Tag Archives: Rebecca West

June 28, 1914: “But if ever a man went anywhere of his own free will, Franz Ferdinand went to Sarajevo.”

June 28, 1914: Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie – setting out in their motorcade in Sarajevo that fateful morning, as the assassins, unseen, move into position. Here are two excerpts from Rebecca West’s towering Black Lamb and Grey … Continue reading

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The Books: Arguably, ‘Rebecca West: Things Worth Fighting For’, by Christopher Hitchens

On the essays shelf: Arguably: Essays by Christopher Hitchens How do you “explain” Rebecca West? Especially to those who haven’t heard of her? Never mind the fact that it’s so strange and wrong that her name doesn’t resonate at the … Continue reading

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For International Women’s Day: Ladies I Love

I love them for a variety of reasons: they inspire, they entertain, they challenge, they leave me in awed silence, they provoke, or, most importantly, they were “there” in my most formative years as a child, and held out a … Continue reading

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Rebecca West Commonplace Book Part 2

Here is Part 1. Letter to S.K. Ratcliffe, summer 1922 I feel dead beat and never want to write another line – I hate hate HATE journalism. I want to write a light book before I do my vast ghost … Continue reading

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Rebecca West Commonplace Book, Part 1

During my enforced time off, and my enforced time with no Internet or TV (and, intermittently, no power), I read The Selected Letters of Rebecca West, a giant volume I have been putting off tackling. Why I cannot imagine. I … Continue reading

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Speaking of Rebecca West

That’s her on the right, one of the witnesses in Reds. I think my favorite part is when she says to her friend, “You know who didn’t know a thing about Socialism? Beatrice Webb.” (Pulls her shawl around her imperiously, … Continue reading

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Books Read This Week

Hitch-22, by Christopher Hitchens Arguably, by Christopher Hitchens Love, Poverty, and War, by Christopher Hitchens (this was a re-read) Opium Season: A Year on the Afghan Frontier, by Joel Hafvenstein In the mood for bracing, opinionated and difficult stuff. Now … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Rebecca West

Dame Rebecca West is the grand pooh-bah on my short list of “intellectual idols”. It is her birthday today. It is hard to talk about her without referencing the generations of writers she inspired, all of whom admit their debt … Continue reading

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2010 Books Read

Round-up of the books I read this year, in the order in which I read them. I am nearly finished with one last book (a collection of stories by Miranda July, given to me by my sister Siobhan for my … Continue reading

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– Sometimes I look up from what I am doing and I see Hope across the room staring at me, and there is a look of such coiled contempt in her eyes that I want to run fleeing into the … Continue reading

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