I began noticing that two or three years ago, but when I was at BookExpo America at the end of May, I started sensing it even more than before. It interweaves the tale of an epochal event, the horrific siege of Stalingrad during World War II, with the private stories of characters from all layers of society whose lives are violently uprooted by the forces of war, terror, and Soviet totalitarianism.
War and Peace is many things: Lenin professed that it was his favorite novel, and he saw its positive-minded protagonists as models for the revolutionaries that would eventually take over the country several decades down the road. All of the 10 works of fiction below are acknowledged classics of Russian literature.
It is a love story, a family saga, and a war novel, yet at its core it is a book about people trying to find their footing in a ruptured world and about humans trying to create a meaningful life for themselves in a country torn apart by war, social change, and spiritual confusion.
Please speak a little bit about the market in the United States for foreign literature. The novel tells the story of Vera Pavlovna, a woman who looks to be free and emancipate herself from the conservative oppression of the czarist regime.
Oddly enough, I can answer that question three ways! And how did you realize you wanted to begin translating professionally? Everything followed a surprisingly logical progression: Are there any trends? A masterpiece of evocative prose as beautiful as the Russian countryside it depicts, Doctor Zhivago takes readers on a journey of love, pain, and redemption through some of the harshest years of the 20th century.
In fact, given the current state of the world, we all could benefit from following that example. I was pretty clueless back then! But once Lermontov introduced his character Pechorin, he would go on to set a benchmark for the complexity of characters in Russian fiction.
Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin In this lesser known masterpiece of Russian fiction, Alexander Pushkin combines an engrossing love story, an encyclopedia of early 19th century Russian life, and one of the wittiest social satires ever penned.
I wrote positively, of course about some of the books that I would later translate: Is there a large interest or demand for any particular kind of literature? Although Gogol was a self-professed conservative, the younger generations used it to argue against the ills of 19th century Russian society.
Having endured tyranny under their czarist regime, as well as great suffering during two world wars and under Josef Stalin, it seems unlikely that they would have time for sure monumental, soul-searching novels. And now a little about Russian literature.
It has been criticized for its narrative looseness, but the transition from innocence to experience of its 5 main characters beautifully details the personal and historical happenings of early 19th century Russia.
I came to love translation because it gives me the opportunity to choose words and create a literary text without having to worry about plot, character development, and the like. But when his beliefs get challenged by the unexpected appearance of passionate love and spirituality, he suffers a crisis that will force him to rethink his entire worldview.
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn This short, harrowing, yet strangely hopeful masterpiece tells the story of a single day in the life of an ordinary Soviet labor camp inmate, of which there were tens of millions in the Soviet Union.
Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak Inspired by War and Peace, this historical novel tells the tale of a poet-physician Yuri Zhivago, who struggles to find his place, his profession, and his artistic voice amid the turmoil of the Russian Revolution.
When Bazarov, a strict nihilist, challenges the well-established mores of Provincial life, he lures the naive towards his radical ideas. Part murder-mystery, part exploration of faith, the novel describes the murder of a father at the hand of one of four brothers, and like many other works by this great, troubled visionary, questions in great detail the existence and purpose of God.
Translated by Lisa Hayden. The novel describes the different world views of the three Karamazov brothers—the monastic Alyosha, the sensual Dmitry, and the intellectual Ivan—as well as their lecherous father, whose mysterious murder and its investigation become the focal point of the riveting, final third of the novel.
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky In this emotionally and philosophically intense story of patricide and family rivalry, Dostoevsky explores as deeply as any Russian writer has the themes of faith, evil, and meaning. At once playful and serious, ironic and passionate, this novel in verse is the starting point for most college survey classes on modern Russian literature, because in it Pushkin creates the template for nearly all of the themes, character types, and literary techniques that future Russian writers would build upon.
I started translating literature relatively recently, probably about seven years ago, though I did some small bits in grad school and for a theater, back in the s and 90s.
Finally, are there a lot of translators of Russian literature? Nikolay Chernychevsky — What is to be Done? How did you start reading Russian literature?
When Raskolnikov, a former student enamored by Napoleonic ideals of superiority, decides to commit a murder against a old pawnbroker, it provokes one of the greatest personal transformations ever portrayed in literature. Someone else has I hope!
It makes me endlessly happy that lots of publishers — some of the new ones as well as other independent houses that have been around significantly longer and might be a little larger — give the impression of really knowing who their readers are.
And Quiet Flows the Don by Mikhail Sholokhov Often compared to War and Peace, this epic historical novel traces the fate of a typical Cossack family over a tumultuous year period, from just before the beginning of World War I to the bloody civil war following the Russian Revolution of Do you choose what to translate or do you get requests from publishers you work with?
I write a blog about Russian literature lizoksbooks.From fantasy, science fiction, to political satire, here are 12 contemporary Russian novels from the the post-Soviet literary scene that every literature lover should read. Greatest Russian Novels of All Time but I haven't got a good track record with Russian novelists.
reply | flag * message 6: by Richard (new) Mar 16, AM Ted is right. However, I added this great novel to our list of great literature by people from Russia." But I would argue that there are actually two Nabokovs.
There is the. As Belarusian author and journalist Svetlana Alexievich wins the Nobel Prize in Literature amid political turmoil at home, and Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to drop bombs in Syria, Belarusians and Russians alike have a lot to think about these days.
The poetry of Vladimir Mayakovsky and other Russian futurists will give a good introduction to the new wave in Russian literature that occurred at the beginning of the 20th century. Victor Pelevin Among the most recent writers, Victor Pelevin will give a good feel of the 90s: a mix of capitalism, technology and ancient mythologies popping.
Chekov wrote many plays and short stories, these are a good way to get into the Russian lit mindset. I also just read a Pevear and Volokhonsky collection of Gogol's short stories (this one), which might be another easy way to introduce yourself to.
It is difficult to exclude many of Dostoevsky’s works, but Karamazov has not only retained its status as one of the seminal works in Russian Literature, but it has also gone on to become one of the most celebrated novels of all time. Part murder-mystery, part exploration of faith, the novel describes the murder of a father at the hand of one of .Download