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Pope in his grotto
It's clever, but is it art?
(This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time.)
 
One Hundred Years of Solitude: Aureliano
In my Russian Lit book, we've reached the section on Tyutchev, which is quite short -- just a handful of poems. After reading the first poem I thought, my god, this is stunning. And after every other poem I thought the same thing. They were far too wonderful to be translations.

At first I said to myself, hell, these must be translated by Nabokov. But I quickly decided, no, that's awful -- as if Nabokov were the only person capable of translating Russian literature! Surely there are other translators with this kind of talent. There's no reason to imagine Nabokov is the only one.

But I flipped back to the front of the book where the translators are credited, and sure enough -- Nabokov.

God damn you, Nabokov.

Anyway, I notice that almost none of these translations seem to exist online, so I'm posting a few of them (a bit early for April Poetry Month, but whatever). Some of you, no doubt, have read these in Russian, and I have no idea how the translations actually compare to Tyutchev's originals, or whether Nabokov took preposterous liberties in order to make them work so well in English, but I'm impressed either way.

AppeasementCollapse )

The AbyssCollapse )

Silentium!Collapse )

Last LoveCollapse )

I need to find some Nabokov translations of Pushkin so that I'll stop thinking Tyutchev was a better poet. :/ The Pushkin poems in the book are nowhere near this good.

Unrelatedly, tomorrow there's an open lecture on Oscar Wilde in the Lang & Lit building. I may try to go, since I don't have classes. It's at 3:15, in room 316, on 3/17, which should be easy enough to remember...
23rd-Dec-2007 03:29 pm - This year's reading list...
Devil: the dark side has books
(I wrote this a few days ago, thinking I'd be able to get online sooner. It's therefore a bit outdated; I've actually finished reading Moby Dick now, and a post about that is forthcoming. In the meantime, I'm leaving this post as it is.)

Contrary to what most people think, I'm not actually a very prolific reader. At all. In fact, I've read exactly ten books this year -- or eleven, if I finish Moby Dick before January -- and that includes three short children's novels. I mean, I read pieces of other things… I read about half of a collection of Nathaniel Hawthorne's short stories, several chapters of The House of the Seven Gables, the first quarter of The 1,001 Arabian Nights (which I'm still reading; at the moment I'm about halfway through the story of Aladdin), and a few chapters of The Iliad, The Red and the Black, and Nietzsche's Antichrist. I intend to finish reading all of these at some point... hopefully within the coming year...

In any case. Some of you have been trying to "read your height" in books, or read a book for every week of the year, or something of that sort, and then commenting on those books in your journal in little blocks. I've entered on no such ambitious enterprise, but now that the year is out, I figure I'll take a moment to comment briefly on the books I did manage to read this year. No spoilers, or at least only very minor, oblique spoilers. In the order in which I read them, then:

The Master and MargaritaCollapse )
LolitaCollapse )
One Hundred Years of SolitudeCollapse )
The Dark Tower: The GunslingerCollapse )
Number the StarsCollapse )
The Devil's StorybookCollapse )
The Devil's Other StorybookCollapse )
Lord of LightCollapse )
Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsCollapse )
Guards! Guards!Collapse )
Moby DickCollapse )
3rd-Feb-2007 03:53 pm - Lolita
Listen
I finished reading Lolita about an hour ago. I'm sure I don't have the energy to write up the kind of commentary that would do it justice, but I'll make an effort and throw my scattered thoughts into a post anyway. Spoilers, naturellement.

In here.Collapse )

More later, maybe, or probably not.
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