I’m about a week late and a ruble short on this one but want to mention winners of the Andrei Bely prize. Nikolai Baitov won the prose award for Думай, что говоришь (Think When You Speak or maybe Think Before You Speak), a collection of short stories. The poetry award went to Andrei Poliakov’s Китайский десант (Parenthetical information edited: please see comments... I’ll call this Chinese Landing Force, though an online bookstore calls it Chinese Descent. This title is (of course!) complicated since десант is usually a military landing or the troops who make them. I’m equally uninformed about these terms in English and Russian so suggestions are welcome.). Information on other Bely awards is available here. Just one of my rubles would endow this prize: that’s the value of the entire fund.
I learned about another award winner just before posting: John Woodsworth and Arkadi Klioutchanski won the Modern Language Association’s Lois Roth Award for a Translation of a Literary Work for their translation of Sofia Tolstaya’s My Life, published by the University of Ottawa Press. Woodsworth and Klioutchanski are both affiliated with the University of Ottawa. (press release) Thanks to the American Literary Translators Association for mentioning the award on Facebook.
I’ve run across a wealth of articles about Russian literature lately. Here are links to a few:
I always enjoy reading Russian Dinosaur’s blog but the two most recent posts were particularly engaging: the Dinosaur’s thoughts about The Collaborators, John Hodge’s new play about Mikhail Bulgakov, and a wonderful piece on a talk that Oliver Ready gave about translation. Oliver offered examples from Crime and Punishment, which he is translating, and the Dinosaur included one of the sentences, in the original and four translations. The blog called XIX век then followed with two related posts (here) and (here). XIX век is, by the way, written in English.
Last week Stephen Dodson, perhaps better known as Languagehat, opened the “A Year in Reading” series for The Millions with a post about Life and Fate. Life and Fate received more attention this week, through a review by Adam Kirsch on The New Republic’s site; the piece first appeared in Tablet. Also: The Quarterly Conversation published Malcolm Forbes’s essay about Andrei Bely’s Petersburg (in David McDuff’s translation); I still need to print this piece out so I can read it properly. (I also need to push Petersburg forward on my bookshelf… I’ve been intending to reread it for years.) Finally, Scott Esposito’s review of Victor Pelevin’s The Hall of Singing Caryatids, translated by Andrew Bromfield and recently released by New Directions, appeared on The National’s site.
Up Next: Trip notes about the American Literary Translators Association conference in Kansas City and Vsevolod Benigsen’s Раяд (Rayad), a novel about nationalism that feels a little formulaic... A year-end post with 2011 favorites is also on the schedule, and I’m planning to compile a list of new and upcoming translations. The latter will likely coincide with a presentation I’ll be giving at the Scarborough Public Library in late January—I’m excited to talk about some of the new titles at my town library!
It’s been an extraordinarily hectic fall—in lots of very, very good ways—but things seem to be settling back into a real routine, which means I’m getting back to my usual reading and writing habits. Thank goodness!
Disclosures: The usual.