This event will be held virtually as a Zoom webinar and streamed via YouTube Live. There will be no in-person event.
Please join us for a discussion with translator Matvei Yankelevich, who will read his translation of Pushkin's 1830 play Feast During the Plague (Пир во время чумы). Professor Mark Lipovetsky (Slavic Department) will moderate the discussion.
Yankelevich writes: "Pushkin’s play has been on the minds of many Russian-speakers in the past month or two, even if they remember only its title, which has over the years come to be used metaphorically for any revelry in dark times. Reading the play, however, it is not so much about having a good time despite the doom that faces us, rather it’s an investigation into the ubiquitous human encounter with mortality, from which arises a condition I’d call hope-in-hopelessness. One might say it’s Shakespearean in its theme, recalling Macbeth’s grim encapsulation of life as a tale 'full of sound and fury, signifying nothing'—we each have our 'hour upon the stage.'"
Matvei Yankelevich edited and translated Today I Wrote Nothing: The Selected Writings of Daniil Kharms (Ardis/Overlook), and is the co-translator (with Eugene Ostashevsky) of Alexander Vvedensky's An Invitation for Me to Think (NYRB Poets), which received a National Translation Award. His most recent book of poetry is Some Worlds for Dr. Vogt (Black Square). He has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts for translation and the New York Foundation for the Arts for poetry, as well as a National Endowment for Humanities fellowship for a forthcoming translation of Osip Mandelstam's Voronezh Notebooks. He is a founding member of the Ugly Duckling Presse editorial collective and has curated UDP's Eastern European Poets Series since 2002. He teaches translation and book arts at Columbia University's School of the Arts and is a member of the Writing Faculty at the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College.