Category Archives: BOOKS

“I’m a freak because I have a fat belly”

Transition from childhood to adolescence is one of the most difficult moments in a person’s life. All of the following adult “crises” after that look childish prattle. It is no coincidence that writers so often turn to this subject, especially lately. Literary Explorer “” Natalia Kochetkova chose 4 books about teenagers and for teenagers and one a collection of poems for any number of years.

Frida Nilsson “Jagger, Jagger!” (translation of Ksenia Kovalenko, publishing house “Scooter”) 12+

“I’m a freak because I have a fat belly; fat; thick legs; fatty chin; too thick hair”, — says Bengt. The Bengt eight years, he has no friends (the kids in the yard poison him with the tacit connivance of adults), no brothers and sisters, but there are parents who have, however, also has no friends, but rather because of their self-sufficiency. And then one ugly day, when Bengt goes to the yard to empty the trash, and the kids lock him in a garbage shed, he met with Jagger. Jagger is a homeless guy. He’s actually a dog, but wears clothes and speaks a human language. The boy and the dog become friends and begin to take revenge on the offenders Bengt with cheerful ingenuity worthy of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn.

the Swedish writer Frida Nilsson, already known to Russian audiences for his books “the Ice Pirates sea” and “adopted Me a gorilla” is far from (almost inescapable) didacticism of children’s books about relationship, which is equally annoying to readers young and Mature. In their stories it is not based on ready-made formulas “were enemies became friends and went over the horizon holding hands” and avoid foil happy-ends, it is sincere respect. Although the book “Jagger, Jagger!” will end well. Just not as good as can be expected of even an experienced reader because the system threads that bind her characters is much more difficult.

Dog Jagger becomes an 8 year old boy someone like Carlson. He despises social conventions and at the same time perfectly understands them. He’s dashing and playful, in Bengt ceases to feel alone and allow yourself some time to become as “bad” as the neighborhood kids and give them a taste of their own medicine. The result is a series of events from the enemies of Bengt lost a sense of impunity for their actions, and a lonely boy finds friends. No, not among former offenders, but quite another community. And this is correct.

Sarah Pennypacker “pax” (translation N. Kaloshino, E. Konyshevoy, publishing house “Scooter”) 6+

Peter is a teenager. A few years ago he lost his mother. To cope with the loss he helped the orphaned Fox. The boy found a dead Fox buried her, and took home the only one of her surviving cubs. Since then, Peter and pax were inseparable. Paks learned to eat dry food, go crazy for peanut butter and bring a plastic soldier, like a dog. And now the boy’s father decides to go to war and comes exactly as their parents do not have to, if he wants his son not to hate: forcing Peter to leave the manual home of the beast in the woods. Of course, pretty soon yearning teenager secretly leaves home to find only native creature — Fox pax.

the Story of Sarah Pennypacker was named the best children’s book of the year 2016 according to Amazon, and it’s very predictable. “Pax” — “teen” in every sense of the book. Not only because her character “almost thirteen.” The way of organizing the art world — naive-kids, black and white, without halftones. There is a war waged by a poor, stupid adults. She destroys the forest, which hide the good children, animals and rare good adults who like children. Civilization is contrasted with the freedom and savagery, false — sincerity, chained the conventions of the adult wise child. All in the best traditions of Rousseau, even though it took a few centuries.

not Argue with it: the main characters for the good against the bad. But I want the depth and three-dimensionality, otherwise the characters look even cardboard boxes, and shadow puppets. However, such a contrast in tune with teenage maximalism, so it annoys adults and children read “pax” excitedly.

Ali Benjamin, “report on the jellyfish” (translated by Olga Varshaver, publishing house “Scooter”) 12+

Best friend Susie and Franny for several years were inseparable until puberty intervened. Now Franny is having lunch at the same table with the popular girls of the class, Susie tries to become invisible. Sooner or later everyone might have adjusted to, but during summer vacation, 12-year-old Franny drowned in the ocean. And Susie was left alone with his thoughts about the betrayal of former friends, guilt over the past quarrel and attempts to explain what happened misfortune.

