Tag Archives: Vladimir Nabokov

Literary roundup: An invitation for you to think – Vvedensky, Shishkin, Nabokov

On March 27, Read Russia and The New York Review of Books are co-hosting the book launch of the much awaited An Invitation for Me to Think by Alexander Vvedensky, translated by Eugene Ostashevsky, with additional translations by Matvei Yankelevich. All of these publishers, organizers and translators will be in attendance in NYC at Pravda […]

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Central/Eastern European novels 2013

The Millions has put out a long and translation-heavy list of books to be published in 2013 in the US. There are quite a few Central and Eastern European novels to look forward to, including a few I have already read, either because they came out in the UK last year or because I took […]

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Literary roundup: Misunderstanding Kafka and a Czech émigré novel

Apparently it isn’t only filmmakers who misunderstand Kafka. In the Times Literary Supplement Gabriel Josipovici writes an article covering a number of quite varied books about or related to Kafka titled “Why we don’t understand Kafka” that brings a demanding yet even-handed take on the ultimate resistance to interpretation that Kafka’s writing contains. In a […]

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The Unreal Life of Sergey Nabokov

My review of Paul Russell’s novel The Unreal Life of Sergey Nabokov is up at Readux. For a take on a fictional account of the life of Vladimir’s gay younger brother who ended up dying in a concentration camp and who wasn’t mentioned by the famous novelist until the third edition of Speak, Memory, as […]

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Literary roundup: Zweig, Kiš, Mandelstam and Nabokov’s right hook

The Guardian reports that plans to memorialize the house exiled Austrian-Jewish writer Stefan Zweig lived in London for five years were nixed by English Heritage (EH), the organization responsible for choosing who gets a blue plaque and who doesn’t. An EH spokesperson said that Zweig’s “current profile – which has never been as high in […]

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Literary roundup: Polish sci-fi and a Nabokov Top 10

Two Polish science fiction/fantasy stories have put their translators on the shortlist of the 2012 Science Fiction and Fantasy Translation Awards. Both were nominated in the short form category for individual stories. “Spellmaker” by Andrzej Sapkowski, translated by Michael Kandel for A Polish Book of Monsters anthology, which was reviewed here earlier this year. While […]

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Playing the instruments of thought

On the BBC’s “A Point of View” writer Will Self takes on readers and critics who oppose the use of difficult words, and by extension, of difficult art altogether. The main thrust of his critique is that educators, critics and the reading public are demanding that the bar be lowered from a level of reading […]

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When Russian literature passed through Prague

Prague in the ‘20s was a hotbed of émigré Russian intellectual life In the wake of the Russian Revolution and civil war Prague played a surprisingly large and often unacknowledged role in 20th century Russian literature and thought. While the exiled aristocratic and political exiles settled in Paris and most of Russia’s intelligentsia chose Berlin, […]

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Literary roundup: Schulz, suffering and soccer in Europe’s borderlands

This year not only will Poland and Ukraine co-host the UEFA European Football Championship, they will also collectively celebrate the 120th anniversary of the birth of Bruno Schulz. This isn’t just a friendly gesture – both countries have some claim on the brilliant writer as his Galician hometown of Drohobycz is in today’s Ukraine and […]

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Literary roundup: robots and the posthumous wit and force of Vladimir Nabokov

On January 25, 1921 Karel Čapek’s play R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots) had its official premiere at the National Theater in Prague (The first performances took place in early January in a regional theater in Hradec Králové). Besides being the writer’s most successful work it added the word robot to our international vocabulary. The play was […]

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