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Poetry Inc.

Christopher Reid, 18 September 1986

A Ringing Glass: The Life of Rainer Maria Rilke 
by Donald Prater.
Oxford, 472 pp., £25, March 1986, 9780198157557
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Letters: Summer 1926 
by Boris Pasternak, Marina Tsvetayeva and Rainer Maria Rilke, edited by Yevgeny Pasternak and Yelena Pasternak.
Cape, 251 pp., £15, May 1986, 0 224 02376 4
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... called for. Clearly, for Tsvetayeva, Rilke was not simply the greatest living poet, as he was for Pasternak, but he was ‘poetry incarnate’, too, and for this reason alone it is probably fortunate that they never met in the flesh. Letters, sent over long distances and, in the case of those between Rilke and ...

Cultivating Their Dachas

Sheila Fitzpatrick: ‘Zhivago’s Children’, 10 September 2009

Zhivago’s Children: The Last Russian Intelligentsia 
by Vladislav Zubok.
Harvard, 453 pp., £25.95, May 2009, 978 0 674 03344 3
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... who were proud of their country and considered themselves children of the Revolution. Neither Pasternak nor Zhivago was a socialist, an optimist or a Soviet patriot. What they shared with Zubok’s group was a devotion to high culture and consciousness of descent from the Russian intelligentsia of the 19th century. In the novel, Dr Zhivago is emblematic ...

Aphrodite bends over Stalin

John Lloyd, 4 April 1996

... has been at the Maryinsky/Kirov for 18 years, Grigorovich was at the Bolshoi for 30 and the late Yevgeny Mravinsky ran the St Petersburg Philharmonic for an astonishing 50 years. Such regimes were naturally conservative and authoritarian, but they created a disciplined environment in which talent could be nurtured. For Russian audiences, the conclusion is ...

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