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Cutting it short

John Bayley, 3 November 1983

Alexander Pushkin: Complete Prose Fiction 
by Paul Debreczeny, translated by Walter Arndt.
Stanford, 545 pp., $38.50, May 1983, 0 8047 1142 9
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The Other Pushkin: A Study of Alexander Pushkin’s Prose Fiction 
by Paul Debreczeny.
Stanford, 386 pp., $32.50, May 1983, 0 8047 1143 7
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... have realised a great future potential. The first-person narrator, Grinev, is a young officer of Catherine the Great’s time, who gets involved in Pugachev’s revolt; and he does just what the piece requires of him. He derives from Scott’s young hero Waverley, who is also involved in a rebellion ‘sixty years since’, and who like his Russian ...

Hemingway Hunt

Frank Kermode, 17 April 1986

Along with Youth: Hemingway, the Early Years 
by Peter Griffin.
Oxford, 258 pp., £12.95, March 1986, 0 19 503680 8
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The Young Hemingway 
by Michael Reynolds.
Blackwell, 291 pp., £14.95, February 1986, 0 631 14786 1
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Hemingway: A Biography 
by Jeffrey Meyers.
Macmillan, 646 pp., £16.95, March 1986, 0 333 42126 4
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... pretty well the same point, when Hemingway is about to take off for Europe with his bride Hadley Richardson. He is 22 and she close to thirty. He has done a good deal of journalism and written some stories, none published. I suppose one justifies the writing of quite long books about a writer before he truly became a writer by arguing that nothing about so ...

To kill a cat

Anthony Pagden, 21 February 1985

Settecento Riformatore. Vol. IV: La Caduta dell’Antico Regime 1776-1789. Part One: I Grandi Staii dell’Occidente 
by Franco Venturi.
Einaudi, 463 pp., lire 45,000, July 1984, 88 06 05695 6
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Settecento Riformatore. Vol. IV: La Caduta dell’Antico Regime 1776-1789. Part Two: II Patriotismo Repubblicano e gli Imperi dell’Est 
by Franco Venturi.
Einaudi, 1040 pp., lire 55,000, July 1984, 88 06 05696 4
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The Great Cat Massacre, and Other Episodes in French Cultural History 
by Robert Darnton.
Viking, 284 pp., £14.95, July 1984, 0 7139 1728 8
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Rousseau, Dreamer of Democracy 
by James Miller.
Yale, 272 pp., £25, July 1984, 0 300 03044 4
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... of all citizens in the political life of the nation to the ‘enlightened despotism’ of Catherine the Great and Joseph II. The Enlightenment was never, except among a restricted group of intellectuals, a single process. But by describing the various movements of which it was composed through Italian eyes, Venturi has provided his readers with a ...

The Village Life

James Meek: Pushkin in English, 6 June 2019

Novels, Tales, Journeys 
by Aleksandr Pushkin, translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky.
Penguin, 512 pp., £9.99, October 2017, 978 0 241 29037 8
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... connection to Pugachev, and Mironova has to travel to Petersburg to plead his case to the Empress Catherine. There’s enough that’s pleasing about The Captain’s Daughter to refute the notion that Pushkin’s terse style would in itself have been an obstacle to his writing a novel as good as Scott’s – or better, with none of Scott’s tedious ...

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