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Sentimental Tales (Russian Library) Paperback – 24 Jul 2018

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press (24 July 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231183798
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231183796
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.9 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 53,107 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


I know of no satirist more angry, more warlike than Mikhail Zoshchenko. Yet I love him not for his anger, I love him for his astonishing irony--for the fact that it is sometimes difficult to determine the target of his mockery: is it his characters, his readers, himself? This new translation preserves Zoshchenko's irony in all its force.--Andrey Kurkov, author of Death and the Penguin

Zoshchenko's satirical prowess brought him fame in the Soviet Union, and these Sentimental Tales, with their dark humor and sharp parody, rank among his best writings. Boris Dralyuk's fine translations succeed wonderfully in conveying the innovative style and unique narrative voice of the originals.--Barry Scherr, Dartmouth College

In the face of ideological pressure to produce heroic forms, Zoshchenko's playful, sly, gallows-humored Sentimental Tales responds with superfluous men. If life is a comedy for those who think and a tragedy for those who feel, Zoshchenko gives us comedy silhouetted in unspoken tragedy. This many-layered pleasure is brought closer to the contemporary reader by a nimble translation by Boris Dralyuk.--Janet Fitch, author of The Revolution of Marina M. and Paint It Black

Mikhail Zoshchenko is one of Russia's great humorists, not only of the Soviet era but of all time. Boris Dralyuk's translation of Sentimental Tales reads beautifully, and the English language work is a real tour de force. It transmits Zoshchenko's quirky style while still maintaining a natural, easy flow, with well-judged rhythms and cadences that echo Zoshchenko's own.--Lesley Milne, University of Nottingham

Zoshchenko is the wittiest and most perceptive of Soviet satirists. Boris Dralyuk is the first translator to succeed in bringing his wit into English. Comedy is largely a matter of timing, and Dralyuk, like Zoshchenko himself, has an impeccable sense of rhythm.--Robert Chandler, translator of Vasily Grossman, Andrei Platonov, Teffi, and many others

A book that would make Gogol guffaw.--Kirkus Reviews

Mikhail Zoshchenko masterfully exhibits a playful seriousness. . . . Juxtaposing joyful wit with the bleakness of Soviet Russia, Sentimental Tales is a potent antidote for Russian literature's dour reputation.--Foreword Reviews

The only thing harder than cracking jokes may be translating them. Perhaps this is why Mikhail Zoshchenko remains a lesser-known Russian writer among English-language readers, despite being one of the Soviet Union's most beloved humorists, a satirist in the best traditions of Gogol. Boris Dralyuk's new translation of Sentimental Tales, a collection of Zoshchenko's stories from the 1920s, is a delight that brings the author's wit to life--The Economist

Essential for all lovers of Russian literature in its many forms. Humorous, profound, multi-faceted and tragic, these Sentimental Tales will have you laughing and crying at the same time.--Karen Langley "Shiny New Books "

About the Author

Mikhail Zoshchenko (1894-1958) was a leading Soviet satirist. His stories of the 1920s made him enormously popular with readers. In 1946 he was expelled from the Soviet Writers' Union. He never recovered from this trauma and died of heart failure in 1958. Boris Dralyuk is the editor of 1917: Stories and Poems from the Russian Revolution (2016) and coeditor of The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry (2015).

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30 July 2018
Format: Hardcover
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1 August 2018
Format: Kindle Edition
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