Craig Raine

What a scorcher: bearing the brunt of Harold Pinter’s temper was one of life’s central experiences

The night I kissed Harold Pinter

22 September 2018 9:00 am

I think everyone was a little nervous of Harold. Including Harold, sometimes. He was affable, warm, generous, impulsive — and…

Blinded by love: Sylvia Plath with her son Nick in Devon in 1962

‘Ted is liar. Ted beats me up. Ted wishes me dead’: Sylvia Plath descends into madness and misery

15 September 2018 9:00 am

In 1923, a Frenchman, Emile Coué, persuaded millions of Americans to finger a piece of string with exactly 20 knots.…

Volcano of invention: Alexander Calder at Hauser & Wirth Somerset

Alexander Calder was a volcano of invention

23 June 2018 9:00 am

In the Moderna Museet in Stockholm there is a sculpture by Katharina Fritsch, which references Chekhov’s famous story ‘Lady with…

Exemplary candour: detail from Paula Rego’s ‘Abortion Sketches’ (1998)

Worth a trip for the David Joneses alone: Journeys with ‘The Waste Land’ reviewed

24 February 2018 9:00 am

To bleak, boarded-up Margate — and a salt-and-vinegar wind that leaves my face looking like Andy Warhol’s botched 1958 nose-peel…

Sappho in America

16 September 2017 9:00 am

We are gripped by gossip. Curiosity is a tenacious emotion. In her essay on Push Comes to Shove, the autobiography…

T.S. Eliot’s crisis year: exhaustion, hair loss and a wrecked marriage

12 March 2016 9:00 am

F.R. Leavis once denounced the Twickenham edition of Pope’s Dunciad for producing a meagre trickle of text through a desert…

Hughes in 1986: Bate simply fails to make the case his book stands on – that the poet was a sadist

An unauthorised, and unconvincing, biography of Ted Hughes

3 October 2015 8:00 am

In Testaments Betrayed, Milan Kundera says: ‘Biographers know nothing about the intimate sex lives of their own wives, but they…

Family photo of Saul Bellow

Saul Bellow’s fiction: a warehouse of stolen property

2 May 2015 9:00 am

Saul Bellow died in 2005. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1976. The first installment of Zachary Leader’s…

Seamus Heaney in 1996

Seamus Heaney: no shuffling or cutting — just turning over aces

13 December 2014 9:00 am

The impersonator — Rory Bremner, Steve Coogan — speaks, in different voices, to a single primitive pleasure centre in his…