Friday, March 9, 2012

Дамы и господа, ladies and gentlemen, товарищи and товарищи, friends and colleagues! 

Welcome to our Workshop Awards Ceremony! 

First of all, we want to thank you for your participation in this workshop. We, the team of the organizers and experts, have truly appreciated your dedication, your professionalism and your interest in Vladimir Vysotsky’s life and work. Hopefully, all of you who served as the participants, the commentators or discussants, have also enjoyed the flexible on-line format we have created, as well as the friendly support of our team. 

Admittedly, it wasn’t easy to identify the authors of the three best translations. Each of the submitted translations had its own obvious strengths, and the Vysotsky texts you chose varied dramatically in genre, length, and linguistic complexity. However, with some objective criteria and lots of time spent in argument, we’ve managed to select several winners. 

But prior to naming the winners, we have to remind you that there will be no losers or people left behind in this creative marathon. Why? - First, our Workshop was a real success and as participants you may certainly share that success. We (or perhaps it was Vysotsky?) were really lucky to attract a group of very enthusiastic translators from as many as four countries: Russia, Italy, Great Britain and USA. You all have demonstrated a genuine interest in Russian culture and we hope you have learned a lot in the process. Second, the skills you have acquired and/or polished in the process of working on your translations and the networking that occurred should prove useful in your future endeavors. Finally, all of the participants, even those who chose to withdraw from the competitive part of the workshop, will receive a Certificates of Record from the Russkiy Mir Foundation along with a little gift. 

And now, with the sound of drums in the background, please meet the authors of the 
three BEST translations

I – Nora Margaret Moseman (“White Silence”). 

II – “Russian Dinosaur” (“I Never Put My Faith in Mirages”). 

III – Brunilda Amarilis de Fabritz (“I Love You Now”) and Tabitha Walquist (“They Light Me Candles Every Night”). 

It should be noted that the translation of "She Was in Paris" didn't get any spot on the winners podium only because it was a group project.  

As promised, we have added one extra category to our winners’ podium, “The Most Active and Insightful Commentator”. And it deservingly goes to… Benjamin Phinney!

Please, cheer for your colleagues who worked shoulder-to-shoulder with you during these three months, cheer for Vysotsky who provided us so much inspiration and food for thought, and from now on count yourself as a part of the large international family of Vysotsky-lovers. 

Please, keep in touch and don’t hesitate to use this blog in the future as your teaching/learning resource, a networking playground, or a publishing platform. 

До новых встреч!

Yours truly,

The Workshop organizers
Natalia Krylova | "Russkiy Mir" Center at American Councils for International Education;
Alexander Matyushkin | Гуманитарно-экономический и информационного-технологический институт (Russia). 

The Workshop Team of Experts:
Anthony Qualin | Texas Tech University;
Sibelan Forrester |  Swarthmore College;
Jill Neuendorf | Georgetown University;
George Tokarev | Tsfat College (Israel).

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Happy International Women's Day, everyone!
Let me remind you that it is also the last day of our Jury work, as well as the last day for your public evaluation of your colleagues' work. Hurry up to post your insightful comments!

And to boost your excitement even more, - take a look at all these goodies that will be sent to the winners of the contest as prizes!

We plan to announce the winners tomorrow, March 9, 2012, by 5:00 p.m. EST (2:00 a.m. Moscow time) 
See you then on the red carpet! 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Workshop period is over!

Но тормоза отказывают. Кода!
Я горизонт промахиваю с хода!
(Владимир Высоцкий)

Congratulations, fellow-translators, - the Workshop phase of our project is over! You didn't notice how the time have flown away? - Neither did we. It was a real pleasure to work with you and our experts on your translations. But now it is time to proudly put out our treasures and let the public either judge or plainly enjoy them. 

Please, proceed to the "Collection of Translations" segment in the Table of Contents where all of our Workshop's creative results are gathered, from "A" to "W". 

Read them, try to sing them, comment on them, criticize or compliment each other and help us to identify the three best translations. As of now, all of the texts are published on the anonymous basis for the purpose of objectivity. 

