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In the Teeth of the Gale

A.D. Nuttall, 16 November 1995

The Oxford Book of Classical Verse in Translation 
edited by Adrian Poole and Jeremy Maule.
Oxford, 606 pp., £19.99, October 1995, 0 19 214209 7
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... and Dostoevsky are read all over the world while Pushkin, despite the efforts of John Fennell, Antony Wood. DM. Thomas and Vladimir Nabokov, remains primarily a writer for readers of Russian. The myriad imperfections of rendering in any translation of a novel do not seriously impede what looks like genuine literary enjoyment: we weep for Anna Karenina ...

Wild Horses

Claude Rawson, 1 April 1983

‘The Bronze Horseman’ and Other Poems 
by Alexander Pushkin, translated by D.M. Thomas.
Penguin, 261 pp., £2.95, September 1982, 0 14 042309 5
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Alexander Pushkin: A Critical Study 
by A.D.P. Briggs.
Croom Helm, 257 pp., £14.95, November 1982, 0 7099 0688 9
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‘Choiseul and Talleyrand’: A Historical Novella and Other Poems, with New Verse Translations of Alexander Pushkin 
by Charles Johnston.
Bodley Head, 88 pp., £5.25, July 1982, 0 370 30924 3
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Mozart and Salieri: The Little Tragedies 
by Alexander Pushkin, translated by Antony Wood.
Angel, 94 pp., £5.95, September 1982, 0 946162 02 6
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I have come to greet you 
by Afanasy Fet, translated by James Greene.
Angel, 71 pp., £5.95, September 1982, 0 946162 03 4
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Uncollected Poems 
by John Betjeman.
Murray, 81 pp., £4.95, September 1982, 0 7195 3969 2
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Travelling without a Valid Ticket 
by Howard Sergeant.
Rivelin, 14 pp., £1, May 1982, 0 904524 39 6
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... monologues), and I think Johnston shows the better judgment by going for the heavier metre. Antony Wood, in another new translation of ‘Mozart and Salieri’ offers another blank verse version, which reads easily and agreeably, but seems to me to lack some of the dramatic edge of the others: it is a valuable volume, however, assembling all four ...

Two Hares and a Priest

Patricia Beer: Pushkin, 13 May 1999

by Elizabeth Feinstein.
Weidenfeld, 309 pp., £20, October 1998, 0 297 81826 0
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... of Pushkin’s poems, or extracts from them. Some of them are her own translations, others are by Antony Wood, A.D.P. Briggs and D.M. Thomas, all experienced and with idiosyncrasies of their own. The considerable variety in the way the translators work suits Pushkin’s own versatility. The lines Feinstein quotes from her own rendering of The Bronze ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Cleopatra’ , 8 August 2013

... retakes of the Bernard Shaw and the Shakespeare versions of the queen’s life (first Caesar, then Antony), but became one as the costs escalated. It’s usually described as the American cinema’s most spectacular failure, because it signed the death warrant of the epic and nearly closed (did close for a while) Twentieth Century Fox, the studio that made ...

In the Shady Wood

Michael Neill: Staging the Forest, 22 March 2018

The Shakespearean Forest 
by Anne Barton.
Cambridge, 185 pp., £75, August 2017, 978 0 521 57344 3
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... as ‘les quater Chivalers de la forrest salvigne’, emerged from an elaborate artificial wood, consisting of ‘12 hawthorns, 12 oaks, 12 maples, 10 birches, 16 dozen fern roots and branches, 60 broom stalks, and 16 furze bushes’. A century later the design for Lord Hay’s Masque – almost certainly devised by the pre-eminent artist of the ...

Short Cuts

Dominic Dromgoole and Clive Stafford Smith: Shakespeare in Guantánamo, 7 November 2013

... Well That Ends Well / A Midsummer Night’s Dream) Medical Corpsman … . . Silius (Antony and Cleopatra) Nurse … . . Valeria (Coriolanus) Nurse … . . Lucentio (The Taming of the Shrew) Nurse … . . Lucio (Measure for Measure) In Guantánamo, Leonato is a nurse. Shakespeare’s Leonato is the father of Hero in Much Ado about ...

