Chtenia

Each of the 40 volumes of Chtenia has a theme, and all readings in the volume revolve around that theme. 

01: The Hearts of Dogs

01: The Hearts of Dogs

Where else do we find so many instances of dogs invested with human-like powers of thought and feeling and in Russian literature? Dogs which are not simply house pets, but friends, relatives and confidantes.

02: Three Russian Springs

02: Three Russian Springs

Spring is the season of rebirth, of love and, sometimes, of political change. This issue celebrates spring's arrival with a rich collection of stories, poetry, photos and nonfiction that explores the eternal mysteries of renewal and hope.

03: On the Road

03: On the Road

The road is a favorite subject in Russian literature, spanning all eras and genres. This should not be surprising in a country where huge expanses are paired with such miserable byways, where any journey can turn into a major event with unexpected consequences.

 

04: Childhood

04: Childhood

"Childhood, along with two or three years of youth, is the fullest, most exquisite part of life, the part that is most our own, and, indeed, almost the most important, for it imperceptibly shapes our future." – Alexander Herzen 

05: Winter Holidays

05: Winter Holidays

Oh, how Russian Literature loves winter... it is a time when wishes come true, when families gather together, when everything in the home is transformed because, in one room, there is an evergreen, full of  shimmering decorations, filling the home with its glorious aroma.

09: Gogol Mogul

09: Gogol Mogul

This collection focuses on heirs to Nikolai Gogol, an agonizing and painful love for Russia, from which there is no deliverance... Gogol formed us, educated us, made us, and we can now read and view Gogol with pleasure... and laugh...

07: To the Caucasus

07: To the Caucasus

To Russian literature, the Caucasus is a place of adventure... a wild, untamed region where those spoiled by civilization collide with virginal nature, with people who live simple, self-reliant lives... it is a territory of freedom, meaning free will... a place where poets and writers have found shelter...

08: Love a la Russe

08: Love a la Russe

There are many types of love, and sometimes they assume a form that is not immediately recognizable... 

09: Beyond the Urals

09: Beyond the Urals

Russian literature only truly noticed Siberia in the nineteenth century, and primarily as a place of exile... Gradually, however, Russian writers began to recognize a different Siberia: a richly forested Siberia where hunters roamed, a Siberia filled with villages tended by Russian settlers...

10: Hope Dies Last

10: Hope Dies Last

Russian literature has so many lonely, despairing heroes whose lives have been ruined, that it seems like one cannot even begin to speak of things like hope... But of course things are not so simple...

11: Dacha Life

11: Dacha Life

For well over a century, Russian city dwellers have been attracted to dacha life for the autonomy, solitude and peace it has to offer. So it is no accident that so many works of Russian literature take place in dachas – this is where people feel freer, where they open up more quickly.

12: Chekhov Bilingual

12: Chekhov Bilingual

This special 168-page issue is bilingual and includes some of Chekhov's most beloved stories, including "the little trilogy"; an extract from "The Seagull"; Chekhov's own favorite story; plus the earliest version of Bunin's memoir about Chekhov, full of wonderful first person reportage on the writer's habits and manner.

 

13: Luck

13: Luck

What is luck (udacha) in Russian culture? That which you constantly expect, but which does not always arrive.

14: Provincial Life

14: Provincial Life

This collection of stories, poems and photos offers an offbeat, intimate view of provincial town life in Russia. Featuring contributions by classic and modern writers, including recent award winners. 

15: Summer

15: Summer

A look at Russian summer featuring an eclectic collection of stories by writers both classic and modern, including two Fyodors, one Afanasy and one Maximilian, as well as one Irina, one Marina, and a Tamara and a Nikolai thrown in for good measure...

16: Wisdom and Wit

16: Wisdom and Wit

We didn't have to go far to find plenty of selections about Wisdom and Wit in the rich body of Russian literature. The challenge was selecting just the right combination.

17: Sport

17: Sport

This issue devoted to the theme of sport is far from what you'd normally expect of sports writing, including memoirs, history, the most famous horse race in Russian literature, and a scifi tale.

18: Other Worlds

18: Other Worlds

This issue focuses on the rich array of worlds we populate, from those immediately apparent to those less obvious. Selections include everything from science fiction to poetry to fiction centered in Central Asia and Khrushchev's Moscow.

 

19: Horse Power

19: Horse Power

Our theme is "Horse Power," in which every tale and memoir has to do with that noble friend. There are tales of work horses, race horses, war horses and little humpbacked horses. And always it is their interaction with and affect on us humans that makes the tale so poignant, powerful and classic. 

 

20: Tolstoy Bilingual

20: Tolstoy Bilingual

Meet the Tolstoy you never knew! This compact, yet surprisingly broad look at the life and work of Tolstoy spans from one of his earliest stories to one of his last, looking at works that made him famous and others that made him notorious.

