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Brief June/July Updates 2020
1. We hope that all members are in good health and also their families and loved ones. While we cannot in the meantime all meet up to share aspects of Russia and Russian culture together we might set up a "sharing group" via this webpage of Russian books, films, anecdotes, personal experiences of Russia that are helping you through these difficult days. Please e-mail us at email@example.com with any suggestions and once a week your ideas, thoughts, suggestions can be published here. These can be named or anonymous - as you wish. We are all united by our interest in and love for Russia and so this might be a good way of joining together in these days of "social distancing"...
2. SRF members will be receiving a short Bulletin over the next days via e-mail with details of various updates. Please do send us any new e-mail addresses do that we can keep in touch with you. Thank you! A number of messages keep being returned to us.
3. 9th May, 2020. Sadly SRF was not able to mark this important 75th Anniversary of Victory Day and the huge sacrifices of the Russian people in World War 2 but we hope to do so in the future. A message from SRF was sent to the Russian Consul on May 9th.
4. "Starling", the Translation Forum, will be "flying" again via zoom on Tuesday June 30th at 6.30 pm. Please get in touch via the e-mail address above if you would like to join in. The topic will be Translating Genre Fiction. All welcome to join.
5. CEES, like most buildings at Glasgow University is currently closed. Please, for the foreseeable future, do not send any SRF mail to CEES but contact us via the SRF e-mail address. Thank you.
6. The sad news came, of course, of the cancellation of the Edinburgh International Festival and other cultural events but you can join in various talks that are going on at Pushkin House in London. If any member wishes further details about Pushkin House please do get in touch by e-mail. Russian events in Scotland will be listed here on a regular basis.
7. It is hoped that the Edinburgh Quaker Rooms may be open again in August and we can finally start our new series "Cultural Conversations"! We will keep you all informed. Professor Peter France has kindly provided below a "taster" for his talk which, it is hoped, he will give in person in the autumn. The next speakers in his series have also agreed to provide short summaries of their talks.
1. "Edwin Morgan and Russian Culture". My talk was to give an overview of Edwin Morgan's translation of Russian poetry, including some memories of my meetings with Eddie, notably the occasions when he met Andrey Voznesensky and Gennady Aygi in Edinburgh. Morgan, the first poet laureate (makar) of Scotland, was a prolific translator of poetry from about twenty European languages into both Scots and English. Translations from Russian bulk large in his 'Collected Translations' (1996). The most famous of these is 'Wi the Haill Voice', his vigorous and inventive transposition of Mayakovsky into Scots. I would have looked at the Mayakovsky alongside Morgan's always faithful translations from Pushkin and from Voznesensky and Aygi, two very different younger contemporaries. Professor Peter France, (University of Edinburgh)
2. Our second speaker in this series will be Dr Shamil' Khairov (University of Glasgow) who will deliver a "Meet the Author" session to launch his new book "Russian for All Occasions" which he co-authored with Dr. John Dunn. Dr Khairov will offer a very humorous introduction, looking at his own experiences of both learning and teaching the many Slavonic languages he masters and he will reveal some of the "secrets" that prompted him to produce this very special and useful volume...If you want to know what untied shoelaces had to do with this book, well you will have to wait and see...Dr Khairov's talk will combine both a light touch and serious scholarship...
3. Professor Tom Hubbard is no stranger to SRF members and he is one of the great masters of Russo-Scottish connections at many levels. In our third talk in the series Professor Hubbard will examine some new translations of Chekhov's short stories into Scots on which he has been working and he will also present some of his recent work on Chekhov's "The Cherry Orchard".
8. Summerhall Arts Centre in Edinburgh was to have been the venue for our March 2020 SRF AGM. The news there too is that an autumn opening may be possible and, weather permitting, our AGM might be held in their courtyard space. We will let you know. Peter Harvey, SRF Treasurer, has also updated news of the planned SRF trip to Russia... More details to follow...
9. News from Jenny Carr… An update on Jenny Carr's key work on Russian in schools will be posted here shortly...Watch this space...
10. Finally, it is with sadness that the recent death of Professor Marcus Wheeler is announced here. Members may recall Professor Wheeler and his great contribution to Russian studies in Britain. He has been described as a "scholar and a gentleman" and he will be sorely missed.
Members will wish to congratulate long-standing SRF member, Lieutenant Commander Dairmid Gunn, OBE, on this well-deserved honour. Author of a book on the convoys to Russia during the Second World War, interpreter in the 1950s and posted as assistant naval attache to Moscow in the 1960s, Lieutenant Commander Gunn has served the cause of the promotion of cultural relations between Russia and the UK in a tireless and in an excellent manner. In the 1980s, for example, he was the chairman of the Scottish Branch of the GB-USSR Association and a member of its Council. This has been a splendid start to the summer and warmest wishes and congratulations are passed on to Dairmid!
July 2019 MIROSLAVA BRONNIKOVA has recently been elected as the first ever Russian to be on the Board of Directors of the Edinburgh Fringe! Her appointment will be ratified at the AGM to be held on August 21st. Miroslava reveals that her "...love affair with Edinburgh started in 1999 when I first came to visit the city with my family for a couple of days in late August". In 2000 Miroslava spent 3 months studying at St George's School for Girls in Edinburgh and she returned to the city in 2013 to complete a Cambridge CELTA Course. With her husband Ivan she founded a theatre and dance company in Moscow and they are especially proud of their production based on Bulgakov's " Master and Margarita" For information on the two shows Miroslava has at this years Fringe please see https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/all-star-cabaret-the-free-fringe-gala
Miroslava's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org and she will be very happy to hear from SRF members!
Please note that we will be publishing here some details of the excellent work being currently done by Jenny Carr. Watch this space!