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Russian literature?

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  Quote Kevin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Russian literature?
    Posted: 29-Mar-2008 at 20:48
I have as of recently devolped a curiously about Russian literature and I was wondering if anyone could make me any suggestions especially about anything that had to do with politics or war possibly?   
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Mar-2008 at 21:18
Obviously War and Peace, but if you're into more modern history then Solzhenitsyn might interest you. Gulag Archipelago is one of the masterpieces of twentieth century literature, I've read it twice myself. Both grim and funny at the same time. Brilliant.
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  Quote Kevin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Mar-2008 at 21:28
Originally posted by Klaus Fleming

Obviously War and Peace, but if you're into more modern history then Solzhenitsyn might interest you. Gulag Archipelago is one of the masterpieces of twentieth century literature, I've read it twice myself. Both grim and funny at the same time. Brilliant.


How is Alexander Herzen and Leo Tolstoy?
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  Quote Aster Thrax Eupator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Mar-2008 at 03:40
  • Turgenev - focusing mainly on family issues and romance, wrote in a very erudite manner yet consisely
  • Goncharov - only one work to my knowledge "Oblomov", which is a large rambling pseudo-comedy about a lazy russian boregouis with ambitions he never follows
  • Lermantov - essentially a Romanticist writer and his works tried to create such a figure in Russian literature, and I frankly think they did
  • Dostoyevsky - A master of Psychology; his works are so cathartic that you actually feel you are there (no really, you do!) which considering the grim subject matter of his works is a bit disturbing...
  • Tolstoy - one of the kingpins of Russian literature, again some romantic influences but he adresses the great fundamental issues in life and society, and also explores family issues and ethnic issues - it's all there with Tolstoy!
  • Gogol - similar to Dostoyevsky but I think a little more politically and socially minded and less philosophic
...yes I LOVE Russian Literature...after Greek ;)
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  Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Mar-2008 at 12:12
For more modern history, Ilf and Petrov's The Golden Calf and Twelve Chairs provide some light relief as well as insights as to what was really going on in the Soviet Union in the early twenties, and the attitude of the people. Modern poets with some political relevance include Akhmatova and Mayakovski.
 
And leaving out Pushkin is a bit like leaving out Shakespeare.
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Mar-2012 at 01:38
Alexandre Block
A Girl Sang a Song by Aleksandr Blok
A girl sang a song in the temple's chorus,
About men, tired in alien lands,
About the ships that left native shores,
And all who forgot their joy to the end.

Thus sang her clean voice, and flew up to the highness,
And sunbeams shined on her shoulder's white --
And everyone saw and heard from the darkness
The white and airy gown, singing in the light.

And all of them were sure, that joy would burst out:
The ships have arrived at their beach,
The people, in the land of the aliens tired,
Regaining their bearing, are happy and reach.

And sweet was her voice and the sun's beams around....
And only, by Caesar's Gates -- high on the vault,
The baby, versed into mysteries, mourned,
Because none of them will be ever returned.

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Mar-2012 at 21:18
I will start little presentation of Russian poets, posting a very short bio and some poems, one by one, every day or so:
Since I posted a poem from Block yesterday, I guess I can continue with him:
Aleksandr Blok

"...A.A.Blok , who lived from 1880-1921, was known for his symbolistic Russian poetry.In the example above, Blok used the symbol of music to represent the voice of the Russian Revolution.
His first book of poems called "Verses about the Lady Beautiful" focused on 'platonic idealism'.
Later styles revolved around themes of romantic conflict. Much of his poetry, especially his later poetry, was quite political. Blok himself supported the Bolshevik cause in the Russian Revolution.

He grew up in a home that encouraged art. He began writing poetry at the age of 5, and has developed his writing skills since.He was dedicated to the Eastern Orthodox church. In 1903 he married a woman named Liubov Mendeleyeva, who he was very much in love with. This love created an inspiration for many of his poems. Other poem had polticalthemes...."http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/aleksandr_blok/biography
Don't fear death by Aleksandr Blok
Don't fear death in earthly travels.
Don't fear enemies or friends.
Just listen to the words of prayers,
To pass the facets of the dreads.

Your death will come to you, and never
You shall be, else, a slave of life,
Just waiting for a dawn's favor,
From nights of poverty and strife.

She'll build with you a common law,
One will of the Eternal Reign.
And you are not condemned to slow
And everlasting deadly pain.




