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Anna of All the Russias

John Bayley, 24 January 1991

Selected Poems 
by Anna Akhmatova, selected and translated by Stanley Kunitz and Max Hayward.
Harvill, 173 pp., £5.95, November 1989, 0 00 271041 2
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The Complete Poems of Anna Akhmatova 
translated by Judith Hemschemeyer, edited by Roberta Reeder.
Zephyr, 1635 pp., £85, October 1990, 0 939010 13 5
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The Garden: New and Selected Poetry and Prose 
by Bella Akhmadulina.
Boyars, 171 pp., £9.95, January 1991, 0 7145 2924 9
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... it may in the end be preferable to render Akhmatova in a plain prose version. Stanley Kunitz and Max Hayward, however, are highly experienced translators, sympathetic alike to Russian and English requirements. One of her most memorable poems, ‘Lot’s Wife’, four quatrains composed between 1922 and 1924, illustrates the virtues of her poetry: the ...

Which Face?

Sheila Fitzpatrick: Emigrés on the Make, 6 February 2020

Cold War Exiles and the CIA: Plotting to Free Russia 
by Benjamin Tromly.
Oxford, 329 pp., £75, September 2019, 978 0 19 884040 4
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The Dissidents: A Memoir of Working with the Resistance in Russia, 1960-90 
by Peter Reddaway.
Brookings, 337 pp., £25.50, February, 978 0 8157 3773 5
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... Herzen Foundation in Amsterdam were trusted collaborators.Translators​ such as Manya Harari and Max Hayward, who together translated Dr Zhivago, played an important role. Reddaway quotes with approval Patricia Blake’s line that Hayward acted as ‘custodian of Russia’s literature until such time as it could be ...

Before They Met

Michael Wood: Dr Zhivago, 17 February 2011

Doctor Zhivago 
by Boris Pasternak, translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky.
Harvill, 513 pp., £20, October 2011, 978 1 84655 379 0
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... shapes of that world. I can’t compare the new translation in any detail with the 1958 version by Max Hayward and Manya Harari, but this feature does stand out in the present text. ‘It was a dark, rainy, two-coloured day,’ we read. Here is ‘mute, dark, hungry Moscow’. Here are birch trees that stand ‘straight as martyrs’; clouds that race ...

At the Hayward

Marina Warner: Tracey Emin, 25 August 2011

... which blaze from the walls of the first room of her exhibition, Love Is What You Want, at the Hayward (until 29 August), declare themselves defiantly to belong to this homemade tradition of female hands and eyes. The earliest here were made in 1993-99 and present her own furious portrait of the artist as a young woman. A gaudy jumble of colours and ...


Mary Ann Caws: Roland Penrose’s notebooks, 19 October 2006

Visiting Picasso: The Notebooks and Letters of Roland Penrose 
by Elizabeth Cowling.
Thames and Hudson, 408 pp., £25, May 2006, 0 500 51293 0
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... was eager for no one to be sure what he would do next. Told that Joanna Drew, a curator at the Hayward Gallery, had found cocoons huddled in the slits of his Man with a Sheep, Picasso said that at Vauvenargues one day he had felt a wasps’ nest between the sheep’s legs; nothing more natural: animals lurking in the animal. Picasso always wanted the ...

Robbing banks

George Melly, 25 June 1992

by David Sylvester.
Thames and Hudson, 352 pp., £45, May 1992, 0 500 09227 3
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by Sarah Whitfield.
South Bank Centre, 322 pp., £18.95, May 1992, 1 85332 087 0
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... of painting, and influenced by nobody, except, initially, de Chirico, and later, the collages of Max Ernst. Sylvester demolishes all these perverse and defensive strategies. Admittedly, the paint is usually thin, in the Northern tradition, but it is often seductively applied. In his extraordinary description of The Eternally Obvious Sylvester writes of those ...

Open in a Scream

Colm Tóibín, 4 March 2021

Francis Bacon: Revelations 
by Mark Stevens and Annalyn Swan.
William Collins, 869 pp., £30, January, 978 0 00 729841 9
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... was always very good at making me feel that what I was saying was interesting,’ Max Porter has Bacon muse in his new short book, The Death of Francis Bacon, which imagines the artist’s mind as he lies dying in a clinic in Madrid in April 1992.*) Interviews with Francis Bacon is at its most absorbing when Sylvester’s questions are longer ...

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