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Memories: From Moscow to the Black Sea (New…
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Memories: From Moscow to the Black Sea (New York Review Books Classics) (edição: 2016)

de Teffi (Autor), Robert Chandler (Tradutor), Anne Marie Jackson (Tradutor), Elizabeth Chandler (Tradutor), Irina Steinberg (Tradutor)1 mais, Edythe Haber (Introdução)

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Considered Teffi's single greatest work, Memories: From Moscow to the Black Sea is a deeply personal account of the author's last months in Russia and Ukraine, suffused with her acute awareness of the political currents churning around her, many of which have now resurfaced. In 1918, in the immediate aftermath of the Russian Revolution, Teffi, whose stories and journalism had made her a celebrity in Moscow, was invited to read from her work in Ukraine. She accepted the invitation eagerly, though she had every intention of returning home. As it happened, her trip ended four years later in Paris, where she would spend the rest of her life in exile.… (mais)
Membro:tkacz
Título:Memories: From Moscow to the Black Sea (New York Review Books Classics)
Autores:Teffi (Autor)
Outros autores:Robert Chandler (Tradutor), Anne Marie Jackson (Tradutor), Elizabeth Chandler (Tradutor), Irina Steinberg (Tradutor), Edythe Haber (Introdução)
Informação:NYRB Classics (2016), Edition: Illustrated, 296 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:russian literature, 2020, memoir

Detalhes da Obra

Memories: From Moscow to the Black Sea de Teffi

Adicionado recentemente porTomBurke, giovannaz63, biblioteca privada, efeltonf, tkacz, SassyLassy, homeless, sisilia9, Steve_Walker, thecaptivereader

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Exibindo 5 de 5
Born in St. Petersburg in 1872, Teffi’s first career had been brilliant: a feuillitoniste in the brittle, intelligent world of post-1905 Petersburg and Moscow, she met and was admired by the worlds of theater, literature, art, dance — and revolutionary politics.

The Bolsheviks lost all sense of humor, though, and Memories is an account of Teffi’s retreat from Moscow, autumn 1918, by train, cart, train again, through the border area between red- and white-Russian (administered by Germany), then on to Kiev, and (momentarily) French-occupied Odessa; then by ship to Sevastopol and Novorossiisk, with a quick train trip to Yekaterinodar; ultimately back to Novorossiisk for voyage (not described) to Constantinople. She is beset by war, unreliable transportation and housing, hunger, and disease; on every side people steal, disappear, are summarily shot. Her fame as playwright, columnist, and celebrity help her more than once; her manipulation of the men who hope to use her is admirable.

The handsome book, well translated by Robert and Elizabeth Chandler, Anne Marie Jackson, and Irina Steinberg, includes a useful map, notes explaining people and places and clarifying political and intellectual details of the time, but lacks index and, worse, chronology.

Teffi’s optimistic pragmatism and alert eye to absurdity bring Irène Némirovsky’s Suite française and Marta Hillers’s A Woman in Berlin to mind. But Némirovsky died soon after writing her book; Hillers renounced writing after hers: Teffi went on to a second, 30-year career in Paris after the journey described in Memories.

Memories contains an introduction by Edythe Haber, who subsequently produced a biography, Teffi: A Life of Letters and of Laughter: this should be very interesting — as should two collections of her Paris writins: Subtly Worded (stories), Pushkin Press, 2014, and Tolstoy, Rasputin, Others, and Me: The best of Teffi, New York Review Books, 2016. ( )
  pieterpad | Jan 30, 2020 |
Teffi was a famous and much-loved a writer in pre-revolutionary Russia. Lenin was a fan, though she was no fan of his, and so was the Czar. She wrote short, humorous pieces for left-wing magazines. Teffi had supported the first revolution, but not the subsequent Bolshevic revolution that overthrew the provisional government. This memoir describes her flight from Russia, ahead of the Bolshevic army. Initially she left for what she thought was a temporary sojourn in Odessa, where there was plenty of food, unlike Moscow and St Petersburg, comfortable accommodation, and the opportunity to perform readings of her work. She believed that the Bolsheviks would not endure, and had no idea that she was leaving Russia for ever.

Teffi writes lightly of tragedy. She observes dishonesty and betrayal with sardonic humour, and of barbarity with humanity, even compassion. Her lightness of touch is a counterpoint to the disasters she describes: people she last saw in a drawing room in St Petersburg executed for treason; gay and frivolous young men on their way fight and die for a doomed cause; the barbarity of the White colonel whose wife and children were tortured in front of him. Interspersed with the tragic episodes are the frivolous stories of actors and plays, new journals popping up overnight, women fitting in a last hair appointment before they flee.

The translation, by a string of people that includes Robert Chandler, flows well without jarring, and, as far as I can judge, does a good job of imparting Teffi's humour. ( )
  pamelad | Mar 8, 2018 |
Engrossing glimpse into the past ( )
  Faradaydon | Feb 26, 2017 |
For years I looked through Russian emigre journals from Paris and Harbin and San Francisco, able to read 30% of it, enough to know that everyone loved Teffi. But who's Teffi, what kind of a name is that. Finally this year, after some 90 years, Robert and Elizabeth Chandler together with Anne Marie Jackson and Irina Steinberg have completed the first English translation of Teffi's memoir of her long journey from Moscow to the Black Sea in the wake of the Russian collapse in World War I.

