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Not Saluting, but Waving

Michael Wood, 20 February 1997

directed by Alan Parker.
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The Making of ‘Evita’ 
by Alan Parker.
Boxtree, 127 pp., £12.99, December 1996, 0 7522 2264 3
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In My Own Words 
by Eva Perón, translated by Laura Dail.
New Press, 120 pp., $8.95, November 1996, 1 56584 353 3
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Santa Evita 
by Tomás Eloy Martínez, translated by Helen Lane.
Doubleday, 371 pp., £15.99, January 1997, 0 385 40875 7
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... remaking of it, but there were so many remakes. The latest stars Madonna, but the earliest starred Eva María Duarte herself. Or was that María Eva Ibarguren? She was María Eva Duarte de Perón on her marriage certificate, but then she also took three ...

Productive Mischief

Michael Wood: Borges and Borges and I, 4 February 1999

Collected Fictions 
by Jorge Luis Borges, translated by Andrew Hurley.
Allen Lane, 565 pp., £20, January 1999, 0 14 028680 2
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... farce’, as Borges puts it, is of course not the real thing. ‘The man in mourning was not Perón and the blonde doll was not the woman Eva Duarte, but then Perón was not Perón either, nor was ...

Short Cuts

James Meek: Yulia Tymoshenko, 7 June 2012

... the imprisoned former prime minister of Ukraine, is emotional, self-dramatising, glamorous, Eva Perón in peasant braids. Her supporters have taken to holding up a picture of her head growing out of a field of wheat, a version of the blue (for sky) and yellow (for fields of grain) Ukrainian flag in which Tymoshenko’s face becomes the sun. No one ...

Living Dead Man

Michael Wood: Operation Massacre, 7 November 2013

Operation Massacre 
by Rodolfo Walsh, translated by Daniella Gitlin.
Old Street, 230 pp., £9.99, August 2013, 978 1 908699 51 0
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... Woman’ (1963). He is a journalist interviewing the colonel who has moved the body of Eva Perón from one of its hiding places to another. Eva is not named but doesn’t need to be, and it is because of her that the notion of love is in the air. Neither the journalist nor the colonel has any love for ...


Michael Wood: In the City of Good Air, 20 November 2003

... the pleasure and affection with which people tell the story is real. An inscription on the tomb of Eva Perón says she is neither lost nor distant – it also says we are not to cry for her, a line I thought had been written by Tim Rice. A newish monument to Evita has on it a sentence taken from a novel by Tomás Eloy Martínez, supposedly her first words ...

Dark Pieces on Dark Places

Malcolm Deas, 3 July 1980

The Return of Eva Peron with The Killings in Trinidad 
by V.S. Naipaul.
Deutsch, 227 pp., £5.95, June 1980, 0 233 97238 2
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... This collection of essays from the first half of the Seventies is here in the briefest of author’s notes described as intense and obsessional. He says, too, that the themes repeat. There is indeed little relief. What has Providence done to Mr Naipaul, that he should find the world so consistently depressing? Can one think of a place that would cheer him up, that would resist his persuasive invitation to lament? Trinidad, Argentina, Uruguay, Mobutu’s Congo – in the first half of the Seventies were these nations not in a sorry enough state to justify everything in his usual tone, to exclude even the odd glimmer of optimism that can be found in his account of a second visit to his first area of darkness, India: A Wounded Civilisation? They were in such a state, but one still comes to the conclusion that that cannot justify all of Naipaul’s intensities and obsessions ...

Elder of Zion

Malcolm Deas, 3 September 1981

Prisoner without a Name, Cell without a Number 
by Jacobo Timerman, translated by Toby Talbot.
Weidenfeld, 164 pp., £7.95, July 1981, 0 297 77995 8
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... for Jewish refugees. Argentine neutrality in the Second World War was not anti-semitic, and Eva Peron herself sent a relief ship to Israel in some of its darkest days. What circumstances of terror and confusion led some minds back to the ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’? In better days, the sociologist Gino Germani was fond of saying: ‘There is ...

