Tuesday, January 01, 2013
This wonderful novella by Alexander Kuprin tells the story of the wrestler Arbuzov and his battle against a renowned American wrestler. Rich in detail and characterization, At the Circus brims with excitement and life. You can smell the sawdust in the big top, see the vivid and colorful characters, sense the tension build as Arbuzov readies to face off against the American.
Yet not only is this a wonderful work of fiction by one of Russia's finest 20th century writers, this fresh new translation by Lise Brody is presented in a bilingual edition (with accent marks), making it doubly valuable to students of Russian language and culture.
ALEXANDER KUPRIN (1870-1938) was a military officer, journalist and writer. At the heart of most of his works is the contradiction between people’s greatest hopes, their striving for purity, and the ugliness and severity of the life that surrounds them. After the 1917 revolution, Kuprin initially sought to reconcile with the new regime, yet soon joined with the Whites, editing a journal published by the staff of General Yudenich. After Yudenich’s defeat in 1919, Kuprin ended up in exile – for him a difficult and tragic time. He was very ill when, in 1937, one year before his death, he returned to the USSR.
LISE BRODY has translated critical works and literature by Elena Makarova, Ludmila Petrushevskaya, Tatiana Mamonova and others. She is on the faculty of the Interdisciplinary Arts program at Goddard College, and is also a choreographer and movement-based performance artist.