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The Politics of Translation

Marina Warner: Translate this!

11 October 2018
This Little Art 
by Kate Briggs.
Fitzcarraldo, 365 pp., £12.99, September 2017, 978 1 910695 45 6
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Translation as Transhumance 
by Mireille Gansel, translated by Ros Schwartz.
Les Fugitives, 150 pp., £10, November 2017, 978 0 9930093 3 4
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Sympathy for the Traitor: A Translation Manifesto 
by Mark Polizzotti.
MIT, 168 pp., £17.99, May 2018, 978 0 262 03799 0
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The 100 Best Novels in Translation 
by Boyd Tonkin.
Galileo, 304 pp., £14.99, June 2018, 978 1 903385 67 8
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The Work of Literary Translation 
by Clive Scott.
Cambridge, 285 pp., £75, June 2018, 978 1 108 42682 4
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... writers’, in Polizzotti’s view (though Nabokov’s Pushkin has convincing detractors). For Clive Scott, the new proximities and the new estrangements wrought by global flows of people, goods, finance, communications – have given literary translators a more urgent part to play than ever before. It is among poorer, smaller groups that ...

Heaven’s Gate

Rosemary Hill

8 September 1994
Pugin: A Gothic Passion 
edited by Paul Atterbury and Clive Wainwright.
Yale, 310 pp., £45, June 1994, 0 300 06014 9
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... at Windsor and if Her Majesty dips into this volume she may be puzzled by the stern tone in which Clive Wainwright endorses Pugin’s ‘quite proper’ renunciation of her ‘horrific’ furniture, most of which is considered too distressing to illustrate. In Dr Wainwright’s disapproval we hear an authentic echo of Pugin himself, who brought to English ...
18 April 1996
Scott Inquiry Report 
by Richard Scott.
HMSO, 2386 pp., £45, February 1996, 0 10 262796 7
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... The most remarkable aspect of the Scott Report is its simplicity. The famous length and the differing interpretations to which it has been subjected since its publication suggest a learned and complex treatise full of ambiguity and complex allusion, a sort of political bible with Sir Richard Scott in the role of the Yahweh/ Saviour and Robin Cook and Ian Lang fighting it out to play St Paul ...

Allegedly

Michael Davie

1 November 1984
Public Scandal, Odium and Contempt: An Investigation of Recent Libel Cases 
by David Hooper.
Secker, 230 pp., £12.95, September 1984, 0 436 20093 7
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... Hayward, a successful businessman, of being involved in a criminal conspiracy to murder Norman Scott, the friend of the Rt Hon. Jeremy Thorpe MP. It was a serious matter when a book by David Irving was read as suggesting that Captain Broome RN, the commander in 1942 of the destroyer escort of a wartime convoy taking supplies to Russia, had disobeyed orders ...
18 July 1985
The Ponting Affair 
by Richard Norton-Taylor.
Cecil Woolf, 144 pp., £5.95, June 1985, 0 900821 74 4
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Who Killed Hilda Murrell? 
by Judith Cook.
New English Library, 182 pp., £1.95, June 1985, 0 450 05885 9
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... Without Richard Norton-Taylor of the Guardian, there would be no Belgrano affair, and doubtless Mr Clive Ponting OBE would be plying his way, ever upwards, in the Ministry of Defence. This is no exaggeration. Simply a statement of fact. I am in a position to know. However right Paul Rogers, Lee Chadwick, Arthur Gavshon and I may have been, the fact is that without the sustained interest of Guardian readers, and, in my case, the Labour Party up and down the country, there was no way which the professors of Belgrano Studies, as David Frost has christened us, could have carried on ...

Self-Positioning

Stefan Collini: The Movement

25 June 2009
The Movement Reconsidered: Essays on Larkin, Amis, Gunn, Davie and Their Contemporaries 
edited by Zachary Leader.
Oxford, 336 pp., £18.99, May 2009, 978 0 19 955825 4
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... alike, to identify a new tendency in contemporary writing, before, on 1 October 1954, J.D. Scott, the literary editor of the Spectator, published (anonymously) a leading article entitled ‘In the Movement’. Modern Britain, Scott argued, was emancipating itself from the old social hierarchies of the prewar ...

