Then he quotes “an old poet” (presumably Nabokov himself):

These lectures were given by Nabokov at several of the universities he taught at over the years. He also conducted a course on literature in general which was not restricted to Russian works. In this book, six different Russian authors were discussed. I only read two of the lectures, since I was only interested in his comments on Gogol and Turgenev. There were also lectures included on Dostoevski, Tolstoy, Chekhov, and Gorki. As additional material, the publishers also included two other articles by the author: “Philistines and Philistinism,” and “The Art of Translation,” both of which were interesting. Although former students stated that Nabokov simply stood in front of his classes and read from his lectures, it would still have been a great experience to have been in the audience when he did so. The two works that I went through on Gogol and Turgenev were excellent, and pointed out things that I had missed totally when I had read those authors. What also impressed me was that Nabokov had read all the various translations into English available for these authors at the time. It was amazing to me that such variability existed among them, and how such differences made striking differences in the final meanings of the texts. This book is more of a reference book than a collection of essays – though I am forced to place it in my essay shelves. If you are interested in the Golden Age of Russian literature, then this volume should be in your library.

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Also in the issue: a debut short story by Toronto-based writer Camilla Grudova, exploring the strange, hypnotic workings of Agata’s machine; another story by Jessie Greengrass from her debut collection An Account of the Decline of the Great Auk, According to One Who Saw It (published in July by JM Originals); and a selection of poetry by the Russian poet, film-maker and artist, Tatiana Daniliyants (translated by Katherine Young).

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The third annual January translation online issue, edited by Daniel Medin, opens with an interview with the foremost Afrikaans writer of her generation, the novelist, poet, critic and scholar Marlene van Niekerk, whose ‘work casts an unflinching, penetrating regard on post-apartheid South African society, registering beauty and frailty alongside almost unbearable cruelty’. Alongside her, Russian poet Galina Rymbu contributes a long poem, ‘Sex Is a Desert’. We also have new short stories by Bolivian writer Liliana Colanzi, a rising star in Latin American fiction; and Indonesian novelist Eka Kurniawan, whose novels Beauty is a Wound and Man Tiger were published last year in English to great critical acclaim.

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Spaces of Creativity: Essays on Russian Literature and …

Essays on Russian Literature and the Arts.

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Pale Fire is a 1962 novel by Vladimir Nabokov

Boyd, the Nabokov scholar, and a professor of literature at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, said he finds the connection plausible in part because it’s likely that Nabokov would have actually read Dali, but also because the Russian writer loved to take inspiration from many different places.

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Was Nabokov's 'Lolita' inspired by a little-known story …

Between 1894 and 2006, the ZhZL series published four Lives of Tolstoy. This essay focuses on the first (tsarist-era) and the last (post-communist) biographies, which reflect in turn the guidelines for the Series laid down by its two powerful editors, Florentii Pavlenkov and (after 1933) Maksim Gorky. The first, by Evgenii Soloviev, was a compact attempt to assess the enormous scandal of Tolstoy while the great writer was still alive, without degrading his thought. The last (post-communist) volume, a monumental narrative by Aleksei Zverev and Vladimir Tunimanov with century of scholarship at its disposal, approached Tolstoy as a priceless legacy that must nevertheless be made relevant to the New Russia. (The two Soviet-era biographies, one by Viktor Shklovsky and the other a wartime pamphlet by Nikolai Gudzii, resemble more the style of their authors than their subject.) The problem for all Tolstoy biographies, as for Tolstoy himself, was too many words—and their inherent unreliability. Drawing on Boris Tomashevsky and Yurii Lotman, the essay addresses general problems of literary biography in the Russian 19th century. Finally, Tolstoy’s conflicted attitude toward his own work, and toward his own person, is sampled through select crisis-points in the two biographies: the confession of 1881, the writer’s primary allegiance (to family or to the peasant), and the relation to the Church.