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Cuban Heels with Twisting Tongues

Salman Rushdie, 4 June 1981

Three Trapped Tigers 
by G. Cabrera Infante.
Picador, 487 pp., £2.95, August 1980, 0 330 26133 9
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... of space. Three Trapped Tigers has been translated into electric English by Donald Gardner and Suzanne JillLevine, in collaboration with the author. I don’t know why any human beings should wish to attempt a task as difficult as this – perhaps because it was there; at any rate, they have performed the ...

Rumba, Conga, Communism

Neal Ascherson, 4 October 1984

Family Portrait with Fidel 
by Carlos Franqui, translated by Alfred MacAdam.
Cape, 262 pp., £12.95, September 1984, 0 224 02268 7
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Infante’s Inferno 
by G. Cabrera Infante, translated by Suzanne Levine.
Faber, 410 pp., £9.95, September 1984, 0 571 13292 8
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... the constant alliteration are in English. The title page says ‘translated from the Spanish by Suzanne JillLevine with the author’. In a world which never had as many writers in political exile as it does today, this sort of collaboration, which raises translation to a new level of creativity, is ...

Wasps and all

Philip Horne, 8 December 1988

A Chinese Summer 
by Mark Illis.
Bloomsbury, 135 pp., £11.95, October 1988, 0 7475 0257 9
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Three Uneasy Pieces 
by Patrick White.
Cape, 59 pp., £7.95, October 1988, 0 224 02594 5
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The Captain and the Enemy 
by Graham Greene.
Reinhardt, 189 pp., £10.95, September 1988, 1 871061 05 9
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View of Dawn in the Tropics 
by G. Cabrera Infante, translated by Suzanne JillLevine.
Faber, 163 pp., £10.95, September 1988, 0 571 15186 8
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The House of Stairs 
by Barbara Vine.
Viking, 282 pp., £11.95, September 1988, 0 670 82414 3
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... As this summer wore on I became aware of wasps in my bathroom. There would be a remote drone, and then a wasp would be flying at me, at head-height, on its way to the window, there to cling, finding itself shut in. Entrants multiplied, but without stinging. They just clustered at the source of light. When not expelled or allowed issue, the wasps simply curled up and – unhurriedly, with twiddling of legs and little angry buzzings – died ...

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