Adults say that sometimes terrible things just happen for no reason. But the girl seems that it would be easier if it proves that it is a great swimmer Franny could not just drown — surely something happened. For example, it could kill the venom of a certain species of jellyfish, which is very toxic. Suzie gives some kind of vow of silence and for a few months ceases to communicate even with their parents, at the same time came to the large study on the species of jellyfish and their lives. She monitors the work of scientists working in marine fauna, and is going to fly to Australia to ask the local scholar all my main questions about jellyfish.

teen Researches in the field of natural science be simultaneously immersed in nature grow in life, awareness of self as maturing person, a reflection of the topic of self, human relationships and relationships with family. Susie and therefore silent, the depth can not open his mouth. But “emerges” it is because this story is already not a child, losing childishness on the way to the surface. Open to a new life and a new friendship.

Smart, slim, honest, sad and surprisingly accurate book that is going through the person who just stepped line between childhood and podrostkovogo.

Isabelle Arsenault, Fanny Britt “Louis among ghosts” (translated by Mikhail Khachaturov, publishing house “White crow”) 12+

Louis has a mother, father, younger brother, and first love. In principle, the first love is enough to make the teen lost sleep worrying how to approach the object of their affections, how to speak, how to make a gift before the long summer break. But the problem Louis not just that.

His parents some time living separately. He and his brother and mother in a city apartment with Windows on the noisy freeway. And dad is out of town. The fact that drinking dad starts right from the morning, then singing songs, and by evening he was already unconscious. Sometimes the father is the middle of the night drunk and banging on the door of the apartment where his family lives. Then in the morning, the mother red eyes, and she reads sons detailed lecture on hay fever. Sometimes the father tries to pull himself together and drink some time. Then Louis with his brother and parents really are like a normal family going on vacation, go shopping, parents are hugging. But the father soon breaks down.

Isabelle Arsenault and Fanny Britt wrote and drew (it’s a graphic novel) story about the moment in which touching the outer and inner life of man. In this case a teenage boy. Interestingly, at the level of the color solution, it looks like when Louis thinks about the problems of their parents, its a world of black and grey. And when meets his beloved, he becomes a Sunny yellow. The idea, of course, that a colour he never left even after many years.

Grigory Kruzhkov “lion came from behind the mountain” (illustration by Tatiana Kormer, publishing house “White crow”)

Kids dream to any the book would never end. But even a multi-volume history comes the ending. However, there is a literary series that can accompany the person literally from infancy to old age. Its author — Grigory Mikhailovich Circles.

About Grigory Kruzhkova we can say that he is a translator of Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, John Donne, Keats, and even a fair amount of classics. But it will not be the whole truth about him, because he is also a fine poet, writing their own original poems. You can say that it is “adult” poet and translator, but it is not quite accurate, because he also translates works for very young children, for example, the book of Michael Rosen’s “Going to catch a bear” according to the degree of seriousness and genius the result is, of course, Shakespeare for polytonality.

it turns Out that the poems and translations of Grigory kruzhkova, you can (and should) be read literally from zero to old age.

moreover, he published a collection of his original poems and translations, which definitely charming for all ages. The illustrations to it were done by the artist Tatyana Kormer. They say that the artist was looking for a long time. But Grigory Mikhailovich every time doubt. In particular, he said, “Well look, how can “grusi” paint like an ordinary pear?”

indeed. The difference it huge! It can be seen, at least in this small fragment of the same poem:

These grusito Grow trudnoslimAnd carefulTrad.But Surprisingly crowdedthe marketsWhere they are sold.

