Остаться бы вовне процесса
Покуда жив, быть не у дел:
Не ищешь поводов для стресса,
Но в ночь выводят на расстрел.
И все, что прожито – не важно,
Уже конечно, черт возьми,
Лишь потому, что ты однажды
Жил здесь и с этими людьми.
И есть ли тот, кто растолкует,
В какой написано из книг –
Зачем летит навстречу пуле
Не мой невыносимый крик?
* * *
Were it possible to remain outside the process,
As long as one may live, to stay uninvolved.
Eschewing causes that may prove stressful,
But still at night they lead you to the execution spot.
And all that had been lived no longer matters,
This moment, everything is bull and crap.
All this because that once-upon-a-time when
You were their neighbor, compatriot, son.
What sage could decode the answer and
Which tome and volume contain the reason
Why the moment the bullet hurtles towards me
This unbearable scream cannot be mine?
Translated from Russian by Alexander Cigale
Gennady Katsov is a poet, essayist and journalist. In 1989 he moved to the US, where he has been working as a journalist for the last 32 years. His poems and essays have been published in leading literary magazines in the USA, Europe, Russia, including the magazines Znamya, Druzhba Narodov, Volga, UFO, Zvezda, Neva, Novy Zhurnal and others; in English – in Cimarron Review, Blue Lyra Review, Tupelo Quarterly, Verse Junkies, Painters and Poets, Life and Legends, etc. Author of ten books of poetry, including a collection of poems, prose and essays “The Attraction of Zen” (St. Petersburg: Petropol, 1999), the ekphrastic volume “Slovosphere” (New York: Liberty, 2013) and the poetry book “On the Western Front. Poems About the War of 2020” (M: Formaslov, 2021). Gennady is a member of the editorial board of the almanac “Времена” (USA) and the magazine “Emigrantskaya Lyrа” (Belgium).
Alex Cigale’s own English-language poems appear widely, including in the Colorado Review, The Common, and The Literary Review. His translations of Russian Silver Age and Contemporary prose and poetry have appeared in the Harvard Review Online, Kenyon Review Online, New England Review, The Hopkins Review, Michigan Quarterly, Modern Poetry in Translation, PEN America, TriQuarterly, and World Literature Today. From 2011-2013, he was an Assistant Profesor at the American University of Central Asia. A 2015 NEA Literary Translation Fellow for his work on Mikhail Eremin, he also edited the Spring 2015 Russia Issue of Atlanta Review. His first full book, Russian Absurd: Daniil Kharms, Selected Writings came out in the Northwestern University Press World Classics series.
A book of poems in Russian by Victor Enyutin (San Francisco, 1983). Victor Enyutin is a Russian writer, poet, and sociologist who emigrated to the US from the Soviet Union in 1975.
This collection of personal essays by a bi-national Russian/U.S. author offers glimpses into many things Soviet and post-Soviet: the sacred, the profane, the mundane, the little-discussed and the often-overlooked. What was a Soviet school dance like? Did communists go to church? Did communists listen to Donna Summer? If you want to find out, read on!
“Cold War Casual” is a collection of transcribed oral testimony and interviews translated from Russian into English and from English into Russian that delve into the effect of the events and the government propaganda of the Cold War era on regular citizens of countries on both sides of the Iron Curtain.
Julia Wiener was born in the USSR a few years before the Second World War; her youth was spent during the “Thaw” period, and her maturity coincided with the years of “Soviet stagnation”, which, in her case, ended with her emigration to Israel in the early 1970s. Her wartime childhood, her Komsomol-student youth, her subsequent disillusionment, her meetings with well-known writers (Andrei Platonov, Victor Nekrasov, etc.) are described in a humorous style and colorful detail. Julia brings to life colorful characters – from her Moscow communal apartment neighbors to a hippie London lord, or an Arab family, headed by a devotee of classical Russian literature. No less diverse are the landscapes against which the events unfold: the steppes of Kazakhstan, the Garden of Gethsemane, New York, Amsterdam, London.
Julia Wiener’s novels focus on those moments when illusory human existence collapses in the face of true life, be it spiritual purity, love, old age, or death.