The Death of Vazir-Mukhtar

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Product Details

$19.95  $18.55
Columbia University Press
Publish Date
5.6 X 8.3 X 1.4 inches | 1.65 pounds

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About the Author

Yury Tynyanov (1894-1943) was an influential literary historian, critic, translator, and theoretician of the cinema. He was a leading member of the formalist school of literary theory before achieving renown as a writer of historical fiction. His works include two other literary biographical novels, on Pushkin and Küchelbecker, as well as several shorter works of historical fiction.

Anna Kurkina Rush and Christopher Rush previously translated Tynyanov's Young Pushkin: A Novel (2007).


Together with Shklovsky and Jakobson, Tynyanov was the face of Russian formalism--the premier student of Romanticism. His historical novels draw on the extensive wealth of archival materials he acquired as a critic. Tynyanov's novel is a must-read!--Peter Steiner, author of Russian Formalism: A Metapoetics
Tynyanov's novel transforms the life of writer-diplomat Alexander Griboedov into the death of the author as such, dispersed discursively even as he is dismembered physically, through bureaucratic manipulation, high-society intrigue, diplomatic complicity, and social oblivion. This book recasts the familiar story of the martyred Russian writer, anticipating by a century the fate of Soviet intellectuals whose life and work would be subsumed by the state.--Harsha Ram, author of The Imperial Sublime: A Russian Poetics of Empire
The well-known formalist literary scholar Yury Tynyanov was a master of form. In bracing prose style, his novel The Death of Vazir-Mukhtar dives deeply into the life of the Russian poet Alexander Griboedov and Russian cultural and political history. This translation by Anna Kurkina Rush and Christopher Rush brings the reader every unexpected turn of Griboedov's life and thoughts.--Sibelan Forrester, translator of Vladimir Propp's The Russian Folktale
Another fine rendition...with a splendid introduction by Angela Brintlinger and helpful supplementary material identifying people and allusions unfamiliar to the nonspecialist. A brilliant thinker and a splendid writer, Tynyanov deserves to be better known.--Gary Saul Morson "New York Review of Books "
Using meticulous research to fuel his imagination, [Tynyanov] endowed his characters with emotional lives rarely found in archives. The Death of Vazir-Mukhtar, first published in 1928, is a fine specimen of this technique . . . The text is full of fragmentary hints, deftly preserved in all their ambiguity by the translators, Anna Kurkina Rush and Christopher Rush, who leave the reader to decode the author's messages.--Anna Aslanyan "Los Angeles Review Books "
[This] crisp new English translation of this dazzling and erudite novel by Anna Kurkina Rush and Christopher Rush . . . underscores Tynyanov's signal achievement . . . Readers with an interest in Russian history and literature, or a more general interest in how the Great Game was played in the 19th century, will likely find The Death of Vazir-Mukhtar riveting.--Richard Byrne "The Wilson Quarterly "
The Death of Vazir-Mukhtar is grand novel rooted in the old Russian tradition -- but also in much of the new, a work that is also experimental, a work of the 1920s Soviet Union when Russia was in similar ferment and people faced similar crossroads. Tynyanov's modernism is far removed from the writing of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, yet achieves similar sweep and detail; grounded in the historical, it nevertheless avoids being dryly documentary.--M.A. Orthofer "Complete Review "
[G]ripping and gratifying, if not quite easy, reading. The translators wrestle skilfully with an unruly original, and we are lucky to have ringside seats.--Boris Dralyuk "Times Literary Supplement "