Serge Kotlar and I (Yay, Merrill, Wisconsin) translated this book from Russian to English as research for the next book in The Long War series, The Executioner’s Son. I read and speak Russian and have studied the country and its culture since my 17th year on earth. Although my academic background taught me Russia’s twentieth century demographic catastrophe, I am only now hearing the stories. I observed Russia and Russians through reversed binoculars. [Read more...]
On a spring day in 1953 on Illian Meadow across the Kamenka River and beneath the walls of the Suzdahl Kremlin, Danton Larionov, son of the NKVD executioner and a bully, spies the stranger, fourteen-year-old Ekaterina Soroka, daughter of the dancer and a storyteller. He makes ready to rape her. She disarms him.
Kiev, Vladimir, Suzdahl and Moscow––These four city names symbolize the most important stages of Russian medieval history. Suzdahl has become a character in my next novel (working title The Executioner’s Son). Suzdal’s history intertwines with Vladimir’s, so much so that in Western history books, their names are hyphenated, i.e. Vladimir-Suzdal. English-language materials describing the region tend to be tourist-brochure level of detail, so I am translating Russian-language monographs, a labor-intensive task, truth be told. I’ve posted the translations here and will update it periodically. It is a work in progress, which I work on when I can do no more creative work. [Read more...]
While traveling these last two weeks via Istanbul, Venice and Trieste to Rovinj, Croatia I have been rereading Robert Olen Butler‘s Christopher Marlowe Cobb novel, Hot Country and its follow-on, The Star of Istanbul.
Full disclosure: Robert Olen and Kelly Butler are friends of mine and my wife. We don’t see them often enough. I also learn to write by reading what Butler writes.
Fair Warning. There are certain pieces of art that give me pause when I stand before them. They are Rembrandt’s Polish Rider (Frick Gallery in New York City), Rodin’s The Burghers of Calais (several casts made) and Michelangelo’s Pieta. I am silent a moment when Doestoevskij’s name is invoked; likewise the poetry of Boris Pasternak and Anthony Hecht.
I believe that with The Star of Istanbul Robert Olen Butler has taken his art onto a far higher plane. I am awe-struck. Upon second reading, Butler’s The Star of Istanbul enters another realm of fiction. If this praise seems excessive, well, there you go. Don’t read further.
Patrice reported our travels from the United States through Venice here and here. We stayed in Venice five days. Venice, even stormy, flooded and windswept, was charming, warm and inviting. The Italian artists––Titian, Michelangelo, Da Vinci, et.al.––like voluptuous women feeding grapes to bearded goat-men with big tools. Sunshine. [Read more...]
We are leaving Madison. Tonight we board Turkish Airlines flight 6 for Istanbul, Turkey, thence to Venice for a few days and onto Rovinj, Croatia.
I’ve finished the final edit on my next novel (which Patrice will read on the plane), formatted Serge Kotlar and my translation of Evgenii Belodubrovskii’s Thirteen Coats and researched a great deal about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, particularly that work Bessel Van Der Kolk, a Veteran’s Administration psychiatrist, has done post-Vietnam. I haven’t yet finished translating a particularly good history of Vladimir-Suzdahl, an ancient Russian town where some scenes from my next novel (working title The Executioner’s Son) take place and a particularly bloody patch in Russia’s bloody, bloody history, but will post the translations when I finish (December this year?) here at Liar’s-Path.com. Oddly enough, Professor George L. Bailey, who with Lydia Borisovna Kalaida, taught me Russian fifty years ago, donated this particular history text to the UW library. How ’bout that? [Read more...]
Tomorrow, the Rocky Mountains eastern slope and the Boulder, Colorado, Flatirons, disappears. I am glancing over my task list, which in the nature of task lists, is endless; however, there are strike-thru’s up there at the top. Patrice has been teaching; I have been writing, though this last week, not so much. I know when I have not been writing because I have technicolor 3-D dreams, as if I am watching Sandra Bullock in Gravity. [Read more...]
Spirit Falls – Ледоход
My long time, Merrill, Wisconsin, friend Serge Kotlar has been translating my Cold War inter-connected series of novels into Russian. The first volume, Spirit Falls (Ледоход in Russian) is now available in print and electronic format (click on the covers to the right to access the various outlets).
Oddly enough, it seems to me the translation a better read than the original. Go figure. For the Russian readers among you, there is a summary below plus you can read the first forty or so pages at any on the electronic sites. Eventually, I will create dual-language Russian-English versions, but we won’t hold our breath. In writing as in war, everything takes twice as long as planned. [Read more...]
Patrice publishes her first story: Burial
As was Bereft, our previous short story publication, Burial will be offered free on Amazon.com for the five days (20-24 July 2013) during its publication month. Click on Burial on those dates and download it for free.
“Robert Olen Butler long ago encouraged Patrice and me to write stories in the style of his novel, The Deep Green Sea in which two people attend to the same events from their own perspectives. This is what Patrice and I are doing in this experiment.
Michael Walker, a disgraced soldier, divorced, separated from the military, estranged from his daughters and grieving over a lost son, has returned home. Here, he had once been innocent.
Charlotte Fine, a therapist, in a crisis of loss has taken up residence in an absent friend’s farm house to tend to her own long neglected wounds.
With this short story P.A. Naparstek and I have begun an experiment of writing and publishing a series of interconnected short stories that will at the end create a novel. Two storytellers; one man, one woman, viewing, reacting, considering the same events through male and female eyes, interpreting its color through the prism of widely different experience.
The first short story, Bereft, can be found here at Amazon.com.
This and each subsequent story will be published on Kindle Select on or near the first of each month and be offered free for five days from the 20-24th of that month.
Nickolai Chernyshevski and Vladimir Lenin wrote essays fretting over What is to be done? As do I; fret, that is. Their ambition was to remake Russia; mine is somewhat less, merely to tell you what my plans are, or specifically, what I will publish over the next two years. There is a danger in publicly sharing ones goals. Excuse me, wasn’t Broken Codes to be published in October? You are beholden to your projections.
Nevertheless, I intend to write and publish: [Read more...]