Students Staff

26 March 2014

Rossica Translation Prize 2014 presented to Professor Angela Livingstone

Front cover of Phaedra

Front cover of Phaedra

The Rossica Translation Prize 2014 has been presented to Angela Livingstone, Emeritus Professor in the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, for her translation of Phaedra by Marina Tsvetaeva published by Angel Classics.

The prize was created in 2005 to honour the talent and dedication of the translators and publishers of Russian literature.

The distinguished judging panel praised Professor Livingstone’s rendering of Tsvetaeva’s Phaedra. The verse drama, completed in 1927, is the most extraordinary of all literary treatments of the Phaedra legend. Professor Livingstone has translated this little-known great work for the first time into English, with the same brilliance that prompted an American translator to call her version of Tsvetaeva’s Ratcatcher “the very pinnacle of the art of translation”.

One judge said: “Not just an extraordinary and sustained translation, but poetry in its own right.”

Another commented: “Livingstone’s Phaedra is Tsvetaeva’s Phaedra: rhythmically complex and propulsive, verbally accurate and dramatically voiced. This is a noisy work, full of anger, choral expostulation and regal posturing, and Livingstone pulls out all the stops in making this drama come to life as stage-worthy in English.”

The judges were also very impressed by the versions of the three long poems that complete this volume, which begin with Tsvetaeva’s elegy to Rilke and which successfully capture the poet in a mode of deep reflection and exaltation.

Alyssa Dinega Gillespie in Russian Review, has also praised Professor Livingstone’s work: “This flowing English version of Tsvetaeva’s inimitable verse drama will at last bring this powerful work to an Anglophone audience … The substantial introduction, which presents Tsvetaeva’s play in the dual contexts of her overall poetics and of the creative history of the Phaedra theme, is a gem of informative, insightful clarity … The translations of Tsvetaeva’s abstruse but brilliant long poems ‘New Year’s Letter’, ‘Poem of the Air’ and ‘Attempt at a Room’ are not only valuable in and of themselves, but they effectively fill out the poetic context for Phaedra‘s composition.”

...more news releases