Geoffrey Wagner

Geoffrey Wagner is a professor emeritus of English at the City University of New York.

Latest by Geoffrey Wagner in Chronicles

Results: 27 Articles found.
  • February 2001

    Fictions Into Film

    "I saw that book." Are we likely to hear this more and more from the next generation? A reviewer recently described a book by Joan Didion as "a novel that doesn't have to be filmed to make you feel you're watching it, not reading it."

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  • May 1999

    The First Racquet in the West

    Every man has his Holy Grail. Mine was a racquet held in the hand of a truculent priest some four centuries ago. I had heard about the ball player of Yagul in southern Mexico from colleagues in archaeology, but it was only after several trips south of the border that I decided to flush him out. No one else seems to have bothered to do so.

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  • January 1998

    Letter From Grenada: Revenge of the Cat

    I recently noticed an article in the Trinidad Guardian about two male teenagers who had been charged with savagely "chopping" an old man (though not to death). Each youth received a sentence of 42 years in prison plus 20 strokes of the birch.

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  • March 1997

    Peter Mayle and All That

    Eleven years ago an Englishman called Peter Mayle followed in so many of his countrymen's footsteps and, tired of rain and taxes, bought a house in sunny Provence.

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  • September 1995

    Eccentricity as Education

    Universities are, or should be, the last refuge of great eccentrics who emphasize our humdrum norms. Such I discovered when I went up to Henry VIII's 1545 refounding of Wolsey's Cardinal College.

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  • May 1995

    Susan Sontag

    "Side by Side by Sontag" was the London Observer's headline describing an evidently turbulent scene at the last Edinburgh Festival. The comedian Simon Fanshawe spotted a famous couple hobnobbing hard together— photographer Annie Leibovitz and her bosom buddy: "the great critic and writer Susan Sontag."

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  • January 1995

    Semper Fidel?

    It is over ten years now since the last Cuban left Grenada. My wife and I happened to own a retirement property on the island less than a hundred meters from the huts put up to house the thousand-odd "freedom fighters" sent down by Fidel Castro (whom I met) to spread the Good Old Cause.

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  • March 1993

    An Artful Success

    Half a century ago Puerto Rico was the poorest country in the West, including Haiti. At that time I was living penuriously in what was to become New York's Spanish Harlem, then the preserve of Italian immigrants.

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  • July 1992

    Life as a Picture Postcard

    The girls are in dirndls. Usually pink, with a darker apron and neckerchief and a waist-cinching bodice of black velveteen, buttoned up under old-fashioned chests. Puff-sleeves of white starched blouses.

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  • May 1992

    Crime and Punishment Among the Last Englishmen

    England abolished capital punishment in the mid-1960's when few capital crimes were committed there, and corporal punishment was abolished long before that.

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  • The Best of Our Time
    November 1991

    The Best of Our Time

    Elected Provost of King's College, Cambridge, in his 30's and subsequently Vice-Chancellor of the University of London, Lord Annan is a delightful person who has given us a delightful book of scintillating erudition that ranges far beyond the confines of its subtitle.

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  • Crusoe's Island
    August 1991

    Crusoe's Island

    Because William York Tindall's Forces in Modern British Literature extends itself only to 1946, and because there has been nothing as wide-ranging published since, I looked forward to George Watson's book repairing the omission.

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  • February 1991

    America in Spanish?

    American Airlines flies you down to San Jose daily, all announcements in English. Indeed, almost everyone in the Costa Rican capital seems able to speak excellent English, prompting the irony of local kids all studying the language hard, to be impeded from practicing it should they reach compulsorily bilingual schools in America.

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  • December 1990

    Snow and Chocolates

    I shall not easily forget my first visit to Switzerland. The end of the war left my battalion encamped north of Perugia. Leave was suddenly generous, and rides in military transport easy to find, at least for a young ensign in the Brigade of Guards.

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  • The Intransigent Uninvited
    July 1990

    The Intransigent Uninvited

    Today the United States takes in annually more than twice as many immigrants as all other countries in the world put together. Many Asian countries permit no immigration at all, and openly despise foreigners.

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  • April 1990

    No Pedestrians

    The last time I visited Brazil I arrived on a Ladeco flight from Santiago clutching a copy of Chile's best newspaper, El Mercurio, wherein I was much impressed by an exclusive from the ever-erudite pen of Thomas Molnar.

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  • March 1990

    On Holiday

    A couple of easy hours from Miami, Guatemala is a time warp. One of the physically closest of our Central American friends, it is at the same time one of the most culturally different—more so, certainly, than modern Mexico.

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  • November 1989

    The End of Art

    One could go back a decade before those "early 1970's" identified by the Times critic in order to see not merely in galleries but in publicly financed museums such works as a set-up of simulated female pudenda (Judy Chicago), sculptured excrement and soiled bedclothes (Robert Rauschenberg), and small strips of fabric stuck here and there to walls (Richard Tuttle).

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  • The Caribbean
    June 1989

    The Caribbean

    For Albert Camus, the French Revolution initiated the modern age, killing God in the person of His representative on earth, the monarch. After which "Utopia replaces God by the future," as Camus nicely phrases it in L'Homme Revoke.

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  • April 1989

    Postwar Oxford

    It was an interesting time. The Second World War had gone on two years longer than the First, with resultant fatigue in England's industrial north, which gave the Labour government its 1945 landslide.

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Results: 27 Articles found.



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