Literary roundup: Russian literature in prisons, on spies and some Czech honey

1280px-End_of_the_world_prison

The Washington Post has an amazing article about teaching Russian literature in prisons in Virginia. Not only does it recount how convicted felons are getting enthusiastic about reading Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and company, and having their minds opened up to the wider possibilities of life by what they’re reading as opposed to being reformed or restrained by the usual brilliant and extremely well-thought out strategies of the US penal system, but it ends with a quote from one of the prisoners that is a work of literature itself:

“Last night, I was sitting on my bed and it all of a sudden hit me: How am I going to be remembered?” Green said. “I sat there for an hour, just looking at my leg, thinking about how I would answer that.”

If Hollywood film adaptations of his books, among many other aspects of modern life, have sent Tolstoy spinning in his grave then at least this article gives him reason to take a short break.

Russian Spies

Upon
Our territory
A gang has been dispatched
Of spies,
Of arsonists,
Of bandits,
Of murderers

“The Call,” by Vladimir Mayakovsky

The latest issue of Chtenia is titled “Spies and Impostors” and is all about espionage. None of it is available online but looks like an interesting mix of fiction, essays and poetry.

Topol

European Literature Night took place last night and Czech writer Jáchym Topol was a participant in London. In the run up to the event English PEN published a Topol work titled “A Little Honey,” translated into English by Alex Zucker.



Photo – A corridor of the end of the world prison at Ushuaia, now a museum by Luis Argerich/wikimedia commons

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: News

Subscribe

Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 364 other followers

%d bloggers like this: