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The Dzhaz Age

Stephen Lovell: ‘Moscow 1937’, 17 July 2014

Moscow 1937 
by Karl Schlögel, translated by Rodney Livingstone.
Polity, 650 pp., £16.99, March 2014, 978 0 7456 5077 7
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... Over​ the last thirty years, Karl Schlögel has been the most distinguished flâneur among historians of Russia. A sense of place – both as the setting for human encounters and something that conditions cultural and intellectual life – has informed much of his work. In 1984 he published Moskau lesen, an essayistic exploration of the Soviet capital, while his later books include a history of St Petersburg in the early 20th century which sees the city as a ‘laboratory of modernity’, and a study of Russian-German interactions through the prism of Berlin, which Schlögel christens ‘Europe’s Ostbahnhof ...

The Good Old Days

Sheila Fitzpatrick: The Dacha-Owning Classes, 9 October 2003

Summerfolk 1710-2000: A History of the Dacha 
by Stephen Lovell.
Cornell, 259 pp., £18.95, April 2003, 0 8014 4071 8
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Socialist Spaces: Sites of Everyday Life in the Eastern Bloc 
edited by David Crowley and Susan Reid.
Berg, 261 pp., £15.99, November 2002, 1 85973 533 9
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Caviar with Champagne: Common Luxury and the Ideals of the Good Life in Stalin’s Russia 
by Jukka Gronow.
Berg, 179 pp., £15.99, October 2003, 1 85973 633 5
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The Unmaking of Soviet Life: Everyday Economies after Socialism 
by Caroline Humphrey.
Cornell, 265 pp., £13.95, May 2002, 0 8014 8773 0
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... for everyday survival to be even harder for most people than it had been in the past. Stephen Lovell’s choice of the dacha as a prism through which to look at the changes in Russian society is inspired. His book is not light reading: the story is complex and he has done a lot of research (if readers want to try something less demanding ...

The analyst is always right

Mark Ford: Tessimond and Spencer, 17 November 2011

Collected Poems with Translations from Jacques Prévert 
by A.S.J. Tessimond.
Bloodaxe, 188 pp., £10.95, November 2010, 978 1 85224 857 4
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Complete Poetry, Translations and Selected Prose 
by Bernard Spencer.
Bloodaxe, 351 pp., £15, February 2011, 978 1 85224 891 8
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... into a relatively prosperous middle-class family; his father was a bank inspector. Like Thomas Lovell Beddoes, an earlier oddball of British poetry, he was sent to Charterhouse School; he can’t have enjoyed it much, for when he was 16 he ran away to London, naively hoping to establish himself as a journalist. This bid for independence lasted all of two ...

‘Disgusting’

Frank Kermode: Remembering William Empson, 16 November 2006

William Empson. Vol. II: Against the Christians 
by John Haffenden.
Oxford, 797 pp., £30, November 2006, 0 19 927660 9
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... is keen to have another child. If he could get Molly away from Boylan and ‘get her to bed with Stephen’ he thinks he could manage it provided Stephen preceded him – perhaps when Stephen returned to Eccles Street, as he promised. Joyce was apparently ‘shy’ about this bit of ...

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