For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Novelist Vladimir Nabokov witnessed the horrors of his century, escaping Revolutionary Russia then Germany under Hitler, and fleeing France with his Jewish wife and son just weeks before Paris fell to the Nazis. He repeatedly faced accusations of turning a blind eye to human suffering to write artful tales of depravity. But does one of the greatest writers in the English language really deserve the label of amoral aesthete bestowed on him by so many critics?
Using information from newly-declassified intelligence files and recovered military history, journalist Andrea Pitzer argues that far from being a proponent of art for art’s sake, Vladimir Nabokov managed to hide disturbing history in his fiction—history that has gone unnoticed for decades. Nabokov emerges as a kind of documentary conjurer, spending the most productive decades of his career recording a saga of forgotten concentration camps and searing bigotry, from World War I to the Gulag and the Holocaust. Lolita surrenders Humbert Humbert’s secret identity, and reveals a Nabokov appalled by American anti-Semitism. The lunatic narrator of Pale Fire recalls Russian tragedies that once haunted the world. From Tsarist courts to Nazi film sets, from CIA front organizations to wartime Casablanca, the story of Nabokov’s family is the story of his century—and both are woven inextricably into his fiction.
In this engaging book, Andrew Baruch Wachtel and Ilya Vinitsky provide a comprehensive, conceptually challenging history of Russian literature, including prose, poetry and drama. Each of the ten chapters deals with a bounded time period from medieval Rus' to the present. In a number of cases, chapters overlap chronologically, thereby allowing a given period to be seen in more than one context. To tell the story of each period, the authors provide an introductory essay touching on the highpoints of its development and then concentrate on one biography, one literary or cultural event, and one literary work, which serve as prisms through which the main outlines of a given period's development can be discerned. Although the focus is on literature, individual works, lives and events are placed in broad historical context as well as in the framework of parallel developments in Russian art and music
CliffsNotes on Crime and Punishment takes you into a masterpiece of Russian literature, a work published during the time the western world was moving away from romanticism and into a new realistic approach to writing.
Following the story of an impoverished young man who expects to enrich humanity by rising to a level above the law, this study guide provides a character list, character map, and character analyses to explore the personalities within Fyodor Dostoevsky's masterpiece. Other features that help you figure out this important work includeLife and background of the authorIntroduction to and brief synopsis of the novelSummaries and expert commentaries for each chapter within the bookEssays that explore aspects of the author's characters and theoriesA review section that tests your knowledge and suggests essay topics and practice projectsA Resource Center full of books, publications, films, and Internet resources
Classic literature or modern-day treasure—you'll understand it all with expert information and insight from CliffsNotes study guides.
Plunging into the enchanted and luminous worlds of Speak, Memory; Ada, or Ardor; and the infamous Lolita, Azam Zanganeh seeks out the Nabokovian experience of time, memory, sexual passion, nature, loss, love in all its forms, and language in all its allusions. She explores Nabokov's geography-from his Russian childhood to the landscapes of "his" America-suffers encounters with his beloved "nature," hallucinates an interview with the master, and seeks the "crunch of happiness" in his singular vocabulary. This beautifully illuminated book will both reignite the passion of experienced Nabokovians and lure the innocent reader to a well of delights as yet unseen.
With Mayakovsky, Bengt Jangfeldt offers the first comprehensive biography of Mayakovsky, revealing a troubled man who was more dreamer than revolutionary, more political romantic than hardened Communist. Jangfeldt sets Mayakovsky’s life and works against the dramatic turbulence of his times, from the aesthetic innovations of the pre-revolutionary avant-garde to the rigidity of Socialist Realism and the destruction of World War I to the violence—and hope—of the Russian Revolution, through the tightening grip of Stalinist terror and the growing disillusion with Russian communism that eventually led the poet to take his life.
Through it all is threaded Mayakovsky’s celebrated love affair with Lili Brik and the moving relationship with Lili’s husband, Osip, along with a brilliant depiction of the larger circle of writers and artists around Mayakovsky, including Maxim Gorky, Viktor Shklovsky, Alexander Rodchenko, and Roman Jakobson. The result is a literary life viewed in the round, enabling us to understand the personal and historical furies that drove Mayakovsky and generated his still-startling poetry.
