Tag Archives: Russian literature

Alex Cigale on Mariengof

Translator Alex Cigale has spent years working on bringing the “lyrical excesses” of Anatoly Mariengof’s Russian prose from his 1928 novella Cynics into English. In the latest Saturday European Fiction in B O D Y he offered up a sample of some of Mariengof’s shorter prose in “Aphorisms, Anecdotes, And Other Literary Trifles” and now […]

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Anatoly Mariengof in B O D Y

“Of all things, I am most likely an epicurean. ‘Death has no bearing on us,’ Epicurus had said, “For when we exist, death is not yet present, and when death is present, then we no longer exist.” And that is, roughly speaking, also my attitude toward ‘non-existence’ (to use the euphemistic philosophical term). But, when […]

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Daniil Kharms in B O D Y

“And so, it once happened that Nikolay Ivanovich found himself in Hotel Europe, in their restaurant. Nikolay Ivanovich sits at his table, and the table over from him is occupied by some foreigners, and they’re gobbling up apples.   And that’s when Nikolay Ivanovich said to himself: ‘A curious thing,’ Nikolay Ivanovich said to himself, […]

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Slovo Russian Literature Festival

The 6th annual Slovo Russian Literature Festival is underway in London, because with only the book fair going on there is a painful shortage of literary events in the British capital at the moment. The festival was opened by Boris Akunin, who will also be speaking this evening. Two other authors known for their novels […]

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Oleg Woolf in B O D Y

“Yet it may be that they can’t see a thing, even their own darkness. So what, Ionesco, did you turn out to be different from everyone else? Or maybe you’re not Ionesco at all, even? These words seemed very unusual to Ionesco. Not even simply strange, but entirely extraordinary.” From “Ionesco and Feodasi” in Moldovan […]

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Anatoly Mariengof: ‘Cynics’ + ‘Novel Without Lies’

In 1928, Imaginist poet Anatoly Mariengof took the daring and risky step of publishing his novel Cynics with the Berlin émigré publishing house Petropolis while himself remaining in The Soviet Union, something which he later had to apologize for. The novel wasn’t published in Russia until 1988. Two years earlier Mariengof had written a novelistic […]

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Mikhail Kuzmichev in B O D Y

“But at the same time he felt sad, because his age was getting the better of some of his abilities, and revitalizing some of those he’d already lost, even at the pace his great talent would allow was, nevertheless, not part of his plans as a serial killer.” From “The Serial Killer”, the first publication […]

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Afterwords: Right time for ‘The Sublimes’?

“Shatuny [The Sublimes] was first published in Russia only after the collapse of the Soviet system. Before that, it was published in the West. The reaction in the West was unusual. One American reviewer noted that the world was not ready for such a book. I believe now it is perfectly ready for this book.” […]

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Yuri Mamleyev in B O D Y

He stepped into the bushes to fool around a little. “What can I say about Grigory,” he thought later, “when I don’t even know whether I exist?” From The Sublimes by Yuri Mamleyev, translated from the Russian by Marian Schwartz. This highly influential cult classic from 1968 has never before been translated into English and […]

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Literary roundup: No paradise for bored readers

At World Literature Today translator and publisher Ross Ufberg talks about translating Vladimir Lorchenkov’s The Good Life Elsewhere, translation in general and the newly established New Vessel Press. The interview is full of interesting and fairly optimistic takes on publishing literature in translation: “… I have read lots of Russian novels in my life and […]

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