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The popularity of the short story in Russia has not withered away. Widely read and extensively circulated ""thick"" monthlies, in which the form has a prominent place, best exemplify this partiality. Editors Snow and Hansford have drawn from these publications, choosing six recent, representative, and highly acclaimed pieces. The problem here, however is the expected one translation, both linguistic and cultural. And it's too bad that which is most intimately and eminently ""Russian"" is most tedious and cumbersome in transition. Vladimir Tendrykov's -- an exciting but somewhat commonplace story of a race to save an injured man's life against the bumbling torpor of bureaucracy- seems to suffer very little. But this is a tight-knit tale, active and eventful, most typical in the handling. on the other hand, is typical Sholokov. The pithy phrase, the brutal image, the lyri - introspection fare less well in English. The inversion, most unfortunately, holds throughout. Alexander Tvardovsky's humorous tale of the tribulations of a man, who wants only to get his stove repaired, is not long enough to really bore and the almost novella length Light From Other People's Windows is a kind of dour The Best replete with some prime examples of what can happen to Russian, e.g. ""peep-bo"" and ""then you'll send me lotty"". Konstantin Paustovsky and S. Zalygin are also represented. The stories are more ""of interest"" than interesting.

Pub Date: Aug. 28th, 1962
Publisher: St Martin's Press