At the Imperial War Museum

Gaby Wood: Lee Miller, 17 December 2015

... She was dogged by depression and alcoholism until her death in 1977. In 1947 she had a son, Antony Penrose, who has curated her posthumous career with grace, and has spent much of his life trying to find out who his mother was, before he knew ...

How do you see Susan?

Mary Beard: No Asp for Zenobia, 20 March 2003

Cleopatra: Beyond the Myth 
by Michel Chauveau, translated by David Lorton.
Cornell, 104 pp., £14.95, April 2002, 0 8014 3867 5
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The Roman Mistress: Ancient and Modern Representations 
by Maria Wyke.
Oxford, 452 pp., £40, March 2002, 9780198150756
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... of the capital – to mark his victories over an assortment of Northern barbarians, over Mark Antony’s forces at the battle of Actium and finally over Egypt itself – were to draw a line under civil war and inaugurate the new regime. Along with the wagonloads of booty, the placards blazoning the names of massacred tribes and annihilated cities, the ...

At the British Museum

Peter Campbell: American Prints, 8 May 2008

... in the park. In London and Paris, the illustrations that painters admired – some reproduced by wood engraving, some by lithography – were done by others. In America the illustrators themselves became painters and printmakers. While many of the prints here are evidence of the desire to make something of the American scene – the skyscrapers, bridges and ...

At the Foundling Museum

Brian Dillon: Found, 11 August 2016

... accretion or translation. Phyllida Barlow’s Untitled: Molotov 2015, a colourful agglomeration of wood, plastic, fabric, plaster and more, is a coffee-table-height version of her more expansive sculptures. Rachel Whiteread’s small bronze Untitled (Found Heel and Toes) was cast from a decayed shoe dug up while she was making a large public work on Governors ...

In the Studio

Rye Dag Holmboe: Howard Hodgkin, 3 June 2021

... beginning of the 1970s because he felt that the material sagged and warped after prolonged work. Wood maintained its qualities over time and ‘answered back’. It was more resistant, more independent, and it didn’t matter to Hodgkin if he was using an old chopping board, a bit of timber found on the street or an expensive antique frame. The choice of ...

Hitler’s Teeth

Neal Ascherson: Berlin 1945, 28 November 2002

Berlin: The Downfall, 1945 
by Antony Beevor.
Viking, 490 pp., £25, April 2002, 0 670 88695 5
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... Soviet shells were falling. But that apocalyptic place seemed as dead and remote as Küstrin. Antony Beevor cannot bring that Berlin back to life. But he has constructed a staggering diorama of how it was in those months between the Soviet crossing of the Vistula in January 1945 and the silence that fell in ruined Berlin almost five months later. Readers ...

What happened that night on the Acropolis?

Robert Cioffi: Hymn to Demetrius, 10 February 2022

Demetrius the Besieger 
by Pat Wheatley and Charlotte Dunn.
Oxford, 496 pp., £100, April 2020, 978 0 19 883604 9
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... fill the pages of Plutarch’s biographical account, in which he pairs Demetrius with Mark Antony as examples of men whose lives, brilliantly begun, ended in disgrace. But if Demetrius lived for the show, he died in silence. Shortly after he was captured, he bequeathed his empire to his son and cut off his family and friends.* Not only did he abdicate ...

In Hackney

Iain Sinclair: Steve Dilworth, 15 November 2001

... canister. Hebridean air is trapped. The maquette that will contain it is made from polystyrene, wood, plaster. A bronze is cast and polished. A smooth helmet-shape with a lovely patina. There are apertures through which the radiant air can be examined. The bronze becomes a visor, a device that is both ancient and early contemporary. View according to ...

Sink or Skim

Michael Wood: ‘The Alexandria Quartet’, 1 January 2009

by Lawrence Durrell.
Folio Society, 203 pp., £19.95, January 2009
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by Lawrence Durrell.
Folio Society, 198 pp., £19.95, January 2009
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by Lawrence Durrell.
Folio Society, 263 pp., £19.95, January 2009
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by Lawrence Durrell.
Folio Society, 241 pp., £19.95, January 2009
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... The old man begins to sing a popular song, Darley recalls the Cavafy poem about the god abandoning Antony, and thinks, ‘Each man goes out to his own music’ – an elegant untruth but a fine epitaph. There is the death of love itself when Mountolive finally meets up again with his once beautiful Egyptian mistress, Nessim’s mother. Here we see the Gothic ...

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