Remembering Janet Hobhouse

Elisa Segrave, 11 March 1993

... was criticised by her for working on Newsweek and the Sunday Times and for co-authoring books on Eva Peron and Onassis. However, Nick, under the name Edward, or Ned, is one of the most important characters in The Furies and it is obvious she was very fond of him and regretted the breakdown of her marriage. Her narrator, Helen, says: ‘I dream about Ned, as ...

Goose Girl

Josephine Quinn: Empress Theodora, 4 May 2017

Theodora: Actress, Empress, Saint 
by David Potter.
Oxford, 277 pp., £17.99, January 2016, 978 0 19 974076 5
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... inequality played in the adoption of that career. Her good works have led some to compare her with Eva Perón, another champion of the poor from a humble background, who acted her way up the socio-political ladder until she met and married, despite considerable opposition, the heir apparent. But though Evita may have used Christian symbolism in the ...

Vicious Poke in the Eye

Theo Tait: Naipaul’s fury, 4 November 2004

Magic Seeds 
by V.S. Naipaul.
Picador, 294 pp., £16.99, September 2004, 0 330 48520 2
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... to kill. ‘When jargon turns living issues into abstractions,’ Naipaul wrote in The Return of Eva Peron (1980), ‘and where jargon ends by competing with jargon, people don’t have causes. They only have enemies; only the enemies are real.’ This section follows the Naipaul line very closely: a dreamed-of utopia becomes a living hell. He creates a ...

Don’t abandon me

Colm Tóibín: Borges and the Maids, 11 May 2006

Borges: A Life 
by Edwin Williamson.
Penguin, 416 pp., £9.99, August 2005, 0 14 024657 6
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... supping with Bioy and working in the library, came to an end in February 1946 with the election of Perón, whom Borges had vehemently opposed. Borges’s name was on a list of 2000 state employees who, for one reason or another, were to be dismissed. In his ‘Autobiographical Essay’, Borges wrote about what happened: ‘I was honoured ...

What’s your dust worth?

Steven Shapin: Corpses, 14 April 2011

After We Die: The Life and Times of the Human Cadaver 
by Norman Cantor.
Georgetown, 372 pp., £18.75, December 2010, 978 1 58901 695 8
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... cosmetics. When the political use of the dead body is very important – think of Lenin, Stalin, Eva Perón, and the horribly botched embalming job on Mao Zedong – then state-of-the-art technologies are enlisted to perpetuate a material focus of veneration, as interpreted in Katherine Verdery’s magnificent The Political Lives of Dead ...

Frameworks of Comparison

Benedict Anderson, 21 January 2016

... and we are not.’ The concept of ‘charisma’ came to my assistance: Hitler, Reagan, Mao, Eva Perón, de Gaulle, Sukarno, Gandhi, Fidel Castro, Lenin and Khomeini: what rationality lay behind their hold on people’s imaginations? Was there a substratum of old ways of thinking about power (mana, tédja) even in cultures that thought of themselves ...


Gavin Millar, 13 September 1990

Citizen Welles: A Biography of Orson Welles 
by Frank Brady.
Hodder, 655 pp., £18.95, January 1990, 0 340 51389 6
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If this was happiness: A Biography of Rita Hayworth 
by Barbara Leaming.
Weidenfeld, 312 pp., £14.95, September 1989, 0 297 79630 5
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Norma Shearer 
by Gavin Lambert.
Hodder, 381 pp., £17.95, August 1990, 0 340 52947 4
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Ava’s Men: The Private Life of Ava Gardner 
by Jane Ellen Wayne.
Robson, 268 pp., £14.95, November 1989, 0 86051 636 9
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Goldwyn: A Biography 
by Scott Berg.
Hamish Hamilton, 579 pp., £16.95, September 1989, 0 241 12832 3
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The Genius of the System: Hollywood Film-Making in the Studio Era 
by Thomas Schatz.
Simon and Schuster, 514 pp., £16.95, September 1989, 0 671 69708 0
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... As Crawford pointed out, the star was sleeping with the boss.) It seems appropriate that little Eva Duarte left home for the bright lights of Buenos Aires after seeing Riptide and had seen Marie Antoinette six times by the time she married Juan Peron. It’s a relief to turn to Ava Gardner, who was not impressed by Hollywood, and fully expected them not to ...

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