Edited by Don Quixote - 25-Mar-2012 at 21:18
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Mar-2012 at 01:02
Alexander Blok
Gamajun, the Prophetic Bird
On waters, spread without end,
Dressed with the sunset so purple,
It sings and prophesies for land,
Unable to lift the smashed wings' couple...
The charge of Tartars' hordes it claims,
And bloody set of executions,
Earthquake, and hunger and the flames,
The death of justice, crime’s intrusion...
And caught with fear, cold and smooth,
The fair face flames as one of lovers’,
But sound with prophetic truth
The lips that the bloody foam covers!...
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Mar-2012 at 23:40
Alexander Block

Halls grew darker
Halls grew darker and somehow faded.
Grates of windows drowned in black.
Every knight, every beautiful lady
Knew the tiding: "The Queen's deadly sick."

And the king, very silent and frowned,
Passed the doors, lost of pages and slaves ...
Every word, that by chance cast around,
Proved the truth of the closing grave.

By the doors of the silent abode
I was crying, while pressing the brace ...
At the end of the passage remote
Someone echoed me, hiding his face.

By the doors of the Beautiful Lady
I was sobbing, attired in blue ...
And the stranger of ashen face sadly
Echoed me all my sufferings through.

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Mar-2012 at 23:30
Alexander Blok

He, who was born
He, who was born in stagnant year
Does not remember own way.
We, kids of Russia's years of fear,
Remember every night and day.

Years that burned everything to ashes!
Do you bring madness or grace?
The war's and freedom's fire flashes
Left bloody light on every face.

We are struck dumb: the toxsin's pressure
Has made us tightly close lips.
In living hearts, once full of pleasure,
The fateful desert now sleeps.

And let the crying ravens soar
Right over our death-bed,
May those who were striving more,
O God, behold Thy Kingdom's Great!

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Apr-2012 at 14:16
Alexandr Blok

I Prefer the Gorgeous Freedom
I prefer the gorgeous freedom,
And I fly to lands of grace,
Where in wide and clear meadows
All is good, as dreams, and blest.
Here they rice: the clover clear,
And corn-flower's gentle lace,
And the rustle is always here:
"Ears are leaning... Take your ways!"
In this immense sea of fair,
Only one of blades reclines.
You don't see in misty air,
I'd seen it!It will be mine!

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Apr-2012 at 01:11
Alexandr Blok

I Wait For You...
I wait for you. The years in silence pass
And as the image, one, I wait for you again.

The distance is in flame -- and clear one as glass,
I, silent, wait -- with sadness, love and pain.

The distance is in flame, and you are coming fast,
But I'm afraid that you will change your image yet,

And will initiate the challenging mistrust
By changing features, used, at long awaited end.

Oh, how I will fell -- so low and so pine,
Unable to overcome my dreams' continued set!

The distance is such bright! And azure is so fine!
But I'm afraid that you will change your image yet.

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Apr-2012 at 02:15
Alexandr Blok

On the Field of Kulicovo 
The river stretched. It flows, idly grieves,
And washes both banks.
In steppe, above light clay of cliffs
Rinks mourn in ranks.

O Russia! Dear wife! With clearness and pain
We see the lengthy way!
It sent an arrow of ancient Tartar reign -
In breast it lay.

The way through steppes and an incessant plight,
Through your, o Russia, lot!
And alien dark and dark of night
I fear not.

Let be the night. We'll ride and light in gloom
Camp-fires late.
The holy flag will flash in fume,
And Khan's steel blade ...

And endless battle! We only dream of peace
Through blood and dust ...
The mare of steppes flies on and flees,
And tramples the grass ...

There's no end! The miles and cliffs flash past
Stop crazy flood!
The frightened clouds go fast,
Sun sets in blood!

Sun sets in blood! Blood streams from heart away!
O cry, my heart ...
There's no peace! Through steppe the bay
Prolongs the flight!

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Apr-2012 at 02:33
Alexandr Blok

The Death of Grandfather
We waited commonly for sleep or even death.
The instances were wearisome as ages.
But suddenly the wind's refreshing breath
Touched through the window the Holy Bible's pages:

An old man goes there - who's now all white-haired -
With rapid steps and merry eyes, alone,
He smiles to us, and often calls with hand,
And leaves us with a gait, that is well-known.

And suddenly we all, who watched the old man's track,
Well recognized just him who now lay before us,
And turning in a sudden rapture back,
Beheld a corpse with eyes forever closed ...

And it was good for us the soul's way to trace,
And, in the leaving one, to find the glee it's forming.
The time had come. Recall and love in grace,
And celebrate another house-warming!