Illustrated throughout with rare images of key characters and locations, Mayakovsky is a major step in the revitalization of a crucial figure of the twentieth-century avant-garde.
"A brief review cannot do justice to the profundity, erudition, and spiritual as well as moral candor displayed in George Panichas's treatise. Panichas's style combines lucidity, subtlety, and immediacy with a convincing eloquence which derives its force from a vision of undeniable truth. Hopefully, Panichas's work will receive the widest possible circulation among academic specialists, literary critics, and educated readers."--Heinrich A. Stammler, Slavic Review
"One cannot put this book down without experiencing the desire to read some of Dostoevesky's great novels. As Panichas makes clear, Crime and Punishment and the Brothers karamazov are part of the Western literary canon." - FCS Quarterly
"[T]he deep erudition in these pages is alive with a sympathy and a sensitivity--at times even a passion--that bespeak a real sharing in the author's prophetic vision. As few works of criticism do, this is a book that deserves its place on the same shelf with the inspired fiction it examines."--Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture
"Dr. Panichas' book on Dostoevsky is, indeed, a new milestone in the immense body of literature on the Russian genius."--Sergei Levitzky, Novoye Russkoye Slovo (Russian Daily)
George A. Panichas is professor emeritus of English at the University of Maryland and editor of Modern Age: A Quarterly Review. Among his numerous writings are The Reverent Discipline: Essays in Literary Criticism and Culture and The Courage of Judgment: Essays in Criticism, Culture and Society.
Michael Henry studied with Gerhart Niemeyer at Notre Dame, where he received his advanced degree in political theory in 1974. He has been teaching philosophy at St. John's University in New York since 1977 and is the series editor of Transaction's Library of Conservative Thought.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Such is the elegant simplicity—a whole poem in ten words, vibrating with image and emotion—of the best-selling Russian poet Vera Pavlova. The one hundred poems in this book, her first full-length volume in English, all have the same salty immediacy, as if spoken by a woman who feels that, as the title poem concludes, “If there was nothing to regret, / there was nothing to desire.”
Pavlova’s economy and directness make her delightfully accessible to us in all of the widely ranging topics she covers here: love, both sexual and the love that reaches beyond sex; motherhood; the memories of childhood that continue to feed us; our lives as passionate souls abroad in the world and the fullness of experience that entails. Expertly translated by her husband, Steven Seymour, Pavlova’s poems are highly disciplined miniatures, exhorting us without hesitation: “Enough painkilling, heal. / Enough cajoling, command.”
It is a great pleasure to discover a new Russian poet—one who storms our hearts with pure talent and a seemingly effortless gift for shaping poems.
From the Hardcover edition.
“Literary criticism,” writes Steiner, “should arise out of a debt of love.” Abiding by his own rule, Tolstoy or Dostoevsky is an impassioned work, inspired by Steiner’s conviction that the legacies of these two Russian masters loom over Western literature. By explaining how Leo Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoevsky differ from each other, Steiner demonstrates that when taken together, their work offers the most complete portrayal of life and the tension between the thirst for knowledge on one hand and the longing for mystery on the other. An instant classic for scholars of Russian literature and casual readers alike, Tolstoy or Dostoevsky explores two powerful writers and their opposing modes of approaching the world, and the enduring legacies wrought by their works.
Almost from the moment of its publication in 1863, Nikolai Chernyshevsky's novel, What Is to Be Done?, had a profound impact on the course of Russian literature and politics. The idealized image it offered of dedicated and self-sacrificing intellectuals transforming society by means of scientific knowledge served as a model of inspiration for Russia's revolutionary intelligentsia. On the one hand, the novel's condemnation of moderate reform helped to bring about the irrevocable break between radical intellectuals and liberal reformers; on the other, Chernyshevsky's socialist vision polarized conservatives' opposition to institutional reform. Lenin himself called Chernyshevsky "the greatest and most talented representative of socialism before Marx"; and the controversy surrounding What Is to Be Done? exacerbated the conflicts that eventually led to the Russian Revolution.
