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Heartlessness

Neal Ascherson, 19 December 1991

Judge on Trial 
by Ivan Klima, translated by A.G. Brain.
Chatto, 547 pp., £14.99, November 1991, 9780701133498
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... The war was finished – and so was the regime of occupation. Its most hated representatives had either fled or wound up in prison while their victims had been proclaimed martyrs. But all that concerned just a tiny section of the population: most of the people had not died, fled or gone to gaol, but merely gone on with their lives. Overnight, they had entered a world which commended actions that yesterday’s laws had identified as crimes, a world whose laws declared yesterday’s crimes to be acts of heroism ...

If I Turn and Run

Iain Sinclair: In Hoxton, 1 June 2000

45 
by Bill Drummond.
Little, Brown, 361 pp., £12.99, March 2000, 0 316 85385 2
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Crucify Me Again 
by Mark Manning.
Codex, 190 pp., £8.95, May 2000, 0 18 995814 6
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... they bother him, he knows how to construct pop lyrics that burn like sweet acid into the brain, but this is personal. ‘Somehow these words seemed to be directed towards me. It triggered something in me, and I couldn’t help but respond.’ So, as Drummond explains in his 1998 Penkiln Burn pamphlet Lies (which is not part of the 45 collection), he ...

Do I like it?

Terry Castle: Outsider Art, 28 July 2011

... elicited in a viewer? Whether symptomatic of fear or vacancy – some roiling tumult in the brain or its zen-like emptying out – the outsider image invariably takes us to its own lonely, offhand, bewildering place, one to which, in the end, we may feel we have only the skimpiest psychic access. In the 1980s and 1990s my own predilection for outsider ...

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