profit – at least for now. Everything other than that which is vital is being put on hold. The key workers are no longer the billionaires, the bankers, the brokers, the city people …

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Could coronavirus be the wake-up call we need?

Added on 31/03/2020

For some time this pandemic will focus almost all of our attention. It is a tragedy that will play out differently in different parts of the world; the poor world will suffer more than the rich one. We will see it as a potential turning point, a portent.

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Dangerous Earth reviewed in the Daily Mail

Added on 27/03/2020

‘Each volcano is an individual; much like people, no two are exactly alike and they change over time.’ Some appear to be dead but are just dormant, and one or two appear to be dormant but are secretly bubbling up for the big one.

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Georg Forster reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement

Added on 27/03/2020

It is tempting to write the narrative of Georg Forster’s life as one of failure. The travel writer, essayist and political revolutionary died at the age of thirty-nine, impoverished, alone, and disillusioned in a Parisian garret in 1794.

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A Little History of Poetry reviewed in the Daily Mail

Added on 21/03/2020

Roughly 250 years ago, James Boswell asked Dr Johnson: ‘What is poetry?’ ‘Why sir, it is much easier to say what it is not,’ replied Johnson. ‘We all know what light is; but it is not easy to tell what it is.’

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Sebastian Faulks reviews A Little History of Poetry

Added on 15/03/2020

Last summer I tried to proselytise two people who said they couldn’t see the point of poetry. I read them extracts from Tennyson’s Ulysses, Matthew Arnold’s Dover Beach and Charles Causley’s Eden Rock. They sat there stony-faced.

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A Little History of Poetry reviewed in the Evening Standard

Added on 12/03/2020

What is poetry? John Carey asks at the start of this brief but comprehensive (or, to put it another way, cursory) history of the whole world’s poetry, running from the Epic of Gilgamesh to the late Les Murray.

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A Little History of Poetry reviewed in the Times

Added on 04/03/2020

If you expected a book titled A Little History of Poetry to cutely recycle received wisdom about the literary canon, turn to page 50, where you will learn that many of Shakespeare’s sonnets “consist largely of complicated word-play…

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An interview with John Carey in the Guardian

Added on 02/03/2020

The critic John Carey, 85, is emeritus Merton professor of English literature at Oxford University, where he taught for more than 40 years. He has written books about John Milton and John Donne as well as polemics against …

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