March 23, 2015
- Chris Tessone, who blogs at Dobro Slovo and has published a translation of Tolstoi’s Childhood (available as an e-book for $2.99), writes on how translating something makes you read it differently: “it compels me to engage with the text at a much more granular level than I ever would as a reader.”
- Scott G. F. Bailey on The Three Sisters versus things that start good but become “a pointless exercise in completion.” Some of Nekrasov’s best lines are from a play with no beginning or end because he wrote the speeches he liked and then said скучно досказывать басню — it was boring for him to tell the story to the end, just to make it whole.
- The case of the dead cheese master, parts seven, eight, and nine. From Alison Smith.
- Jamie Olson translates Tiutchev, because Kibirov alluded to him and “if you’re going to make patches, you’ve got to have cloth to cut from.”
- Languagehat doesn’t like Gertsen’s fiction but at least found the word равендук ‘ravenduck.’ He does like Vel’tman and, if there’s any justice, will singlehandedly wrestle him back into the canon. But contrasting Vel’tman’s “clever plot construction and examination of identity and deception” to “a thousand mournful accounts of the sufferings of downtrodden peasants” is a straw man if ever there was. Drably mournful accounts may exist, but don’t A Sportsman’s Sketches, Oblomov, Troubled Seas, War and Peace, “The Last One” [Последыш], “The Sealed Angel,” and even “The Toupée Artist” do a bit more than wallow in peasant suffering? (Add your own examples; my list is things I’ve happened to read that have important peasant characters and are by some of the authors who displaced Vel’tman.)
- Eliot Borenstein on the death of Boris Nemtsov. Three weeks ago even the Russian Language Blog was talking about assassinations.
- “Russia as Hunger Games territory” and “American versus Russian exceptionalism.”
- Russian but not 19c: Richard on Petersburg and Belyi’s “poetic and/or antipoetic style.” He reads @DavidWMcDuff‘s translation. And Kaggsy reviews Red Spectres.
- 19c but not Russian: Rohan Maitzen reads Gaskell’s Wives and Daughters (1864-66); Obooki reads Renée Mauperin (1864) by the brothers Goncourt; Tom reads Scott’s Waverley (1814).