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Red Spectres

February 2, 2013

Red Spectres (cover)I would be interested in a book on the subject by Muireann Maguire in any case, but I am even more curious now that I know that Languagehat considers it “a book that shows me a kind of writing I’m interested in from a completely new perspective, one that would never have occurred to me, and makes me see works and authors I already know in a new light while introducing me to others I’ve never heard of,” which argues that “the anti-realist impulses that power [Gothic fiction] underlie much of Russian literature, even though the typical stage props (ghosts, vampires) are rare.” See LH’s review. The title is Stalin’s Ghosts: Gothic Themes in Early Soviet Literature, and there will soon apparently be a companion volume called Red Spectres: Russian Gothic Tales from the Twentieth Century, with MM’s translations of stories by Briusov, Bulgakov, Grin, and others.

LH also continues to read little-read works of nineteenth-century Russian prose, now Zagoskin’s Юрий Милославский, или Русские в 1612 году (Iurii Miloslavskii, or The Russians in the Year 1612, 1829). The etymologies in the post and comments are interesting, and I had read the post twice before I realized the sentence quoted for the word бурмитский (click through for the origin and meaning) also had the word зерно ‘grain, seed’ in the sense of “pearl,” as well as the old word монисто, which evidently means “necklace.”

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One Comment leave one →
  1. February 4, 2013 5:47 am

    Спасибо за доброе слово, ХIХ век! Your post also reminds me that I need to read Zagoskin too – I have a delightful two-volume edition of his novels which is gathering dust on my bookshelf.

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