Near Fine in Wraps: shows only the most minute indications of use: just a hint of wear to extremities; mildest rubbing. Binding square and secure; text clean. Very close to 'As New'. NOT a Remainder, Book-Club, or Ex-Library. 8vo. 227 pages. Translated by Antonina W. Bouis. Foreward by Kathleen Parthé. European Classics Series. First Edition Thus, Second Printing. Trade Paperback. Valentin Rasputin's "Farewell to Matyora" is an outstanding work of Russian literature that I highly recommend. Of course, such novels are better read in their native language, but for those of us who don't read Russian (I fortunately do! ), this novel may be one of the only English-language translations available and, as such, is a great boon. Valentin Rasputin has been called one of the most important voices of the post-Stalin era of Soviet literature. Indeed, it has been compared to Solzhenitsyn's masterpieces "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch" and "Matyora's Home." One of Rasputin's shining graces is that he openly exposes the inward charms of Russian character and culture. The story itself is about the destruction of a village to make way for a Soviet hydroelectric dam project. The dynamics between the older and younger members of the village and their feelings about their imminent departure from a place that has been home to them their whole lives forms the central conflict and interest of the novel. At the same time, the author reveals some of the deep-seated values about the relationship between man and nature that are key to Russian culture. The blurbs on the back of the novel had a statement that I wanted to share: "A haunting story with a heartfelt theme, `Farwell to Matyora' is a passionate plea for humanity and an eloquent cry for a return to an organic life." My strongest criticism of the novel is that the translator in many places seemed to come up short with ways to adequately portray the nuance and charm that are some of Rasputin's strongest charms in his native Russian. In many places the English translation did a very poor job of conveying the Russian meaning. I compared the Russian original to the English translation several times throughout the novel. I feel that the translator simply wasn't up to the task although I certainly don't think I could do a better one. Translation is an art, and, at that, a fickle one. One of my favorite little phrases that the translator decided to keep was "Japanese Gods, " which is a euphemism for cursing in Russian that a charming old codger of a character frequently repeats in his efforts to keep from actually cursing around another character that he considers is a "lady. Read "Farewell to Matyora" because it's a charming novel for a lover of Russian literature. I highly recommend it.
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