Posts Tagged ‘Dostoyevsky’
Vladimir Putin has often insisted that fertility is key both to Russia’s internal security and to Russia becoming more influential on the global stage. More specifically, he’s been enjoining his countrymen (and women) to have three children per family.
Now (The Moscow Times reports), in support of this thrust, Putin has enlisted that most potent of aphrodisiacs, sweet soul music… in the persons of the Wanya Morris, Shawn Stockman, and Nathan Morris– AKA, Boyz II Men.
As we slip into something more comfortable, we might spare a thought for Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky; he died on this date in 1881. The author of eleven novels (including Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, and The Brothers Karamazov), three novellas, seventeen short novels, and three essays, Dostoyevsky is considered one of the greatest “psychologists” in world literature– and the cartographer of the Russian soul.
From Matador Networks, “20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words from Around the World,” from…
Russian – Vladimir Nabokov describes it best: “No single word in English renders all the shades of toska. At its deepest and most painful, it is a sensation of great spiritual anguish, often without any specific cause. At less morbid levels it is a dull ache of the soul, a longing with nothing to long for, a sick pining, a vague restlessness, mental throes, yearning. In particular cases it may be the desire for somebody of something specific, nostalgia, love-sickness. At the lowest level it grades into ennui, boredom.”
Portuguese – One of the most beautiful of all words, translatable or not, this word “refers to the feeling of longing for something or someone that you love and which is lost.” Fado music, a type of mournful singing, relates to saudade. (Altalang.com)
* “Translation is the art of failure.” – Umberto Eco
As we console ourselves that, as Robert Frost observed, “poetry is what gets lost in translation,” we might recall that Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky, author of Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamozov, and a master– perhaps the master– of “toska,” was born on this date in 1821 (in the “old style” calendar, adjusted to January 1 on the Julian calendar; his birth date is November 11 on the unadjusted Russian version of the Gregorian calendar.)