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5 votes
4 answers
821 views

Wordplay between Кузьмич and со всех сторон

I'm reading Tolstoy's War and Peace (in English) and am baffled by what the joke is in the following passage in Volume I, Part III, Chapter 2: Он рассказывал дамам с шутливой улыбкой на губах ...
3 votes
4 answers
360 views

How do I interpret the phrase «стал было во главе обороны»?

How do I interpret the sentence "Князь Долгорукий стал было во главе обороны" from the novel Белая Гвардия by Bulgakov (about the revolution period in Kiev)? "Когда гетмана спрашивали: ...
0 votes
0 answers
176 views

What is the geography of (now obsolete) usage of the word фамилия to mean 'wife'?

While Valentin Kiparsky claimed (in Omagiu lui Iordan) that this usage is a calque from Tatar and therefore found in the Russian varieties spoken in and near Kazan (the area of the Tatar-speaking ...
3 votes
1 answer
207 views

What word and case is `одною` in the phrase "помещалась одною лестницей ниже"?

I am trying to read Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, and I had a question about the word одною in this sentence: Квартирная же хозяйка его, у которой он нанимал эту каморку с обедом и прислугой, ...
0 votes
2 answers
246 views

"спасая от ветра", what is the meaning of this phrase?

I recently came across this phrase, and it seemed very poetic when I translated it. Unfortunately, I cannot find the origin of it. "Что тебя держит, спасая от ветра, я, к сожалению, понять не ...
0 votes
2 answers
176 views

What does "всякий взор" mean in this context? Is it a phrase?

So this is from Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, so I'm not sure if this an archaic 19th century expression, because I don't see how the word взор is being used in this sentence. Does it just mean &...
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Russian classic literature with stress markings

I am a Polish native speaker. I have a pretty good passive understanding of written Russian. I have however a terrible pronunciation, especially with regards to stress (it always falls on the ...
4 votes
1 answer
202 views

Why "об Чацком", not "о Чацком"

Я на днях читал Грибоедовскую комедию 'горе от ума' и наткнулся на довольно странную грамматическую конструкцию: Ты знаешь ли об Чацком? Эта строка меня поразила по двум причинам. Первая из них та, ...
8 votes
3 answers
257 views

Дать кому денег до среды (From Двенадцать стульев). What does that mean?

What does the expression in bold mean? Человек, лишенный матраца, — жалок. Он не существует. Он не платит налогов, не имеет жены, знакомые не занимают ему денег до среды, ...(From Ch. 19 ...
3 votes
4 answers
871 views

How were these expressed in the original Russian of Yevgeny Zamyatin's "We"? [closed]

Warning: Potential Spoilers of Yevgeny Zamyatin's We! My book club recently finished reading an English translation of Yevgeny Zamyatin's We, originally published in 1924 in Russian. We don't know ...
4 votes
1 answer
339 views

Pushkin's shortest poem's meaning

If I naively translate Дай, Никита, мне одеться: В митрополии звонят. (Александр Сергеевич Пушкин, март 1821—1822) I cannot apreciate the literary value of these verses. Pushkin is said to ...
6 votes
3 answers
291 views

Is "Трудно быть богом?" (as in the title of the book) a valid question in written or formal Russian?

Prompted by our Hard to Be a God book challenge1 on Literature SE, we've been trying to gather some attention by posting to relevant chat rooms. An interesting discussion sparked in the Russian ...
2 votes
2 answers
3k views

"И после ей наедине // Давать уроки в тишине!"

Каково значение слова уроки в следующей строфе Евгения Онегина? "Как он умел казаться новым, Шутя невинность изумлять, Пугать отчаяньем готовым, Приятной лестью забавлять, Ловить минуту умиленья, ...
5 votes
1 answer
345 views

"The Grand Inquisitor" book cover - what does cyrillic letters stand for?

I recently bought a copy of, "The Grand Inquisitor" and, after a few days, I noticed that the title of the book on front cover was written partially in cyrillic. Does the cyrillic on the front mean ...
3 votes
2 answers
165 views

about Pushkin's Дружба : how to read it

I was very pleased to discover Pushkin's Дружба on Russian StackExchange : Что дружба? Лeгкий пыл похмелья, What is friendship? A slight fire of the carousal, Обиды вольный разговор, The ...
1 vote
2 answers
342 views

Does one use (still) / did one really used once гангрена (проклятая)! as curse word, as it appears in Двенадцать стульев?

If I'm not mistaken some character in Ilf-Petrov's wonderful novel Двенадцать стульев wants to damn something. I don't quite remember the situation, but he says – гангрена (проклятая)! Is any of ...
4 votes
5 answers
992 views

Дружба by Pushkin

I have a multiple question on the following verses: Дружба Что дружба? Лeгкий пыл похмелья, Обиды вольный разговор, Обмен тщеславия, безделья Иль покровительства позор. А. С. Пушкин Is this ...
3 votes
6 answers
285 views

Any long form literature websites in Russian? [duplicate]

I'm a big fan of websites like longform.org in English, which post longer-length articles (mostly non-fiction) from newspapers, magazines, etc. Can anyone recommend a similar resource in Russian? ...
1 vote
2 answers
156 views

чтоб in written form

After writing a while I got unsure about using чтоб instead of чтобы. I checked and found чтоб would be colloquial for чтобы. However, the ngram indicates a slight rise of using чтоб in literature ...
-1 votes
1 answer
234 views

Unbiased Source of Content in Russian [closed]

I've been studying Russian for the last few years and I think I could now be searching for native content (probably news and/or books) in order to enhance my vocabulary. It has not been very easy for ...
15 votes
4 answers
8k views

Where to find parallel English-Russian novels to learn Russian? [closed]

Where can I find licence-free dual language English-Russian novels? I think this is one of the most effective way of learning language, because of no time needed to search words in dictionary, and ...
10 votes
1 answer
219 views

Use of genitive in Преступление и наказание

The following quote is from the beginning of Part 1, chapter 7 (Раскольников stands at the old woman's door): "...и опять два вострые и недоверчивые взгяда уставились на него из темноты." Why is "...
11 votes
7 answers
2k views

"Horse has gypsy in its teeth" - what does it exactly mean?

In the Neil Cornwell translation of Daniil Kharms' story "Clunk" I see the following sentence: The picture is a drawing of a horse, the horse has gypsy in its teeth. That sounds like a very ...
8 votes
3 answers
2k views

котов and Петров

This is a follow up to this question. Here is a Daniil Kharms short story: ПЕТРОВ И КАМАРОВ ПЕТРОВ: Эй, Камаров! Давай ловить комаров! КАМАРОВ: Нет, я к этому еще не готов. ...
5 votes
2 answers
980 views

Do these surnames imply anything?

I'm reading Kharms (again). And a friend of mine warned me that some of the names Kharms uses may actually have some meaning that are lost in translation (like in the example of Mr. Joker, Ms. Cow, Mr....
5 votes
1 answer
912 views

What Russian poet to recommend for beginners and intermediate learners? [closed]

What Russian poet could be recommender for reading for beginners and intermediate Russian Language learners? Poetry has opinion to be difficult for learners because of extended vocabulary and many ...