Michael R. Katz's readable and compelling translation is now the definitive unabridged English-language version, brilliantly capturing the extraordinary qualities of the original. William G. Wagner has provided full annotations to Chernyshevsky's allusions and references and to the, sources of his ideas, and has appended a critical bibliography. An introduction by Katz and Wagner places the novel in the context of nineteenth-century Russian social, political, and intellectual history and literature, and explores its importance for several generations of Russian radicals.
The chapters follow early movements such as formalism, the Bakhtin Circle, Proletklut, futurism, the fellow-travelers, and the Russian Association of Proletarian Writers. By the cultural revolution of 1928, literary criticism became a mechanism of Soviet policies, synchronous with official ideology. The chapters follow theory and criticism into the 1930s with examinations of the Union of Soviet Writers, semantic paleontology, and socialist realism under Stalin. A more "humanized" literary criticism appeared during the ravaging years of World War II, only to be supplanted by a return to the party line, Soviet heroism, and anti-Semitism in the late Stalinist period. During Khrushchev's Thaw, there was a remarkable rise in liberal literature and criticism, that was later refuted in the nationalist movement of the "long" 1970s. The same decade saw, on the other hand, the rise to prominence of semiotics and structuralism. Postmodernism and a strong revival of academic literary studies have shared the stage since the start of the post-Soviet era.
For the first time anywhere, this collection analyzes all of the important theorists and major critical movements during a tumultuous ideological period in Russian history, including developments in émigré literary theory and criticism.
Translated by Natalie Duddington and T. Keane
By offering a re-reading of seminal works of the Russian literary canon that thematize translation, alongside studies of the circulation and reception of specific translated texts, Translation and the Making of Modern Russian Literature models the long overdue integration of translation into literary and cultural studies.
The twenty-eight interviews and profiles in this collection were drawn from Nabokov's numerous print and broadcast appearances over a period of nineteen years. Beginning with the controversy surrounding the American publication of Lolita in 1958, he offers trenchant, witty views on society, literature, education, the role of the author, and a range of other topics. He discusses the numerous literary and symbolic allusions in his work, his use of parody and satire, as well as analyses of his own literary influences.
Nabokov also provided a detailed portrait of his life--from his aristocratic childhood in pre-revolutionary Russia, education at Cambridge, apprenticeship as an "migr" writer in the capitals of Europe, to his decision in 1940 to immigrate to the United States, where he achieved renown and garnered an international readership. The interviews in this collection are essential for seeking a clearer understanding of the life and work of an author who was pivotal in shaping the landscape of contemporary fiction.
Chingiz Aitmatov was born in Kirghizstan in 1928 and published his first stories in the 1950s in both Russian and Kirghiz. He soon took his place as spokesman for the progressive wing of official Soviet Russian literature, striving for greater openness in Soviet letters and for a new approach toward diverse nationalities. Unlike many other writers, Aitmatov continued to flourish in the cultural tumult following the collapse of the communist state, being appointed to government posts by Gorbachev and becoming Soviet ambassador to Luxembourg in 1991.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
“Offers a fresh perspective and a wealth of new information on early Russian modernism. . . . It is required reading for anyone interested in fin-de-siècle Russia and in the history of sexuality in general.”—Bernice Glatzer Rosenthal, Slavic and East European Journal
“Thoroughly entertaining.”—Avril Pyman, Slavic Review
"... brave... fascinating... immensely enjoyable... " -- Times Higher Education Supplement
"... a stimulating and original study... vivid and readable." -- Russian Review
"An immensely stimulating, beautifully written work of scholarship." -- Francine du Plessix Gray
"Joanna Hubbs has provided scholars... with a wealth of significant interpretive material to inform if not reform views of both Russian and women's cultures." -- Journal of American Folklore
A ground-breaking interpretation of Russian culture from prehistory to the present, dealing with the feminine myth as a central cultural force.
“These scholars shed a great deal of light not only on Stalinist culture but on the politics of cultural production under the Soviet system.”—David L. Hoffmann, Slavic Review
"Encyclopedia of Russian and Slavic Myth and Legend" includes extensive historical, geographical, and biographical background to deepen the reader's understanding of the myth and legend. Numerous illustrations are included in this fascinating volume, which will be of great interest to students, scholars, and everyone who wishes to explore the cultural heritage of ancient Russia.
