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In the Doghouse

Michael Hofmann, 27 May 1993

What Remains, and Other Stories 
by Christa Wolf, translated by Heike Schwarzbauer and Rick Takvorian.
Virago, 295 pp., £8.99, April 1993, 1 85381 417 2
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The Writer’s Dimension: Selected Essays 
by Christa Wolf, edited by Alexander Stephan, translated by Jan vanHeurck.
Virago, 336 pp., £17.99, April 1993, 1 85381 312 5
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... In the wall-month of November 1989 I translated two pieces from an anthology of East German writing for the magazine Granta, which in the end didn’t use either of them. (These things happen.) One of them was by Christa Wolf, an extract, I think, from her book Sommerstück. It was just two pages long, nothing more than a preamble and image, but of a Shakespearean power and amplitude ...

Travelling

Elaine Jordan, 21 April 1983

The Viaduct 
by David Wheldon.
Bodley Head, 176 pp., £5.95, March 1983, 0 370 30519 1
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Rates of Exchange 
by Malcolm Bradbury.
Secker, 310 pp., £7.95, April 1983, 0 436 06505 3
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Milena 
by Maggie Ross.
Collins, 280 pp., £8.95, April 1983, 0 00 222602 2
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No Place on Earth 
by Christa Wolf, translated by Jan vanHeurck.
Virago, 110 pp., £6.95, March 1983, 9780860683636
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Look at me 
by Anita Brookner.
Cape, 192 pp., £7.50, March 1983, 0 224 02055 2
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Not Not While the Giro and Other Stories 
by James Kelman.
Polygon, 207 pp., £3.95, March 1983, 9780904919653
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... The 19th-century novel was the great forum for writing about life – from sanitation to the condition of women, from politics to love. All the novels reviewed here are very much of the 20th century: whatever else they are concerned with, they are always about writing itself, that curious, aberrant occupation which the writer above all needs to explain to himself ...

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