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Matrioshki

Craig Raine, 13 June 1991

Constance Garnett: A Heroic Life 
by Richard Garnett.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 402 pp., £20, March 1991, 1 85619 033 1
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... and her other translations: ‘The books have changed our lives, no less.’ On the other hand, Ronald Hingley, translator of the nine-volume Oxford Chekhov, strikes a note of peevish judiciousness: ‘Though Garnett is far from the least competent of Chekhov translators, her English is marred by an element of quaintness.’ a comparison of Garnett’s ...

Olga Knipper

Virginia Llewellyn Smith, 7 February 1980

Chekhov’s Leading Lady 
by Harvey Pitcher.
Murray, 288 pp., £8.50, October 1980, 0 7195 3681 2
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... and, less excusably, said so. The history of the marriage has been told before, by myself and by Ronald Hingley, making use (pace the misleading claims of this book’s introduction) of most of the same material, published and unpublished. Harvey Pitcher’s further exploration should finally, one hopes, dispel any idea that Olga lured Chekhov into ...

Nightingales

John Bayley, 15 April 1982

Nightingale Fever: Russian Poets in Revolution 
by Ronald Hingley.
Weidenfeld, 269 pp., £12.95, January 1982, 0 297 77902 8
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Russian Writers and Soviet Society 1917-1978 
by Ronald Hingley.
Methuen, 296 pp., £4.95, June 1981, 0 416 31390 6
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The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Russia and the Soviet Union 
edited by Archie Brown.
Cambridge, 492 pp., £18.50, February 1982, 0 521 23169 8
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‘Novy Mir’: A Case-Study in the Politics of Literature 1952-1958 
by Edith Frankel.
Cambridge, 206 pp., £19.50, November 1981, 0 521 23438 7
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... no hope,’ proclaims a lyric of Mandelstam, for a heart ever burning With nightingale fever. Dr Hingley takes the phrase to characterise his study of the four greatest poets of Russia’s post-Revolutionary age. All four say, in this context, the same thing: Mandelstam with the most unemotional distinction. Starling-like I might have chirped my days away ...

Georgie

Karl Miller, 18 September 1980

The Oxford Chekov. Vol. IV: Stories 1888-1889 
edited by Ronald Hingley.
Oxford, 287 pp., £14, July 1980, 0 19 211389 5
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... has all the fiction published between March 1888 and 1 January 1889, and it brings to an end Ronald Hingley’s nine-volume annotated translation of the plays and of a proportion, six volumes’ worth, of the stories. Mr Hingley has been taxed with the ‘layman’s’ question as to whether all the stories of ...

Charmed Life

John Bayley, 15 September 1983

The Russian Revolutionary Novel: Turgenev to Pasternak 
by Richard Freeborn.
Cambridge, 256 pp., £27.50, January 1983, 0 521 24442 0
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Boris Pasternak: His Life and Art 
by Guy de Mallac.
Souvenir, 450 pp., £14.95, February 1983, 0 285 62558 6
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Pasternak: A Biography 
by Ronald Hingley.
Weidenfeld, 294 pp., £12.95, August 1983, 9780297782070
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Selected Poems 
by Boris Pasternak, translated by Jon Stallworthy and Peter France.
Allen Lane, 160 pp., £7.50, February 1983, 0 7139 1497 1
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Poets of Modern Russia 
by Peter France.
Cambridge, 240 pp., £20, February 1983, 0 521 23490 5
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Russian Literature since the Revolution 
by Edward Brown.
Harvard, 413 pp., £20, December 1982, 0 674 78203 8
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... Oak and the Calf he told the tale of himself and the Soviet literary establishment. Nonetheless, Hingley’s book, tauter, more economical, more balanced, and containing some good translations and commentary on the poetry, must on balance be considered the better biography, and indeed the most useful book on Pasternak to date. The two books also complement ...
Vladimir Nabokov: The American Years 
by Brian Boyd.
Chatto, 783 pp., £25, January 1992, 0 7011 3701 0
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... fondle, then. But, with all this fondling, how much feeling? Critics have always had their doubts. Ronald Hingley maintained that Nabokov’s work in general ‘secretes about as much milk of human kindness a cornered black mamba’. Nabokov responded by putting Hingley into the translation (heavily revised) of ...

Writer’s Writer and Writer’s Writer’s Writer

Julian Barnes: ‘Madame Bovary’, 18 November 2010

Madame Bovary: Provincial Ways 
by Gustave Flaubert and Lydia Davis.
Penguin, 342 pp., £20, November 2010, 978 1 84614 104 1
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... quoted above. Similarly, in Chekhov translation, Constance Garnett has been succeeded by Ronald Hingley. Succeeded, and yet not supplanted: some of us continue to read the Garnett translations. Mainly because they do the time-travelling work instantly, and give a better illusion of being a reader back then, rather than a reader now inspecting a ...

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