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On the horse Parsnip

John Bayley, 8 February 1990

Boris Pasternak: The Tragic Years 1930-1960 
by Evgeny Pasternak.
Collins Harvill, 278 pp., £15, January 1990, 0 00 272045 0
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Boris Pasternak 
by Peter Levi.
Hutchinson, 310 pp., £17.95, January 1990, 0 09 173886 5
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Boris Pasternak: A Literary Biography. Vol.I: 1890-1928 
by Christopher Barnes.
Cambridge, 507 pp., £35, November 1989, 0 521 25957 6
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Poems 1955-1959 and An Essay in Autobiography 
by Boris Pasternak, translated by Michael Harari and Manya Harari.
Collins Harvill, 212 pp., £6.95, January 1990, 9780002710657
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The Year 1905 
by Boris Pasternak, translated by Richard Chappell.
Spenser, £4.95, April 1989, 0 9513843 0 9
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... the public emotion. These long poems are not well known in the West, and it is very useful to have Richard Chappell’s version of 1905 in a paperback edition, with a translation in similar rhythms opposite the Russian. Equally valuable are Michael Harari’s Russian plus English translation of the poems written between 1955 and 1959, published in the ...

Rodinsky’s Place

Patrick Wright, 29 October 1987

White ChappellScarlet Tracings 
by Iain Sinclair.
Goldmark, 210 pp., £12.50, October 1987, 1 870507 00 2
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... church. A mile or so beyond looms a larger sight that Rodinsky was spared: the 52 floors of Richard Seifert’s Natwest Tower, double-decker lifts, automatic window-washing facilities and all. Here again was the characteristic frisson of the zone of transition, where different worlds rub up against one another, languages intersect on every corner and ...

At the Imperial War Museum

Gaby Wood: Lee Miller, 17 December 2015

... Paul Strand would have envied; her parachute packer at HMS Heron had the kind of élan that Richard Avedon would strive for a decade later in his fashion spreads. She covered the home front for Vogue, and then, though she had lived in London for many years, her American passport allowed her to become one of only four female photojournalists accredited ...

Pens and Heads

Maggie Kilgour: The Young Milton, 21 October 2021

Poet of Revolution: The Making of John Milton 
by Nicholas McDowell.
Princeton, 494 pp., £30, October 2020, 978 0 691 15469 5
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... of his teachers – first Young, then Alexander Gil (father and son) at St Paul’s, then William Chappell, with whom Milton clashed, and Nathaniel Tovey at Christ’s College, Cambridge. Young is particularly important in this account because he supported Milton’s early poetic aspirations and later nudged him into political debate. Building on William ...

The Coat in Question

Iain Sinclair: Margate, 20 March 2003

All the Devils Are Here 
by David Seabrook.
Granta, 192 pp., £7.99, March 2003, 9781862075597
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... late 1980s. He arrived on my doorstep with a polemic he had written about my first novel, White Chappell, Scarlet Tracings. I thought it was rather good, spirited, funny, bright and very pleased with itself. But it shocked me that anybody would take on such a doomed project. An obscure novel from a small press in the East Midlands. There wasn’t the ...

I adore your moustache

James Wolcott: Styron’s Letters, 24 January 2013

Selected Letters of William Styron 
edited by Rose Styron and R. Blakeslee Gilpin.
Random House, 643 pp., £24.99, December 2012, 978 1 4000 6806 7
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... creative writing programme taught and mentored Styron, Reynolds Price, Mac Hyman, Fred Chappell and Anne Tyler), show a commendable respect, seriousness, idealism and work ethic. Right at the start he zeroed in on his weakness as a writer, his over-reliance on rhetorical trumpets, and even in the acutely self-conscious larval stage of young author ...

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