Posts in Slavic Studies
"From the Bible to Shakespeare" announced as Winner of the 2017 American Association for Ukrainian Studies Best Book in Language, Literature, and Culture
Danylenko Author Photo.jpg

The American Association for Ukrainian Studies has announced Andrii Danylenko (Pace University) as this year's recipient of the AAUS Best Book in Language, Literature, and Culture for his volume From the Bible to Shakespeare: Pantelejmon Kuliš (1819–97) and the Formation of Literary Ukrainian (Academic Studies Press, 2016).

 

Review: Late and Post-Soviet Russian Literature: A Reader books 1 & 2

Late and Post-Soviet Russian Literature: A Reader books 1 & 2 were reviewed in The Russian Review.

Both volumes provide a valuable addition to courses on late Soviet or post-Soviet literature and culture. They contain comprehensive collections of diverse materials and include texts that were not previously translated into English, in excellent translations and supplemented with footnotes, as well as previously published texts that are less familiar to American students. While both volumes have the same editors and provide new and exciting materials for courses in late Soviet and contemporary Russian culture, they differ substantially in their structure and content. Therefore, they present different advantages and challenges for being a course textbook or supplement ... Because it includes many key authors of the period, it could be used as a stand-alone course reader. Moreover, it contains a good balance of primary and secondary texts that provide additional historical and theoretical context ... Both readers present a compelling collection of materials and well-written introductory essays that might be interesting for a scholar of Russian Studies.
— Irina Anisimova, Miami University of Ohio, Russian Review no. 76 vol. 2 April 2017
Review: Silent Love: The Annotation and Interpretation of Nabokov’s "The Real Life of Sebastian Knight"
Gerard de Vries offers an elegant and persuasive plea for the act of annotation ... [The Real Life of Sebastian Knight] seems to call out for the kind of scholarship and detective work already richly devoted to Lolita and Ada. This is precisely what de Vries provides. After a long chapter of notes on specific textual moments, he presents three chapters of comment on motifs in the novel, centering on questions of narrative, identity, and ‘death and beyond.’
— Michael Wood, Princeton University, The Russian Review vol 76 no. 2, April 2017
Review: Garden of Broken Statues: Exploring Censorship in Russia

Garden of Broken Statues: Exploring Censorship in Russia by Marianna Tax Choldin was reviewed in The Russian Review.

Marianna Tax Choldin’s memoir is a refreshingly personal one. Her research on Russian censorship does figure throughout the book, but it is not really at center stage. ... For me, her brief chapter ‘Dissertation and Book,’ in which she describes how her first book, A fence around the Empire, came together, is the most valuable one in the book. We need more such accounts for graduate students, nearly all of whom struggle with the immensity of their first big project. Perhaps even more valuable for junior scholars in this day and age would be reading about the course that Tax Choldin’s career took. ... Garden of Broken Statues is a delightful and engaging read ... Tax Choldin’s stories of her friendships in the worlds of librarianship and scholarship, both here and on her ‘Soviet Planet,’ as she calls it, are what most make this a book worth reading. Such stories of personal connection get to the heart of what it means to be a Western student of Russian cultural history. As the scholars of Tax Choldin’s generation retire in ever greater numbers, let us hope that we will soon see the publication of many more books like this one.
— Joe Peschio, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, The Russian Review no. 76 vol. 2 April 2017
Review: "Soviet Jews in World War II: Fighting, Witnessing, Remembering"

Soviet Jews in World War II: Fighting, Witnessing, Remembering, edited by Harriet Murav and Gennady Estraikh, was reviewed in Slavic and East European Journal.

The perpetrator-bystander-victim model that has by and large dominated Holocaust scholarship is challenged by the appearance of Soviet Jews in World War II: Fighting, Witnessing, Remembering, a collection of essays that examines the role of Soviet Jews as heroes during what the Soviets called the Great Patriotic War. Although the essays in the book cover different types of texts, they are united by a similar set of concerns ... demonstrating that in addition to the breadth of essays present here on the subject of the Holocaust in the Soviet context, the entire Soviet epoch ... is a treasure-trove waiting to be discovered and explored.
— Naya Lekht, University of California Los Angeles, Slavic and East European Journal 60.4 (Winter 2016)
Book Review: The Russian Avant-Garde and Radical Modernism: an Introductory Reader

The Russian Avant-Garde and Radical Modernism: an Introductory Reader, edited by Dennis. G. Ioffe and Frederich H. White, has been reviewed in International Journal of Russian Studies. To read the full review, visit their website.

