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Freedom From Violence and Lies

Essays on Russian Poetry and Music by Simon Karlinsky

Ed. by Hughes, Robert P. / Taruskin, Richard / Koster, Thomas A.

Series:Ars Rossica


Open Access

    Open Access
    eBook (PDF)
    Publication Date:
    December 2017
    Copyright year:
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    Aims and Scope

    Freedom from Violence and Lies is a collection of forty-one essays by Simon Karlinsky (1924–2009), a prolific and controversial scholar of modern Russian literature, sexual politics, and music who taught in the University of California, Berkeley’s Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures from 1964 to 1991. Among Karlinsky’s full-length works are major studies of Marina Tsvetaeva and Nikolai Gogol, Russian Drama from Its Beginnings to the Age of Pushkin; editions of Anton Chekhov’s letters; writings by Russian émigrés; and correspondence between Vladimir Nabokov and Edmund Wilson. Karlinsky also wrote frequently for professional journals and mainstream publications like the New York Times Book Review and the Nation. The present volume is the first collection of such shorter writings, spanning more than three decades. It includes twenty-seven essays on literary topics and fourteen on music, seven of which have been newly translated from the Russian originals.


    More ...

    Robert P. Hughes is professor emeritus of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the editor of the collected works of Vladislav Khodasevich and the author of numerous articles on modern Russian literature. Richard Taruskin is the Class of 1955 Professor of Music at the University of California, Berkeley, and the author of Stravinsky and the Russian Traditions (1996), Defining Russia Musically (1997), and the Oxford History of Western Music (2005). Thomas A. Koster is the assistant vice chancellor for capital programs and planning at the University of California, Berkeley.


    Polina Dimova (Oberlin College):
    “A loving tribute to Karlinsky by his colleagues at UC Berkeley who served as editors and translators, this wide-ranging volume offers a miscellany of his book reviews and articles on poetry and music never collected before. . . . Karlinsky’s reviews engage with major scholarly works on Russian poetry and music and present a unique document in the history of Russian studies in America and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Hughes, Koster, and Taruskin edit unobtrusively and expertly, updating Karlinsky’s critical apparatus in footnotes and commentaries so as not to render the reviews obsolete, and provide invaluable information and further quotations by Karlinsky to illuminate his intellectual legacy and the controversies surrounding his uncompromisingly incisive writing. . . . Karlinsky’s provocative thought, lucid writing, strong opinions, and biting wit make the volume a pleasure to read. In its vivid introductions to poets, Freedom from Violence and Lies will appeal to general readers interested in all things Russian, as well as to all students and scholars of Russian poetry, music, and culture.”

    Philip Ross Bullock (Wadham College, University of Oxford):
    “All of the essays have been lovingly and intelligently edited by Robert P. Hughes, Thomas A. Koster and Richard Taruskin. Not only do their commentaries situate Karlinsky’s work in the context of both his life and the field at the time. . . they also attest to the impact that Karlinsky had on them as a human being, a teacher and a scholar. . . Reading these incisive and invigorating essays, one encounters an individual unforgiving of crassness, stupidity and carelessness, yet appreciative of the creative potential of those who live their humanity fully and authentically."

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