Posts Tagged ‘Turgenev’

  1. Tyutchev and Turgenev in their late 40s

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    August 3, 2017 by AK

    Tyutchev (1803-1873) wrote this poem in July 1850, at 46, possibly still in the grip of depression but already on the brink of a new life (which would end in a series of disasters in 1864-5). I thought of it while translating Potugin’s monologue yesterday: Don’t reason, don’t bother: Madness teaches, stupidity judges. Treat the …
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  2. Subterranean work

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    August 2, 2017 by AK

    In 1877, Nikolai Nekrasov wrote an epigram, To the Author of Anna Karenina: Tolstoy, you have proven with patience and talent That a woman should not have affairs Either with a sub-chamberlain or with an aide-de-camp When she’s a wife and a mother. There’s still some bite in this because of Tolstoy’s ineradicable moralizing, and …
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  3. “It was his book that had irritated me”

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    July 20, 2017 by AK

    Himadri C., the Argumentative Old Git, is taking another look at Turgenev’s Smoke, a short novel from 1867. (Old Smoke links: Erik McDonald; yours most humbly.) Back in 1830, Pushkin had Tatiana tell Onegin, at a point when it was too late for anything but regrets: “And happiness was so possible, // So close!” A …
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  4. More Turgenev trivia

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    January 22, 2015 by AK

    Following up on this, I must admit haven’t read the dramatic trilogy, The Coast of Utopia by Tom Stoppard, and I’m not sure I’m going to, any time soon. The brothers Ostrovsky, who translated the work into Russian, faced difficult choices but all in all, the Russian text works well on stage. For the fun …
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  5. Ancient Russians abroad

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    January 7, 2015 by AK

    If Henry James was the grand master of the Americans Abroad novel, Turgenev probably deserves the first prize in the pre-1917 Russians Abroad nomination. Other Russian majors used that setting, Gogol in Nights on the Villa, Dostoevsky in The Gambler, Leskov in A Passionate Patriot. But there are at least three major works by Turgenev …
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  6. Digestive metaphors for a healthy nation

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    September 30, 2014 by AK

    Sozont I. Potugin, the character from Turgenev’s The Smoke quoted by Dmitry Bykov and Erik McDonald and discussed here and here on this blog, had much more sensible views than his grumbling remarks had initially suggested. Consider this exchange from The Smoke (translation mine): [Litvinov]: “You have said that we should borrow, that we should …
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  7. Turgenev trivia

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    September 28, 2014 by AK

    Going back to Erik McDonald’s latest post with this quote from Dmitry Bykov, But except for the Sochi Olympics, Russia hasn’t made any powerful contributions to international culture recently, I’m not sure the Sochi Olympics was a contribution to anything but the building contractors’ secret bank accounts. But what about Turgenev’s character, Mr. Potugin? What was …
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  8. Turgenev as a household name

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    September 26, 2014 by AK

    “The only thing you never turned you hand to // Was teaching English in a boarding school,” wrote Auden in his 1937 Letter to Lord Byron from Iceland. Dmitry Bykov, an influential and remarkably prolific Russian columnist, novelist and poet, teaches Russian literature at one or two Moscow schools. Erik McDonald of XIX век has …
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  9. Recommended reading

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    January 30, 2006 by AK

    J. Cassian has translated Fear, a story by Guy de Maupassant. P.S. As J.C. points out, Maupassant wrote (at least) two stories entitled La Peur; this one is the lesser known. Knowing that lots of Maupassant have been translated into Russian, and the canonical Russian title for this particular story is Uzhas, I ran a …
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  10. Ace, or the interlinguistic variation of brand names

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    May 3, 2004 by AK

    Ace is a line of non-chlorine whitening detergents manufactured by Procter & Gamble and marketed in Europe (Western and Eastern), Middle East and Africa. It is in the National Health Institute’s household product database, so it might be available in the US as well. I have not figured out (yet) the etymology of the brand …
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