xvi + 227

City of Memory brings together 122 poems written by 21 authors in the last quarter century. These writers draw upon the deep-rooted tradition of Polish literature established by poets like Kochanowski, Norwid, and Herbert, whose worldviews and aesthetics they often challenge. Experimenting with new verse forms and literary conventions, individual poets marvel at the beauty of the surrounding scenery, express their fears or evoke fleeting memories of people and places, yet in the end return to the storehouse of native heritage and history. Michael J. Mikos is Professor and Chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He is the author of 15 books, including a six-volume history and anthology of Polish literature, and recipient of the PEN Club Prize for his translations of Polish literature into English.

Book Reviews

The Sarmatian Review, April 2016

xii + 228

An important part of Balkan folk literature, oral ballads of the Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina are part of the European tradition of ballads. One of the broad themes that one encounters repeatedly in Bosnian Muslim oral ballads is the stepping outside of boundaries by the protagonist. In order to protect his honor, to be faithful to his religion, or to be faithful to his beloved, the protagonist follows a higher command despite the dictates or expectations of society and in that lies his tragedy. There is a great variety of symbolism to be found in these ballads, a symbolism that is often both delicate and subtle. Emotions are expressed by objects that have rich layers of connotations beyond their immediate use. Symbolism related to embroidery is very common. As a girl embroiders in a high tower by a window or in a garden, events unfold around her, and the embroidery or her embroidery frame symbolizes her emotions. Other symbolic objects are associated with men, such as the tambura, a type of stringed instrument. The hero will pick up his tambura and sing of his emotions, which may not be expressed in speech. This anthology contains a range of ballads, including those with historical and cultural references, as well as references to traditional Bosnian folk beliefs. Included are well-known ballads, such as “Hasanaginica,” also known as “What Gleams White On The Green Mountain,” as well as two ballads on the death of the Morić brothers of Sarajevo. But there are also rarer gems, including the brief, but highly emotional, “I Dreamt A Dream.” Finally, this bilingual anthology contains an extensive introduction with discussion of poetic doublets, loanwords, and symbolism as well as the cultural framework, which helps to shape these ballads and inform their place as one of the major genres of Bosnian folk literature.

Nikolai Iakovlevich Danilevskii, Translated and Annotated by Stephen M. Woodburn


"Woodburn has done us a service by translating 'Woe to the Victors!' "

In the decade after Nikolai Danilevskii (1822–85) published Russia and Europe (1869), the book for which he is best known, international events focused public attention on his ideas. He had argued that Russia should stop trying to be part of Europe, because Slavic civilization had different roots and would bear different fruits than the Germanic-Roman civilization of the West. Russia's historic mission was to liberate the southern Slavs still under Habsburg and Ottoman rule, and create a federation of Slavic states in eastern Europe, as a counterbalance to the power of western Europe. This would require Russia to deliver a bold answer to the Eastern Question hanging over the diplomatic establishment of Europe in the late nineteenth century, concerning the fate of the declining Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires. The Prussian victory over France in 1871 completed the unification of Germany under Otto von Bismarck's guiding hand. Bismarck demonstrated the success that was possible for a leader ambitious and resolute enough to pursue national goals to completion. Danilevskii envied Bismarck's successes and yearned for Russia to do for Slavdom what Prussia had done for united Germany. The Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78 seemed to provide an opportune moment, and Russian Pan-Slavists raised expectations to full crescendo. Danilevskii discussed both wars in the articles that make up this book: analyzing the significance of unified Germany and defeated France for Russia's diplomatic prospects; outlining Russia's interests in the Black Sea and Bosporus Straits; and lowering expectations for the outcome of a war with Turkey, in which so much of Europe claimed to have interests at stake. Russia won the war but lost the peace, surrendering its greatest gains from the war at the Congress of Berlin, hosted by Bismarck and driven by Britain's determination to bar Russia from the eastern Mediterranean to protect its access to India through the Suez Canal. Danilevskii considered the results of the congress for the future of Russia and the cause of Slavic unification, in the article that lends this book its title, Woe to the Victors! Despite the author's pessimism about the outcome, many present-day Russians see new opportunities for Russia to assert its interests in the near abroad, and have taken a renewed interest in Danilevskii's works, most of which have been republished in recent years in print and online. As a result, the author has reached a far greater reading audience in the post-Soviet period than he ever attracted during his lifetime. Stephen M. Woodburn is associate professor of history at Southwestern College in Winfield, KS. His earlier translation of Nikolai Danilevskii, Russia and Europe: The Slavic World's Political and Cultural Relations with the Germanic Roman West, appeared in 2013.

Book Reviews

Review in "Russian Review," Vol. 76, no. 1 (January 2017), 170-171 pp.

Barry P. Scherr, James Bailey, and Vida T. Johnson, Eds.


