Mark Vayner. Translation by Josephine von Zitzewitz

Also in Translations:

Mark Vayner. Translation by Josephine von Zitzewitz
Solovetsky Stone Memorial in front of the Lubianka prison in Moscow. Solovetsky Stone (brought from Solovki, a site of GULAG camps), is a memorial to millions of victims of Stalinism.
Mark Vayner. Translation by Josephine von Zitzewitz

Dedicated to my grandfather Zinovii Balitskii, a talented railway engineer
who was shot without trial in 1937.

————–

Life on earth is terrifying, gents,
in the land of ignorance, of violence and sloth
where, like a muddy river, life
washes away our forebears’ ashes

who, with true longing in their souls,
strove after light and freedom, joy and life,
whose names the muse of history inscribed
into her martyrology. Their burial

inspired no remembrance speeches,
they lie in mass graves. That’s Russia’s foul weather…
Others crowned their rabid henchmen
real fighters for people’s happiness.

That’s how we live in this country –
yesterday’s murderer’s a hero today.
Mouths are twisted with grief even now
but next door they worship and bow

to the monsters’ heirs at work in our time
in faithful-servants-of-the people’s guise.
That’s how we live. Foul weather’s near.
A gale in the making. And thunderstorms.

12 July 2016

 

 

 

About the Author:

Mark Vayner
Mark Vayner
Moscow, russia

Mark Vayner was born on Feb 21. 1937. Four months after his birth, his grandfather, Zinovy ​​Ilyich Balitsky, a specialist in railway signaling, was arrested and accused of “treason and counter-revolutionary activity”, as were millions of innocent people in those years. Quoting Mark: “The trial was as simple as Lenin’s truth: the ‘judges’, smoking and talking about their private lives, signed the list [that, among many other names, had his name. That was all. On the same day, my grandfather was shot. The official verdict was “10 years without the right to correspond.” After the execution of his grandfather, his wife, Mark’s grandmother, was exiled. Mark’s two uncles (brothers of Mark’s father) were shot in the same year. In 1959 Mark graduated from the Russian State University of Oil and Gas. He published one paper book and four electronic-books.

About the Translator:

Josephine von Zitzewitz
Josephine von Zitzewitz
UK/Norway

Josephine von Zitzewitz is a scholar of Russian literature and translator specializing in Russian poetry. After working at the Universities of Oxford, Bristol, and Cambridge (UK) she is presently Marie Skłodowska Curie Fellow at UIT The Arctic University of Norway.

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Mark Vayner
Bookshelf
by Victor Enyutin

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.

by Anna Krushelnitskaya

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!

by Anna Krushelnitskaya

“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.

by Julia Wiener

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.

by Julia Wiener

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.

by Nina Kossman

A collection of poems in Russian. Published by Khudozhestvennaya literatura. Moscow, 1990.

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