21: Dark and Scary

21: Dark and Scary

Everyone loves a good scary story told in the dark... So we have collected some of the great ones from Russian literature past and present, including some that purport to be true (let's hope not!).

22: Spies and Imposters

22: Spies and Imposters

History is filled with tales of spies, infiltrators, informers and imposters. We mine Russian and Soviet literature to present a collection that is must-reading for devotees of the genre and lovers of all things Russian. 

23: Women Writing

23: Women Writing

Sampling the diverse styles and subjects of modern Russian women writers, underscoring their supreme relevance to American readers. 

24: Dostoyevsky Bilingual

24: Dostoyevsky Bilingual

Including a series of short, lesser known, but highly significant works that show the traditional view of Dostoyevsky as a dour, intense, philosophical writer to be uneccesarily one-sided. 

25: Storied Moscow

25: Storied Moscow

We devote our pages to Moscow, with stories, memoirs, poetry and song that focus on the city itself. From lyrical tributes to some of the oldest traveler's memoirs, to stories of murder, childhood, NEP and thievery, this is one of our most eclectic, exciting issues ever.

 

 

26: Springtime in Paris

26: Springtime in Paris

A look back at the life and work of Russian emigre writers, poets, artists and non-artistic types in Paris after the Bolshevik Revolution. It is a colorful, fascinating look at the nature and effects of exile.

 

27: The War to End All

27: The War to End All

A poignant collection of poems, stories and memoirs from World War I, often called Russia's "forgotten war."

28: Superfluous Men

28: Superfluous Men

Superfluous men do not fit into society, they battle against fate and often try to impose foreign ideals onto their community. And they have been with Russia from the beginning of its modern existence.

29: Leningrad Under Seige

29: Leningrad Under Seige

Mainly memoirs, this issue looks at what it meant to be a conscientious writer in the Soviet Union, and Leningrad in particular. The pieces are full of poignant memories, insightful humor and powerful emotions. Almost all of the works in this issue are translated into English for the first time, and many of the authors have never before been translated into English.

30: Science Fictions

30: Science Fictions

An eclectic sampler of some of the best scifi produced during the Soviet and post-Soviet eras. From scientific experiments gone wrong, to space travel, utopianism and social experimentation, this collection has it all.

 

31: Okudzhava Bilingual

31: Okudzhava Bilingual

Bulat Okudzhava was the king of the Russian bards. Now 19 of his poems/songs and 9 autobiographical sketches are presented in our popular bilingual format, with English and Russian on facing pages. 

32: Musical Writing

32: Musical Writing

Any author who chooses to write about music faces an immense task. The most abstract of all arts, music forces the writer to put into words and descriptions – much more concrete things by comparison – its ephemeral nature.

33: Military Tales

33: Military Tales

This issue of Chtenia collects stories of war and combat from some of the earliest days of Russian history to the current day.

34: Treasure Hunting

34: Treasure Hunting

This issue takes you on a multi-century romp through Russian literature in search of treasure. From bells hidden on a dilapidated estate, the long lost library of Ivan the Terrible, a son's coveting of his father's treasure (a la Pushkin) to the little treasures held close to a girl's heart... 

35: Gypsies

35: Gypsies

In Russia, Gypsies were admired precisely because they lived by their own code of honor, their own customs and traditions, and were always ready to give in to their natural passions. They were a great contrast to the Russians – or, rather, they exemplified what the Russians secretly wanted to be.

36: Bulgakov

36: Bulgakov

This issue showcases the abilities of one of the twentieth century's finest writers, Mikhail Bulgakov, a literary chameleon able to work in an impressive variety of genres against a rapidly changing political background. 

 

37: The Year 1917

37: The Year 1917

A look at the world 100 years ago, through memoirs, poetry and fiction that recapture what artists, politicians, soldiers, and citizens were thinking and experiencing as events unfolded – all written or published as close to 1917 as possible. 

38: Happiness

38: Happiness

A great deal of Russian literature is chiefly about the pursuit of happiness. What Raskolnikov, Karenina, Pechorin, Chichikov, and many other prominent characters in Russian literature share is a longing for something better, for a contented, full life. But, like most great creations of literature, they are also deeply flawed...

39: Turgenev Bilingual

39: Turgenev Bilingual

The author of masterful short stories, plays, novellas and novels, Ivan Turgenev seemed to have a particular gift for writing about nature and about social iniquities. He also seemed to have a unique ability for attracting controversy.

 

40: Fall

40: Fall

Our final issue of Chtenia looks at the season of transition into winter, and how it has made its appearance in Russian literature and memoirs.

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