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The Bayreuth Ring 
BBC2, October 1982Show More
Parsifal 
directed by Hans-Jürgen Syberberg.
Edinburgh Film Festival, September 1982
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Parsifal 
by Lucy Beckett.
Cambridge, 163 pp., £9.95, August 1981, 0 521 22825 5
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Wagner and Literature 
by Raymond Furness.
Manchester, 159 pp., £14.50, February 1982, 0 7190 0844 1
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Wagner to ‘The Waste Land’: A Study of the Relationship of Wagner to English Literature 
by Stoddart Martin.
Macmillan, 277 pp., £20, June 1982, 0 333 28998 6
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Wagner and Aeschylus: ‘The Ring’ and ‘The Oresteia’ 
by Michael Ewans.
Faber, 271 pp., £12.50, July 1982, 0 571 11808 9
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... On balance, we should be grateful to the BBC for finding room on its snooker station, over ten successive Sundays, for what the editor of Opera described as France’s long-delayed revenge for the Franco-Prussian War. The Boulez-Chéreau Ring has also been described, more preposterously, as ‘the Ring of the century’ – an accolade which plainly belongs to the 1951 Wieland Wagner production which inaugurated the ‘New Bayreuth ...

A Sense of England

Graham Bradshaw, 17 February 1983

Collected Stories 
by V.S. Pritchett.
Chatto, 520 pp., £12.50, June 1982, 0 7011 3904 8
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... In 1976, V.S. Pritchett remarked that ‘what has always struck me in Irish writing is the sense of Ireland itself, its past or its imagined future, as a presence or invisible character.’ He added that in English short stories ‘the sense of England as an extra character is very rarely felt.’ Allowing Kipling as one obvious exception, Pritchett was too modest to mention what is probably the finest and most ambitious of his own longer stories, ‘When my girl comes home ...

Modern Shakespeare

Graham Bradshaw, 21 April 1983

The Taming of the Shrew 
edited by H.J. Oliver.
Oxford, 248 pp., £9.50, September 1982, 0 19 812907 6
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Henry V 
edited by Gary Taylor.
Oxford, 330 pp., £9.50, September 1982, 0 19 812912 2
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Troilus and Cressida 
edited by Kenneth Muir.
Oxford, 205 pp., £9.50, September 1982, 0 19 812903 3
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Troilus and Cressida 
edited by Kenneth Palmer.
Methuen, 337 pp., £12.50, October 1982, 0 416 47680 5
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... Ann Pasternak Slater’s Shakespeare the Director is the best new book on Shakespeare I have read in the last year, and is prefaced by generous tributes to and from the General Editor of the New Arden Shakespeare. Nonetheless, that edition is unsuited to her critical purposes, and she explains that her ‘sole criterion in each case is to use the text supposedly closest to the author’s manuscript ...

Hamlet in the Prison of Arden

Graham Bradshaw, 2 September 1982

Hamlet 
edited by Harold Jenkins.
Methuen, 592 pp., £12.50, April 1982, 9780416179101
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The Taming of the Shrew 
edited by Brian Morris.
Methuen, 396 pp., £12.50, December 1981, 0 416 47580 9
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Richard III 
edited by Antony Hammond.
Methuen, 396 pp., £12.50, December 1981, 0 416 17970 3
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Much Ado about Nothing 
edited by A.R. Humphreys.
Methuen, 256 pp., £11.50, November 1981, 0 416 17990 8
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... New Arden English is a specialised, hybrid language – Elizabethan in some features, modern in others, but essentially unlike any English written in any period. That doesn’t disturb most people, including critics who would never dream of quoting Donne or Jonson from modernised texts: but it does mean that only the naive will suppose that the editorial aim is to give us, as nearly as possible, what Shakespeare wrote ...

Undecidability

Alastair Fowler, 2 March 1989

Shakespeare’s Scepticism 
by Graham Bradshaw.
Harvester, 269 pp., £32.50, June 1987, 0 7108 0604 3
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The Elizabethan Hamlet 
by Arthur McGee.
Yale, 211 pp., £14.95, November 1987, 0 300 03988 3
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... of having to adopt a distinctive (and necessarily irrelevant) theoretic approach. Fortunately Graham Bradshaw, a lover of literature rather than criticism, is a robust simplifying writer in the Empsonian tradition, who knows that abstract theoretic discourse has had its day. He has the boldness, moreover, to cut hermeneutic knots by ignoring much ...

The New Narrative

John Kerrigan, 16 February 1984

The Oxford Book of Narrative Verse 
edited by Iona Opie and Peter Opie.
Oxford, 407 pp., £8.95, September 1983, 0 19 214131 7
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Time’s Oriel 
by Kevin Crossley-Holland.
Hutchinson, 61 pp., £4.95, August 1983, 0 09 153291 4
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On Gender and Writing 
edited by Michelene Wandor.
Pandora, 166 pp., £3.95, September 1983, 0 86358 021 1
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Stone, Paper, Knife 
by Marge Piercy.
Pandora, 144 pp., £3.95, September 1983, 9780863580222
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The Achievement of Ted Hughes 
edited by Keith Sagar.
Manchester, 377 pp., £27.50, March 1983, 0 7190 0939 1
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Ted Hughes and Paul Muldoon 
Faber, £6.95, June 1983, 0 571 13090 9Show More
River 
by Ted Hughes and Peter Keen.
Faber, 128 pp., £10, September 1983, 0 571 13088 7
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Quoof 
by Paul Muldoon.
Faber, 64 pp., £4, September 1983, 0 571 13117 4
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... of storytelling in which his ideas are worked out and from which his poetry grows. Indeed, as Graham Bradshaw demonstrates in Keith Sagar’s important new collection of essays The Achievement of Ted Hughes, there’s at least one major text in which this process of growth can be intimately observed. By tracing the composition of Cave Birds, that ...

Darling, are you mad?

Jenny Diski: Ghost-writing for Naim Attallah, 4 November 2004

Ghosting 
by Jennie Erdal.
Canongate, 270 pp., £14.99, November 2004, 1 84195 562 0
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... Passion and Tara and Claire) carries before the dedication page a tribute to his editor, Jennie Bradshaw/Erdal, ‘who has worked closely with me for many years and whose contribution has been invaluable’ in the case of the first novel, ‘immense’ in the case of the second. Such an odd sort of acknowledgment to find at the front of a work of ...

A Journey in the South

Andrew O’Hagan: In New Orleans, 6 October 2005

... speaking at you it’s like preachin,’ she said. North Carolina was the birthplace of Billy Graham and three US presidents, Andrew Johnson, James Polk and Andrew Jackson, and also, among the twinkling lights out there, you could find the uncelebrated birthplace of Thomas Wolfe, the North Carolinian who wrote Look Homeward, Angel. As the truck got nearer ...

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