Category Russian

Across a Threshold: Olga Livshin’s “A Life Replaced, Poems with Translations from Anna Akhmatova and Vladimir Gandelsman”

By Lev Fridman             There is this edge, where some of us recall childhood’s voices. –– There is an edge, Mama i Papa –– where we wake up in the car with a travel mug to recall a Country. ––No, not That Country of the Present slowly invading this one.–– […]

Voices of the Post-Soviet Intellectual: Maxim Osipov’s “Rock, Paper, Scissors,” Translated from Russian by Boris Dralyuk, Alex Fleming, and Anne Marie Jackson

By Jonathan Stone The Grannies took the most practice. There were three of them, and as I prepared to read out loud Alex Fleming’s translation of Osipov’s essay “The Cry of The Domestic Fowl,” I kept vacillating between voices. The one who’s in the worst health hears and sees things: “Yuri, is that you?” she’ll […]

Laughter in the Gulag: “Sacred Darkness,” Translated from Russian by Brian James Baer and Ellen Vayner

By Dimiter Kenarov Looking back at the Soviet Union, nearly three decades after its demise, I can’t shake off the feeling of vertigo. That terrifying whale of an empire, whose blubber once stretched over a sixth of the landmass and most of the twentieth century, seems like a distant memory now, a mythical creature that […]

Polyphonic Transpositions: Pavel Arseniev’s “Reported Speech,” translated from Russian by Thomas Campbell, Cement Collective, Jason Cieply, Ian Dreiblatt, Ronald Meyer, Ainsley Morse, Ingrid Nordgaard, Anastasiya Osipova, Lia Na’ama Ten Brink

By Molly Thomasy Blasing From its very first pages, Pavel Arseniev’s Reported Speech shows itself to be true to its title; the opening poem’s epigraph comes to us, we are told, from an “Instruction in the platzkart train car” (15). This is only the beginning of a journey through a trail of words found, mixed […]

“The Storm”: A Sweet, Searing Counterpart to Leonid Yuzefovich’s “Horsemen of the Sands,” Translated from Russian by Marian Schwartz

By Sabrina Jaszi Leonid Yuzefovich’s novella The Storm details the minutely calibrated network of emotions and ideology underlying daily life at a Soviet primary school in the Urals. An early work by Yuzefovich who gained prominence in the last two decades for his detective novels set in 19th century Russia, a period which he also […]

On Akhmatova’s Couch: “Relative Genitive: Poems with Translations from Osip Mandelstam & Vladimir Mayakovsky,” by Val Vinokur

by Jonathan Stone In a way, Relative Genitive should get three reviews: as Val Vinokur’s translation of eighteen poems by Osip Mandelshtam, as Val Vinokur’s translation of seven (mostly longer) poems by Vladimir Mayakovsky, and as a collection of thirty eight poems by Val Vinokur. However, the artfulness with which Vinokur fuses and navigates those […]

Felicity, the Tale of the Simple Heart

Access & Aesthetics: An Interview with Luis de Miranda, Haute Culture Books

The young and exciting Haute Culture Books has already made a name for itself with its innovative take on the participative publishing model. Governed by the philosophy “digital books should be free, physical books should be sublime,” HCB rewards its “Book Angels” with beautifully crafted art object limited editions that subsidize the wide distribution of […]