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A Reading of Osip Mandelstam in English, with Ilya Bernstein
September 24, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm PDT
Globus Books presents a reading of Osip Mandelstam’s poetry in English. Mandelstam is one of the dozen luminous names in Russian poetry. Mandelstam (1891–1938) began as one of the more original poets of the Russian avant-garde before the First World War, but his extraordinary growth as a poet over the next quarter-century set him a great distance apart from almost all of his contemporaries. By the 1930s he was writing the most memorable poems in the language. In English, Mandelstam has long been better appreciated for his biography than for his poetry. This is unfortunate: to his Russian admirers, the value of Mandelstam’s poetry owes nothing to whatever might be the value of his biography. These translations and the accompanying commentary will attempt to remedy that misvaluation.
Ilya Bernstein will present his recently published book of translations of Mandelstam, reading the poems, and interweavingly talking about them, their background, Mandelstam and his background, and the process of translating the poems into English.
Ilya Bernstein is a poet and translator. He was born in Moscow and came to the US as a child in 1980. A collection of his translations of Mandelstam, Osip Mandelstam: Poems (M-Graphics Press, 2020), has recently been published in a second, revised edition with a new, extended afterword on the poems. In addition to Mandelstam, he has translated the children’s writings of Daniil Kharms and edited Yevgeny Baratynsky: A Science Not for the Earth, Selected Poems and Letters (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2015). His own writings have appeared most recently in Stand, Arion, LVNG, and his poetry collections include Attention and Man (UDP, 2003) and Distances and Sounds (Ars Interpres, 2020).