Writing in the Shadow of the Monolith

In cases where Russian texts are cited, the Russian is given first with the English in parentheses after. A number of these authors have been published in English in Moscow, by Progress Publishers. The Russian literary scene is bizarre. The funniest new satirical work by a Soviet writer is Vladimir …

The Attack on Mme Mandelstam

Russia has a distinguished tradition of autobiographical prose which goes back to the middle of the last century. Annenkov’s An Extraordinary Decade, Herzen’s My Past and Thoughts, Leo Tolstoi’s trilogy, Korolenko’s A History of My Contemporary, Nabokov’s Other Shores (the Russian version of Speak, Memory), and Osip Mandelstam’s The Noise …

Translating Akhmatova

Russian poetry has not been lucky with its translations into English. It has been so unlucky that it may seem that the problem is in the Russian language itself—a synthetic, too flexible language which cannot be reproduced adequately in analytic English with its “iron word-order.” Successful translations are rare. Usually …