Cardinal Points, vol. 8

CP8 Cover.jpg

Last year’s volume of Cardinal Points included a “special focus” on the prose of poet Elena Shvarts (1948-2010). If this year’s volume, now available from Amazon in paperback and Kindle versions, has a special focus, it is on émigré writing. I was very proud to include the work of Yuri Felsen (1894-1943) and V. S. Yanovsky (1906-1989), two leading — and quite different — voices of the post-Revolutionary Russian emigration. Both authors were featured in Bryan Karetnyk’s indispensable anthology Russian Émigré Short Stories from Bunin to Yanovsky (2017). Here, Bryan presents an excerpt from Felsen’s first novel, Deceit (Obman, 1930), and Alexis Levitin, Yanovsky’s stepson — who is himself an accomplished translator from the Portuguese — shares his mother’s translations of two of Yanovsky’s stories. Other highlights include the first English translation of Marina Tsvetaeva’s verse play Fortune (Fortuna, 1919) by Maya Chhabra, Dmitri Manin’s phenomenally inventive renditions of poems by Nikolay Zabolotsky (1903-1958) and Alexander Galich (1918-1977), and fascinating essays on the translator’s art (with samples) by Stephen Capus and Stephen Pearl. Below is the full table of contents, including this year’s winning entries in the annual Compass Translation Award, which was dedicated, for the first time, to a living poet — Maria Stepanova. As usual, I thank my brilliant co-editor, Irina Mashinski, as well as Brown University’s Department of Slavic Studies.


Yuri Felsen, An Excerpt from Deceit (trans. from the Russian by Bryan Karetnyk)
Delia Radu, An Excerpt from The Book of Becoming Mothers
Ian Ross Singleton, An Excerpt from Odessitka
V. S. Yanovsky, “Our Hospital” (trans. from the Russian by Isabella Levitin)
V. S. Yanovsky, “The Adventures of Oscar Quinn” (trans. from the Russian by Isabella Levitin)


Innokenty Annensky, Three “Trefoils” from The Cypress Chest (1910) (trans. from the Russian by Devon Miller-Duggan and Nancy Tittler)
Alexander Blok, The Twelve (trans. from the Russian by Betsy Hulick)
Marina Eskina, “How We Buried You I Don’t Remember” (trans. from the Russian by Ian Ross Singleton)
Alexander Galich, “The Mainland Queen: A Labor Camp Ballad Written in a State of Delirium” (trans. from the Russian by Dmitri Manin)
Ben Holland, “The Queen of Spades: A Ballad Adaptation of Alexander Pushkin’s Short”
Story Patrick Meighan, “Slovinky, I and II”
Slava Nurgaliev, “The game of soccer, the unfinished” (trans. from the Russian by Yevgeniy Sokolovsky)
Gerard Sarnat, “Don’t Tread on Me”
Marina Tsvetaeva, Four Poems from 1922 (trans. from the Russian by Mary Jane White)
Nikolay Zabolotsky, Three Poems from Columns (trans. from Russian by Dmitri Manin)


Marina Tsvetaeva, Fortune (trans. from the Russian by Maya Chhabra)

The Art of Translation

Stephen Capus, “Rhyme and Reason in the Poetry of Georgy Ivanov”
Stephen Pearl, “‘Malinovka Heights’: Ruminations on Translating Ivan Goncharov’s Obryv

Alexander Veytsman, Compass Competition Director

Maria Stepanova, in translations by Dmitri Manin, Zachary Murphy King, and Jamie Olson

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