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Castration

Lorna Scott Fox

24 November 1994
Mea Cuba 
by G. Cabrera Infante, translated by Kenneth Hall.
Faber, 497 pp., £17.50, October 1994, 0 571 17255 5
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Before Night Falls 
by Reinaldo Arenas, translated by Dolores Koch.
Viking, 317 pp., £16, July 1994, 0 670 84078 5
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... Ever since 1956, when Fidel Castro left Veracruz for Santiago de Cuba like a conquistador in reverse, Mexican-Cuban relations have been a sensitive area. Cynical Mexicans might take the view that their government’s attitude is, or rather was, a matter of ‘I’ll support your revolution – and appear to take a stand against the US – if you don’t export it over here.’ At one stage in the early ...
3 October 1996
Orson Welles: The Road to Xanadu 
by Simon Callow.
Cape, 640 pp., £20, March 1995, 0 224 03852 4
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Rosebud: The Story of Orson Welles 
by David Thomson.
Little, Brown, 460 pp., £20, September 1996, 0 316 91437 1
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... and that was “Now everybody keep quiet and I’ll tell you what to do.” That was his only way of working. He simply didn’t know any other.’ He was not much good at sharing either, as Howard Koch, Herman Mankiewicz, John Houseman and others discovered to their cost. ‘Orson’s concern was entirely for Orson,’ Joan Fontaine, his co-star in Jane Eyre, remembers. James G. Stewart, the ...

Magnifico

David Bromwich: This was Orson Welles

3 June 2004
Orson Welles: The Stories of His Life 
by Peter Conrad.
Faber, 384 pp., £20, September 2003, 0 571 20978 5
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... sensation of this show, rather than his work on stage and radio over the previous two years, that got him the offer to come to Hollywood and make a picture for RKO. The Martian script was by Howard Koch, who would later work on Casablanca and The Letter, but everyone always knew that Welles’s contribution was central. He had advised Koch to employ the present tense and let the story unfold as a ...

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