Prize-winning poet and writer Fiona Sampson asks whether we ignore the influence of ecology and even geology on the ways we chose to live. Do we miss something that is both politically important and intimately concerned with our quality of life? And what do we learn by comparing experiences across cultures?
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
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.