25 May 2012

Joseph Brodsky and the courageous couple who brought him to America – Carl and Ellendea Proffer | The Book Haven

"I met Michael Scammell years and years ago in London.  He was the vigorous, larger-than-life (or so he seemed to me) founding editor of the fledgling journal Index on Censorship, documenting censorship and freedom of expression around the world.
I was an acolyte performing insignificant editorial work in the cramped offices somewhere near Covent Garden – at least that’s where I recall the headquarters, though it must have moved several times since then.  Scammell, a critic and translator, was said to be working on something about Alexander Solzhenitsyn – the biography was published in 1985.
In 2002,  I republished his 1972 interview with the poet in Joseph Brodsky: Conversations – I remember his pleasant note  giving permission after I reintroduced myself.
So I read with interest his “Pride and Poetry”, in the current issue of The New Republic, which considers Lev Loseff‘s Joseph Brodsky: A Literary Life."

Continue to read here: http://bit.ly/JPOVMd

06 May 2012

A Second Birth / Второе рождение - Lev Loseff 15 June 1937 – 6 May 2009 / Лев Лосев 15 июня 1937 г. - 6 мая 2009 г.

A Second Birth

One day I came across a book, in a room
as clammy as a doctor’s ear,
where a monstrous purple cloud loomed—
growing, gasping, and grouchy—

and where they did anything but let the patient know
he had no pulse, no music.
Then along came the tuner, rummaged inside the piano,
extracted something dark,

and in a trice everyone was drenched in lilac,
cupola crosses were all aglow;
a new authority proclaimed to the populace
a golden manifesto:

that filaments of growing plants extend into the far,
while like a bird, the near hop-hops around.
And all the windows in the mirror caught fire
on the pages of that book I’d found.

(Translation © G.S. Smith)

«Второе рождение»

Я книгу нашел! Там в какой-то столовой,
прохладной, как ухо врача,
возилось чудовище тучи лиловой,
вспухая, вздыхая, ворча,

там сколько могли от больного скрывали,
что пульса и музыки нет.
Настройщик порылся, порылся в рояле
и вытащил черный предмет -

и вдруг окатило всех мокрой сиренью,
и вспыхнул на маковках крест,
и новые власти прочли населенью
такой золотой манифест,

что в даль протянулись растений волокна
и птицей запрыгала близь,
и все отраженные зеркалом окна
на книжной странице зажглись.