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Alma’s Alter

Gabriele Annan

11 June 1992
Oscar Kokoschka: Letters 
translated by Mary Whittall.
Thames and Hudson, 320 pp., £24.95, March 1992, 0 500 01528 7
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... This book is beautifully designed and printed, and very well translated by Mary Whittall. The English sometimes sounds a bit gnarled, but so does Kokoschka’s idiosyncratic German: not because Czech was his first language, though; his father was a German-speaking Czech from Prague, his mother Austrian; he was born in Lower Austria in 1886, grew up in a suburb of Vienna, and trained at the famous School of Arts and Crafts there ...
1 November 1984
My Life 
by Richard Wagner, translated by Andrew Gray, edited by Mary Whittall.
Cambridge, 786 pp., £22.50, November 1983, 0 521 22929 4
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Untimely Meditations 
by Friedrich Nietzsche, translated by R.J. Hollingdale, introduced by J.P. Stern.
Cambridge, 256 pp., £15, December 1983, 0 521 24740 3
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Wagner: A Case-History 
by Martin von Amerongen.
Dent, 169 pp., £8.95, September 1983, 0 460 04618 7
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... In 1892 the English Wagnerphile Mary Burrell tracked down a proof copy of the autobiography dictated by Wagner covering the first 51 years of his life, which had been printed privately in an edition of only 15 for his friends and patrons. She was appalled: she believed the picture Mein Leben gave of Wagner was so unpleasant that the work must have been a forgery by the Master’s enemies ...

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