--First comprehensive study of Russian postmodernism
--Develops original contributions to postmodernist theory
--Provides detailed analysis of the most representative texts of Russian postmodernism
--Places Russian postmodernism in the context of European and North and Latin American postmodernism
--Includes an appendix of biographical and bibliographic information on contemporary Russian writers.
“Petersburg”/Petersburg studies the book and the city against and through each other. It begins with new readings of the novel—as a detective story inspired by bomb-throwing terrorists, as a representation of the aversive emotion of disgust, and as a painterly avant-garde text—stressing the novel’s phantasmagoric and apocalyptic vision of the city. Taking a cue from Petersburg’s narrator, the rest of this volume (and the companion Web site, stpetersburg.berkeley.edu/) explores the city from vantage points that have not been considered before—from its streetcars and iconic art-nouveau office buildings to the slaughterhouse on the city fringes. From poetry and terrorist memoirs, photographs and artwork, maps and guidebooks of that period, the city emerges as a living organism, a dreamworld in flux, and a junction of modernity and modernism.
This book guides readers through the voluminous, highly personal nonfiction writings that Tolstoy produced from the 1850s until his death in 1910. The variety of these texts is enormous, including diaries, religious tracts, personal confessions, letters, autobiographical fragments, and the meticulous accounts of dreams. For Tolstoy, inherent in the structure of the narrative form was a conception of life that accorded linear temporal order a predominant role, and this implied finitude. He refused to accept that human life stopped with death and that the self was limited to what could be remembered and told. In short, his was a philosophical and religious quest, and he followed in the footsteps of many, from Plato and Augustine to Rousseau and Schopenhauer. In reconstructing Tolstoy's struggles, this book reflects on the problems of self and narrative as well as provides an intellectual and psychological biography of the writer.
CliffsNotes on Anna Karenina delves into the complex web of relationships in Tolstoy’s epic novel. As the characters unfold, this novel draws you into the lives of Karenin, Anna, and others as they struggle through the seemingly hopeless marriage patterns of urban society. Do romantic relationships make us stronger or weaker as individuals?
With insights into the characters of Anna Karenina, as well as information about Tolstoy’s own life and background, this study guide will help you get the most out of this classic novel. Other features that help you study includeA character list that reveals names, traits, and key relationshipsSummaries and commentaries on each chapterCritical essaysIn-depth character analysesAnalysis of major themesReview questions and suggested writing topics
Classic literature or modern modern-day treasure — you'll understand it all with expert information and insight from CliffsNotes study guides.
The subject of The Anti-Communist Manifestos is four influential books that informed the great political struggle known as the Cold War: Darkness at Noon (1940), by Arthur Koestler, a Hungarian journalist and polymath intellectual; Out of the Night (1941), by Jan Valtin, a German sailor and labor agitator; I Chose Freedom (1946), by Victor Kravchenko, a Soviet engineer; and Witness (1952), by Whittaker Chambers, an American journalist. The authors were ex–Communist Party members whose bitter disillusionment led them to turn on their former allegiance in literary fury. Koestler was a rapist, Valtin a thug. Kravchenko, though not a spy, was forced to live like one in America. Chambers was a prophet without honor in his own land. Three of the four had been underground espionage agents of the Comintern. All contemplated suicide, and two of them achieved it. John V. Fleming’s humane and ironic narrative of these grim lives reveals that words were the true driving force behind the Cold War.
In How the Soviet Man Was Unmade, Lilya Kaganovsky exposes the paradox behind the myth of the indestructible Stalinist-era male. In her analysis of social-realist literature and cinema, she examines the recurring theme of the mutilated male body, which appears with startling frequency. Kaganovsky views this representation as a thinly veiled statement about the emasculated male condition during the Stalinist era. Because the communist state was "full of heroes," a man could only truly distinguish himself and attain hero status through bodily sacrifice-yet in his wounding, he was forever reminded that he would be limited in what he could achieve, and was expected to remain in a state of continued subservience to Stalin and the party.
