Book Stuff

Russian Letters

After ten years of research, and doing back and forth translations using google translate while scrutinizing its Russian/English dictionary, I am learning Cyrillic letters. I have to hope that this is keeping my brain agile! And for another meaning of Russian letters, I’m reading a wonderful collection of short stories edited by Robert Chandler, the translator and champion of the Soviet Jewish writer Vasily Grossman: Russian Short Stories from Pushkin to Buida. I can’t believe I’ve never read Gogol’s The Greatcoat before! But, then, if I’d read every intrepid piece of writing already, what would I have to look forward to?


4 thoughts on “Russian Letters”

  1. Lilian, I would love to know Cyrillic, but lacking that, I am reading Anton Chekov’s short stories in English. It’s astonishing to think that he accomplished so much in a mere forty-four years on the planet.

    1. Interestingly a number of the 19th century Russian writers had short lives, but so did many non-writers. On Dec 28, 2014 10:46 AM, “A Novelist's Mind: Lilian Nattel Online” wrote:


  2. There was a time when I loved learning languages, but a different alphabet was a step too far for me! I hope you’re getting on with it marvellously, and enjoying the look of life in a different set of words. I’ve been meaning to read Russian authors for years but have yet to get there… maybe in 2015! Hope you’ve been having lovely holidays, Lilian!

    1. I am actually not all that good at learning languages, but I am marvellously inventive at stretching my limited skill beyond all expectation! I can’t read a book, but I can read several translations of the same poem, compare them, use an on-line dictionary plus google images, and then decide which translation I think is the best based on the sum of my historical/cultural knowledge.

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