Joseph Frank is Professor Emeritus of Slavic and Comparative Literature at Stanford. He is the author of Dostoyevsky: The Mantle of the Prophet, 1871–1881. (June 2008)


In Stalin’s Trap

The Russian writer Konstantin Simonov, circa 1947

The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia

by Orlando Figes
Orlando Figes has a well-deserved reputation for bringing new light to bear on wide-ranging subjects concerning Russian history and culture. His book on the Russian Revolution saw this cataclysmic event as “A People’s Tragedy,” and in Natasha’s Dance he surveyed the remarkable efflorescence of Russian culture in all its forms …

Idealists on the Run

Lenin's Private War: The Voyage of the Philosophy Steamer and the Exile of the Intelligentsia

by Lesley Chamberlain
In the fall of 1922, a specially chartered German boat departed from the port of St. Petersburg (then Petrograd), followed six weeks later by another; on board they carried the cream of the Russian intelligentsia of the pre-revolutionary period. Many of the involuntary passengers had participated in the agitation that …

In Search of Dostoevsky

Summer in Baden-Baden

by Leonid Tsypkin,translated from the Russian by Roger and Angela Keys, with an introduction by Susan Sontag
During his all-too-brief life (he died at the age of fifty-six), Dr. Leonid Tsypkin was indistinguishable from many other middle-class professionals in the Soviet Union. He was born in Minsk of Jewish parents, both of them doctors; part of the family was wiped out in the Stalin terror, part after …

Subversive Activities

On Psychological Prose

by Lydia Ginzburg, translated and edited by Judson Rosengrant
Lydia Iakovlevna Ginzburg is not a name widely known outside Russia except to Slavists, but this excellent translation of perhaps her most important book, On Psychological Prose, should help to introduce her to a larger public. Until a few years before her death in 1990, when she was eighty, one …

The Triumph of Abram Tertz

Goodnight! A Novel

by Abram Tertz (Andrei Sinyavsky), translated and with an introduction by Richard Lourie

Soviet Civilization: A Cultural History

by Andrei Sinyavsky, translated by Joanne Turnbull, with the assistance of Nikolai Formozov
So much change has taken place in the Soviet Union in the last twenty-five years, particularly in the last ten, that it is difficult now even to imagine the excitement produced by the arrest, trial, and sentencing of two young writers, Andrei Sinyavsky and Yuli Daniel, in February 1966. Their …

The Voices of Mikhail Bakhtin

Mikhail Bakhtin

by Katerina Clark and Michael Holquist

Mikhail Bakhtin: The Dialogical Principle

by Tzvetan Todorov, translated by Wlad Godzich
Twenty years ago, the name of Mikhail Bakhtin would hardly have been known outside Russia except to Slavic scholars, and even then only to those with a special interest in Dostoevsky. At the present time, however, the works of Bakhtin are exercising a considerable influence among literary critics and cultural …