Felix Lembersky & Vasily Grossman, Pushkin House
23rd April 2013
Received from a member
1. Felix Lembersky, 24 April
An outstanding exhibition of this outstanding painter is opening at Pushkin House on 24 April. Please come to the reception at 6.00 pm:
2. Robert Chandler on “An Armenian Sketchbook” by Vasily Grossman, 30 April, 7.30 pm
Another good chance to see the Lembersky exhibition, which continues until 17 May!
Few writers had to confront as many of the last century’s mass tragedies as Vasily Grossman, who wrote about the Shoah, the Battle of Stalingrad, and the Terror Famine in the Ukraine. “An Armenian Sketchbook”, however, shows us a different Grossman, notable for his tenderness, warmth, and sense of fun.
After the Soviet government confiscated the manuscript of “Life and Fate”, Grossman took on the task of revising a literal Russian translation of a long Armenian novel. The novel was of little interest to him, but he needed money and was evidently glad of an excuse to travel to Armenia. An Armenian Sketchbook, his account of the two months he spent there is the most personal of his works. It is as if he is simply chatting to the reader about his impressions of Armenia-its mountains, its ancient churches and its people – while also examining his own thoughts and moods.
Robert Chandler will read from his and his wife’s translation of this memoir and talk about the last few years of Grossman’s life. He will also say a little about the links between Vasily Grossman and Feliks Lembersky, a fine painter who knew Grossman.
“An Armenian Sketchbook”, translated by Robert & Elizabeth Chandler, is published in the USA by NYRB Classics. The MacLehose Press will be publishing the UK edition in July.
Robert Chandler, 42 Milson Road, London, W14 OLD