Category Archives: Cold War

Vaclav Havel died four years ago: Leaving was his last play

Former Czech President and dissident leader Vaclav Havel died on December 18, 2011. To the end he wanted to return to his first calling, as a playwright. His success on stage was part of the Cold War as we knew it, … Continue reading

Posted in Cold War, Europe, Literature in Translation, Theatre, Writing | Tagged , | 1 Comment

From Pasternak’s novel to David Lean’s film of Doctor Zhivago

Pasternak told an interviewer from abroad in 1960 that  I wanted to record the past and to honor in Doctor Zhivago the beautiful and sensitive aspects of the Russia of those years. There will be no return of those days, … Continue reading

Posted in Britain Today, Cold War, Current Affairs, Film, Russia | Tagged

Shostakovich and Football Another Way of Expressing the Soviet Tragedy

4 January 1942 Kuybishev Dear Isaak, I am writing to you a lot these days, as much in fact as my supply of envelopes will allow – this particular product of the papermaking industry is extraordinarily hard to come by. … Continue reading

Posted in Cold War, Music, Russia | Tagged , ,

Cold War Shakespeare

In the 1960s the Polish literary critic Jan Kott revolutionized approaches to Shakespeare. British directors Peter Hall and Peter Brook were so transfixed it might be said Kott made their careers. As a cycle of the first three of the … Continue reading

Posted in Britain Today, Cold War, In The Communist Mirror - my book 25 years old this year, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Getting away to Europe to write: an English confession

I had to get away from my desk. From the train window, on this nearly last day of April, the sun shone through a basin of mist somewhere in Essex.  Between glances through the thick window, the phrase ‘the ecstases … Continue reading

Posted in A Shoe Story, Art History, Cold War, Current Affairs, Europe, Philosophy and Philosophers, Who are you?, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Difficult Lover and an Anti-Communist

‘Marek asked me to come and tell you that he loves you.’ The young Polish writer Marek Hlasko took German actress Sonja Ziemann’s breath away when he turned up on the filmset of Eighth Day of the Week in Wroclaw … Continue reading

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