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SUBTLY WORDED AND OTHER STORIES (Pushkin Collection) von [Teffi]
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SUBTLY WORDED AND OTHER STORIES (Pushkin Collection) Kindle Edition

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Kindle Storyteller 2016: Der Deutsche Self Publishing Award
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"In the years leading up to the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, Nadezhda Alexandrovna Buchinskaya, who used the pen name Teffi, was one of the most popular writers in Russia. . . Teffi has no Western counterpart, although . . . she’s sometimes compared to Colette or Dorothy Parker . . . a lot of people compare Teffi to Chekhov . . . she also resembles a sadder, more vulnerable David Sedaris. . . . The characters pop off the page with a flick of the pen." — The New York Times

"At the height of her success, Russian writer Teffi (a pseudonym for Nadezhda Alexandrovna Buchinskaya) could count such polar opposites as Lenin and Czar Nicholas II as fans of her stories and plays. . . . But when she died in 1952, it was obscurity, not posterity, that followed.  . . . Now, thanks to Pushkin Press and a team of skilled translators headed by Anne Marie Jackson, English-speaking readers can appreciate her considerable talents. . . . Each story in 'Subtly Worded' is exactly that. Witty, acerbic, playful and profound, Teffi’s tales are here again, and if there is any justice, they are here to stay." -- The Minneaoplis Star Tribune

"Like Nabokov, Platonov, and many other great Russian prose writers, Teffi was a poet who turned to prose but continued to write with a poet’s sensitivity to tone and rhythm. Like Chekhov, she fuses wit, tragedy, and a remarkable capacity for observation; there are few human weaknesses she did not relate to with compassion and understanding." — The New Yorker

"These short stories of Russian peasants, artists and lovers show few signs of their age and much that is timeless. . . Like the book's excellent introduction, which teases a reader to want to know more about this woman's life, these wide-ranging, brief works whet an appetite for more of her fiction." Kirkus Reviews

"In new translations by Anne Marie Jackson, Robert Chandler and others, the stories gathered in this little volume radiate beauty and burst with the winking humor for which Teffi was always known. . . After decades of obscurity, 'a new generation of Russian readers began to discover and appreciate Teffi’s special genius' in the 1990s, as Jackson explains in the introduction. Now English-speaking readers can do the same, thanks to this wonder-filled little paperback from Pushkin Press."
"Pushkin Press has done it again: made me fall in love with a writer I've never heard of. . . [T]here are numerous times when Teffi notes linguistic mutations or barbarities; she pays close attention to linguistic use; she can write in more registers than you might think, and is capable of being heartbreaking as well as very funny. I wish she were still alive, and I could have met her. But then I realised she would have seen right through me. I can't recommend her strongly enough." — Nicholas Lezard, The Guardian


A selection of the finest stories by this female Chekho, Teffi's genius with the short form made her a literary star in pre-revolutionary Russia, beloved by Tsar Nicholas II and Vladimir Lenin alike. These stories, taken from the whole of her career, show the full range of her gifts. Extremely funny - a wry, scathing observer of society - she is also capable, as capable even as Chekhov, of miraculous subtlety and depth of character. There are stories here from her own life (as a child, going to meet Tolstoy to plead for the life of War and Peace's Prince Bolkonsky, or, much later, her strange, charged meetings with the already-legendary Rasputin). There are stories of society, its members held together by mutual repulsion. There are stories of people misunderstanding each other or misrepresenting themselves. And throughout there is a sly, sardonic wit and a deep, compelling intelligence. Teffi was a phenomenally popular writer in pre-revolutionary Russia - a favourite of Tsar Nicholas II and Vladimir Lenin alike. She was born in 1872 into a prominent St Petersburg family and emigrated from Bolshevik Russia in 1919. She eventually settled in Paris, where she became an important figure in the literary scene, and where she lived until her death in 1952. A master of the short form, in her lifetime Teffi published countless stories, plays and feuilletons. After her death, she was gradually forgotten, but the collapse of the Soviet Union brought about her rediscovery by Russian readers. Now, nearly a century after her emigration, she once again enjoys critical acclaim and a wide readership in her motherland.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 461 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 305 Seiten
  • ISBN-Quelle für Seitenzahl: 178227037X
  • Verlag: Pushkin Press; Auflage: Tra (19. Juni 2014)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B00K9W3YHK
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Aktiviert
  • Verbesserter Schriftsatz: Nicht aktiviert
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #500.896 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.1 von 5 Sternen 8 Rezensionen
7 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen "Coffee should be drunk very hot and with cognac" 21. Juli 2014
Von Lost John - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition
Born in St Petersburg in 1872, Teffi wrote and published prolifically both before and after the Bolshevik Revolution, before and after her 1920 migration to Paris, and before and after the Second World War. She died, in Paris, in 1952.

The stories in this volume represent most periods of her writing, from 1910 to 1952. There is no obvious correlation between date and length, subject matter and style (all of which vary widely), except that And Time was no More, dating from 1948 and placed last in the book, deals meditatively and sensitively with the subject of death.