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Apr-2012 at 03:18
Alexandr Blok

The Faithless Shadows
The faithless shadows of day are running
And high and clear is the call of bells,
Steps of the church are blazed as with the lightning,
Their stones are alive and wait for your light steps.

You'll here pass and touch the chilly stone,
That's dressed in awful sanity of span,
And let the flower of spring be thrown
Here, in this dark, before the eyes of saint.

The rose shadows in misty darkness grow,
And high and clear is the call of bells,
The darkness lays on steps, such old and low --
I'm set in light -- I wait for dear steps.

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-May-2012 at 02:01
Alexander Blok

The Stranger
The restaurants on hot spring evenings
Lie under a dense and savage air.
Foul drafts and hoots from dunken revelers
Contaminate the thoroughfare.
Above the dusty lanes of suburbia
Above the tedium of bungalows
A pretzel sign begilds a bakery
And children screech fortissimo.

And every evening beyond the barriers
Gentlemen of practiced wit and charm
Go strolling beside the drainage ditches --
A tilted derby and a lady at the arm.

The squeak of oarlocks comes over the lake water
A woman's shriek assaults the ear
While above, in the sky, inured to everything,
The moon looks on with a mindless leer.

And every evening my one companion
Sits here, reflected in my glass.
Like me, he has drunk of bitter mysteries.
Like me, he is broken, dulled, downcast.


The sleepy lackeys stand beside tables
Waiting for the night to pass
And tipplers with the eyes of rabbits
Cry out: "In vino veritas!"

And every evening (or am I imagining?)
Exactly at the appointed time
A girl's slim figure, silk raimented,
Glides past the window's mist and grime.

And slowly passing throught the revelers,
Unaccompanied, always alone,
Exuding mists and secret fragrances,
She sits at the table that is her own.

Something ancient, something legendary
Surrounds her presence in the room,
Her narrow hand, her silk, her bracelets,
Her hat, the rings, the ostrich plume.

Entranced by her presence, near and enigmatic,
I gaze through the dark of her lowered veil
And I behold an enchanted shoreline
And enchanted distances, far and pale.

I am made a guardian of the higher mysteries,
Someone's sun is entrusted to my control.
Tart wine has pierced the last convolution
of my labyrinthine soul.

And now the drooping plumes of ostriches
Asway in my brain droop slowly lower
And two eyes, limpid, blue, and fathomless
Are blooming on a distant shore.

Inside my soul a treasure is buried.
The key is mine and only mine.
How right you are, you drunken monster!
I know: the truth is in the wine.


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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-May-2012 at 01:21
Alexandr Blok
The Twelve by Aleksandr Blok
III
Our sons have gone
to serve the Reds
to serve the Reds
to risk their heads!

O bitter,bitter pain,
Sweet living!
A torn overcoat
an Austrian gun!

-To get the bourgeosie
We'll start a fire
a worldwide fire, and drench it
in blood-
The good Lord bless us!


-O you bitter bitterness,
boring boredom,
deadly boredom.

This is how I will
spend my time.

This is how I will
scratch my head,

munch on seeds,
some sunflower seeds,

play with my knife
play with my knife.

You bourgeosie, fly as a sparrow!
I'll drink your blood,

your warm blood, for love,
for dark-eyed love.

God, let this soul, your servant,
rest in peace.

Such boredom!


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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Oct-2012 at 15:28
To the Muse by Aleksandr Blok
In your hidden memories
There are fatal tidings of doom...
A curse on sacred traditions,
A desecration of happiness;

And a power so alluring
That I am ready to repeat the rumour
That you have brought angels down from heaven,
Enticing them with your beauty...

And when you mock at faith,
That pale, greyish-purple halo
Which I once saw before
Suddenly begins to shine above you.

Are you evil or good? You are altogether from another world
They say strange things about you
For some you are the Muse and a miracle.
For me you are torment and hell.

I do not know why in the hour of dawn,
When no strength was left to me,
I did not perish, but caught sight of your face
And begged you to comfort me.

I wanted us to be enemies;
Why then did you make me a present
Of a flowery meadow and of the starry firmament --
The whole curse of your beauty?

Your fearful caresses were more treacherous
Than the northern night,
More intoxicating than the golden champagne of Aï,
Briefer than a gypsy woman's love...

And there was a fatal pleasure
In trampling on cherished and holy things;
And this passion, bitter as wormwood,
Was a frenzied delight for the heart!

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