The new nativism claims to be based on common-sense solidarity with fellow citizens. It differs from white nationalism and seems almost to wish to promote a kind of cohesion among Britain’s current ethnically diverse population by uniting it against new immigrants.
Nerys Williams’s new collection is much concerned with language, and while it disparages ‘silver tongues’ it recognises that the value of language and its ‘half-lit words’ may lie in the uncertainty of its interpretation, in its meaning different things to different audiences.
Nicola Gordon Bowe, who died suddenly last month, was an expert on the work of stained glass artists Harry Clarke and Wilhelmina Geddes. She was the pioneer writer who fought to have craft and design recognised intellectually as operating on an equal footing with the fine arts.
A perceptive essay on technology in the nineteenth century indicates why that era had such a bearing on the times to come in highlighting the discrepancy between our technological capabilities and what our mind is able to penetrate, between our inventiveness and our moral imagination.
Robert Lowell’s ‘For the Union Dead’ is first and foremost an American poem. It is about a nation born in courage and descending into slack and rust. It is about valour and the corruption of valour. It asks which noble acts, which right things done, enter and stay in memory.
It is quite astonishing that there is no reference to Slavoj Žižek in a massive new volume which calls itself a handbook to Hegel. While the Slovenian philosopher can be challenging, his work reaches parts of Hegel that are not found or given a tamer inflection in most other commentaries.
Celebrated biographer Claire Tomalin tackles the subject of her own life with detachment and calm. Her concise and slightly formal prose strikes the right note to deal with sorrows and adversities, though occasionally one could wish for just a little idiosyncrasy or waywardness.