Tag Archives: Russian

Outrageously Out of Print: Ten Books You Didn’t Even Know Existed in Translation

The heading is unapolagetically clickbaity as I sincerely hope that you do know about the existence of at least some of the titles listed below. The idea for the post cristallised after several occasions when I was planning to write … Continue reading

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Dedicated to Piranesi (Посвящается Пиранези) by Joseph Brodsky

A while ago, my tweet about the Joseph Brodsky poem apparently recounting the conversation between the too tiny figures at the bottom of Piranesi’s famous etching provoked lively interest among my literary-minded followers. Apart from the highly original premise of … Continue reading

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The Secret Year (Тайный год) by Mikhail Gigolashvili

It wasn’t Sergey Eizenstein’s bombastic epic Ivan the Terrible that Mikhail Gigolashvili had at the back of his mind when writing The Secret Year, but, as he mentioned in an interview, Alexei German’s infernal fresco Hard to be a God. … Continue reading

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Forthcoming: The Rehearsals by Vladimir Sharov

In 1656, at the behest of Patriarch Nikon of Moscow, the building of a life-size replica of Jerusalem began on the bank of the river Istra. The trees were cut down and tonnes of additional earth brought in to fashion … Continue reading

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Forthcoming: Between Dog and Wolf by Sasha Sokolov

I thought it would never happen. No, there was no way Sasha Sokolov’s most impenetrable novel would be translated. Reading  Between Dog and Wolf  back in the 1990s made me reconsider the presumptuous notion that I “knew” the Russian language. Even with the … Continue reading

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The Quiet Fields (Спокойные поля) by Alexander Goldstein

I was reluctant  to tackle The Quiet Fields mostly because I didn’t want to be left without any Goldstein novel to look forward to reading. This may sound a bit strange as he lived to write only two novels, but the sheer literary … Continue reading

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The Love for Three Zuckerbrins (Любовь к трем цукербринам) by Victor Pelevin

I thought I had given up on Pelevin completely when I abandoned his novel Snuff (still not available in English), which read like clumsy Young Adult sci-fi with marginally funny political jokes and the indispensable chastisement of popular culture by ironic … Continue reading

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The Capture of Izmail (Взятие Измаила) by Mikhail Shishkin

If you can read French or Italian, grab your copy of Mikhail Shishkin’s The Capture of Izmail immediately because it’s his best and most difficult novel so far.  If you thought Maidenhair was a challenge, you’re in for an overwhelmingly perplexing ride. Even most of the … Continue reading

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Remember Famagusta (Помни о Фамагусте) by Alexander Goldstein

The English-speaking audience might have heard first the name of Alexander Goldstein from one of the most important contemporary Russian writers Mikhail Shishkin. During his talk at the Harriman Institute, Columbia, he actually said the following: For me now the … Continue reading

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Telluria (Теллурия) by Vladimir Sorokin

Vladimir Sorokin’s new novel is a feast of self-repetitions which might work better for those who haven’t read the Russian author’s previous works. Here we find all his major preoccupations, idiosyncrasies and quirks most of which date back to his … Continue reading

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