Tag Archives: Frances Oliver

Volume 35 no 6 July/August 2021

Iain Baxter& & the Amper& – Miklos Legrady Katherine Anne Porter and the Spanish flu – Frances Oliver Art for the Blind – Bridget Crowley Eat Bread and Salt and Speak the Truth – Al Jirikowic Editorial Daniel Nanavati, Cornwall, UK Speakeasy John Link Poem: Where leaps the flame – Shänne Sands Film: Sex, Pills and Crazy Women in American …

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Katherine Anne Porter and the Spanish Flu

Frances Oliver We can have no idea what masterpiece, if any, will emerge from experiences of the Covid-19 pandemic. We do know that the ‘Spanish’ influenza of 1918 produced at least one classic, Katherine Anne Porter’s short story, Pale Horse, Pale Rider. The Spanish flu, another species-jumping virus, probably actually originated in America. Unlike with Covid-19, those who did not …

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Epidemics Come and Go

Frances Oliver This is the fourth epidemic which has made abrupt changes in my life (see article in the Jan/Feb edition of the NAE); so perhaps I am less surprised by it, and less affected by lockdowns, than most people. As a writer in lockdown: during the first lockdown I kept a boring daily diary, just for my records. During …

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Sic Transit English

Frances Oliver So – the meaningless ‘so’ now used to begin statements by anyone questioned on the BBC – I’m going to rant on again about what is happening to the English language. I’ve already written about the absurd twists and turns of politically correct pronoun gender avoidance, which produces gems like: ‘Why would a man beat their wife?’ (Maybe …

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Four Epidemics

Frances Oliver There have been several epidemics in my lifetime – among them SARS, Ebola, AIDS, Swine Flu, Bird Flu – but here I will mention only those that, though they did not make me ill, in one respect or another changed my life. The first was polio. When I was a child there was as yet no vaccine and …

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BOOK REVIEW – Ludwig Bemelmans

Frances Oliver The Covid lockdown has sent me back to old favourite books, and I have just revisited two by Ludwig Bemelmans, one from my parents’ art book collection, My Life in Art, and a battered autobiography, Life Class, from mine. Ludwig Bemelmans (1898–1962), born Austro-Hungarian, later American, was a writer and painter renowned chiefly for his children’s books. The …

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Volume 35 no 1 September / October 2020

Features: 6 An American Child and the Victorian Radicals – James Cassell 9 Intimate Art – Daniel Nanavati 11 Utah can be the Art Scene of the West – Alexander Stanfield 13 In response to Darren Jones on the Whitney Biennial – Al Jirikowic 15 Chairs, Tables and Sex – Frances Oliver 16 Defund the Police, Refund the Arts – …

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Chairs, Tables and Sex

Frances Oliver As I begin to read a review* in my favourite magazine, The New York Review of Books, I am caught up short by the following: “… Gessen’s credentials as an observer of autocracy are impeccable. Aged fifty-three, they (Gessen identifies as binary) spent their childhood …” Who are they? Oh of course – binary – they is/are Gessen …

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Volume 34 no 5 May / June 2020

ARTICLES: THE ART OF THE NAKED APE Miklos Legrady, Toronto Editor LEONARDO DA VINCI MUSEUM, MILAN Anna Maria Benedetti EVERY JOKE HIDES A TRUTH Al Jirikowic on the movie Joker ISAAC LEVITAN, RUSSIAN MASTER Colin Fell, our new writer in Penzance DEPARTMENTS: 2 LETTERS 4 EDITORIAL BY Pendery Weekes 5 SPEAKEASY BY Jack Balas   REVIEWS: 15 TRAGÉDIE FRANÇAISE Frances …

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Tragédie Française

by Frances Oliver I wrote recently about a just republished book from my parents’ art book collection, Saul Steinberg’s Labyrinth. Another of their books I treasure, a very different book that some might find almost unbearable to look at, is Frans Masereel’s Danse Macabre, the drawings that are his own 20th-century version of the plague-inspired medieval Dance of Death. I …

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Saul Steinberg’s The Labyrinth

Among my parents’ art books was a big book of drawings I loved as a child and now have and love still: Saul Steinberg’s The Labyrinth. It has just been republished by the New York Review of Books. Saul Steinberg (1914-1999) was from a Romanian Jewish family. He studied architecture in Milan and in 1958 fled Fascism to land eventually …

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Volume 34 no 3 January – February 2020

Articles: The Art of Extinction Rebellion: Josephine Gardiner from the UK Rebellion in Hong Kong Art: Leung Suk Ching I Left my Heart in Leipzig: Viktor Witkowski, USA If it Works, don’t Fix it: Frances OIiver, UK Fervid Art from the Edge: Jane Addams Allen, New York Scouting the Blogs: Miklos Legrady, Toronto Brzezanska ‘s Stories from Earth: Katie Zazenski, …

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If It Works, Don’t Fix It

I love the Cornish Riviera Sleeper, the night train that runs six nights a week between Penzance and London Paddington Station. The beds are comfortable, the very pleasant lounge car offers free hot drinks and biscuits, the staff are uniformly helpful, kind, friendly and polite. I love this train so much that I was one of those prepared to spend …

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EXCLUSIVE DISASTERS – A Website

Author’s note for EXCLUSIVE DISASTERS My late husband remarked, already decades ago, that you can no longer write satire as humanity satirizes itself. Still, the temptation remains to comment on our increasingly degenerate and chaotic culture in that particular form, and though nothing could top the truth of Pendery Weekes’ article on embryo jewellery I cannot resist adding some persiflage …

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