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Peter Robb: Lives

Reviewed by
June 2012, no. 342

Peter Robb: Lives

Reviewed by
June 2012, no. 342

A dynamic collection from a distinctive voice

Owen Richardson

 

Lives
by Peter Robb
Black Inc., $32.95 hb, 398 pp, 9781863955638

 

Peter Robb, in this collection of some of his journalism, quotes E.M. Forster’s remark about Constantine Cavafy: that he lived ‘absolutely motionless at a slight angle to the universe’. That line is half true of Robb’s subjects in this book. They have a way of existing at an angle to the universe, but they are not at all motionless. The lives in this book have trajectories and velocities that bring out an equal dynamism in the man who recounts them, as could well be imagined by anyone who has read his earlier work about Italy and Brazil (2004) or his biography of Caravaggio (1998).

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