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C O N T E N T S

No. 6214

May 6 2022

the-tls.co.uk

UK £4.50 | USA $8.99

T H E T I M E S L I T E R A R Y S U P P L E M E N T

Susan Owens Eccentric gardeners | Patricia A. Matthew Decoding costume drama Miranda Seymour Elizabeth Lowry’s Hardy | Joe Moran Premonitions of disaster

Portrait of the artist James Fenton on Picasso and his biographer

“Femme assise dans un fauteuil (Woman sitting on a chair)” by Pablo Picasso, 1941 © Henie Onstad Collection, Henie Onstad Kunstsenter. Photographer: Øystein Thorvaldsen. 2021 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

In this issue

The first three volumes of John Richardson’s bio- graphy of Picasso cover the artist’s life until the age of fifty. Richardson died three years ago, before he could complete the fourth, leaving it to his col- laborators, Ross Finocchio and Delphine Huisinga, to end the narrative in 1943, when Picasso was sixty- one and keeping his head down in Nazi–occupied Paris. The artist still had another thirty years to live. But although his project is incomplete, Richardson’s gossipy but scholarly work looks built to last. The final volume captures the artistic decade in which Picasso painted “Guernica” (1937) and “Night Fish- ing at Antibes” (1939) and, as Richardson put it, “Picassified” a succession of wives and mistresses.

Richardson makes fruitful connections between Picasso’s life and his art: he records the artist’s “maîtresse en titre”, the surrealist photographer Dora Maar, turning to Catholicism after a particularly blue period with the artist, explaining that “After Picasso, there is only God”. James Fenton, the poet, critic and war correspondent, turns the tables on the biographer in his review of Richardson’s Life of Picasso: Volume Four. Fenton detects “a whiff of sulphur” about Richardson, centring on his twelveyear mutually exploitative relationship with Douglas Cooper, a wealthy collector who introduced him to Picasso’s adoring circle.

Richardson’s indiscretions are a gift to art critics. The characters in Todd Longstaffe-Gowan’s English Garden Eccentrics will doubtless inspire many imitators. Prominent among them is Sir Charles Isham, who introduced the gnome to English gardens in the 1860s, inspired by his travels in Germany. Isham populated his Northamptonshire estate with models of fairy miners, but our reviewer Susan Owens suggests he gave them a peculiarly English twist: “a militant group are captured on camera taking strike action in Sir Charles’s rockery”.

Are newspapers failing in invention these days? Sam Knight has written an account of a “Premonitions Bureau” set up in 1966 by the psychiatrist John Barker and Peter Fairley, a science journalist, with the blessing of Charles Wintour, editor of the Evening Standard. “For a year”, writes Joe Moran in his review of the book, “the newspaper’s readers would be asked to send in their forebodings of unwelcome events, which would be collated and then compared with actual events.”

Barker envisaged the Premonitions Bureau as a “central clearing house” for all portents of calamities, “a data bank for the nation’s dreams and visions”. The circumstances that led to the bureau’s closure were likely foreseen, too.

MARTIN IVENS

Editor

Find us on www.the-tls.co.uk Times Literary Supplement

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2

3 ART HISTORY

JAMES FENTON

4 HORTICULTURE

6 LETTERS TO THE

EDITOR

SUSAN OWENS

A Life of Picasso – The minotaur years 1933–1943 John Richardson; With the collaboration of Ross Finocchio and Delphine Huisinga. Picasso – Painting the Blue Period (The Philipps Collection, Washington DC). Picasso – Painting the Blue Period Kenneth Brummel and Susan Behrends Frank, editors

English Garden Eccentrics – Three hundred years of extraordinary groves, burrowings, mountains and menageries Todd Longstaffe-Gowan

A history of death, Versions of King Lear, Poets of colour, etc

7 SOCIAL STUDIES

8 BIOGRAPHY

9 POLITICS

11 POEM

12 ECONOMICS

JOE MORAN

DANIEL BEER

JULIUS KREIN ANNE NELSON

JANA PRIKRYL

DEIRDRE NANSEN MCCLOSKEY

The Premonitions Bureau – A true story Sam Knight

Exiles – Three island journeys William Atkins

The Right – The hundred-year war for American conservatism Matthew Continetti The Dying Citizen – How progressive elites, tribalism, and globalization are destroying the idea of America Victor Davis Hanson. American Schism – How the two Enlightenments hold the secret to healing our nation Seth David Radwell

