Posts tagged “oblomov”
August 5, 2009This intimately funny and desperately sad novel opens with a parade of visitors to Ilya Ilich Oblomov’s Petersburg flat. Most of them are introduced, in this new translation, by the phrase "in walked", which creates a wonderful sense of flatness, repetition and invasion. All but one of the visitors are busy in some way or other, full of talk of the world, parties, work, the latest literary news. . . The very descriptions of these people make us tired, setting us up for a largely (although not entirely) disreputable identification with the book’s slothful hero. . . Oblomov is not exactly a person, and this is only partly a psychological novel. . . the story of his non-life and real death, his long kindness to himself, is really the story of a series of stances and occasions, human possibilities squandered and slept through. . . The writing here. . . offers a fine example of sly and compassionate satire, a very rare genre indeed. — Michael Wood, London Review of Books
March 13, 2009
“The combination of Goncharov’s edits and Schwartz’s translation left me thumbing back to the copyright page to confirm 1862, not 1962, as this translation sparkles with contemporary lyricism and humor.” – Karen Vanuska, Quarterly Conversation
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