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It was Hemingway, never shy of certainty, who said that “all modern American litera- ture comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn”. This was passably unfair on, say, Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Henry James, to name but three (especially given that James’s sinuously brilliant The Portrait of a Lady predates Huck by three years). But Hemingway was inter- ested in tracing that line of (very male) literary descent that might characterize a nation with a rather rugged view of itself. And such a lineage has been often pondered and extended since: Twain to Hemingway himself, and Fitzgerald, and on to more modern literary figures of heft and weight: Bellow, Roth, Cormac McCarthy, perhaps. The idea of the Great American Novel, or the greatest living American novel- ist, both masculine conceptions in their way, seems to fit this sensibility.

James Salter, who died in 2015, was an aficionado’s choice for such praise. But popularity and truly widespread acclaim were never his entirely to enjoy. Declan Ryan this week considers Salter’s non-fiction, and finds “a man of hyper-competence, curiosity and charm”. Forged by his experience in the military (he fought in Korea, and wrote about it in his first novel, The Hunters), Salter retained a sense of balance in his perspective: “at once a sensualist and a pragmatist…both a romantic and a realist”, in Ryan’s words. His interests were large and varied; his writing about them compelling, “albeit rarely as captivating as his best fiction. Little is”.

The American writer and activist Max Eastman is indelibly connected in the imagination with Hemingway, having fought him in a publisher’s office, after the latter took “umbrage at what he read as a slur on his masculinity three years earlier in Eastman’s review of Death in the Afternoon”. Hemingway, the subconscious self-parodist. As Morris Dickstein relates, there is much more to the man who was, for a time, “the most famous radical in America”. Not least in his role as an “apostle of free love and nude bathing”, the former not automatically a result of the latter.

As a thinker, Eastman was the product of his age: a Marxist, a Freudian, a critic wrestling with the “unintelligibility” of modernism. According to Dickstein, “he would not abide poems that couldn’t be paraphrased into clear argument”. In later years, he showed “a gift for portraiture”, writing a “finely wrought album” of descriptions of major figures such as Einstein and Charlie Chaplin. Like Salter, perhaps, Eastman “hasn’t had the lasting recognition he deserves, but that day may yet be in the offing”.



3 Morris Dickstein

Ellen Wiles Declan Ryan



7 Paul Duguid


8 Samuel Graydon


10 Ruth Pavey

Maren Meinhardt

Clare Saxby


13 David Arnold

David Herman







16 David Horspool

17 Gerald Mangan

17 Ella Baron

18 Guy Dammann

Marchella Ward Alice Wadsworth

21 John Banville

Mary Beard Lucy Dallas Ruth Scurr Kate McLoughlin


24 Nathalie Olah


Sinéad Sturgeon




27 John Stokes

Anna Coatman

28 Kate Webb

Elizabeth Lowry Lara Pawson



32 Robert Alter


33 Alastair Hamilton




36 J. C.

Christoph Irmscher Max Eastman – A Life Samuel Hynes On War and Writing James Salter Don’t Save Anything – The uncollected writings of James Salter

Voyeurism vs fetishism, Translating Proust, Tricky Dicky, etc

Ellen K. Pao Reset – My fight for inclusion and lasting change. Marie Hicks Programmed Inequality – How Britain discarded women technologists and lost its edge in computing

Leonard Susskind and Art Friedman Special Relativity and Classical Field Theory – The theoretical minimum. Steven S. Gubser and Frans Pretorius The Little Book of Black Holes. Carlo Rovelli The Order of Time. Peter Atkins Conjuring the Universe – The origin of the laws of nature

John Lewis-Stempel The Wood – The life and times of Cockshutt Wood. Isabella Tree Wilding – The return of nature to an English farm Portia Simpson The Gamekeeper. John Bartram Park Life – The memoirs of a Royal Parks gamekeeper Ashlee Cunsolo and Karen Landman, editors Mourning Nature – Hope at the heart of ecological loss and grief. Charlotte Du Cann et al, editors Walking on Lava – Selected works for uncivilised times. Imre Szeman and Dominic Boyer, editors Energy Humanities

Aidan Forth Barbed-Wire Imperialism – Britain’s empire of camps, 1876–1903 Tony Kushner Journeys from the Abyss – The Holocaust and forced migration from the 1880s to the present

Tradition and the individual tyrant – On the writing of dictators

Farewell shrug – The myth-making of an Arsenal manager

Measureless to man – Coming back from a coma

Across the ages

George Benjamin Lessons in Love and Violence (Royal Opera House) Shakespeare Othello (Liverpool Everyman) Grotty (The Bunker, London)

Philip Horne, editor Tales from a Master’s Notebook – Stories Henry James never wrote Simon Turney Caligula Madeline Miller Circe Julia Kristeva The Enchanted Clock Toby Litt Notes for a Young Gentleman

Unapproved – An extract from an interview with Bret Easton Ellis

Tim Conley Useless Joyce. Michelle Witen James Joyce and Absolute Music. Richard Barlow The Celtic Unconscious. David Pierce The Joyce Country. Jamie O’Connell, editor Best-Loved Joyce Andrew Murphy Ireland, Reading and Cultural Nationalism, 1790– 1930. Declan Kiberd After Ireland

Matthew Morrison The Soho Theatre, 1968–1981 Michael Tapper Ingmar Bergman’s “Face to Face”

Matthew De Abaitua Self & I Rose Tremain Rosie James Rhodes Fire on All Sides. Alex Lemon Feverland

Helen MacEwan Through Belgian Eyes, etc

Lewis Glinert The Story of Hebrew

Nicholas Hardy Criticism and Confession

I, Claudius by Robert Graves (TLS May 10, 1934)

This week’s contributors, Crossword

Unreal Anthony Burgess, Non-writing, Mad Artaud

Cover picture: “Vertical Fall in the Winter call that dances in the spring nocturnal…” 2010–12 by Brandon Ballengée. Unique digital Chromogenic print mounted on aluminium. In scientific collaboration with Stanley K. Sessions with title from a poem by Kuy Delair. Courtesy the artist and Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York; p3 © Bettmann/Corbis/Getty Images; p5 © Sophie Bassouls/Sygma via Getty Images; p7 © Urs Fischer. Courtesy of the artist and Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York. Photo: Mats Nordman; p8 © Ton Koene/Alamy; p11 © Chris Watt; p13 © akg-images; p16 © Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images; p17 © Ella Baron; p18 © Donald Cooper/Photostage; p19 © Jonathan Keenan; p20 Courtesy of The Other Richard; p21 © Granger Historical Picture Archive/Alamy; p22 © Bridgeman Images; p23 © Jerome Gorin/PhotoAlto/Getty Images; p24 © Bella Howard; p25 © Rue Des Archives/Writer Pictures; p27 (top) © Nobby Clark/ArenaPAL; p27 (bottom) © ScreenProd/Photononstop/Alamy; p29 © Gabriel Solera/Redferns/Getty Images; p32 ©; p34 © Moviestore collection Ltd/Alamy The Times Literary Supplement (ISSN 0307661, USPS 021-626) is published weekly except a double issue in August and December by The Times Literary Supplement Limited, London UK, and distributed in the USA by OCS America Inc., 195 Anderson Avenue, Moonachie, NJ 07074-1621. Periodical postage paid at Moonachie NJ and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: please send address corrections to TLS, P0 Box 3000, Denville, NJ 07834, USA

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