During a distinguished academic career at Belgrade University, UCLA, and Harvard University, Kiril Taranovsky became extraordinarily influential for his contributions to verse theory and for studies devoted to Russian poets, especially those of the Silver Age. His statistical approach to versification led to fundamental findings that have become integral to the understanding of the nature and the history of rhythm and meter, while his investigations of individual poets, with a particular emphasis on Mandel´shtam, led him to define the notion of “subtext” and to examine poems not as isolated texts but as “open,” revealing links to other works and authors. This volume grew out of a conference held at Dartmouth College to mark the 100th anniversary of Taranovsky’s birth. It contains articles on poets from the 18th through the 20th centuries, which honor and reflect his broad interests in Russian poetry. Several contributions investigate aspects of Russian versification, and a final section presents reflections on Taranovsky’s legacy. The possible links between verse form and meaning, a field he pioneered in a seminal article on Lermontov, constitute a recurrent theme. The book concludes with a set of previously unpublished letters, which offer insights to both the man and his ideas.

Book Reviews

Review in Slavic and East European Journal, 61.2 (Summer 2017)  

Harvey Goldblatt, Giuseppe Dell'Agata, Krassimir Stantchev, and Giorgio Ziffer (eds.)

xi + 380

Yale Russian and East European Publications NO. 15 A collection of essays celebrating the work of Riccardo Picchio in the field of Slavic literary studies.



Preface by Harvey Goldblatt     XI

Giovanna Brogi Bercoff

Amor sacro e amor profano nell'antica Novgorod     1

Marina Ciccarini &Giovanni Maniscalco Basile

Traduzione e trascrizione un caso estremo di traducibilitá     15

Denis Crnkovic

Rhythmical Figures in the Croatian Chruch Slavic Orations     33

Diuseppe Dell'Agata

Le traduzioni italiane di Septemvri di Geo Milev     61

Cesare G. De Michelis

Ancora sui Protocolli dei Savi di Sion    71

David Frick

"Aethiopem dealbare difficile Wilkiem orać trudno" : The Adagia of a Seventeenth-Century Ruthenian Polemicist     83

Havey Goldblatt

On the Nature and Function of Via Constantini XVI and "Speaking in Tongues" in the "Cyrillo-Methodian Language Question"     113

Robert D. Greenberg

Bosnian or Bosniac: Aspects of a Contemporary Slavic Language Question    149

Gail Lenhoff

Five Theological Subtexts of Stepennnaia kniga     161

Robert Mathiesen

The System and Nature of Church Slavonic Literature (Fifty Theses)     175

Rosanna Morabito

Osservazioni sulle stutture formali dei testi attribuiti alla monaca Jefimija     211 Giovanna Moracci

Lomonosov, Caterina II e la storia russa antica     249 Richard Pope Petersburg Apocalyptic: Beauty and the Beast     259

Anotonia M. Raffo

Tre prove (ancora) di versione numerosa     285

Krassimir Stantchev

 Gli ultimi bagliori della Slavicaa cirillometodiana: "Questione della lingua" e "questione dell'alfabeto" nel XVII secolo     289

Marina Swoboda

The Cycle of Tales about John of Novogorod": Novgorodian Cultural Traditions and their Muscovite Reinterpretations     301 Giovanna Tomassucci

Una fonte manzoniana per i Dziady di Mickiewicz     325

Giorgio Ziffer

Per (e contro) il cononoe paleoslavo     337

Margaret Ziolkowski

Catherine and Elijah: Complementary or Competing Models in the Tale of Boiarynia Morozova?     347

Index of Names     363

Contributors     375


A simple tailor, the protagonist of the great Yiddish author Sholem Aleichem’s last theatrical drama, suddenly becomes rich, but loses his money on account of an obscure cinema deal. The author’s son-in-law and assistant, Y.D. Berkowitz, insisted that the issue of moviemaking be removed from the plot. It seems he tried, among other things, to conceal his father-in-law’s “cinema obsession,” which played itself out between Moscow and New York during the final years of his short life. Until now this story of Sholem Aleichem’s “last love” remained virtually unknown because the majority of relevant documents, written in Yiddish, Russian, Hebrew, English, and other languages, as well as the author’s film scripts, have never been published. By reconstructing the picture of Sholem Aleichem’s extensive contacts with the world of cinema in Europe, Russia, and the US, this monograph throws new light on the famous writer’s life and work, on the background of the incipience of early Jewish cinematography.

"Rare is a book that reverses the laws of electronics, making a negative into a positive. Professor Ber Kotlerman of Bar-Ilan University treats the failed attempt by Sholem Aleichem to make a movie. But it is more than that. It is a study of Sholem Aleichem's relationship with Modernity, technology, and visual media. If he had lived long enough, Sholem Aleichem would have adopted other media in addition to fiction writing. This professional piece of writing should find its audience in students of Jewish literature and cinema."

-Brian Horowitz, Tulane University

"The Disenchanted Tailor is an enrapturing investigation of not only a virtually unknown moment in the career of the author commonly dubbed the 'father of modern Yiddish literature,' but a whole world of buried histories and startling associations. Ber Kotlerman's earlier In Search of Milk and Honey was a groundbreaking achievement of Yiddish arts history and critique. Here Kotlerman does it once again."

-Shelley Salamensky, University of California, Los Angeles