See you at the (next) horizon on March 9, 2012 when the results of the selection process, as well as the names of all authors will be announced.. Provided, of course, that there is a line on the horizon... :-)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Vadim Astrakhan brings Vysotsky back to Russkiy Mir

   On January 28, 2012 the "Russkiy Mir" Center in Washington, DC celebrated Vladimir Vysotsky's birthday by hosting a spectacular performance by Vadim Astrakhan. This young Russian-American singer presented over a dozen of his original translations of Vladimir Vysotsky songs and poems to an audience of Russophiles and Vysotsky-fans. His translations and performance represented a spicy combination that demonstrated a sincere respect for the literary and musical authenticity of Vysotsky’s texts, while at the same time, lending a very modern (almost rocky!) overtone to the performance. Vadim believes that the extremely contextual lyrics by the prominent Russian bard demand the equally deep knowledge of the “other” culture from anyone who dares to translate Vysotsky. In this sense, Mr. Astrakhan himself is obviously an appropriate “stalker” between the two realms, as he had grown up with equal exposure to both Russian and American cultures.

   Vadim’s performance ended with a vibrant question-and-answer session, and was effectively concluded with a recitation of his newly translated Vysotsky poem («И снизу лёд, и сверху...»), which is one of the poet’s most programmatic and challenging masterpieces.

See the photo-album of this performance HERE.
Watch the video clip with Vadim's interpretation of Vysotsky's "Спасите наши души".  

   And a final piece of good news… Upon setting-off for his next trip to California, Vadim made a generous donation to our Workshop by adding several copies of his recently released CD to our awards-fund! Hooray! Now we can acknowledge several more participants of the Workshop in even more categories!

   Finally, Vadim Astrakhan has kindly shared his advice for beginning Vysotsky translators; you may read it on our new blog page «Стана советов». We are confident that you will find it very helpful!

(The next post by another experienced Vysotsky translator is soon to come. Keep an eye on our postings!) 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Starting the main stage of the Workshop

Dear Vysotsky translators:

Congratulations! We have successfully passed through the registration period and currently are starting the main and the most exciting creative stage of the Workshop.

You should have recently received our Newsletter # 2 sent to your gmail addresses; it contains all necessary information regarding the logistics of our further interactions. Please, check your gmail accounts for this new portion of info, and let us know immediately should you, for some reason, NOT be able to find / access the letter.

We would also strongly encourage you to regularly check this blog for updates, as we plan to renew our resource base at least weekly. Watch for it!

Enjoy the translation process to the fullest and don't hesitate to benefit from the networking within this group, as well.

Natalia Krylova. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Illuminating Vladimir Vysotsky:

The On-line Translation Workshop

Vladimir Vysotsky is sometimes called “The Voice of Russia” or Russia's Johnny Cash. Although he was much greater as a poet and as a social phenomenon than any one of the American song-writers, this Russian "Man in Black" remains virtually unknown to the American public, even to those who are interested in everything Russian.  Come join our On-line Translation Workshop and help us introduce Vysotsky’s poetic message to the English-speaking world.

Are you ready to rise to the challenge? :-) –

Then follow these few simple steps to become a participant of this 
Translation Workshop:

  1. You must to have/open a Google account. If you choose the option of anonymous submission, please, open a new/dummy account by a pseudonym of your choice. Follow the simple instructions in this or that video.
  2. All of participants are required to register in the Google-group Vysotsky in EnglishPlease, choose to allow the group-messaging to your email address in the  process of registration. That feature would allow us to send important updates to the entire group. After the project is over, you may easily unsubscribe from the group-messaging. 
  3. As a part of the registration process, please, fill-in this short questionnaire

Every participant will be assigned a special page on Google-docs. You will post and edit your translation on this page. 

Note 1: Please put the first line of your translated text (or its translated title) in the “name of the document” line.
Note 2. Please, remember that Google-docs automatically save your document and all of its intermediary variants. 

In order to start your work, you have to click on the link we will send to your “Gmail” address after you have registered. You, and you assigned expert, will be the only persons with the rights/privileges to edit your page; the rest of the participants will only be able to view it.  As an alternative option, you may create such a page yourself and then send us the link to it. 

Links to all of the submitted translations will be collected and published in this Blog. Comments and all sorts of feedback will be welcome. Feel free to post them directly under the appropriate Blog’s posts. You may either respond to other blogger’s comment and create a thread, or post your own ones. 

Please note that all traditional ethical restrictions apply to the style and content of your comments. Namely, your opinions should be expressed in a polite and friendly manner, with no profane language involved. Your criticism should be of constructive nature and without personal insults. You should respect the diversity of opinions and act as professionals. The administrators of the project reserve the right to ban any post, should it violate the above-mentioned norms/requirements. 

With all technical and/or logistical questions, please, address us at: 
Natalia Krylova (Center Director / “Russkiy Mir” Center @ American Councils for International Education)
Alexander Matyushkin (Technical support)