Success

Benjamin Markovits: What It Takes to Win at Sport

7 November 2013
... transformation started ten years ago, when England won the rugby world cup under the guidance of Clive Woodward, who went on to become ‘director of elite performance’ at the British Olympic Association (he retired in 2012, just after the summer games). Two years later, the England cricket team ‘took back’ the Ashes after eight straight defeats to ...
5 May 1988
The Hand, Great Anarch! India 1921-1952 
by Nirad Chaudhuri.
Chatto, 979 pp., £25, November 1987, 0 7011 2476 8
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The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian 
by Nirad Chaudhuri.
Hogarth, 506 pp., £7.95, November 1987, 0 7012 0800 7
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... without effort in the days of War and Peace and Resurrection, following the novels of Balzac and Scott. A contemporary novel like Rybakov’s Children of the Arbat uses the old tradition, alternating domestic and family matters with scenes in the Kremlin and among the Soviet bigwigs. But the result is unconvincing, with no naturalness about it, and the ...

Shining Pink

Tam Dalyell

23 May 1985
Death of a Rose-Grower: Who killed Hilda Murrell? 
by Graham Smith.
Cecil Woolf, 96 pp., £5.95, April 1985, 0 900821 76 0
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... therefore assume that it had been there on the Thursday. But when the local landowner, Mr Ian Scott, went around counting his trees with a view to felling on 22 March, he didn’t come across any bodies. Corpses do not turn up in different locations, after rigor mortis has set in, of their own volition. The events surrounding the ‘brutal and callous ...

Secrets are like sex

Neal Ascherson: Whitehall Spookery

2 April 2020
The State of Secrecy: Spies and the Media in Britain 
by Richard Norton-Taylor.
I.B. Tauris, 352 pp., £20, March 2019, 978 1 78831 218 9
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... Acts – is impressive. Some would call it a roll of honour. From recent years, it would include Clive Ponting, Cathy Massiter, Sarah Tisdall and Katharine Gun. Norton-Taylor seems to have known them all. Most of his best stories, however, came from the numerous civil servants, some of them very senior, who used a discreet journalist to reveal that ...

Superchild

John Bayley

6 September 1984
The Diary of Virginia Woolf. Vol. V: 1936-1941 
edited by Anne Olivier Bell and Andrew McNeillie.
Chatto, 402 pp., £17.50, June 1984, 0 7012 0566 0
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Deceived with Kindness: A Bloomsbury Childhood 
by Angelica Garnett.
Chatto, 181 pp., £9.95, August 1984, 0 7011 2821 6
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... controlled by the new kinds of social and aesthetic domination, and by such bogus concepts as Clive Bell’s ‘significant form’. As Diarist, she had an assiduous zest for social goings-on of any kind, and for the places where things were happening. But she had the snob’s fatal lack of independence, of the ability, essential to most good writers, to ...

No Clapping

Rosemary Hill: The Bloomsbury Memoir Club

16 July 2014
The Bloomsbury Group Memoir Club 
by S.P. Rosenbaum, edited by James Haule.
Palgrave, 203 pp., £20, January 2014, 978 1 137 36035 9
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... would have caused no consternation among listeners who included Virginia and Leonard Woolf and Clive Bell. Nor, perhaps, would Forster’s own discomfort with the question of Sex, which played a large, complicated part in his own life: ‘You work it out,’ his essay goes on: ‘I can’t so well.’ Increasingly anguished by the implications of his ...
4 November 1993
The Green Knight 
by Iris Murdoch.
Chatto, 472 pp., £15.99, September 1993, 0 7011 6030 6
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... women – Louise and her daughters Alethea (Aleph), Sophia (Sefton) and Moira (Moy) – Emil and Clive and the Adwardens. A reader alert to social differences will find such names far from neutral. An odour of class hangs about them. As emphatically as Tracy or Darren, Sharon or Keith, Bellamy, Alethea, Lucas and Clement map out a distinct social ...
20 March 1997
Moon Country: Further Reports from Iceland 
by Simon Armitage and Glyn Maxwell.
Faber, 160 pp., £7.99, November 1996, 0 571 17539 2
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... in particular has attracted many devotees and imitators, professionals and poetasters alike. Clive James’s flashy verse-letters in his book Fan-Mail (1977), for example, owe an obvious debt to Auden’s epistle. So do Charles Osborne’s self-advertising ‘Letter to W.H. Auden’ (‘The fact is that I’m writing a huge book/About you – it’s a ...

Diary

Tam Dalyell: The Belgrano Affair

7 February 1985
... which could only have come from inside a Department – as in the case of what came to me from Clive Ponting. A careful look at Michael Heseltine’s lengthy broadcast evidence shows what exactly was taking place in the Whitehall stratosphere during the month in which Hilda Murrell was murdered. On 6 March Denzil Davies wrote to the Prime Minister, about ...

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