Category Archives: Russian, Central and East European Literature
A Life-Changing Encounter with Bulgarian Literature
Guest post by Dimitar Kambourov I embarked on the project of compiling and editing Bulgarian Literature as World Literature for various reasons. Some of them – like increasing the visibility of Bulgarian literature and provoking curiosity about it worldwide – were uninspiringly important. Others happened to be a continuation of my life-long endeavor to read… Read More »
Discover the forgotten works of East Europe’s “Second World”
book, Literature and Film from East Europe’s Forgotten “Second World,” was inspired by my years of teaching literature and film from East Europe of the socialist “Second World” era at the University of Washington in Seattle. Over time, I noticed an interesting paradox: the more this period—which ended with the 1989 fall of communism and the subsequent dissolution of countries like the USSR, Czechoslovakia and, of course, Yugoslavia—receded into a historical never-land, the more its stories, novels and films seemed to resonate with and delight my students.
Interview with Mikhail Epstein
The below is an interview with the author of The Phoenix of Philosophy, Mikhail Epstein. How would you describe your book in one sentence? This book is about the intellectual movements in the late Soviet Union that helped to destroy the totalitarian system built on the Marxist philosophical foundation. What drew you to writing about this subject? All existing histories of Russian and Soviet philosophy end their coverage in the mid-twentieth century, which happens… Read More »
Power and Thought in the Soviet Union
Guest post by Mikhail Epstein My book, The Phoenix of Philosophy, is about philosophy at one of its most dramatic historical moments, at the boundary of two epochs: the formation of the ideocratic Soviet state—and its destruction. What is philosophy? There is no simple and universal definition, and many thinkers consider it impossible to formulate one. According to A. N. Whitehead, “the safest… Read More »
Teffi and Her Daughters
Guest post by Edythe Haber “What do you think – will you be able to go and eat soupe à l’oignon to wildly celebrate your birthday?” Valeria Grabovskaya wrote her mother, the Russian émigré writer Nadezhda Teffi, in April, 1952. Valeria (more informally, Valya), a resident of London, did indeed come to Paris to be… Read More »
Happy birthday, Vladimir Nabokov!
Although Vladimir Nabokov’s birth in 1899 on April 10 (‘Old Style’) translated to April 22 (‘New Style’) when Russia transitioned between the Julian and Gregorian calendars, the ‘New Style’ also dropped certain days. Hence, Nabokov’s first birthday was actually celebrated on April 23 (which meant getting to share his special day with Shakespeare rather than… Read More »
The New Yorker Recommends “Signs and Symbols.” Check out Anatomy of a Short Story
In a recent blog post, The New Yorker recommended "Signs and Symbols" for weekend reading. The story, which centers on an elderly couple’s attempt to visit their son in a sanitarium, is one of the best examples of Nabokov’s multilayered narrative style. In a letter to Katharine A. White, The New Yorker’s fiction editor at… Read More »
The Greatest Literary Moustaches!
It’s Movember and we love a good literary moustache. So much so, we’ve put together a collection of our all-time favourites! From the Walrus to the Mexican, and the Handlebar to the Horseshoe, it seems there is no end to the amount of creative facial topiary in the literary world… Something tells me Shakespeare set… Read More »
Anatomy of a Short Story: Nabokov’s Puzzles, Codes, ‘Signs and Symbols’
We are delighted to announce the publication of editor Yuri Leving’s “Anatomy of a Short Story: Nabokov’s Puzzles, Codes, ‘Signs and Symbols,’” a book that unites Nobokov’s “Signs and Symbols” as a primary text, with a collection of articles investigating the question of symbolism, “Referential mania,” and “riddles” in “Signs and Symbols,” one of… Read More »