Posts Tagged: Russia

Boris Fishman author photo credit Rob Liguori

The Rumpus Interview with Boris Fishman

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Boris Fishman discusses his debut novel, A Replacement Life, Russia, the “immigrant novel,” Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons, and Vladimir Putin.

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David Bezmozgis Author Photo_Credit Hannah Young

The Rumpus Interview with David Bezmozgis

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The Rumpus talks to David Bezmozgis about Israel, making fact into fiction, politics in novels, and his new book, The Betrayers.

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Weekend Rumpus Roundup

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Meet Invincible Eric.

Then, Matthew Daddona reviews Carl Adamshick’s “empathetic” collection, Saint Friend. The poet employs a “smooth and elegiac rhetoric that is more concerned with sonic repetition than it is flawless consistency.” Adamshick’s book is worth a look for its “flair,” its “speed,” and its willingness to experiment with form.

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A Colony Divided

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In Koktebel, on the southern coast of Crimea, artists have gathered for almost a century, attracted to the “particular light and kinetic landscapes.” Now, with the annexation of Crimea, Neil Macfarquhar of the New York Times reports that the summer writer’s colony is divided, and the otherwise communal atmosphere has given way to two competing factions: the pro-Russian Crimea and the anti-Russia Crimea.

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Bringing Tolstoy to the West

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More people were reading Tolstoy than any other author in translation at the beginning of the 20th century, but as late as the 1880s, few non-Russians had even heard of him. Translators were deterred partly because of the length of his works and complexities of language, not to mention his overwhelming Russian-ness. At the Financial Times, Rosamund Bartlett provides an account of how English speakers came to the Russian novelist’s works.

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“Give Me Your Little Paw”

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In a luminous essay for the Morning News, Julia Phillips describes tagging along with the mushers of the Beringia, a Russian dogsled race that’s like the Iditarod but even more intense.

It’s a definite must-read in which Phillips deftly chronicles the simultaneous beauty and horror of half-wild dogs, a rainbow of Russian curses, the “mat of intimacies and betrayals” between contestants, and of course, the endless, unbelievable cold of the tundra.

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The Cutest Librarian

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If you ask Kuzya, an assistant librarian at the State Hermitage Library in Novorossiysk, Russia, for a book recommendation, you might go home with A Tale of Two Kitties or The Brothers Kara-meow-zov.

Because he is a cat. And he wears a bow-tie and has a cat passport, which is apparently a legitimate legal document in Russia.

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“Kholden Kolfeeld’s” Russian Fans

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Amid the flood of J. D. Salinger articles related to the upcoming biography and documentary about him, this New Yorker essay by Reed Johnson stands out.

It has nothing to do with the biography, actually. It’s about Russian translations of The Catcher in the Rye (or Over the Abyss in Rye as the most popular one is titled) and raises all sorts of interesting questions about how to convey American ideas about iconoclasm and conformity—not to mention slang—to Russian readers.

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“The Czar and the Poet”

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When the people followed the Communists at the beginning of the twentieth century, they gave up Christ, but they found it impossible, as the revolutionary poets exhorted them, “to throw Pushkin overboard the steamboat of modernity.”

Prominent Russian writer Mikhail Shishkin has an essay up at The New Republic, translated from Russian, about the fundamental conflicts between his country’s society, its government, and its literature.

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Russian Punk Band Pussy Riot Sentenced to Two Years for ‘Hooliganism’

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Today in a Russian court, three members (Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, Maria Alekhina, 24, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 30)  of the all-female Russian punk band Pussy Riot were sentenced to two years in prison for “hooliganism.”

(For those unfamiliar with the story, here is a round-up of links that we published last week.)

The trio had been facing up to seven years, but, after much deliberation, was sentenced to two years in prison for an anti-Putin song they performed in a church.

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