The other day, Academica Rossica announced the longlist for its 2014 Translation Prize, and, thankfully, Mikhail Shishkin’s Maidenhair made it!
Not to diminish the value of this longlist, but, to be honest, I would’ve been pissed if it hadn’t have made it, given the fact that there are forty-five books listed on this. I mean, that’s still a few hundred books short of the IMPAC Prize longlist (which is the very definition of absurd), but I was surprised to find out that there were forty-five eligible Russian translations.
That said, these are forty-five really interesting books, including works by Daniil Kharms, Mikhail Bulgakov, Andrei Gelasimov, Oleg Zalonchovsky, German Sadulaev, Viktor Shklovsky, Andrey Kurkov, Anna Starobinets, Vasily Grossman, Andrey Platonov, Victo Martinovich, Mikhail Shishkin, Vladimir Nabokov, Marina Tsvetaeva, and many other.
(Given the breath of this list, it would be really cool if there was a downloadable anthology with 5-10 pages from each. That would be an excellent way to introduce people to a wide range of Russian writing.)
Also, a lot of great Russian translators are on here—frequently with more than one book. Marian Schwartz, Andrew Bromfield, Carol Apollonio, Shushan Avagyan, Arch Tait, Amanda Love Darragh, Robert and Elizabeth Chandler, Jamey Gambrell, and many, many others.
The shortlist will be announced on February 25th and the winners on March 19th. In the meantime, check out the full list of titles and place your bets.
Imagine the most baroque excesses of Goethe, Shakespeare, and Poe, blended together and poured into a single book: That is The Nightwatches of Bonaventura. Ophelia and Hamlet fall in love in a madhouse, suicidal young men deliver mournful and heartfelt. . .
In 1899, Maurice Ravel wrote “Pavane pour une infante défunte” (“Pavane for a Dead Princess”) for solo piano (a decade later, he published an orchestral version). The piece wasn’t written for a particular person; Ravel simply wanted to compose a. . .
Fiston Mwanza Mujila is an award-winning author, born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, who now, at 33, lives in Austria. From what I could find, much of his work is influenced by the Congo’s battle for independence and its. . .
Twenty-One Days of a Neurasthenic is not a novel in the traditional sense. Rather, it is a collection of vignettes recorded by journalist Georges Vasseur in his diary during a month spent in the Pyrenées Mountains to treat his nervous. . .
Founded in 1960 by such creative pioneers as George Perec, Raymond Queneau and Italo Calvino, the Oulipo, shorthand for Ouvroir de littérature potentielle, came about in when a group of writers and mathematicians sought constraints to find new structures and. . .
There’s little to say about a series of prose poems that willfully refuse to identify pronoun antecedents. Or perhaps there are a million things. The poems in Morse, My Deaf Friend— the chapbook by Miloš Djurdjević published by Ugly Duckling. . .
The Crimson Thread of Abandon is the first collection of short fiction available in English by the prolific Japanese writer and all-around avant-garde trickster Terayama Shūji, who died in 1983 at the age of 47. This collection would be important. . .
Last year, NYRB Classics introduced English-language readers to Catalan writer Josep Pla with Peter Bush’s translation of The Gray Notebook. In that book, Pla wrote about life in Spain during an influenza outbreak soon after World War I, when. . .
“Your bile is stagnant, you see sorrow in everything, you are drenched in melancholy,” my friend the doctor said.
bq. “Isn’t melancholy something from previous centuries? Isn’t some vaccine against it yet, hasn’t medicine taken care of it yet?” I. . .
What to make of Vano and Niko, the English translation of Erlom Akhvlediani’s work of the same name, as well as the two other short books that comprise a sort of trilogy? Quick searches will inform the curious reader that. . .