When the Bolsheviks withdrew from the war, they lost big chunks of the empire including Ukraine, and lost the whole infrastructure of the vast millenium-old empire. There was no food. Looting was the only way to survive. Dead horses were carved up for food. People were shot in the streets for looking bourgeois. And their watches, rings, and gold teeth were stolen. It was what we would call a failed state. Reasonable people thought that somehow reason would eventually prevail and order would be restored. It wasn't.

Teffi was in sympathy with democracy. She was a beloved writer, so loved there was a perfume named after her, and a type of chocolate. Tsar Nicolas II loved her writing, Lenin read everything she wrote, her plays attracted full houses, hipsters went to cabarets to hear her sing her songs. But she didn't have anything to eat in frozen St. Petersburg so she went to Moscow. Not much better. But she kept on writing and singing and performing. Even hungry people want to be entertained.

But it was getting dicey. A wiley impressario named Gooskin promised her part of the take if she'd give readings in Ukraine, nominally independent, and full of people in need of entertainment. He promised her the best room at the London Hotel in Odessa, or maybe the International. Gooskin, not his real name, saved her life. There was food in Kiev. But then she had to extract herself from Gooskin who wanted her as a trophy to bring home to his mother in Odessa, so she bought out her contract and then got swept on to Odessa anyway where people wanted to be entertained.

No one really knows how many refugees were expelled during the Russian Revolution and Civil War, maybe one million, maybe three. Some went through Europe, some through Turkey, some through China. They all loved Teffi. She wrote about their experience. "Here I am dancing around in the rain with no idea whom to bribe." -- "No one was getting searched or shot. It all felt very cosy." She lurched on trains through Ukrainian war zones with Petliura and Skorapadski competing with Germans and Bolsheviks. She didn't know where she would sleep at night. She didn't know whether she'd have anything to eat.

Through all of this, she was enchanted by her fellow refugees. Especially the ladies she calls Edelweiss, after the flower that blooms on icy glaciers where nothing else can live. These ladies shared information on where to get velvet curtains for making ballgowns during the emigration, just like Scarlet O'Hara. (I knew a Russian emigre lady who said they would never ever appear in an off the rack dress at a party, just because people were getting shot was no excuse to be badly dressed.)

She is willing to do what it takes. The lady who provides the travel pass from Moscow needs to be flattered. She is a Bolshevik with an elaborate coiffure. (Probably Olga Kameneva, Trotsky's sister who was shot in 1941.) And Teffi flatters that guy in the stolen boots, ooh such beautiful boots, only a great man has such boots...and gets her travel pass.

She goes to Odessa, but the Bolsheviks are coming, she wants to go to Vladivostok, that's her Russia where people can read what she writes. But the ship is not seaworthy and she's stuck in a port city called Novorossisk. Here she sees a tent city of Armenia refugees, worse off than the Russians. She is in demand in a nearby city where the White General Denikin wants to be entertained. She is a trooper. She entertains, bows, and then leaves Russia forever. Goes back to the port. The Armenians are gone. She gets on a ship to Constantinople never to see her beloved Russia ever again. (And what of the Armenians....???)

She writes this memoir as a tribute to ordinary people, although there is namedropping on absolutely every page. There is the hopeless idealist Olyonushka a vegetarian who cannot bear to eat meat, but steals bits off the plates of others. Olyonushka somehow is in love with Vladimir but thinks she should marry Dmitri because he is so helpless. But she somehow finds happiness.

Some people manage. Even in a failed state. There is a recurring theme of gemstones. Teffi likes rocks. One man has a black opal ring. He does not survive so well. But a sooty grimy stoker on the refugee ship starts to talk with Teffi. He reminds her of a yellow sapphire. What? The yellow sapphire? This proletarian had been at one of her soirees in St. Petersburg before the apocalypse, and enjoyed an evening discussing the fire in rare stones. Now he doesn't want her to reveal his aristocratic roots. But he remembers the real Russia. And he will survive.

Now I know why everyone love Teffi. I do too. ( )
1 vote ElenaDanielson | Aug 3, 2016 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Teffiautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Chandler, ElizabethTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Chandler, RobertTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Haber, Edythe C.Introduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Jackson, Anne MarieTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Steinberg, IrinaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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Teffi, commenting in 1918 on the savage civil war that was decimating the Russian Empire in the wake of the October 1917 Revolution, put the blame squarely on the devil. (Introduction)
Moscow. Autumn. Cold.
The articles and sketches Teffi wrote during the years 1917-19 are gradually being republished. (Appendix: The Last Breakfast)
Memories was first published, in installments, between December 1928 and January 1930, in Paris, in the Russian-language newspaper Vozrozhdenie. (Translator's Note)
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Considered Teffi's single greatest work, Memories: From Moscow to the Black Sea is a deeply personal account of the author's last months in Russia and Ukraine, suffused with her acute awareness of the political currents churning around her, many of which have now resurfaced. In 1918, in the immediate aftermath of the Russian Revolution, Teffi, whose stories and journalism had made her a celebrity in Moscow, was invited to read from her work in Ukraine. She accepted the invitation eagerly, though she had every intention of returning home. As it happened, her trip ended four years later in Paris, where she would spend the rest of her life in exile.

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