“The hype over leprechauns, rainbows and pots”

Say “Irish” and mentally continue: whiskey, coffee, setter, Terrier, wolfhound, dance. If you type in search box “Irish writer”, not without surprise, to read the names of those who in the minds of the Russian speaking readers of English are considered by the authors: James Joyce, Jonathan swift, Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett, George Bernard Shaw, Bram Stoker and others. The Irish culture is one of the oldest in Europe, and after 700 years of domination by England, the country regained its national identity much faster than it is in Russia after 70 years of the Soviet Union. As part of the literary project “the Hidden gold of the twentieth century” soon I will published two books of Irish authors who previously did not go entirely in Russian. The uniqueness of Irish history and culture and why the Irish are so similar to Russian, “the” said the translator Shashi Martynova.

Around since the days of Shakespeare Ireland — with assistance — begin to create an image, which is now called the “stage Irishman”. He first appeared in “Henry V”. This initiative was picked up by other playwrights. Then what began in the theatre, spilled over from the stage to the people, and the image of the Irishman who now resides in people’s heads, we largely owe the English dramatists, and the complicated relationship between England and Ireland and 700 year domination of the former over the latter.

In determining what is a “stage Irish”, I take the position of the prominent Irish thinker of the twentieth century Declan Kiberda who has dedicated his life (God give him health — he’s still alive) the study of world culture and history have created a Ireland. This “stage Irish” was invented by the English to England, the “other”: a collective figure of all that is England. Especially he was popular in the Victorian era.

at About that time, as in England the industrial revolution began, the English cultural space and mentality was pleased to consider himself effective, that is, not spending itself on emotions, fantasy and dreams. All dreaming the reality and its associated feelings are recognized as inefficient, unnecessary and relinquish far away. It is postulated that the English are the restraint, coldness, closeness — that still stereotypically associated with England. And the Irish is all the opposite.

In this sense, the maturing of culture is not very different from the human growing up. Especially in adolescence. Only a grown man can define himself as a self without denial. I have this and this, can and have achieved that and that. When we are small, we do not yet have accomplishments and failures, we have to define themselves using “I am not…”: I’m not John, not Peter and not Kate. And who are you? I don’t know. In this respect, England was in need of “another”, and before that, another hand — the neighbouring island. And he was all that England, like as not: undisciplined, lazy, quarrelsome, impulsive, emotional, sentimental. Looks like a classic conflict of physicists and poets. This set of qualities and entrenched Irish for a time.

somewhere in the middle of the nineteenth century and a little further, when in the industrialized England to a flood of migrant workers from Ireland, the Irish even best was that stereotype. Because when the person comes from a remote village (and Ireland is in the space not the city) to the city, he finds himself on another planet where there is nothing to do with the communal life which he led in the village. And then he offered a ready-made mask sort of village idiot — and he accepts it. We understand that even the village the Irish — sharp-witted, cunning, observant, sarcastic, demonstrating household acumen and the ability to survive in extreme circumstances. But this image was favorable, and the Irish, especially living in England, he for some time maintained, consciously or unconsciously.

Great famine of the mid-nineteenth century — fiction by its very enormity of the event in the history of Ireland, when 20 percent of the population died or left. It is clear that then there was a Second world, and the world has not yet seen this, but before the invention of weapons of mass destruction and without any epidemics of losing so many people simply because they there was nothing to eat, it was horrible. And I must say that the population of Ireland has not recovered to the previous level until now. Therefore, the tragedy of the Great famine of Ireland is relevant to this day and affect performance of the Irish about themselves, their position relative to the outside world and the more determined the passions in the period of the Irish revival at the turn of XIX-XX centuries, when the country finally gained its independence from England.

Later, in the twentieth century, on the background of the “stage Irishman” — a fun ostrozkogo gouging — there is a consumerist society with all this commercial hype around leprechauns, rainbows, pots of gold, dances like Lord of the Dance which have a rather indirect relation to the folk tradition. A country that has long been in poverty, have finally realized that the richness of its history, temperament (because without temperament in their terms will not survive — and the climate is not a fountain, and the history of the last 700 years is not conducive to relaxation) is all you can commercialize. This is the normal occupation of any European culture. Just among the European countries Ireland is so rich humanitarian, richer than almost any culture, not counting ancient.

it happened, in particular because Ireland has never been under Rome. Urban culture came to her not through those channels, through which it received in continental Europe. And organization of relations between people was not so, and hierarchical relationships in society was formed not under the pressure of Roman law and Roman order.

