Posted in 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?



Lilian is the author of Web of Angels, a novel about a mom with DID (multiple personalities). She's also the author of the historical novels, The River Midnight and The Singing Fire, about secrets, friendship and motherhood in 19th century Poland and London.

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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s