Observations of and on death feature throughout the book. In Jealousy we read, 'In one little corner lived a dead beetle. ... It wasn't afraid and didn't run away. It was completely dead and living a peaceful life'. The Lifeless Beast recounts 'the woollen death' of a stuffed nursery toy, a ram. The ram's death, inflicted by an outsize rat, underlines the end of innocence as a small girl comes to the end of the nursery stage of her life against a background of the seemingly irretrievable breakdown of her parents' marriage. In Heart of a Valkyrie, the recently departed husband of a concierge acquires in death an individual identity denied him in life, and the status of a philosopher: "My dear André often used to say that coffee should be drunk very hot and with cognac."

In The Quiet Backwater we learn some important folklore relating to name days. Even the cow's name day must be remembered and observed, for if some unkind word is spoken to her on her name day it is a sin, and on high an angel will begin to weep. In Que Faire? the 19th Century Romantic poet Fyodor Tyutchev is quoted as having declared, "You cannot understand Russia with your mind."

The title story, Subtly Worded (1920), is one of two in which small amendments to a letter completely change its meaning. Its reference to censorship - which makes necessary the amendments - famine and executions in the Soviet Union is more explicit than in any other story in this collection. Duty and Honour performs a similar trick on a brief note to an illicit lover.

The Dog (A story from a stranger), in part a Civil War story, showcases Teffi's ability - frequently glimpsed in other stories too - to communicate the feminine point of view, especially in sexual attraction and courtship: the yearning; tentative outreach; the electricity of a potentially disastrous coupling; the resisted realization and ultimate acceptance that a relationship has no future.

Sitting entirely in context with all that surrounds them are two 'stories' of great fascination because of what they purport to tell us about Rasputin and Tolstoy. Teffi claims only 'two brief encounters' with Rasputin, but at 46 pages the 'story' is the longest in the book.

A single encounter between the thirteen year old Teffi and Tolstoy was indeed brief. Teffi gained admission to the great man's Moscow home but, losing her nerve, abandoned her intention to plead with the author of War and Peace for the life of Prince Andrey and left only with his autograph on a small photograph she had brought with her.
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Teffi's stories are as fresh and fun to read as if written yesterday 2. Januar 2015
Von Sandra Breuer - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
This is a jewel. These stories, written so long ago, early 20th century, by a Russian writer who, after she emigrated to Paris, was more or less shunned in Russia ... well, they are wonderful. And the surprise was how modern she sounds. The same stories, if written today, would sound perfectly fresh and in tune with the times. Now she is being reclaimed in Russia as one of their great writers and is newly popular there. For good reason. I'm so glad to have discovered her.
6 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen "Funny on the outside, tragic on the inside" 30. Juni 2014
Von Ralph Blumenau - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition
Teffi was the pseudonym of the Russian writer Nadezhda Alexandrovna Lokhvitskaya (1872 to 1952). She spent the first 47 years of her life in St Petersburg, but we can see from the satirical tone of many of the stories in this collection that there would be no place for her in the Soviet Union, and she emigrated in 1919 and settled in France. But even after her emigration most of the stories in this collection are set in Russia.

One commentator describes her stories as “funny on the outside, tragic on the inside”. Some of them (“The Lifeless Beast”, “Jealousy”) enter the sorrowful life of small girls. Several (“A Radiant Easter”, “Ernest With Languages”, “The Blind One”) show bad-tempered and quarrelsome adults. Even in exile in France, the émigrés hate each other (“Que Faire?”) They cover peasant superstitions (“The Quiet Backwater”) and there is a very Russian story (“Will Power”) about a man who kids himself that he has the will power to stop drinking. “The Hat” and “Duty and Honour” have very amusing endings, and there is a delightful one (“Heart of a Valkyrie”) how a man despised in his life is honoured in death.

Two of the stories are openly autobiographical: “My first Tolstoy” tells of Teffi’s passionate involvement from an early age with that author’s characters; and the longest piece in this collection (“Rasputin”) describes the hysteria surrounding this figure and Teffi’s encounters with him. There is a group of stories about life in the Soviet Union (“Petrograd Monologue”, “The Corsican”, “Subtly Worded”). Both in the Soviet Union and in Paris, we have stories showing upper class people being reduced to having to do menial jobs and ignorant workers now lording it over them (“One of Us”, “One Day in the Future”, “Marquita”).

There are a couple of supernatural ones (“The Kind That Walk” and “The Dog”).

“Thy Will” is a picture of a mentally sick woman.

I think the stories vary in quality. While most of them successfully weave several strands together, in some of them (“The Dog”, “The Blind One”) the different elements seem to me inconsequential and inorganic, though it is significant that title of the second of these, which has a group of blind children in it, is in the singular. The last story (“And Time Was No More”), written shortly before her death, uses the stream of consciousness method to drift from memories of childhood to dreams recalled and to reflections on life and death.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Wonderful view of human nature 4. Juli 2015
Von mapta - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Loved it !
1 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen ... deep or "literary" as Chekhov but a lot more fun. 31. Dezember 2014
Von John Furth - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Maybe not as deep or "literary" as Chekhov but a lot more fun.
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