In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, poetry's pre-eminence in Russia was unchallenged, with Pushkin and his contemporaries ushering in the 'Golden Age' of Russian literature. Prose briefly gained the high ground in the second half of the nineteenth century, but poetry again became dominant in the 'Silver Age' (the early twentieth century), when belief in reason and progress yielded once more to a more magical view of the world. During the Soviet era, poetry became a dangerous, subversive activity; nevertheless, poets such as Osip Mandelstam and Anna Akhmatova continued to defy the censors. This anthology traces Russian poetry from its Golden Age to the modern era, including work by several great poets - Georgy Ivanov and Varlam Shalamov among them - in captivating modern translations by Robert Chandler and others. The volume also includes a general introduction, chronology and individual introductions to each poet.
Robert Chandler is an acclaimed poet and translator. His many translations from Russian include works by Aleksandr Pushkin, Nikolay Leskov, Vasily Grossman and Andrey Platonov, while his anthologies of Russian Short Stories from Pushkin to Buida and Russian Magic Tales are both published in Penguin Classics.
Irina Mashinski is a bilingual poet and co-founder of the StoSvet literary project. Her most recent collection is 2013's Ophelia i masterok [Ophelia and the Trowel].
Boris Dralyuk is a Lecturer in Russian at the University of St Andrews and translator of many books from Russian, including, most recently, Isaac Babel's Red Cavalry (2014).
It was first written as a log for his children and grand children to inspire them to find their own magic moments in life, but he was encouraged to share it with others as a record of moments that should not be forgotten. History is full of them, everyone has them, but they often get lost.
The real world with your magic moments is not on TV. They are out there waiting for you.
The Strange Request introduces Alex with a need for nurture and a full life. His parents kept him sequestered for years for unusual reasons. An older sister moved away from home, taking Alex with her, but requests help. As Greg and Gwen listen, strangers they meet and show care for him, Alex begins to lead them to a number of mysterious places in the Pyrenees Mountains of Spain near a retreat full of interesting international guests. Greg and Gwen have insight into the mysteries that unfold as they explore. One mystery opens another with ensuing solutions in France, Spain, Myanmar/Burma and Thailand. Old treasure returns to families generations later. Rare rubies emerge glowing from internal light. Caves appear with intact pictographs and ancient burial sites full of artifacts.
Characters in the book have different skills, experiences in life, creativity for design and use of light for special decoration. Skills of observation reveal more mysteries. Each character shares philosophies and ideals learned from travel and living life with exuberance.
Live life with zest, the mental spice.