This introductory book provides comprehensive analysis of the radical artistic movement Russian Avant-Garde and Radical Modernism, included [sic] well written biographical articles, critical analyses and collected samples of the Russian Avant-Garde and Modernism. It is a remarkable resource for not only researchers but also students who study Russian literature and culture, particularly the movement Russian Avant-Garde and Modernism.
— Ayse Dietrich, Middle East Technical University, International Journal of Russian Studies Issue no. 6, Jan 2017
Marianna Tax Choldin interviewed in World Libraries

Marianna Tax Choldin, author of Garden of Broken Statues: Exploring Censorship in Russia, has been interviewed and reviewed in the first issue of the open access journal World Libraries' relaunch. Read the full interview at World Libraries' open access platform here.

Garden of Broken Statues: Exploring Censorship in Russia covers a lot of territory: geographically, from Hyde Park to Moscow to East Bangladesh; ideologically, from Soviet “omni-censorship” to the less systemic challenges to free speech we find in the States; and, above all, interpersonally, as Choldin pays tribute to the people who have shaped her life ... it’s such a wide-ranging book, it might be recommended not only to those interested in Russia or censorship, but also just about all readers of this journal: namely, librarians and information professionals curious about the personal and professional lives of those who have committed the better part of their lives to the cause of international understanding.
— Scott Schoger, World Libraries Vol 22. No. 1 (2016)
Review: First Words: on Dostoevsky's Introductions

First Words: on Dostoevsky's Introductions by Lewis Bagby has been reviewed in The Russian Review.

In an arresting passage early in First Words, Lewis bagby compares literary introductions, prefaces, prologues, and forewords to monsters in an illuminated medieval manuscript ... After an engaging and helpful discussion of the subgenre’s historical contexts in nineteenth-century Russian and European literature, Bagby traces Dostoevsky’s literary evolution by way of a painstaking taxonomy of his prefaces—a microbiography of sorts.
— Val Vinokur, The New School, The Russian Review (Vol. 76, No. 1)
Review: The Art of Identity and Memory: Toward a Cultural History of the Two World Wars in Lithuania & "Lithuanian Studies without Borders"

The Art of Identity and Memory: Toward a Cultural History of the Two World Wars in Lithuania edited by Giedrė Jankevičiūtė & Rasutė Žukienė, and the "Lithuanian Studies Without Borders" series have been reviewed in 15min.

We are glad that Lithuanian scholars, who have been reproached for lacking international reach time and again, have gained yet another solid platform for sharing their research with the world. We can only hope that the promising beginning to this series will turn it into a successful long-term project, which not only opens the door to the poorly known world of Lithuanian studies but also encourages researchers in Lithuania to advance their work. It seems that advancement will certainly be necessary for further publications, as the bar has been set quite high with this book.
— Arūnas Streikus (Vilnius University) in Knygų aidai, 2016 no. 4
Review: Before They Were Titans: Essays on the Early Works of Dostoevsky and Tolstoy

Before They Were Titans: Essays on the Early Works of Dostoevsky and Tolstoy edited with an introduction by Elizabeth Cheresh Allen was reviewed in Slavic and East European Journal vol 60.2 (Summer 2016)

The collective format works well for Before They Were Titans, allowing for the inclusion of disparate critical voices and approaches. The essays’ diversity in this regard is a strength of the volume and the resulting collection is a pleasure to read ... Thoughtfully selected, arranged and composed, these fresh readings of texrs showcase the vibrant experimentation and impressive literary scope of the young Dostoevsky and Tolstoy on their own terms. This early period of each writer’s oeuvre is often critically neglected, and Before They Were Titans comes as a welcome entry in both Dostoevsky and Tolstoy scholarship.
— Katherine Bowers, University of British Columbia, Slavic and East European Journal vol 60.2 (Summer 2016)