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Backbone Flute: Selected Poetry Of Vladimir Mayakovsky (English and Russian Edition) Paperback – April 18, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 148 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (April 18, 2008)
  • Language: English, Russian
  • ISBN-10: 1438211643
  • ISBN-13: 978-1438211640
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 5.2 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #487,131 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Andrey Kneller is a Russian-born poet/translator. Andrey was 10 years old when his family immigrated from Moscow, Russia to New York in 1993. He grew up reading and speaking Russian fluently. At fourteen, he started writing his own poetry and not long after that, he started translating his favorite Russian poets into English. Understanding that Russian poets have been represented rather poorly in the west, the goal of translation for him has always been to keep as much of the original as possible, preserving meaning without losing rhyme and music. At the present, he has published 9 books of translations, including the works of Anna Akhmatova, Marina Tsvetaeva, and Vladimir Mayakovsky, among others, and Discernible Sound, a book of his own poetry. Andrey currently lives with his wife and daughter in Ashland, MA and works as a high school math teacher in Boston.

Customer Reviews

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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Greg Bem on July 13, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read the superb little City Lights book of Mayakovsky's work (Listen! Early Poems (City Lights Pocket Poets Series), translated by Maria Enzensberger), and Kneller's translations holds up to that standard. The book has a decent selection of Mayakovsky's poetry, from various periods in his life. It's easy to get the sense that Kneller put a lot of time into making Mayakovsky's work both rigidly artistic while at the same time practical and vernacular, and this is ultimately why so many translations fail.

It is unfortunate that this book fails on a more superficial level: the content is fine but the book as a book is just embarrassing. There are numerous typos, including the lack of periods. It's quite obvious because it occurs so frequently. Also, the formating (most noticeably the m-dashes) is not consistent. I found myself going back and forth between the Russian and the English (both on facing pages), and finding quite easily inconsistencies.

The notes that are in the back of the book are also inconsistent. The note titles in the back will sometimes (but not always!) be the same as the words they are referencing in the text. For example, "Good!" is in the text, and "Good" is what the reference page lists. Now obviously this isn't a crucial problem, but it is annoying to see that a published book is being printed with such juvenile errors.

Also, let me take a brief moment to call out some "interesting" decisions that were made in the book layout. The book begins with a title page (that has a page number on it!); the book continues with its copyright page, which has a mere two lines (okay, it's an self-published book, but it's noticeably amateur).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kriemhild on May 12, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Generally, being a native speaker of Russian, I have no need for English translations of Russian poetry, and I particularly don’t care for translations which don’t bother with rhymes on the premise that modern English poetry is rather dismissive of them.
However, I needed an English translation of Mayakovsky, and after sifting through a few I didn’t like, I came across this book. Andrey Kneller’s versions of Mayakovsky were a very pleasant surprise. I could feel Mayakovsky’s very special verve and vitality in his translations, I liked the way the translator followed the unique rhythm and beat of the original, and I did feel that Mayakovsky found a congenial spirit in these English versions. I am looking forward to seeing what other Russian poets Kneller translated into English.
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By Ben Cunningham on July 4, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent
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By sarah scow on May 24, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a great gift for English speakers who know Russian or Russian speakers who know English because it has the translations so you can read the poem and have your own interpretation and then read the translation and see how someone else interpreted it differently or the same.
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By Frischer Sofia on August 24, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
it was no problems!
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