Kaganovsky provides an insightful reevaluation of classic works of the period, including the novels of Nikolai Ostrovskii (How Steel Was Tempered) and Boris Polevoi (A Story About a Real Man), and films such as Ivan Pyr'ev's The Party Card, Eduard Pentslin's The Fighter Pilots, and Mikhail Chiaureli's The Fall of Berlin, among others. The symbolism of wounding and dismemberment in these works acts as a fissure in the facade of Stalinist cultural production through which we can view the consequences of historic and political trauma.
Dan Ungurianu’s Plotting History traces the development of the Russian historical novel from its inception in the romantic era to the emergence of Modernism on the eve of the Revolution. Organized historically and thematically, the study is focused on the cultural paradigms that shaped the evolution of the genre and are reflected in masterpieces such as The Captain’s Daughter and War and Peace. Ungurianu examines the variety of approaches by which Russian writers combined fact with fiction and explores the range of subjects that inspired the Russian historical imagination.
Outstanding Academic Title, Choice Magazine
“Ungurianu has produced a most valuable work for literary scholars.”—Andrew M. Drozd, Slavic and East European Journal
“[Ungurianu’s] overwhelming knowledge, impeccable documentation, erudite notes, and valuable addenda make for a treasure house of information and keen analysis. . . . Essential.”—Choice
Frank's essays provide a discriminating look at four of Dostoevsky's most famous novels, discuss the debate between J. M. Coetzee and Mario Vargas Llosa on the issue of Dostoevsky and evil, and confront Dostoevsky's anti-Semitism. The collection also examines such topics as Orlando Figes's sweeping survey of the history of Russian culture, the life of Pushkin, and Oblomov's influence on Samuel Beckett. Investigating the omnipresent religious theme that runs throughout Russian culture, even in the antireligious Chekhov, Frank argues that no other major European literature was as much preoccupied as the Russian with the tensions between religion and rationality. Between Religion and Rationality highlights this unique quality of Russian literature and culture, offering insights for general readers and experts alike.
The essays in Tolstoy On War focus primarily on the novel's depictions of war and history, and the range of responses suggests that these remain inexhaustible topics of debate. The result is a volume that opens fruitful new avenues of understanding War and Peace while providing a range of perspectives and interpretations without parallel in the vast literature on the novel.
From the Shadow of Empire traces how these nationalist writers refashioned key historical myths—the legend of the nation’s spiritual birth, the tale of the founding of Russia, stories of Cossack independence—to portray the Russian people as the ruling nationality, whose character would define the empire. In an effort to press the government to alter its traditional imperial policies, writers from across the political spectrum made the cult of military victories into the dominant form of national myth-making: in the absence of popular political participation, wars allowed for the people’s involvement in public affairs and conjured an image of unity between ruler and nation. With their increasing reliance on the war metaphor, Reform-era thinkers prepared the ground for the brutal Russification policies of the late nineteenth century and contributed to the aggressive character of twentieth-century Russian nationalism.
Although modernism arrived somewhat late in Russia, the increased tempo of life at the start of the twentieth century provided Russia’s avant-garde artists with an infusion of creative dynamism and crucial momentum for revolutionary experimentation. In Fast Forward Tim Harte presents a detailed examination of the images and concepts of speed that permeated Russian modernist poetry, visual arts, and cinema. His study illustrates how a wide variety of experimental artistic tendencies of the day—such as “rayism” in poetry and painting, the effort to create a “transrational” language (zaum’) in verse, and movements seemingly as divergent as neo-primitivism and constructivism—all relied on notions of speed or dynamism to create at least part of their effects.
Fast Forward reveals how the Russian avant-garde’s race to establish a new artistic and social reality over a twenty-year span reflected an ambitious metaphysical vision that corresponded closely to the nation’s rapidly changing social parameters. The embrace of speed after the 1917 Revolution, however, paradoxically hastened the movement’s demise. By the late 1920s, under a variety of historical pressures, avant-garde artistic forms morphed into those more compatible with the political agenda of the Russian state. Experimentation became politically suspect and abstractionism gave way to orthodox realism, ultimately ushering in the socialist realism and aesthetic conformism of the Stalin years.