Tatiana Vinogradova. Under Martial Law

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Tatiana Vinogradova. Under Martial Law
Elisheva Nesis "Night Coffee" (fragment)
Tatiana Vinogradova. Under Martial Law

 
* * *

Under martial law
I drink tea, boil oatmeal,
and watch TV from the corner of my eye.
Under the laws of wartime
I’m afraid to see, I’m afraid to participate,
I’m afraid to even think about –
Under martial law.
I sleep, make love, and text
Under martial law.
I don’t let myself go too far
and think differently than –
I end up just sitting in silence
in front of a blank computer screen,
from which all icons have disappeared.
Only the icons on the wall are left.
They stare reproachfully, they ask me:
Why do you sit in silence?
Why don’t you raise your voice?
And I answer them all, those icons and these:
I’m scared, o icons and icons,
I’m scared not so much of gunshots –
as of the total uselessness of EVERYTHING.
…And I will continue my silence before the emptiness;
Yet in the end, I will be shot anyway

Under martial law
 

* * *
 

По законам военного времени
я пью чай, варю овсянку,
смотрю краем глаза телевизор.
По законам военного времени
я боюсь видеть, боюсь участвовать,
боюсь даже подумать о.
По законам военного времени
я сплю, занимаюсь любовью и пишу смски
По законам военного времени
я не позволяю себе заходить слишком далеко
и мыслить иначе, чем.
В итоге я просто сижу молча
перед пустым экраном компа,
с которого исчезли все иконки.
Остались только иконы на стене.
Они глядят с укором, они спрашивают:
Почему ты сидишь молча?
Почему не возвысишь свой голос?
А я отвечаю им всем, и тем, и этим:
мне страшно, иконы-иконки,
мне страшно даже не от выстрелов –
от тотальной бесполезности ВСЕГО
…И я продолжу своё молчание перед пустотой;
Но в конце концов меня всё равно расстреляют

По законам военного времени
 

Translated from Russian by Nina Kossman

About the Author:

Tatiana Vinogradova
Tatiana Vinogradova
Moscow, Russia

Born in Moscow, Tatiana is a poet, essayist, literary critic, translator, editor, graphic artist, and book designer. She has authored eight books of poetry.
She has a degree in journalism from the Moscow State University;she did her graduate work at the Philological Faculty of Moscow State University, receiving her PhD in philology in 1997. She is a board member of Sreda (Thin Media), the editorial board of the international journal of literature and art; Moscow Union of Writers (2002), Moscow Union of Writers (2017); Creative Union of Artists of Russia (1996), etc. Her work has been published in Russian and foreign periodicals, and translated into English, Armenian, Bulgarian, Italian, Nepali, Kyrgyz, and Japanese.

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Tatiana Vinogradova Татьяна Виноградова
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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!

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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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