Tag Archives: Tolstoy

Literary roundup: Russia’s sacred monsters

Big Russian novels are in the air as of late. At The Millions eight experts weigh in on George Steiner’s Tolstoy or Dostoevsky question. I read Steiner’s book a fairly long time ago and don’t remember him actually answering that question, which seems to be the standard reaction among the experts. Actually, I think the […]

Continue Reading

The lackluster marriage of philosophy and the novel

In the Financial Times novelist Jennie Erdal poses the question of whether it’s still possible to write philosophical novels the way Dostoevsky and Tolstoy once did. While it is quite easy to disagree with her premise and point out any number of philosophical novels being written today, the article is indicative of a much deeper […]

Continue Reading

Literary roundup: Russian writers in London and the literature of non-resilience

Having just published an article about Russian writers in Prague in the ‘20s (not to be confused with Prague in the ‘90s, which was supposedly Paris in the ‘20s as Paris in the ‘90s was too expensive to be anything but Paris in the ‘90s) I wanted to point out this broad historical look at […]

Continue Reading

Practical application of Russian literature

Yesterday I posted about an article defining the influence of Tolstoy’s novella The Death of Ivan Ilych on the psychological and medical approach to death. It turns out that the usefulness of Russian literature goes beyond the medical profession, as Thomas de Waal points out in an excellent article in Foreign Policy. With a tip […]

Continue Reading

Literary roundup: BTBA longlist, Tolstoy and death

The Best Translated Book Award’s longlist was just announced and its 25 titles contain a handful of novels from this part of the world: Poland: Stone Upon Stone by Wiesław Myśliwski, In Red by Magdalena Tulli Hungary: Fiasco by Imre Kertész, Kornél Esti by Dezső Kosztolányi Serbia: Leeches by David Albahari French novels dominate the […]

Continue Reading

Eastern Europe galore: new magazines

Eastern Europe has made its way into a lot of recently published magazine issues. First of all there is Timothy Snyder’s fantastic article in the NYRB on Galicia (requires subscription) “A Core of European Tragedy, Diversity, Fantasy,” in which figures as diverse as Emperor Joseph II, Stanisław Przybyszewski, son of the composer Franz Xaver Mozart, […]

Continue Reading

Tolstoy: How Much Land Does a Man Need

Choosing a new translation of a lesser known work by Leo Tolstoy – How Much Land Does a Man Need – for its inaugural publication, as Calypso Editions has done, might not seem the most typical choice for an independent publisher. The short story is a moral fable of a peasant lured by the devil […]

Continue Reading

Calypso publishes Tolstoy, Polish and Romanian poetry

Calypso Editions is a new artist-run, cooperative press that showed its uniqueness right from the start, launching with a new translation of Tolstoy’s classic yet lesser known novella How Much Land Does a Man Need in December 2010. The next release was a bilingual Polish-English collection by the Polish poet Anna Swir (Świrszczyńska) called Building […]

Continue Reading