The Essential Fictions

(Author) (Translator)

Product Details

Northwestern University Press
Publish Date
6.0 X 8.9 X 1.1 inches | 0.01 pounds

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About the Author

ISAAC BABEL (1894-1940) is best known for his short fiction, especially his tales about the Jewish gangsters of Odessa and the Cossacks of the Red Cavalry. A contemporary, Viktor Shklovsky, once described Babel as writing "in the same tone about the stars and gonorrhea." Babel was executed on Stalin's orders in 1940 in the wake of the Great Purge.
YEFIM LADYZHENSKY (1911-1982) began his career as a set designer, but devoted his life to painting after encountering Babel's fiction, which he described as having played for him "the same role that the Bible and myths did for a multitude of artists--a reason and a stimulus for expressing my feelings and experiences." When he emigrated from Odessa to Jerusalem in 1979, the Soviet government impounded his Babel-inspired paintings. To make up for their loss, he quickly completed the eighteen richly detailed drawings for Red Cavalry that are included in this volume.
VAL VINOKUR is an associate professor of literary studies, chair of liberal arts, and director of Jewish culture at The New School, where he also leads workshops in literary translation. He is the author of The Trace of Judaism: Dostoevsky, Babel, Mandelstam, Levinas (Northwestern University Press, 2008), and has translated several novels from the French with Rose-Myriam RΓ©jouis.