Russian novels seem to be a hot topic lately.
A month ago, there was a brief story about the publication of the “original” version of Tolstoy’s epic, War and Peace. For those of you who have read this blog, you know that I was anxiously awaiting the most recent Pevear and Volokhonsky translation of the novel (and let me tell you, its beauty warms my shallow reading heart: it’s a fat book, with rough-cut pages and a pretty cover–once the semester winds down a bit I plan on delving into it and providing a few posts on the translation itself). I’m interested in this “original” version, not because I believe it is the version Tolstoy planned to publish, but I’m interested in it as a draft and as a piece of scholarship (apparently it is the result of one Russian scholar’s painstaking research and attempts to piece it together).
However, there appears to be a bit of a brouhaha over the whole affair. The Guardian has an article about it: clickety-click here for more.
In addition, Scott Esposito of Conversational Reading posted a link to an interesting article in the London Review of Books about Vassily Grossman’s Life and Fate and the impact that Tolstoy’s War and Peace had on Grossman. I definitely have Life and Fate on my list for the Russian Reading Challenge (starting in January), and now I want to add Anthony Beevor and Luba Vinogradova’s non-fiction work about Grossman, A Writer At War: A Soviet Journalist with the Red Army, 1941-1945, to the list. For a review of Beevor and Vinogradova’s book, check out A Quarterly Conversation’s review here.