Field-Russia

Overview

The central work by the world-famous Chuvashian who "writes with an imagistic compression an real time candor that is utterly unique" (Publishers Weekly).

Lifelong Aygi translator and friend Peter France wrote in The Guardian: "Aygi wrote from a deep awareness of the losses and destructions of the 20th century." Field-Russia is a book of poems arranged shortly before Aygi's death, which in his view occupied a central place in his work. The ...
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Overview

The central work by the world-famous Chuvashian who "writes with an imagistic compression an real time candor that is utterly unique" (Publishers Weekly).

Lifelong Aygi translator and friend Peter France wrote in The Guardian: "Aygi wrote from a deep awareness of the losses and destructions of the 20th century." Field-Russia is a book of poems arranged shortly before Aygi's death, which in his view occupied a central place in his work. The collection opens with an informal conversation about poetry, and is followed by a series of little lyric "books"—Field-Russia, Time of the Ravines, and Final Departure—that form a part of Aygi's "life-book." Like Ahkmatova and Celan before him, Aygi has left us with these most necessary words to dwell in—a quiet, spiritual poetry in a time of uprootedness and despair.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Aygi (1934-2006) was born in the Soviet Chuvash Repuplic, now Chuvashia, a part of the Russian federation. According to the warm and informative afterword by translator France, Aygi composed in chapbook-length series of poems; following Child-and-Rose, this fourth Aygi release in English collects two of those lyric series: the three-part title piece, "Field-Russia," written between 1979-1982, and a shorter series titled "Time of Ravines," written between 1982-1984. Those two pieces are magisterial in their haunted longing to connect with the past, and with nature: "as if to breathe-and-pass-through/ in flight - with gratitude to earth." Those poems are bookended by the extended interview with Aygi (conducted in writing in 1985) that opens the collection, and by a short poetic series and short prose piece that are dedicated to Raoul Wallenberg and Paul Celan, respectively. While readers wait for a collected edition of Aygi's work in English, this look at one of his major modes of the 1980s broadens our understanding of a major 20th century writer.
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Library Journal

The work of internationally acclaimed, avant-garde Chuvash poet Aygi (1934-2006) did not appear in print in the former Soviet Union until the late 1980s. France's refulgent translation contains more than 100 central pieces from Aygi's Field-Russia, Time of the Ravines, and Final Departureand includes the innovative poems "Island of Daisies in a Clearing," "Field-Conclusion (Land Without People)," and "Peacefully: Fires of Sunflowers." He highlights Aygi's "silvery-shining" voice and his predilection for free-verse construction, clustered nouns (e.g., "snowflake-beings"; "little-girl-butterfly"), fragments, Dickinsonian dashes, and negative space. While Aygi's poems offer glimpses of village life and the natural world (e.g., views of ruined churches, glistening birches, sunflowers, and snowdrifts), his painterly representations signal layers of meaning, point to moral and spiritual quests, and speak of loss. In one such exemplary poem, titled "After Midnight-Snow Outside the Window," he writes of how "grief/ like orphanly scattered-white clothing" spreads "through a silent land/ just-everywhere-breathing desolation." Recommended for academic and larger public libraries.
—Miriam Tuliao

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811217217
  • Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 10/30/2007
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Gennady Aygi was born on August 21, 1934, some 400 miles east of Moscow in a village in the Chuvash Republic. He was the Chuvash national poet, has been published in more than twenty countries, and received many honors including the Legion d'Honneur, the Petrarch Prize, and the Pasternak Prize.
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