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The Collected Stories of Isaac Babel
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ONE OF THE GREAT MASTERPIECES of Russian literature, the Red Cavalry cycle retains today the shocking freshness that made Babel's reputation when the stories were first published in the 1920s. Using his own experiences as a journalist and propagandist with the Red Army during the war against Poland, Babel brings to life an astonishing cast of characters from the exuberant, violent era of early Soviet history; commissars and coloncels, Cossacks and peasants, and among them the bespectacled, Jewish writer/intellectual, observing it all and trying to establish his role in the new Russia. Drawn from the acclaimed, award-winning Complete Works of Isaac Babel, this volume includes all of the Red Cavalry cycle; Babel's 1920 diary, from which the material for the fiction was drawn; and his preliminary sketches for the stories--the whole constituting a fascinating picture of a great writer turning life into art.
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About the Author

Isaac Babel was a journalist, playwright, and short story writer, whose works include the Russian masterpieces Red Cavalry and The Odessa Tales. He was arrested and executed in a Soviet prison in 1940. Nathalie Babel, his daughter, edited two other books of Babel's writing and is the author of Hugo and Dostoevsky. Peter Constantine's most recent translations are Sophocles' Theban Trilogy, The Essential Writings of Machiavelli, and The Bird is a Raven by Benjamin Lebert, which was awarded the Helen und Kurt Wolff Translation Prize. He was awarded the PEN Translation Prize for Six Early Stories by Thomas Mann, and the National Translation Award for The Undiscovered Chekhov: Thirty-Eight New Stories. His translation of the complete works of Isaac Babel received the Koret Jewish Literature Award and a National Jewish Book Award citation. He has recently translated Gogol's Taras Bulba, Tolstoy's The Cossacks, and Voltaire's Candide for Modern Library. He was one of the editors for A Century of Greek Poetry: 1900-2000, and is a senior editor at Conjunctions.

Reviews

"A triumph...Peter Constantine's translation is extraordinary." -- James Wood - The New Republic "A celebration of literary genius framed by twentieth-century tragedy...[Babel's stories] have an electrifying cumulative impact...He is a writer who stabs the mind and the heart and the inner eye with short, savage strokes." -- Richard Bernstein - New York Times "A monumental book." -- Jonathan Rosen - New York Times Book Review "[The Collected Stories of Isaac Babel] opened a door in my mind, and behind that door I found the room where I wanted to spend the rest of my life." -- Paul Auster

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