Tag Archives: Dostoevsky
Pyotr Konchalovsky - Portrait of the Poet Alexander Pushkin 1932

Literary roundup: Read Russia Prize and Drunken Boat translations

At the outset I have to admit that I really don’t understand this. The Read Russia Prize, at least on their website, is stated to be for “English translations of Russian literature” and to be given in New York each May. So naturally last weekend in Moscow they announced the winners of the prize, the […]

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Literary roundup: Eastern promise and Balla

Natasha Perova, editor of Glas New Russian Writing, has a very interesting piece in PEN America on the Russian literary scene in which she discusses the young generation of writers (some of which Glas publishes due to their association with the Debut Prize) and what differentiates them from the writers of the Russian and Soviet […]

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Literary roundup: Happy Birthday Dostoevsky and the more things change

It’s Dostoevsky’s birthday today! Were he still alive, he would be eight years short of 200. It’s just as well that he isn’t though because like Solzhenitsyn in his cranky old age he would likely have a cable TV show that no one watches in which he ranted and raved against everything and everyone, except […]

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Literary roundup: 1960s Soviet Union finally opening up

Manuscripts don’t burn, but they can sure be kept locked away a long time. In February 1961, KGB agents came to Vasily Grossman’s apartment and confiscated the typescript, manuscript and virtually everything connected to the novel Life and Fate completed the previous year. Now, 52 years later and a mere 20 or so years after […]

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

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 […]

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Literary roundup: Budapest bookfest, Polish crime writing and a literary fabrication

The 20th International Book Festival Budapest runs from April 18 to 21 with Italy as the country Guest of Honor and Michel Houellebecq as the writer Guest of Honor. Houellebecq’s novel Lanzarote will be published in Hungarian for the occasion. Among the Hungarian writers attending the festival are Noémi Szécsi, György Konrád, László Krasznahorkai and […]

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Asymptote April 2013: Russian poetry, Miklós Szentkuthy and more

Asymptote’s April 2013 issue has just come out and, as always, contains a lot of great prose, poetry and more, some of which comes from the part of the world written about hereabouts. The introduction of Hungarian writer Miklós Szentkuthy continues with an excerpt from Towards the One and Only Metaphor translated by Tim Wilkinson […]

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Literary roundup: examining evil and Russian books 2013

Prague literary journal B O D Y has an unbelievable story from award-winning Czech writer Tomáš Zmeškal. “Vision of Hitler,” translated by Nathan Fields, is a story that is even more unnerving in keeping the reader guessing what kind of story it is than in its ultimate subject matter (though that’s unnerving too). What begins […]

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Literary roundup: The price of Russian avant-garde poetry and a Hebrew poet and photographer of Russian writers

Haaretz has a fascinating article on the rich but deeply conflicted life of the Hebrew poet and mostly St. Petersburg resident photographer Asher K. Shapiro. Having converted to Christianity on what he thought was his deathbed so he could marry his pregnant Orthodox Russian girlfriend Shapiro spent his life with the social benefits and personal […]

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The _____ generation: on American novelists and theory

“Why don’t you all f-fade away And don’t try to dig what we all s-s-say I’m not trying to cause a big s-s-sensation I’m just talkin’ ’bout my g-g-g-generation” – The Who, “My Generation” n+1 magazine has an assessment of the influence of critical theory on American novelists who came of age in the 80s, […]

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