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No Strings

Bee Wilson: Pinocchio, 1 January 2009

by Carlo Collodi, translated by Geoffrey Brock.
NYRB, 189 pp., £8.99, November 2008, 978 1 59017 289 6
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... energy of Candide, as it rushes from one extreme situation to another. The new translation by Geoffrey Brock is wonderfully faithful to Collodi’s speed and vigour. Until now, the best-known modern translation has been Ann Lawson Lucas’s, and in several respects it is still a better buy, thanks to Lucas’s detailed explanatory notes and full ...

Someone Else’s

Matthew Reynolds: Translating Cesare Pavese, 6 October 2005

Disaffections: Complete Poems 1930-50 
by Cesare Pavese, translated by Geoffrey Brock.
Carcanet, 370 pp., £14.95, April 2004, 1 85754 738 1
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The Faber Book of 20th-Century Italian Poems 
edited by Jamie McKendrick.
Faber, 167 pp., £12.99, June 2004, 0 571 19700 0
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... blow out or fail or get extinguished; and the woman is simply, repeatedly ‘la donna’. Geoffrey Brock’s translations are generally good at bringing the rhythm and narrative impetus of Pavese’s verse into English: you find yourself drawn into his versions, compelled to read them through. But too often, as here, he softens the expressive ...

War within wars

Paul Addison, 5 November 1992

War, Strategy and International Politics: Essays in Honour of Sir Michael Howard 
edited by Lawrence Freedman, Paul Hayes and Robert O’Neill.
Oxford, 322 pp., £35, July 1992, 0 19 822292 0
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... or adoption. Nor are we given much of a biographical portrait of Howard himself, though Michael Brock, who was at school with him, provides some important details, and Robert O’Neill pays tribute to his labours in the Oxford History Faculty. A festschrift often consists of a somewhat miscellaneous collection of bits and pieces. On this occasion the ...

Out of the blue

Mark Ford, 10 December 1987

Meeting the British 
by Paul Muldoon.
Faber, 53 pp., £9.95, May 1987, 0 571 14858 1
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Partingtime Hall 
by James Fenton and John Fuller.
Salamander, 69 pp., £7.50, April 1987, 0 948681 05 5
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Private Parts 
by Fiona Pitt-Kethley.
Chatto, 72 pp., £4.95, June 1987, 9780701132064
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Bright River Yonder 
by John Hartley Williams.
Bloodaxe, 87 pp., £4.95, April 1987, 1 85224 028 8
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... poetic persona, and is excellently deployed again in such poems as ‘The Coney’ and ‘Brock’, but the experimental nature of many of the others suggests he is in active pursuit of new ways of projecting himself without seeming to do so. There are all kinds of new types of poem in Meeting the British. ‘Ontario’ is in ...

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