Iain Bamforth

Iain Bamforth, who lives in Strasbourg, is preparing a collection of essays on literature and medicine.

Little Goldbug: Tomi Ungerer

Iain Bamforth, 19 July 2001

Tomi Ungerer is a household name in the German-speaking world – at least in that portion of it which raises 1.6 children. He has published 120 books, many of them for children; in 1997 he won the Hans Christian Andersen Prize. He was born into a famous family of clockmakers in 1931, and raised in a suburb of Colmar, one of those idyllic medieval towns on the Rhine that seem lost to...

In the small hours of Monday, 11 January 1993, Luc Ladmiral, a GP in Voltaire-Ferney, a dormitory town for Geneva on the French side of the border, received a call to say that the house of his closest friend in the neighbouring town was in flames. When he got there, the firemen were bringing out the charred remains of the two children, Antoine (five) and Caroline (seven), and their mother...

Diary: Bodyworlds

Iain Bamforth, 19 October 2000

In 1997, in the space of four months, more than three-quarters of a million people – the highest attendance for any postwar exhibition in Germany – queued to be admitted to the Bodyworlds (Körperwelten) exhibition at the Technical and Industrial Museum in Mannheim. The show produced similar attendance figures when it moved to Japan and to the traditional European capitals of...

Günter Grass stands so prominently in the line of fire of Germany’s still polarised and politicised cultural life, and has been sniped at so often since The Rat (1986) – A Wide Field (1995) was literally ripped up for the benefit of the press by that other Grand Old Man of German letters, the critic and TV personality Marcel Reich-Ranicki – that it comes almost as a surprise to find a barely noticed survivor: Grass the poet.’


Bantu in the Bathroom

19 November 2015

Images of Oscar Pistorius’s tattoo of Corinthians 9:27 reveal that Jacqueline Rose has hobbled her inferences about his character by misquoting a key word: it reads not ‘I execute each stride with intent’ but ‘I execute each strike with intent.’
Susan Pedersen writes about Britain’s ‘second most famous nurse’, Edith Cavell (LRB, 14 April). It is a curiosity of literary history that Gottfried Benn, the German expressionist poet, was present at her execution in his official capacity as surgeon major to the German army in Brussels: he confirmed Cavell’s death, closed her eyes and laid her in her coffin.These details come...
The map of Yemen shown in Tariq Ali’s article should have indicated that the archipelago of Socotra (off the Horn of Africa) is also part of the Republic (LRB, 25 March). It might not be of great political importance today, but the main island was a major trading post as far back as the Ptolemies. Socotra is one of the most biodiverse places on the planet; at least a third of its endemic flora...

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