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Articles tagged "Russian"

[The whole soldier doesn’t suffer]

The whole soldier doesn’t suffer— it’s just the legs, the arms, just blowing snow, just meager rain. The whole soldier shrugs off hurt— it’s just missile systems “Hail” and “Beech,” just bullets on the wing, just happiness ahead. Just meteorological pogroms, geo-Herostratos wannabes, just the girl with the pointer poking the map in the stomach. Just thunder, lightning, just dreadful losses, just the day with a dented helmet, just God,...

None of Your Business

For a long time the fact that the Krivovs drank was something only their son knew. When it began, Yurka had just started first grade. In the beginning, the Krivovs were embarrassed by their disease and drank together in their smoked-up apartment.   Perched on the windowsill behind the curtain, Yurka would draw squiggles on his writing assignments, memorize the poem about "the forest, like a tower chamber painted" to the sound of his parents' droning, and glue colored paper...

Hello?

Have you ever traveled in an overcrowded bus? Rammed up against the window with your cheek squashed against the glass and the handrail bruising your ribs? No need to answer. Of course you have. No, really, I’m not being rude. Why am I asking? Because I need somewhere to start and that was the setting of the incident which set off the thoughts which underlie this narrative.  All right? So I got on a bus. Well no, I didn’t just get on. I forced my way in like a digger...

An Uncoincidence, a Noncoincidence

An uncoincidence, a noncoincidence. Oh, how broad are the earth’s estates, oh, how unthinkable is grace here. How unobtrusive is God's care, how many reasons to sob inconsolably. You thirst for communication—the time is mute. You thirst for flight—unflyable weather. You thirst for an answer—a blind wall, stagnant water, swampy duckweed and someone’s cold...

Drawings on a Soccer Ball

the last name of the player on the german team translates into russian as pig crawling up a blond graceful creature the polish boys got lost at the equator with nothing to breathe amidst the qualifying south american auschwitz the polish boys will asphyxiate doubly poplar down a million white fluffy unofficial balls and none of them counts eleven glasses of islam drown in mexican tequila they say that in the daniel defoe novel the round island of tobago there was...

Soul, you are a street

Soul, you are a street, leading into rain from the outskirts full of dry leaves: it is more humid closer to the central plaza—        I am a paving block and slipperiness.   Between the tight boulders the water weakly beats, like the rataplan of an injured regiment—the grass and leaves of past warm years hide there.   The quieted footsteps will not disturb us: the nervous race has all but fully spilled and hidden in the...

Translating to and From a Native Language

My first English word was KNIFE. I learned it at a preschool center run by the highbrow weekly Literaturnaya Gazeta for the children of its busy writers and editors. It was like a boarding school where we were left Monday through Saturday. It sounds much more glamorous than it was in reality. In Russian, the boarding school was called disdainfully a shestidnevka, meaning "six-day care." The shestidnevka was a run-down villa surrounded by a tall iron fence on a side street off Bozhedomka...

Unity of Form

I've always received kingly presents. I got worn-out pans and rusted teapots, patched up bedsheets and unstitched shirts, books, missing pages ripped out for rollies and a piano with knocked-out teeth on the keyboard, chairs without legs and burnt out light bulbs, writing paper from the times of the Chinese cultural revolution, whatever you write on it-- blood stains appear though its tissue. People zealously granted me headless nails and spools without thread,...

Crimean Sojourns to the Movies

susan sarandon from the family felidae doesn't like to cry and never cries we aren't let into the movies but they write, that it'll be fun in the same green chairs like it was 40 years ago the church on the bank: din-dong din-dong susan saran-din-dong somewhere london-din-dong and the same rain if the rain was a wall like the berlin one for instance the one that cut the world in half and the world would divide like a macerated polymer blah...

well hell then what

well hell then what what hell what then wax with one hand leaning with the cheek rubbing with a leg she's a dyed in the wool pioneer perfect pallor, not a drop of tan not a gram of conscience in a shirt, sleeves rolled up a tie white as her with a book without letters, like a living as if dead asking: "kiss me, moscow girl, kiss lenin, he lives between my legs this time didn't go anywhere life swung on the swing more has happened here trust me lenin lives,...

The Silent Steppe by Mukhamet Shayakhmetov

The Silent Steppe: The Story of a Kazakh Nomad under Stalin is a vivid, personal story of courage and hope in the face of persecution and terror. It breathes new life into a neglected chapter of European history, and should prove useful for Cold War research and socio-cultural anthropology studies. Famine, conscription into the Red Army, the defense of Stalingrad . . . author Mukhamet Shayakhmetov is a remarkable survivor, bolstered by a strong faith. He is now in his eighties. His...

In Other Words: A Foreword

I rather suspect that when Sofia Coppola made her movie Lost in Translation, she prayed that it might turn out to be, if nothing else, a succès d'estime. Had that turned out to be true, her hopes would have had a nicely linguistic irony all of their own, since the French phrase is barely translatable itself, and refers to a phenomenon-an artistic creation unlikely to make much money but loved by the wiser critics-that, incredibly, is matched by no handy off-the-shelf equivalent...

from “Mew” instead of “Moo”

I should declare in a steady and powerful voice that the world itself is just a prolonged "mew," which has been fried and served to us instead of a noble "moo." -V. Khlebnikov You ask me what America looks like? America looks like the Aegean Sea. In the West it is inhabited by tribes of bellicose Hollywood people. In the East there are trade cities of Phoenicians and New Yorkers. In the middle, there is a large archipelago of universities and colleges, and boats of cunningly smart...

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