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Entries Tagged as 'Stalin'

Poetry in Translation (CCCLXXXII): Marina TSVETAEVA (1892-1941) RUSSIA: “A kiss on the forehead”, “Sărut pe frunte”

February 12th, 2016 · No Comments · Books, Diaspora, Famous People, History, International Media, PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations, Translations

Sărut pe frunte
Marina TSVETAEVA
(1892-1941)
Un sărut pe frunte – şterge mizeria.
Iţi sărut fruntea.
Un sărut pe ochi – şterge insomnia
Iţi sărut ochii.
Un sărut pe buze – e-un pahar cu apă.
Iţi sărut buzele.
Un sărut pe buze – iţi şterge memoria.

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Five Book Reviews: Memoirs of Adrian Marino, Gheorghe Rafael-Stefanescu, Boris Johnson, George Orwell and Joseph Stalin

May 25th, 2014 · No Comments · Books, History, International Media, OPINION, PEOPLE, quotations, Reviews

This is the most meaningful metamorphosis in Orwell’s life, during which time he realizes the underlying workings of Communism. Such ideology he ditches to refute it completely in his future best sellers: “1984” and “The Animal Farm”. We find Orwell, as an intelligent man, flirting with the left-wing dictatorship (and the Civil War) only to reject it without a right of appeal. As an observer, living his life’s experience at first hand, this is a compelling experience
It is precisely the stuff for which George Orwell’s works were completely banned in Eastern Europe, to the last days of Communism.

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Orpheus never turned up for tea

May 18th, 2011 · No Comments · Art Exhibitions, PEOPLE, quotations

Our painter is called Janet Cree. Born in London in 1910, she is an artist of early promise as the Tate Gallery acquires one of her works when she is only 23 years of age. From then on we know little about her artistic fortunes and true to herself Janet carries on quietly with her craft, sending regularly her pictures to the RA exhibitions, without making waves. Soon the war takes its toll as the art aficionados go silent as the bottom falls out of the art market.
In spite of it all Janet Cree takes her due place in the dictionaries of contemporary British painters. Doubtless her family, as she sets up a home, makes demands on her time too, for she is now married to a mercurial lawyer whose physical and social stature is larger than life: this is John Platts-Mills, the six-foot New Zealand-born athlete and Oxford-educated student. He comes to Britain as a Rhodes scholar to Balliol College.
By this time, the trauma of the First War takes its toll on the mood of the young people, who are disaffected with the society and over-enthusiastic about the social and economic ‘paradise’ promised by Joseph Stalin.

Platts-Mills is no exception. At first he hopes that luck may strike closer to the British Isles as he gives his support to the Republican cause in the Spanish Civil War. That was not to be. For a moment it seems that his political sympathies go astride the main flow of the British establishment, as he is not considered good material to enroll as a RAF pilot during the war. Earlier on, in 1932 he is called to the Inner Temple, but will not become a King’s Council for a long time, because of his political sympathies.
However, at the beginning of the war the Allied troops suffer many set backs, which cause Platts-Mills’ fortunes to change for the better, as Churchill calls on him and urge him to be a go-between with Stalin’s Russia. This is the time when Platts-Mills throws himself arduously into Soviet-British PR, forging endless Soviet-British friendship societies all over Britain. Yet, on the political board of snakes and ladders fortunes change quickly and with the advent of the cold war the maverick barrister looses his political clout: in the process he also looses his Finsbury seat in Parliament, as he is expelled from the Labour Party. But hard luck turns to good fortune as his reputation precedes him. He becomes a much sought-after lawyer in some of the most controversial legal cases, defending the Kray brothers, the Great Train Robbers, the Shrewsbury two. He also acts as a secret adviser of Trade Union leader Arthur Scargill in the miners’ strike of the 1970s, which caused the fall of Edward Heath’s government. He appears on the Grunwick picket line and acted on the Bloody Sunday inquiry in Londonderry.

But before he becomes involved in these high-profile cases Platts-Mills takes care to pay his last respects to “Uncle Joe”, as he dies in the Kremlin, in 1953.

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