Reviews of Australian Books #32

Under the title "Wizards of Oz" (gee, that's original) Christopher Bray reviews Things I Didn't Know by Robert Hughes, and North Face of Soho in the "New Statesman". He calls Hughes "Argus-eyed" (whatever that means), and concludes "Were it not for Hughes's existence, James would be a shoo-in for critical stylist of the age."

In "The New York Times" Janet Maslin looks at Bad Faith: A Forgotten History of Family, Fatherland and Vichy France by Carmen Callil, which "becomes a quietly devastating history of Vichy France's anti-Semitic machinations."

Things I Didn't Know by Robert Hughes is reviewed by Waldemar Januszczak in "The Sunday Times", who finds it "a picture of an angry scrapper, a man capable of scary ruthlessness, an autodidact whose faults, when he turns to an art criticism, don't seem to be faults at all."

In the same newspaper, DJ Taylor casts an eye over Clive James's North Face of Soho. Taylor identifies "James's abiding flaw as an anecdotalist, that odd and faintly gratuitous sense of performance, in which the reader is forever bidden to admire not so much the work set out before him as the spectacle of the writer writing it. Style-wise, too, James is moving into what - to borrow Philip Guedella's joke about his namesake Henry - might be called his 'Old Pretender' phase, all dangerously extended metaphors and descriptions that, despite their freight of top-grade adjectives, fall short of describing the object under review."

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on October 16, 2006 12:43 PM.

Poem: Old Poets by E. D. (Edward Dyson) was the previous entry in this blog.

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