Here was Rome

Рим золотой,
обитель богов,
меж градами первый


Victor Sonkin, the author of this prize-winning guidebook to Ancient Rome, will talk about the everyday details of ancient Roman life, concentrating on (sometimes deceptively) simple questions of what the ancient Romans ate and drank for supper and how they calculated time. An authority on this culture, with public appearances from education, to television, and ship cruises, he makes the layers and quirks of history amusing, as much as his treatment is informative and in-depth.

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Literary translation during the Soviet and Post Soviet period

£7 / £5 conc. – book at Pushkin House

  • It is a truth universally acknowledged that Soviet literary translators were the best in the world (as well as cosmonauts and ballet dancers).
  • What happened to them after the Perestroika?
  • Does a new era require new translation principles?
  • And where does this leave the reader?

Most fiction published in English is originally written in English. In many countries, including Russia, the situation is almost reversed, and translated fiction dominates the market. Borisenko and Sonkin will talk about Soviet-era translation and its influence, the great changes inpost-Soviet times, and the challenges that Russian literary translators encounter today.

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Resurrecting the Revolution

 Boris Dralyuk

will speak about his experiences compiling the anthology 1917: Stories and Poems from the Russian Revolution (Pushkin Press, 2016) and translating Isaac Babel’s Red Cavalry (Pushkin Press, 2014) and Odessa Stories (Pushkin Press, 2016) and read stories from Red Cavalry.

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Shostakovich – From Jewish Folk Poetry

View the
music recording
and our
introduction here.

After his fearsome 1948 condemnation at the hands of the Union of Composers and Stalin’s ‘cultural’ henchman Andrey Zhdanov, Shostakovich was understandably careful about what he composed next and what he revealed in public. His position was undoubtedly dangerous. In the autumn of the same year he compiled a strikingly unusual  song-cycle for three singers and piano: the texts were taken from a collection of Russian translations of Jewish lyrics, mostly originally in Yiddish but one or two Hebrew or Russian; the melodies he created were original but closely related to the style of ‘klezmer’ music which Shostakovich knew and loved. The ensemble of three singers gives almost the feeling of a chamber opera.

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Чтение и разговор с писателем Алексеем Макушинским

3-part recording here

English event at King’s College, Strand, on the day after. Follow this link!

“Мне кажется, что искусство — это, прежде всего, приближение к какой-то реальности, или какой-то правде, или, наоборот, к какому-то идеальному тексту, какой-то в условиях земного бытия невоплотимой красоте… Во всяком случае, к чему-то, чего мы никогда не достигаем и что, парадоксальным образом, всегда уже нам «дано», всегда уже есть, в нас и вокруг нас.”

Алексей Макушинский, Интервью в журнале Eclectic.

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Україна в серці — Галина & Штыпель

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Maria Galina
& Arkady Shtypel

Вечер поэтов и переводчиков Марии Галиной и Аркадия Штыпеля.

Стихи, переводы, разговоры oб Украине, на русском и украинском языках.

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Evening dedicated to William Shakespeare

with poet and translator Arkady Shtypel


Поэт и переводчик Аркадий Штыпель представит свой проект перевода полного свода сонетов Шекспира, расскажет о принципах подхода к текстам и о том, почему поэты и переводчики спорят с канонической версией Маршака.

Оригинал Шекспира прочтет актриса Кристин Милворд.

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Fiona Sampson – Poetry in a Changing World

One after another they
reveal themselves
stepping solemnly
into the light

creatures great and small
all of them strangers
all of them naked as the white
moths that skitter 

round them
only half surfacing
from the deep dream place
where they live

and from where they greet you
emissaries
who arrive out of dark hedges
gradually

like sight clearing
or all at once
who stand and wait to address
your bright path
(…)

from Fiona Sampson The Border

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MARINA TSVETAEVA’S КРЫСОЛОВ – THE RATCATCHER

We are happy to announce

that the performance of this heartily acclaimed piece is coming back on stage soon. With our original cast working on the material since our first run, new faces, a musical score to complement it.

The book – discussed on Goodreads

If you were there, you’ll want to see it again. And if not, this is the version that we have all been waiting for. This time around, the stage is set in the red velvet twilight of our Sands Films cinema. Continue reading “MARINA TSVETAEVA’S КРЫСОЛОВ – THE RATCATCHER”