World Tour 2020: Eastern Europe

Posted on September 1, 2020 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, Books, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: 0

September has arrived and things are cooling down, except for Covid19, that is… So, if you’d like to get away from it all for a while, we’ll invite you onto a tour to Eastern Europe with 10 gems from our catalog.

Or maybe we need to give you a stronger motive to follow us, like the flute of the Pied Piper? You are probably familiar with the story, but in Krysař, Victor Dyk gives his own version of it. This recently completed solo is our very first stand-alone project in Czech!

Since we are already nearby, we can just pop into the Golden City of Prague. It is said that the maid Libussa founded the city and became the first queen of Czechoslovakia. Read the famous legend as written down by Johann Musäus.

From a first to a last, the last queen of Romania, Marie Alexandra Victoria. In her interesting novel The Dreamer of Dreams, the painter Eric sets out to find a woman he only ever saw in his dreams. Will he be able to meet her and complete his masterpiece?

Yuly Aykhenvald paints many little Silhouettes of Russian Writers (Силуэты русских писателей) in his 3-volume work. These focus on the respective author’s oeuvre in a very personal manner, rather than being simple biographies.

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin is the topic of many biographies, but here we showcase on of his own books: Two Tactics of Social Democracy in the Democratic Revolution contrasts the reform programs of the Bolsheviks and the Social Democratic Labor Party of early 20th century Russia.

The story of the long fight of the Bulgarians against the Ottoman Empire is told by Ivan Vazov in the Epic of the Forgotten (Епопея на Забравените). The long narrative poem is one of the classics of Bulgarian literature.

Outcast, persecuted, forgotten. This would be an apt summary of The History of the Jews in Russia and Poland, leading up to the late 19th century. Simon Dubnow, the author of this 3-volume work, himself had to flee from the Nazis before he was eventually killed by them in 1941.

Still, just as he wanted, many Eastern-European Jews took to writing, like the Ukranian Hayyim Nahman Bialik. In his short story penned in Hebrew, the rich Jew Arye Ba’al Guf (אריה בעל גוף) invites his town’s Christian dignitaries to a celebration, which does not have a happy ending…

It doesn’t look good either for the maid Hanka, who is pregnant from her mistress – Mrs. Duska’s – son. He wants to do the right thing and marry her, but first he has to overcome The Morality of Mrs. Duska (Moralnosc pani Dulskiej). This is one of many plays by prolific Polish writer Gabriela Zapolska.

The Hungarian Mór Jókai must have written hundreds of short stories in his lifetime. Nine of them are collected in Tales from Jókai, and they range from the classic Atlantis story “City of the Beast” to the lighthearted “Hostile Skulls”.

Enjoy – and we hope you can stay light hearted and take things with a smile!

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