First, two brief news items...
This year’s Prix Russophonie went to Hélène Henri-Safier for her French translation of Dmitrii Bykov’s Pasternak. Henri-Safier’s translation of Pasternak also won the 2012 Read Russia award, in the contemporary literature category. Further details about the Prix Russophonie are online here. Other finalists for the prize translated Mandelshtam, Tsvetaeva, Girshovich, and a band of OBERIU writers.
|Konstantin Flavitskii's not-quite-real account.|
Grigorii Danilevskii’s Княжна Тараканова (Princess Tarakanova where the princess word means a prince’s unmarried daughter, oy, oy, oy!) is an 1883 historical novel about the demise of pretendress Elizaveta Tarakanova, who claimed to be the daughter of Empress Elizabeth. Danilevskii tells his version of the story in two parts: the first is the diary of naval lieutenant Pavel Kontsov, who meets Tarakanova after he escapes from an Istanbul prison; his previous adventures include serving in the Battle of Chesma in 1770. True to his time, Kontsov tells his story as a confession of sorts, mentions Kheraskov (!), and experiences perils both sentimental and maritime. Kontsov writes his diary in 1775 on a ship, The Northern Eagle, stuffing the pages into a bottle that he tosses overboard during a storm he fears will wreck the ship.