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This edition, the famous Constance Garnett translation, has been revised throughout by Leonard J. Kent and Nina Berberova. Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. So begins Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy's great modern novel of an adulterous affair set against the backdrop of Moscow and St. Petersburg high society in the later half of the nineteenth century. A sophisticated woman who is respectably married to a government bureaucrat, Anna begins a passionate, all-consuming involvement with a rich army officer. Refusing to conduct a discreet affair, she scandalizes society by abandoning both her husband and her young son for Count Vronsky--with tragic consequences. Running parallel is the story of the courtship and marriage of Konstantin Levin (the melancholy nobleman who is Tolstoy's stand-in) and Princess Kitty Shcherbatsky. Levin's spiritual searching and growth reflect the religious ideals that at the time Tolstoy was evolving for himself. Taken together, the two plots embroider a vast canvas that ultimately encompasses all levels of Russian society. Now and then Tolstoy's novel writes its own self, is produced by its matter, but its subject, noted Vladimir Nabokov. Anna Karenina is one of the greatest love stories in world literature. As Matthew Arnold wrote in his celebrated essay on Tolstoy: We are not to take Anna Karenina as a work of art; we are to take it as a piece of life. "From the Hardcover edition. "
A New York Review Books Original One of the delights of Russian literature, a tour de force that has been compared to the best of Nabokov and Bulgakov, Yuri Olesha's novella Envy brings together cutting social satire, slapstick humor, and a wild visionary streak. Andrei is a model Soviet citizen, a swaggeringly self-satisfied mogul of the food industry who intends to revolutionize modern life with mass-produced sausage. Nikolai is a loser. Finding him drunk in the gutter, Andrei gives him a bed for the night and a job as a gofer. Nikolai takes what he can, but that doesn't mean he's grateful. Griping, sulking, grovelingly abject, he despises everything Andrei believes in, even if he envies him his every breath. Producer and sponger, insider and outcast, master and man fight back and forth in the pages of Olesha's anarchic comedy. It is a contest of wills in which nothing is sure except the incorrigible human heart. Marian Schwartz's new English translation of Envy brilliantly captures the energy of Olesha's masterpiece.
In its adventurous happenings - its abductions, duels, and sexual intrigues - A Hero of Our Time looks backward to the tales of Sir Walter Scott and Lord Byron, so beloved by Russian society in the 1820s and '30s. In the character of its protagonist, Pechorin - the archetypal Russian antihero - Lermontov's novel looks forward to the subsequent glories of a Russian literature that it helped, in great measure, to make possible. This edition includes a Translator's Foreword by Vladimir Nabokov, who translated the novel in collaboration with his son, Dmitri Nabokov. (From the Hardcover edition.)
Based largely on formerly top-secret Soviet archival documents (including 66 reproduced documents and 70 illustrations), this book portrays the inner workings of the communist party and secret police during Germany's horrific 1941-44 siege of Leningrad, during which close to one million citizens perished. It shows how the city's inhabitants responded to the extraordinary demands placed upon them, encompassing both the activities of the political, security, and military elite as well as the actions and attitudes of ordinary Leningraders.
Set at the beginning of the nineteenth century, before the ideal of industrious modern man, when idleness was still looked upon by Russia's serf-owning rural gentry as a plausible and worthy goal, there was Oblomov. Indolent, inattentive, incurious, given to daydreaming and procrastination--indeed, given to any excuse to remain horizontal--Oblomov is hardly the stuff of heroes. Yet, he is impossible not to admire. He is forgiven for his weakness and beloved for his shining soul. Ivan Goncharov's masterpiece is not just ingenious social satire, but also a sharp criticism of nineteenth-century Russian society.Translator Marian Schwartz breathes new life into Goncharov's voice in this first translation from the generally recognized definitive edition of the Russian original, and the first as well to attempt to replicate in English Goncharov's wry humor and all-embracing humanity, chosen by Slate as one of the Best Books of 2008.
Journalist Valery Panyushkin profiles 12 Russians from across the country's social spectrum who have one thing in common: participation in the historic March of the Dissidents in 2007. In flagrant violation of increasingly stringent laws, they shared a belief that the government of Vladmir Putin was betraying the promise of Russia's future. Risking the threats and violent retaliation inflicted upon journalists who dare question the powers that be, Panyushkin boldy illuminates the lives and convictions of these 12 men and women.
Walpurgis Night, by acclaimed Russian writer Venedikt Erofeev, is considered a classic in the playwright's homeland. Erofeev's dark and funny five-act satire of Soviet repression has been called the comic high-water mark of the Brezhnev era. Walpurgis Night dramatizes the outrageous trials of Lev Isakovich Gurevich, an alcoholic half-Jewish dissident poet confined by the state to a hospital for the insane. In "Ward 3"--a microcosm of repressive Soviet society--Gurevich deploys his brilliant wit and ingenuity to bedevil his jailers, defend his fellow inmates, protest his incarceration, and generally create mayhem, which ultimately leads to a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions.
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