Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Turgenev: Before He Pissed Off His Mates
We're such a literate and art-appreciating bunch here so, following on from Ramon's Monday painting session, as well as Puss's similarly inspiring contributions and the always wonderful Poetry Slams, I'd like to draw your attention to Ivan Turgenev's shorter works.
His 1852 compilation of short stories entitled Sketches from a Hunter's Album (also called A Sportsman's Sketches depending on the translator) gained him due recognition, and also drew the attention of the likes of those twin towers of Russian literature, Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky (or Dostoevsky depending on the translator).
For what it's worth - and it's not worth a great deal - my favourite of these sketches is The Clatter of Wheels (or The Rattling of Wheels...) the suspense of which surely inspired Hitchcock. It's a terrific read about a carriage journey between towns taken by the first person narrator (quite unusual in 19th century Russian literature) and his driver, in search of more shot with which to kill stuff. It's one of my favourite short stories although is rivalled - in my humble opinion - by Nabokov's best. You can read it in full here (it's not painfully long or anything, but it will give you something to do while we await Perseus's next post...or you could do some work). I don't know which translation it is but my preferred translation is Richard Freeborn's (published by Penguin).
Good day to you.