Ireland generally was very fractional — such Tver oblast, broken into areas about the size of Chertanovo. Each had its own king and its relationship with its neighbors. However, up until the arrival of the Anglo-Normans in the XII century it was all a single continuous cultural space is more or less uniform language (dialects was full, but people understand each other), a single of the old law, perhaps one of the oldest surviving legal systems on earth. It was founded on logic, because in Ireland there was neither punitive, nor the legislative power in the Roman sense of the word.

the Law was tradition, and tradition is law. Once in a while took place the meeting of the people of the Supreme king, was rendered by the court, were made precedentele amendment. And this ancient, unbroken for millennia tradition has created a unique culture that Irish people once the British left them alone, — have commercialized, and we now have all these leprechauns that in the mass consciousness connected with Ireland, matryoshka, balalaika, bears and snow — with Russia. However, we understand that “health” we, drinking, not talking, dolls each other give only a very big banter, and you have to be very specific PR-oriented person to wear a cap with a carnation in everyday life.

And now about why we came to publish in the Russian language authors who are not known to anyone. First, the great Irish writers of the level of Wilde, Shaw, Joyce, Beckett, O’casey, Yeats, Heaney — one way or another, to a greater or lesser extent translated into Russian. Another thing that few people realize that they’re Irish. They’re Irish. Despite the fact that the concept of islandscosta — it’s very, very difficult.

Why? Because Ireland — the same America, only in Europe. Until he began the conquest of the hemisphere, Ireland was the edge of Europe. Further — large water. Wave after wave of people who went to the West, ultimately rested on the limit — in Ireland. And there Napajedla a lot of people, so genetically the Irish are a mixture of Iberian Celts and continental Celts, Anglo-Saxons, Scandinavians. It is therefore reasonable to consider the possibility of those who considers himself an Irishman.

Inside Ireland from the XII-XIV centuries, the first wave of Anglo-Normans quickly adapted, assimilated, and these people, who were before of Cromwell, was called “old English” Old English. So they are considered absolute Irish, despite the fact that in the primeval history, they are not the Celts but the Anglo-Saxons and the Normans. But they had children, these children already spoke Irish, wore Irish clothes, singing Irish songs and were Irish, because their fathers married Irish women. And fosters the child’s mother, speaks to him in his language, so the child is Irish, no matter what his blood for the Pope. In this sense, a completely matriarchal history.

up To that time, England was Catholic, all who came to Ireland, became Irish. In this old, tough, fascinating culture, people fell with the head and dissolved in it. Because Anglo-Norman culture to that moment was 100 years old. This mixture of Anglo-Saxons and Normans was such a monster of Frankenstein, which has not yet realized itself as a separate self. And Ireland had already seven centuries were writing, they were a hotbed of European civilization, saved from the dark Ages, all of Catholic Europe, was the center of education. And in the VI-VIII centuries from Northern Europe to the South came a crowd of Catholic educators.

But in the Tudor period the situation has changed: England ceased to be Catholic, and the Irish become enemies, because they remained Catholic. And then this is were the conflict of the national-religious. On this basis, ideas about the Irish has changed, and politics in the nineteenth century equated islandscosta to Catholicism — that is, the cultural aspect has disappeared and the religious left, and the English Protestants, who considered himself Irish to the bone, had a hard time — writers in particular.

Now about the literature. Ireland has four Nobel prize winner for literature — Yeats, Shaw, Beckett, Heaney. And it’s the nation where just five million people. This is the first. Second, in their shadow, especially in the shadow of Joyce, grew up a huge literature, some of which, fortunately, exists in Russian. We would also like to emphasize.

