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This item is taken from PN Review 227, Volume 42 Number 3, January - February 2016.



In PNR 225, Yvonne Green carelessly misrepresents Daniel Weissbort by paraphrasing his account (Cardinal Points 12/2, 2010) of Brodsky’s views on Semyon Lipkin and Yevgeny Vinokourov in such a way as to put down Vinokourov because he was “Soviet” and especially by omitting Weissbort’s acknowledgment that he was “an excellent poet”.  But this is not a zero-sum game: one can praise Lipkin, undoubtedly a significant and first-rate poet, without denigrating Vinokourov, however inadvertently.

It is true that Vinokourov, poetry editor of Novi Mir for many years, was an insider, but he was respected and liked by Akhmatova and other dissidents. Indeed, in conversation with me, Brodsky and Bukovsky both exempted Yevgeny from their strictures about those who worked within the system.

I am preparing a new selection of the Russian’s work (first published by Carcanet forty years ago as The War Is Over), containing my own translations and those of Weissbort. For years we were each  translating him without the other knowing.  and when finally we met to compare notes we found our selections did not overlap by a single poem, such was the range and quantity of the poet’s work. I hope the quality will speak for itself.

– Anthony Rudolf

This item is taken from PN Review 227, Volume 42 Number 3, January - February 2016.

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