As part of our ongoing feature celebrating National Translation Month,today we are featuring the first three titles published in our Russian Library series. Remember to enter our drawing for a chance to win an entire set of the Russian Library series, which includes these three titles and more!
Our Russian Library series published it’s first titles in December 2016. In a blog post introducing the three inaugural titles, Christine Dunbar, editor of the series, wrote: “while the three have much in common—linguistic virtuosity being the most obvious example—they amply demonstrate the profusion of genres that make up Russian literature.”
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Between Dog and Wolf, originally published in Russian in 1980, is a novel built on word play and literary allusions, with plot, that most easily of conveyed elements, hidden well in the background. Those very techniques brought comparisons to James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake and whispers that the novel was untranslatable. A topic the author and translator discussed with NPR’s All Things Considered after its English language publication.
Read “Note V” from Between Dog and Wolf, which you can also hear being read in part in the NPR interview.
Find out more about Sasha Sokolov and Between Dog and Wolf in translator Alexander Boguslawski introduction.
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Strolls with Pushkin by Andrei Sinyavsky, translated by Catharine Theimer Nepomnyashchy and Slava I. Yastremski
Imprisioned for his satirical writing in 1966, Andrei Sinyavsky served six years in the gulag and famously wrote Strolls with Pushkin during that time in letters to his wife. A remarkable feat given Alexander Pushkin, Russia’s most beloved poet, is quoted extensively. An irreverent portrait of the father of modern Russian literary language, Sinyavsky himself called it a work of “fantastic literary scholarship.”
Read an excerpt from the title essay, “Strolls with Pushkin.”
Find out more about Andrei Sinyavsky in co-translator Catherine Theimer Nepomnyashchy’s introduction to the book.
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Fourteen Little Red Huts and Other Plays by Andrei Platonov, edited by Robert Chandler. Translated by Robert Chandler, Jesse Irwin, and Susan Larsen
Considered one of the greatest Russian writers of the twentieth century, Andrei Platonov has garnered international accolades for his prose. Written in the 1930s, these plays offer an impassioned and penetrating response to Stalin’s assault on the Soviet peasantry. They reflect the political urgency of Bertolt Brecht and anticipate the tragic farce of Samuel Beckett but play out through dialogue and characterization that is unmistakably Russian.
Read an excerpt from the title play, “Fourteen Little Red Huts.”
Find out more about Andrei Platonov and the time in which the plays were written in editor Robert Chandler’s introduction.