“A tale of crime and punishment… a foretaste of one of this century’s great novels.”
“Sensuous, amusing, scary… Nabokov lifts  through the exhilarating artistry of his poetic and explicit language.”
“[ is] in the top class of Nabokov’s work.”
“Elegantly written and exquisitely shaped.”
“One of the most exciting novellas ever written, Nabokov near, or at least clearly anticipating, his very best.”
An enthralling novelette by Boris Pasternak, the author of , explores how a thirteen-year-old girl ceases to be a child and becomes a woman in Russia just before the Communist Revolution. The story examines the world through the reminiscences of a young girl and explores such themes as nature and how we are able to shape the world around us by how we perceive it. The novelette gives readers a prime example of Pasternak’s signature style and use of poetics, imagery, and lyricism in prose.
Boris (Leonidovich) Pasternak was a Russian philosopher, poet, writer, and translator. He is famous worldwide for his novel , which won him the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1958. Born in Moscow in 1890 to a painter father and concert-pianist mother, Pasternak first pursued a formal education in musical composition at the University of Moscow, studying under the composer Scriabin. After six years, he gave up music and, following a brief stint in Germany studying philosophy, he returned to Russia to devote his life to writing. With the release of two major works of poetry— (1922) and (1923), Pasternak found himself among the leading poets in Russia.
He went on to publish works of fiction, including (1924), several short story collections, and an acclaimed autobiography. As his writing grew more political in the ’30s and ’40s, Pasternak was unable to publish his own poetry, and instead turned to translating great literary works, including his mentor Rainer Marie Rilke, into Russian.
In 1957, only three years before his death, he published to instant international acclaim and a Nobel Prize nomination. In Russia, however, the book’s politics were not well received. It was banned and Pasternak was expelled from the Union of Soviet Writers. This tumultuous political spotlight forced him to decline the award. Since his death in 1960, however, Pasternak’s works have grown in popularity and he remains one of the most influential Russian writers of the twentieth century.
When a young man goes from the demands and rigors of the army to a luxurious and serene country living, his mind is bound to wander where it should t. Such is the fate of Alexei Alexeyevich Fedyashev, who becomes so absorbed in his newfound idleness that he falls in love with an old portrait. When the famous conjurer and medium Count Cagliostro accidentally ends up at Fedyashev's escape, the young man begs him to bring his dream to reality. Be careful what you wish for, is the lesson young Alexei has yet to learn...
A brilliant new translation of a perennial favorite of Russian literature The first major Russian novel, A Hero of Our Time was both lauded and reviled upon publication. Its dissipated hero, twenty-five-year-old Pechorin, is a beautiful and magnetic but nihilistic young army officer, bored by life and indifferent to his many sexual conquests. Chronicling his unforgettable adventures in the Caucasus involving brigands, smugglers, soldiers, rivals, and lovers, this classic tale of alienation influenced Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, and Chekhov in Lermontov’s own century, and finds its modern-day counterparts in Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange, the novels of Chuck Palahniuk, and the films and plays of Neil LaBute.
The House of the Dead is a fictionalized memoir of a man serving a ten-year prison sentence for murdering his wife. Dostoyevsky drew heavily from his own four-year prison internment in a Siberian prison to draw attention to the dehumanizing, deadening effects of the modern prison system and invoke his philosophies of better ways of treating and rehabilitating prisoners.
Dostoyevsky’s short stories show him to be equally adept at the short story as with the novel. Exploring many of the same themes as in his longer works, these small masterpieces move from the tender and romantic White Nights, an archetypal nineteenth-century morality tale of pathos and loss, to the famous Notes from the Underground, a story of guilt, ineffectiveness, and uncompromising cynicism, and the first major work of existential literature. Among Dostoyevsky’s prototypical characters is Yemelyan in The Honest Thief, whose tragedy turns on an inability to resist crime.
In the stories in this volume Dostoevsky explores both the figure of the dreamer divorced from reality and also his own ambiguous attitude to utopianism, themes central to many of his great novels. In White Nights the apparent idyll of the dreamer’s romantic fantasies disguises profound loneliness and estrangement from ‘living life’. Despite his sentimental friendship with Nastenka, his final withdrawal into the world of the imagination anticipates the retreat into the ‘underground’ of many of Dostoevsky’s later intellectual heroes. A Gentle Creature and The Dream of a Ridiculous Man show how such withdrawal from reality can end in spiritual desolation and moral indifference and how, in Dostoevsky’s view, the tragedy of the alienated individual can be resolved only by the rediscovery of a sense of compassion and responsibility towards fellow human beings.
Explore the Russian creative movement known as literary realism through the work of writer Nikolai Vassilievitch Gogol, whom many critics regard not only as one of the foremost practitioners of this style, but also as one of the most significant literary figures of the twentieth century. This exquisitely translated collection brings together several of the short pieces widely categorized as Gogol’s finest work.
Taras Bulba is a magnificent story portraying the life of the Ukrainian Cossacks who lived by the Dnieper River in the sixteenth century. Taras Bulba is an old and hardened warrior who feels a little rusty from lack of action. When his two sons return from school at Kiev, he eagerly takes them to the ‘setch,’ the camping and training island of the Cossacks. There they spend their time drinking and remembering old glories. It happens, however, that the Cossacks are going through an uneasy truce with their Turkish hegemones and the Tartar horsemen. Taras Bulba, always the warmonger, harangues the Cossacks, engineers a change in leadership, and leads them to attack the Catholic Poles. The Cossacks ride West, destroying everything they meet with extraordinary brutality. Finally, they lay siege to a walled city, but Andrew, Taras’s younger son, discovers that the woman he loves is inside. A masterful and brutal story of the horrors of war.
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