Russian Literary Journal Marks Waugh Anniversary

The Russian literary journal Inostrannaia Literatura (Foreign Literature) has devoted about two-thirds¬†of its April 2016 issue¬†to a collection of essays and translations relating to¬†Evelyn Waugh. This was¬†issued on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Waugh’s death. The cover is illustrated with a reproduction of Henry Lamb’s c.1929 portrait of Waugh. The collection is entitled “Literary Guide: A Half Century Without Waugh.” The introductory 10-page essay by Nikolai Mel’nikov is entitled “Znakomyi neznakomets” (literally “Familiar stranger”). There follow an approximately 50 page translation into Russian of Waugh’s 1930 travel book Labels (in Russian Nakleiki na chemodane) by Valerii Minushin (probably an excerpt) and a 60 page collection¬†of Waugh’s letters selected and translated by Alexander Livergant, with a commentary by Livergant and Mel’nikov. ¬†There are also¬†translations of (1) nine¬†of Waugh’s essays, articles and reviews, (2) the¬†1949 interview of Waugh by Harvet Breit in the New York Times and Waugh’s¬†1948 article entitled “The Gentle Art of Being Interviewed” (“Neprostoe iskusstvo davat’ interv’u“), and (3)¬†seven reviews and articles about Waugh by other writers, including George Orwell, Edmund Wilson and Gore Vidal. The contents of this issue in Russian may be viewed here.

Related to this special edition of Inostrannaia Literatura is an article in Russian posted on the website of Radio Svoboda¬†(“Radio Liberty”), the Russian language broadcasting service based in Prague and financed (at least in part) by the US government. This is dated 1 June 2016 and may be the transcript of a program broadcast on that date. The author is Konstantin L’vov but he refers to many of the translated materials from the Russian journal and includes a copy of the journal’s¬†cover page in the article. The article or program is entitled “Videl nravy mnogikh liudei” (literally “Saw the manners¬†of many people”) but bears the subtitle of the Inostrannaia Literatura¬†collection “A Half Century Without Waugh”).

Thanks to Ivar Dale for posting a link to the Radio Svoboda article on the Waugh Society’s Twitter feed.

UPDATE (28 June 2016): The introduction by Nikolai Mel’nikov to the recent collection of Waugh’s writings¬†in Russian translation is available on the internet here. It is in Russian but can be translated to a serviceable version on Google Translate. In it, he explains that most of Waugh’s fiction, in particular his novels, have been made available to Russian readers over the years,¬†beginning¬†in the Soviet period as early as 1969. His non-fiction has, however, not been widely translated into Russian, aside from a few selections from his letters and diaries and his autobiography. This¬†is why the editors of¬†Inostrannaia Literatura¬†have in their recent collection concentrated on Waugh’s travel writing, journalism and interviews.


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