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Mikhail Shishkin
Topic Started: May 17 2012, 07:23 PM (4,935 Views)
oneofmurphysbiscuits
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marmalade modernist
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i tried buying it from Open Lettter, but since i don't have a google account
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oneofmurphysbiscuits
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hopefully i've just bought a copy through Alibris
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suzannahhh
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oneofmurphysbiscuits
Aug 9 2012, 05:28 PM
hopefully i've just bought a copy through Alibris
thanks to you, me too{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{SHARON}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}!!!!

and for 99 cents!
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For those understanding German here is a 30min TV interview with the man about Maidenhair and other things:
http://www.zdf.de/ZDFmediathek/beitrag/video/1462556/Michail+Schischkin+im+Interview#/beitrag/video/1462556/Michail-Schischkin-im-Interview
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I am halfway through Maidenhair. The German edition has an appendix of nearly 20 pages where the translator explains many of the numerous allusions to Russian and world culture, history and literature that appear in the text. Is there something similar in the English edition? I am quite sure that 95% of those I would have never got without this help.
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alliknowis
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BirneHelene
Aug 12 2012, 08:00 AM
I am halfway through Maidenhair. The German edition has an appendix of nearly 20 pages where the translator explains many of the numerous allusions to Russian and world culture, history and literature that appear in the text. Is there something similar in the English edition? I am quite sure that 95% of those I would have never got without this help.
Sadly the English translation does not -- Hope you are enjoying the book
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alliknowis
Aug 12 2012, 11:21 AM
Sadly the English translation does not -- Hope you are enjoying the book
I am, I am, it's good, in particular the parts about the interpreter, his work and thoughts and his past, the failed relationship, Rome etc. It is is really rich and varied, the author is able to switch registers effortlessly. I suppose that this book must have been a lot of work for the translator.
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Short English video on the author and his Maidenhair, in particular the German translation (from Deutsche Welle)



Shishkin: :P
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Switzerland is such a boring country nothing ever happens

His translator
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He was right there and read and had an opinion on every single sentence I tried to translate.

That sounds very good actually.
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70 pages left in Maidenhair, very good book, can't stop reading it, although I am probably not as enthusiastic about it as Alliknowis is, but it has strong passages and a strong concept, basically a declaration of love for the written 'word', for stories and written documents of all kinds and how they and the people in them are 'real' for us. Interrogations of immigrants get intermingled with historical events, myths, legends, biblical stories, all boundaries of time are torn down such that Chechen refugees are able to meet Xenophon and his Greek soldiers on their retreat from Persia. But sometimes he is too blatant about his intentions, there are a few passages where I was afraid that he would turn the book into some cheesy how-to-find-beauty-in-life-despite-all-the-nasty-stuff guide. There is one scene where the interpreter visits a prison together with a female lawyer, jeez... but directly afterwards comes such a great, great section, an imagined dialog (presented as a Q&A session like the immigrant interrogations) between interpreter and his former girl friend who killed herself. I supposed, this is the kind of book that can change people's life if they encounter it at the right time and mood in their life.
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Elie
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Where are people getting this from? I can only find it as a pre order due for release in 2 months. Really intrigued.
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alliknowis
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Elie
Aug 15 2012, 09:49 AM
Where are people getting this from? I can only find it as a pre order due for release in 2 months. Really intrigued.
You can get it from Open letter directly if you call them and give them a credit card, or you can get it from them online using a Google account.
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alliknowis
Aug 1 2012, 06:40 PM
BirneHelene
Aug 1 2012, 06:35 AM
Will Evans is very enthusiastic about Maidenhair:
http://www.rochester.edu/College/translation/threepercent/index.php?id=4302

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Maidenhair is the first Russian book of the 21st-century to appear in English translation that can be truly counted as an instant classic in the broad field of world literature, capable of being taught in university classrooms and discussed in book clubs for centuries to come. Every individual, every emotion, every idea that humanity has ever generated and will forever generate is encapsulated in the 500 pages of Maidenhair. With its perfect combination of style and substance, Maidenhair might just be the book you’ve been waiting your entire life to read.
I've read it. Don't know what to say....too overwhelmed. One of the greatest books I have ever ever read. There is not a better writer at work today anywhere.
Dude you were not kidding around. Read it in German translation and it's a GREAT novel. Whoa. Not sure I would rate it "one of the greatest books ever" but, dude. That man is serious business. At first I was cautious, I don't like gratuitous flouting of "classical" knowledge but does he ever tighten up his shit and tie everything together, fuck, I kept rereading earlier sections to suck up how the whole book works. Fuck. Seriously awesome stuff.
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His new novel has just been translated into German and will be published October 1 in Germany

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So you really got that signed copy for basically no money? Awesome!
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Another review of Maidenhair

http://lizoksbooks.blogspot.de/2011/05/ah-sweet-mysteries-of-life-shishkins.html



I really want to reread the book. I loved it when I read it, loved it after finishing it but it still continues to grow on me.
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oneofmurphysbiscuits
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Maidenhair; It's a very good book, the translation's beautiful and i keep thinking of Pasternak; i think because of the space and freedom as to tone, but it's been so long since that i can't be more specific. Which makes me a little wary of rereading Doctor Zhivago in the P/V translation

And border agencies make me growl
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oneofmurphysbiscuits
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The writing is so immediate (the English translation is nothing short of astonishing) that at times i was little bit skeptical, or at least second guessing him a little as to meaningful intent,; this only because each of the texts is so brilliantly realized that i wondered just how much he was controlling things in order to manage or engender expectations. But then (and as Birneh says) he rattles at what you think you've fathomed by having you witness something that leaves you desolate. There are also some remarkable instances of stillness, perfection within the book that serve as sense impression or portraiture...i'm thinking especially of the little lad drawing, head down, knowing that "peace has collapsed" and the water spilling on to the paper. As something held to, seen, in the middle of all else, it took my breath away
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alliknowis
May 17 2012, 07:33 PM
[...] But when you are young and inexperienced, criticism can kill you. It can be unjust and boorish. But if criticism has this effect then I think that this is a good thing, as young authors should be chastise, doused in mud – everything that might make them stop from writing. And if they do quit, that means that they are not true writers, and this will be better both for their families and for world literature. A true writer will not stop writing for anything.
As far as the significance others opinions for me, I can say that at some point I came to the following conclusion: regardless of what you write, there will be 10 people who say that you have saved world literature and 100 people who say that you wrote utter rubbish, and the rest of mankind won’t even know that your book exists. And this is something you just need to live with. [...]
I like that
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An interesting text in German by a professor for Slavic studies about Shishkin, his novels - in particular Maidenhair, and the author's reception in his native Russia:
http://www.der-unbekannte-gorki.de/index.php?e=88

I am halfway into Letter-Book and I am amazed by his descriptions of the experiences and reminiscences of the two letter writers, some wonderful, wonderful scenes.
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And by coincidence I just found out that the English translation of the book is slated for publication in Feb. 2013, but as The Light And The Dark and not as Letter-Book
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Picture two people, young and in love. Picture them being separated from one another. Picture them keeping their love alive through letters. So far, so simple. Now imagine they've not just been separated geographically, but also historically. Imagine that their love and letters now defy time and place, life and death. By now you realize that this novel is unique. And, when you learn how it has made Russian literary-prize history, and has to-date been sold in twenty-two languages, you begin to sense just how unique...

Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Quercus (28 Feb 2013)

strange though that the blurb is not complete...
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