Well, this year we decided to publish two authors who had a direct or indirect relation to the Irish Revival. First — Thomas O Kriging the book “the Islander”. He wrote in Irish, and Yuri Andreychuk translated it from the Irish, which is especially valuable because there is a tendency to translate Irish writers with English translations. Medieval Irish literature is translated into Russian long ago, but modern Irish literature written in the Irish language in Russian-speaking space almost does not appear. And we decided to start this campaign — not that of Napoleon, but some plans for a dozen books, translated from the Irish, we have.

More than two books a year, we will not do, because Yura [Andreychuk] master: Irish translate is not a sheep sneezed and Yura still teaching load. But I really want to show the Russian reader that the Irish language is not dead — it’s not Latin, and how a rich literature in the Irish language. And modernism and postmodernism in it. Irish literature, for historical reasons, more prone to small genre, rather than to the novel form. And “Ulysses”, in General, not very disguised collection of short stories, that does not detract from its merits, but it is important to understand that the entire tradition of Irish creativity in language organizes this literary space as a space of small forms: poetry, short stories, and drama. Although, you see, imagine readers and a set familiar to us novels.

Thomas O Kriging wrote a landmark biographical novel. O Kriging was born in the middle of the XIX century, about the Great famine, and lived a pretty long life already in the twentieth century. He lived on the island Blasket. This is such absolute reserve in terms of culture, language, relationships and other things. Blasetti, of course, went to the mainland — on the main island, about their business, but they have a specific all: clothing, gait, language, they stand out in the crowd. And when they were asked what kind of Irish like this, they said, we blasetti. Ireland, from their point of view, opopsel, modernized and vulgarities, and they were the old Testament.

Life on Blasket was cruel, dark, continuous surmounting, when the street was a week not to go out because the wind was knocking us down. Because the soil there is a stone covered with grass, and there is nothing but seaweed to the soil to fertilize. And the people on the island survived. Them out in the middle of the twentieth century were evacuated under the pretext that there the conditions for life, but in reality — that people from taxes evaded and was generally controlled. And now these Islands gradually converted into museums. In particular, Blanket.

And the inhabitant of the island with the filing of one of his friend slowly, a string of letters made up the autobiography. And spawned a backlash of autobiographical testimonies which were intended to fix leaving out the reality of this reserve: Blasket such memoirs appeared in addition to the two O Kraina. In the “Islander” is a very complicated Irish language, the specific dialect, Jura and him butted heads for almost a year. And reference the great machine.

“the Islander” by Thomas O Kraina — a true memoir, not fictionalized Ireland, unique document. There is another bonus: the novel “Singing Lazarus” Flanna of OBrien is largely a nod in the direction of the “Islander” and all memoir of the phenomenon of Blasket. But this is a parody not of the islanders themselves, but rather on sentimentalization this formation of literary expression. Overall it was a popular genre, because the Irish knew: nature goes, to fix it was valuable not only for nationalists, but even intelligent people — like the memory of the past.

the Second book — “the Irish weird tales” Jasa Stevens have such a specimen of the Gaelic Renaissance, with which we are familiar primarily on the works of Yeats, lady Gregory, and, to some extent, George Russell. People who were engaged in the revival of culture, collecting folklore, rebirth and stream collected through the theatre. Stevens single generation with Joyce, then retellings of mythological material was a fashionable thing, doing it is still O Grady, Sr., and then — Yates, Gregory and Stevens.

But what is remarkable Stevens is a fantastic sense of humor. If lady Gregory worked with the texts very meticulously, meticulously, it took ten stories and reworked, retold, and shifted. He pulled out of these texts are funny, ironic, mischievous, alive, blew them a patina of eternity. Any epic the reader is often inclined to treat with awe and boredom, because there are people with unclear motivation, they have differing values. Stevens have the book can give the Russian-speaking reader the opportunity to see the mythological timeless material a real life, living, laughter and poetry. Stevens in this sense, a translator between the times.

the bottom line is, we think, these two books will give the reader the opportunity to come into contact with the Gaelic time of the Renaissance — that is, the time when Ireland was radically redefined itself and has reinvented itself as we now see it, beyond the lurid stereotypes.