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Shakespeare and the Stage

John Kerrigan, 21 April 1983

Elizabethan Popular Theatre: Plays in Performance 
by Michael Hattaway.
Routledge, 234 pp., £14.95, January 1983, 0 7100 9052 8
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Shakespeare the Director 
by Ann PasternakSlater.
Harvester, 244 pp., £18.95, December 1982, 0 7108 0446 6
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... interesting, while his best – on clowning, Kyd, Mucedorus – are really first-rate. Ann PasternakSlater’s new book is, by contrast, consistently disappointing. And that’s a pity, because the subject – Shakespeare’s articulation of his plays through explicit and implicit stage directions – is a ...

On the horse Parsnip

John Bayley, 8 February 1990

Boris PasternakThe Tragic Years 1930-1960 
by Evgeny Pasternak.
Collins Harvill, 278 pp., £15, January 1990, 0 00 272045 0
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Boris Pasternak 
by Peter Levi.
Hutchinson, 310 pp., £17.95, January 1990, 0 09 173886 5
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Boris PasternakA Literary Biography. Vol.I: 1890-1928 
by Christopher Barnes.
Cambridge, 507 pp., £35, November 1989, 0 521 25957 6
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Poems 1955-1959 and An Essay in Autobiography 
by Boris Pasternak, translated by Michael Harari and Manya Harari.
Collins Harvill, 212 pp., £6.95, January 1990, 9780002710657
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The Year 1905 
by Boris Pasternak, translated by Richard Chappell.
Spenser, £4.95, April 1989, 0 9513843 0 9
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... A not unmalicious fellow poet once said of Pasternak that he resembled a horse: ‘the same big awkward profile and large eyes that seem to look intently without seeing anything’. The horse-faced parsnip – Pasternak means parsnip in Russian. This is very endearing. What other great poet has the bigness and animal closeness of the equine, and words that plod like hooves with such delicate precision through twigs and grasses? The girls chanting the ‘candle’ poem at his funeral must also have longed to have given him a lump of sugar? One of the best little scenes in Dr Zhivago is the doctor riding home through the Urals forest, with his slow beast undulating under him, and ‘dry volleys of sound bursting from the horse’s guts ...

How confident should she be?

Richard Lloyd Parry: Aung San Suu Kyi, 26 April 2012

The Lady and the Peacock: The Life of Aung San Suu Kyi 
by Peter Popham.
Rider, 446 pp., £20, November 2011, 978 1 84604 248 5
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... of new fashions in sexual liberation. Her college, St Hugh’s, was, in the words of her friend Ann PasternakSlater, ‘a warren of nervous adolescent virgins and a few sexually liberated sophisticates’ with ‘an atmosphere airless and prickly as a hot railway compartment … Being laid back about being laid was ...

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