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Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk and Other Stories…
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Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk and Other Stories (Penguin Classics) (edição: 1988)

de Nikolai Leskov (Autor), David McDuff (Autor)

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1102189,159 (4)2
"Stifled by her marriage of convenience to a man twice her age, the young Katerina Lvovna goes yawning about the house, missing the barefoot freedom of her childhood, until she meets the feckless steward Sergei Filipych. Sergei proceeds to seduce Katerina, as he has done half the women in the town, not realising that her passions, once awoken, will attach to him so fiercely that Katerina will stop at nothing to keep hold of him." "Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk is an unsettling tale of a woman's struggle for happiness and control in the midst of a society that watches, constrains and judges her. The simple and dramatic plot inspired Shostakovich's acclaimed opera of the same name, whilst in Katerina herself, whose unselfconscious passion and calculating brutality is narrated in startlingly detached detail, Leskov has created an anti-heroine of almost superhuman stature and compelling intensity who now stands as one of the archetypes of European literature."--BOOK JACKET.… (mais)
Membro:LSPopovich
Título:Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk and Other Stories (Penguin Classics)
Autores:Nikolai Leskov (Autor)
Outros autores:David McDuff (Autor)
Informação:Penguin Classics (1988), 432 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:to-read, penguin-classics, short-story-colection

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Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk and Other Stories de Nikolai Leskov

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“In these parts one occasionally comes across individuals of such character that, no matter how many years may have passed since one’s last encounter with them, one can never recall them without experiencing an inward tremor. An example of this type was Katerina Lvovna Izmailova, a merchant’s wife who once enacted a drama so awesome that the members of our local gentry, taking their lead from someone’s light-hearted remark, took to calling her ‘Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk.’”

—"Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk” by Nikolai Leskov

Wow. The opening did not fail the story and this story did not fail the collection. I’m not sure how I’ve made it nearly forty-four years without reading Leskov, but I’m grateful to discover yet another Russian author’s oeuvre I can dig into over the next years that I hope to be graced with (although, it would be a perfectly Russian literary ending to die part-way through the next novel). His work smacks more of Gogol than anyone else I’ve read: its experimentation (he’d invented a type of Russian to mimic Greek for “Pamphalon the Entertainer”—untranslatable, of course), its varied use of style and form (philosophical and suspenseful and absurd and epic and . . . ), its believable psychology within stories that could be too fantastic in less capable hands. It also has shadows of Chekhov in the faithful representation of Russian peoples from nearly every class.

“Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk” is thrilling and unsettling and has a whopper of an ending that makes me absolutely itch for the film adaption. “Pamphalon the Entertainer” rivals Hesse’s “Siddhartha” philosophically, and maybe supersedes it emotionally. I was moved by the stylite’s interaction with a humble yet flamboyant (somehow it doesn’t seem like a contradiction) citizen of Damascus, and yet have lost any real compulsion toward the religious myself—at the very least, religious redemption expounded in Christian theology. Yes, like Michael Stipe (Stylite?), I’ve also lost my . . . and that leads me to another story about isographers (essentially, icon-painters): “The Sealed Angel”. Its methodical description of the different styles of sacred art with technical details so exacting that it warranted over three pages of endnotes somehow didn’t detract, but in fact heightened the theft of the “angel” of the story and its subsequent restoration and ultimate forgery. I was impelled to interrupt the wife’s nighttime reading with a page and a half of painstaking depiction of that reparation and she didn’t seem annoyed. Score for Leskov!

I own another work of the author’s that I hadn’t known was his. Man, those Russians are the kings of concealment, waiting on shelves, wedged between more brightly jacketed books, lying in that nondescript Penguin Classics black with white font, and then . . . BOOM! They pop out from nowhere. Balaclavas and Kalashnikovs and heavy cassocks and cyberattacks blaring. Another score for Leskov!

From this volume’s introduction I learned that Leskov was riffing on Turgenev’s “Hamlet of the Shchigrovsky District” which was riffing on Shakespeare, as was Leskov, and then Turgenev publishes “King Lear of the Steppes” riffing on . . . himself? I’m kind of lost, but enjoying the music nonetheless. It’s all Graeco-Russian to me. ( )
  ToddSherman | Aug 23, 2017 |
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"Stifled by her marriage of convenience to a man twice her age, the young Katerina Lvovna goes yawning about the house, missing the barefoot freedom of her childhood, until she meets the feckless steward Sergei Filipych. Sergei proceeds to seduce Katerina, as he has done half the women in the town, not realising that her passions, once awoken, will attach to him so fiercely that Katerina will stop at nothing to keep hold of him." "Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk is an unsettling tale of a woman's struggle for happiness and control in the midst of a society that watches, constrains and judges her. The simple and dramatic plot inspired Shostakovich's acclaimed opera of the same name, whilst in Katerina herself, whose unselfconscious passion and calculating brutality is narrated in startlingly detached detail, Leskov has created an anti-heroine of almost superhuman stature and compelling intensity who now stands as one of the archetypes of European literature."--BOOK JACKET.

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