Portraits Without Frames | Granta

  • Published: 15/11/2018
  • ISBN: 9781783784714
  • 135x20mm
  • 272 pages

Portraits Without Frames

Lev Ozerov

Translated by Robert Chandler, Boris Dralyuk

Lev Ozerov’s finest book, Portraits Without Frames comprises fifty intimate, skillfully crafted accounts of meetings with important figures, ranging from fellow poets Anna Akhmatova and Boris Pasternak, to prose writers Isaac Babel and Andrey Platonov, to artists and composers Vladimir Tatlin and Dmitry Shostakovich. It is both a testament to an extraordinary life and a perceptive mini-encyclopedia of Soviet culture. Composed in delicate, rhythmic free verse, Ozerov’s portraits are like nothing else in Russian poetry.

We learn about Soviet history, as well as enjoying impressive translations of the biographical poems

Peter Lawson, Jewish Chronicle

Attention. That word rings over and over through the poem-filled pages. This gentle attention is what makes the collection such a treasure

Alisa Goz, Russian and Culture

Besides the enjoyment of reading the poems for their own sake, this book offers a valuable supplement to the frequently all too brief biographical details provided by the more conventional resources

East-West Street Magazine

The Author

Lev Ozerov (1914-1996), born Lev Goldberg, was a poet and literary critic of Jewish Ukrainian origin, and a prominent name in Soviet literature in his day. He is justly celebrated for his efforts to preserve the creative heritage of poets of his own generation who perished in the years of Stalinist repressions.

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The Translator

Robert Chandler’s translations from Russian include many works by Alexander Pushkin, Vasily Grossman and Andrey Platonov. He has also compiled three anthologies for Penguin Classics: of Russian short stories, of Russian magic tales and, with Boris Dralyuk and Irina Mashinski, The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry. He is a co-translator of three volumes of memoirs and stories by Teffi and has published a short biography of Pushkin. His recent co-translation of Vasily Grossman’s STALINGRAD received the Modern Language Association’s Lois Roth Award for translations from any language and has been shortlisted for four other prizes. Teaching is increasingly important to him, and – in normal times – he runs a monthly translation workshop at Pushkin House (Bloomsbury).

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Lev Ozerov on Granta.com

In Translation | The Online Edition

Fyodor Denisovich Konstantinov

Lev Ozerov

‘A piece of boxwood, gripped in a vise, / waits on the workbench for his knife.’ Poetry by Lev Ozerov, translated from the Russian by Boris Dralyuk, and introduced by Robert Chandler.