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The Stray Dog Cabaret: A Book of Russian Poems

by

The Stray Dog Cabaret: A Book of Russian Poems Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In the years before the 1917 Russian Revolution, the Stray Dog cabaret in St. Petersburg was the haunt of poets, artists, and musicians, a place to meet, drink, read, brawl, celebrate, and stage performances of all kinds. It has since become a symbol of the extraordinary literary ferment of that time. It was then that Alexander Blok composed his apocalyptic sequence "Twelve;" that the futurists Velimir Khlebnikov and Vladimir Mayakovsky exploded language into bold new forms; that the lapidary lyrics of Osip Mandelstam and plangent love poems of Anna Akhmatova saw the light; that the electrifying Marina Tsvetaeva stunned and dazzled everyone. Boris Pasternak was also of this company, putting together his great youthful hymn to nature, My Sister, Life.

It was a transforming moment — not just for Russian but for world poetry — and a short-lived one. Within little more than a decade, revolution and terror were to disperse, silence, and destroy almost all the poets of the Stray Dog cabaret.

Review:

"A professor of Russian whose translations included the plays of Anton Chekhov and the avant-garde writings of Velimir Khlebnikov, Schmidt (1934-1999) also worked with the director and composer Elizabeth Swados on what would have been groundbreaking musical settings for famous lyric poems and sequences from the great era of Russian modernism, set in the café-the Stray Dog-where modernists gathered. The theatrical work never appeared, but those drafts became this book, a memorial to the time-beginning around 1906, and concluding after Stalin's rise to power-when Alexander Blok and Anna Akhmatova created pellucid elegiac stanzas, Osip Mandelstam meditated on existential dilemmas, Vladimir Mayakosky exploded into radical free verse, and Khlebnikov obliterated the line between prophecy and nonsense. Apparently the first original publication from the New York Review imprint (exclusively a reprint house until now), this collection makes an ideally readable introduction to this sometimes forbidding, internationally admired, poetic group. Fin-de-siecle concerns of love in cafés, of 'sun and song,' flirtation and regret, give way to darker worries as the Russian Revolution runs its course: Blok and Boris Pasternak sound particularly effective in Schmidt's libretto-like, clarified versions, while Akhmatova-grown older, immersed in sorrow-proposes a toast 'to the terrible world we inhabit/ And to God, who never replied.' Editor Catherine Ciepela offers a long and useful introduction, along with capsule biographies of Schmidt's eight poets; poet and biographer Honor Moore adds an epilogue not seen by PW." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"[T]he most versatile American translator of his generation....[I]ntense and subversive." Richard Howard

Synopsis:

A New York Review Books Original

A master anthology of Russias most important poetry, newly collected and never before published in English

In the years before the 1917 Russian Revolution, the Stray Dog cabaret in St. Petersburg was the haunt of poets, artists, and musicians, a place to meet, drink, read, brawl, celebrate, and stage performances of all kinds. It has since become a symbol of the extraordinary literary ferment of that time. It was then that Alexander Blok composed his apocalyptic sequence “Twelve”; that the futurists Velimir Khlebnikov and Vladimir Mayakovsky exploded language into bold new forms; that the lapidary lyrics of Osip Mandelstam and plangent love poems of Anna Akhmatova saw the light; that the electrifying Marina Tsvetaeva stunned and dazzled everyone. Boris Pasternak was also of this company, putting together his great youthful hymn to nature, My Sister, Life.

It was a transforming moment—not just for Russian but for world poetry—and a short-lived one. Within little more than a decade, revolution and terror were to disperse, silence, and destroy almost all the poets of the Stray Dog cabaret.

About the Author

Paul Schmidt (1934-1999), translator, poet, actor, librettist, playwright, and essayist, was born in Brooklyn.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781590171912
Author:
Ciepiela, Catherine
Publisher:
New York Review of Books
Translator:
Schmidt, Paul
Foreword:
Moore, Honor
Editor:
Moore, Honor
Author:
Moore, Honor
Author:
Various
Author:
Schmidt, Paul
Afterword:
Moore, Honor
Subject:
Anthologies (multiple authors)
Subject:
20th century
Subject:
Russian & Former Soviet Union
Subject:
Russian poetry
Subject:
Russian poetry -- 20th century.
Subject:
Russian poetry - Russia (Federation) -
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Poetry -Anthologies
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
New York Review Books Classics
Publication Date:
20061131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
168
Dimensions:
8.03x5.00x.44 in. .38 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » International
Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Miscellaneous International Poetry
Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Poetry
Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » Anthologies
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Travel » General

The Stray Dog Cabaret: A Book of Russian Poems New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$14.50 In Stock
Product details 168 pages New York Review of Books - English 9781590171912 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "A professor of Russian whose translations included the plays of Anton Chekhov and the avant-garde writings of Velimir Khlebnikov, Schmidt (1934-1999) also worked with the director and composer Elizabeth Swados on what would have been groundbreaking musical settings for famous lyric poems and sequences from the great era of Russian modernism, set in the café-the Stray Dog-where modernists gathered. The theatrical work never appeared, but those drafts became this book, a memorial to the time-beginning around 1906, and concluding after Stalin's rise to power-when Alexander Blok and Anna Akhmatova created pellucid elegiac stanzas, Osip Mandelstam meditated on existential dilemmas, Vladimir Mayakosky exploded into radical free verse, and Khlebnikov obliterated the line between prophecy and nonsense. Apparently the first original publication from the New York Review imprint (exclusively a reprint house until now), this collection makes an ideally readable introduction to this sometimes forbidding, internationally admired, poetic group. Fin-de-siecle concerns of love in cafés, of 'sun and song,' flirtation and regret, give way to darker worries as the Russian Revolution runs its course: Blok and Boris Pasternak sound particularly effective in Schmidt's libretto-like, clarified versions, while Akhmatova-grown older, immersed in sorrow-proposes a toast 'to the terrible world we inhabit/ And to God, who never replied.' Editor Catherine Ciepela offers a long and useful introduction, along with capsule biographies of Schmidt's eight poets; poet and biographer Honor Moore adds an epilogue not seen by PW." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "[T]he most versatile American translator of his generation....[I]ntense and subversive."
"Synopsis" by , A New York Review Books Original

A master anthology of Russias most important poetry, newly collected and never before published in English

In the years before the 1917 Russian Revolution, the Stray Dog cabaret in St. Petersburg was the haunt of poets, artists, and musicians, a place to meet, drink, read, brawl, celebrate, and stage performances of all kinds. It has since become a symbol of the extraordinary literary ferment of that time. It was then that Alexander Blok composed his apocalyptic sequence “Twelve”; that the futurists Velimir Khlebnikov and Vladimir Mayakovsky exploded language into bold new forms; that the lapidary lyrics of Osip Mandelstam and plangent love poems of Anna Akhmatova saw the light; that the electrifying Marina Tsvetaeva stunned and dazzled everyone. Boris Pasternak was also of this company, putting together his great youthful hymn to nature, My Sister, Life.

It was a transforming moment—not just for Russian but for world poetry—and a short-lived one. Within little more than a decade, revolution and terror were to disperse, silence, and destroy almost all the poets of the Stray Dog cabaret.

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