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May 9, 2016
  • Lizok on the five finalists for the National Bestseller Award, The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry, and 2016 Russian-to-English translations.
  • And a review of one of those 2016 translations, Teffi’s Memories: From Moscow to the Black Sea, trans. Robert and Elizabeth Chandler, Anne Marie Jackson, and Irina Steinberg, over at Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings.
  • Christine Dunbar talks about more translations on Lizok’s list, of Platonov, Siniavskii, and Sokolov. Via Languagehat.
  • This young student is really good at reciting Pushkin (to my non-native ear her intonation seems especially impressive) and makes me wonder about the logistics of being a homeschooled, non–heritage speaker learning a language.
  • Sometimes knowing contemporary language and culture gets in the way: native speakers discuss the timing of (за)утреня and обедня in the comments here.
  • I need to think about this post by Anna Shadrina on single mothers in post-Soviet Russia and tease apart what’s familiar, what’s surprising, and what seems familiar but is more different than it first appears. This causal chain was interesting: “loss of the male population during the Second World War” led to reliance “on cross-generational assistance among women” to raise children (so that a Russian mother feels isolated if she’s cut off from her own mother, “regardless of her marital status”). Once the mother and grandmother have taken over the domestic and childrearing reponsibilities, “men have time to drink.” This “provokes violence and infidelity,” and “the traditionalist division of gender roles is one of the main reasons for divorce in Russia.” World War II seems too cataclysmic not to have shaken up family structures, but in an alternate world where divorce were legal but the war never happened, doesn’t Shadrina’s logic suggest there would still be lots of single mothers?
  • Shadrina made me want to go back to this old post summarizing Anna Shcherbakova on modern Russian romance novels.
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