New Apartments

Time for Socialism – Dispatches from a World on Fire, 2016– 2021 Thomas Piketty. A Brief History of Equality Thomas Piketty

13 RE-READING

ANA ALICIA GARZA

A spy, travelling as a journalist – James Agee in America, the ‘Kingdom of Might-Have-Been’

14 ARTS

ELIZABETH LOWRY PATRICIA A. MATTHEW Sibyl William Kentridge (Barbican) Sanditon (ITV, PBS). Bridgerton (Netflix)

16 FICTION

MIRANDA SEYMOUR LINDSAY DUGUID HAL JENSEN LESLEY CHAMBERLAIN

18 LITERARY CRITICISM CARYL EMERSON

The Chosen Elizabeth Lowry Mother’s Boy Patrick Gale Chilean Poet Alejandro Zambra; Translated by Megan McDowell Pollak’s Arm Hans von Trotha; Translated by Elisabeth Lauffer

Eurasia without Borders – The dream of a leftist literary commons, 1919–1943 Katerina Clark. Internationalist Aesthetics – China and early Soviet culture Edward Tyerman

20 PSYCHOLOGY

21 CLASSICS

22 MIDDLE EAST

24 IN BRIEF

DOUWE DRAAISMA

BARBARA GRAZIOSI

RAPHAEL CORMACK ROBERT IRWIN RUTH MICHAELSON

The Rag and Bone Shop – How we make memories and memories make us Veronica O’Keane

Homer – The very idea James I. Porter

The Last Nahdawi – Taha Hussein and institution building in Egypt Hussam R. Ahmed Arabs and Arabists – Selected articles Alastair Hamilton Chronicles of a Cairo Bookseller Nadia Wassef

Lucid – A memoir of an extreme decade in an extreme generation Lucy Holden, etc

26 MEMOIRS

27 AFTERTHOUGHTS

28 NB

JONATHAN BUCKLEY

IRINA DUMITRESCU

M. C.

When the Dust Settles – Stories of love, loss and hope from an expert in disaster Lucy Easthope

The art of improv – Wobbling through life

English idioms, Everyman’s Library, Isabelle Huppert’s Orlando, Brooklyn’s prize problem

Editor MARTIN IVENS (editor@the-tls.co.uk) Deputy Editor ROBERT POTTS (robert.potts@the-tls.co.uk) Associate Editor CATHARINE MORRIS (catharine.morris@the-tls.co.uk) Assistant to the Editor LIBBY WHITE (libby.white@the-tls.co.uk) Editorial enquiries (queries@the-tls.co.uk) Managing Director JAMES MACMANUS (deborah.keegan@news.co.uk) Advertising Manager JONATHAN DRUMMOND (jonathan.drummond@the-tls.co.uk)

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The Times Literary Supplement (ISSN 0307661, USPS 021-626) is published weekly, except combined last two weeks of August and December, by The Times Literary Supplement Limited, London, UK, and distributed by FAL Enterprises 38-38 9th Street, Long Island City NY 11101. Periodical postage paid at Flushing NY and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: please send address corrections to TLS, PO Box 3000, Denville, NJ 07834 USA. The TLS is a member of the Independent Press Standards Organisation and abides by the standards of journalism set out in the Editors’ Code of Practice. If you think that we have not met those standards, please contact IPSO on 0300 123 2220 or visit www.ipso.co.uk. For permission to copy articles or headlines for internal information purposes contact Newspaper Licensing Agency at PO Box 101, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1WX, tel 01892 525274, e-mail copy@nla.co.uk. For all other reproduction and licensing inquiries contact Licensing Department, 1 London Bridge St, London, SE1 9GF, telephone 020 7711 7888, e-mail sales@newslicensing.co.uk

TLS

MAY 6, 2022

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