Sofia Mihajlovna and Home

Not be in enmity with the language the Big friend Marshakov the oustanding physiologist, academician Alexey Dmitrievich Speransky at the end of 30th years spoke: " That Marshak was carried out by Marshak, we are obliged to Sofia Михайловне ". They have lived together 42 years. Up to a meeting with future husband Sofia Mihajlovna studied at chemical faculty of the Petersburg female polytechnical rates. She wished to continue the formation after wedding, and Marshak was would like to deepen the knowledge. At the end of September, 1912 a newly-married couple have gone to England. The first problem after their device in London was to know English language. They worked very tensely, remembering on some hundreds words a day, meticulously studying construction of phrases and idiomatic expressions, grinding a pronunciation. Самуил Яковлевич so described this period of the life: « The first half-year I have been entirely absorbed by studying of English language. Fortunately, I have passed this preparatory class rather quickly, reading every possible newspapers, guidebooks, listening to speeches, sermons, talking to everyone who agreed to show sufficient patience and up to the end to listen to my uncertain, English phrases stumbling continually. I with gratitude recollect Риджет Стрит Политекникум where I could study at the excellent teacher and the charming cheerful person whom called Mr. Pejdzh. In some months I already was the student of the London university - " Ист London of College " (nowadays it refers to "Queen Mary Kolledzh"). Together with me my wife has acted also. I was on literary branch (Факулти оф Артс), the wife - on branch of the exact sciences (Факулти оф Сайнс). The professor and students have met us unusually affably. I remember, in one of the first days any rather kind person has approached to me in a university dining room and on behalf of the rector, Mr. Hattona, has offered me and to my wife if it is necessary for us to have dinner behind one table. My wife has passed for our man's table that was rare exception of the general rules of college. After some rather significant efforts I at last managed to find access to Shakespeare who not transferred and has been not retold, and the present Shakespeare in the original. Keys to Shakespeare have been handed me at faculty lectures. And the light and cosy library of college every day gave me new pleasures: I got acquainted that with William Blejkom and John Keats, with folk songs and Robert Burns, with freakish " Нёрсери Раймс ". To all this as youthful love, I have remained it is true for long years ». In 1914 Marshaks have returned to Russia, and already in 1915 poet publishes the first translations from the English literature. England has presented Marshak absolute mastery of a language, but it considered what to catch, feel special charm of poetry of national language it is possible only under condition of strong communications with native. In a couplet "Translator" it formulates a precept of a translational affair so: it is Good, that you are familiar with another's language, But not be in enmity with the language. It is represented interesting to compare translation same четверостишья from Burns's ballad "John Jachmennoe Zerno". M.Mihajlov, the fine master, one of Burns's pathbreakers for the Russian reader, offers such translation: Once strong three tsars Reigned at the same time. Also have settled: " Disappear you, John Jachmennoe Zerno! " It is obvious, that "tsars" here are a little bit alien, "kings", and "at the same time" not on a place would be more pertinent, and is compelled - to "grain". Besides the decision of "tsars" sounds, more likely, as a damnation, instead of a verdict. All this, not speaking that Михайлов rhymes in a line (2-nd with 4-th) whereas at Burns rhyming cross. Music of a verse is changed and, probably, is impoverished. Here is how translates E.Bagritsky's same quatrian, in representations not requiring: Three kings from three parties Have solved at the same time: you should disappear, young John Jachmennoe Zerno. Here we already see "kings", instead of "tsars", but they for some reason " from three parties ", apparently, for the sake of a rhyme " the parties - John ". " At the same time " looks more convincingly, than at Михайлова, and the decision of "kings" is more similarly on a verdict, but Burns's energy in it obviously does not suffice. Completely not clear, why kings almost tenderly call John "young". And, at last, Marshak's translation: Three kings it has angered, And has been solved, That John Jachmennoe Zerno will for ever be lost. It seems, the same words, but all of them it is tenacious are connected with each other. It is alive Bern c. Marshak has made Burns Russian, but has left his Scot. At the some people is, that is, - those sometimes cannot eat, And others can eat, yes sit without bread. And at us here is, that is, yes thus is, than is, - Means, to us to thank there is a sky! In these four lines comic table присловья the verb is repeatedly repeated and revolved "is", having in Russian, as is known, different value. It is Bern, but Bern Russian. Marshak liked to repeat, that verses do not translate, them live. Once at him have taken an interest, as it "has lived" the lines of translation the sparrow - the Homeless nestling Has reared a cuckoo, And that take and убей Reception father! Самуил Яковлевич has answered with a smile: " I recollected one pupil ". S.JA.Marshak generally did not translate verses, and wrote them anew. The poem of Burns transferred to him " Fair poverty " in interlinear translation sounds so: you see that haughty щеголя, which call lord, Which strides so important and пялит (on all) eyes? Though hundreds revere his (each) word, Nevertheless it the blockhead, despite of everything. And at Marshak so: Here this шут - natural lord, we should bow to it, But let it is prudish and proud, the Log a log remain. Pedants can tell, that in the original are not present "logs", "шута", " natural lord ", that the translator has forgotten and "щегольство", and " the important gait ", and many other things. These verses even have caused spiteful эпиграмму on Marshak: At all at that, At all at that, At all at that thus Marshak has remained Marshak, And Robert Berne the poet. But to any judge of poetry it is clear, that this translation наиточнейший: In it Burns's angry-contemptious, sarcastic intonation, his hostility to inflated пустышкам is precisely transferred. Here is how it is easy, крылато, Marshak aphoristically finishes: we bread eat also water we drink, we are covered by rags And so on, And meanwhile the fool and the crook Are dressed in silk and fault drink And so on. The original in the word-per-word translation here is how sounds: That what at us for a dinner poor food, What our clothes from a grey sackcloth? Give fools of their silk and rascals - their wine, the Person is the person, despite of everything. There is no in this original "waters", "rags", an inclination in it imperative, but ideas and emotions of the original in translation are kept completely. Certainly, Bern was not for Marshak far, for a long time the living poet. And in Russian translation the Scottish poet sounds rather actually. Ponder upon these lines: At all at that, At all at that, Awards, flattery Both other do not replace Mind and honour And so on! Probably, язвительность, thin irony, and sometimes and terrible satire Самуил Яковлевич has got from Burns, and already when it wrote short neat эпиграммы, apparently, that his co-author the great Scot was. Here, for example, that Marshak writes to the tailor "expensive" (true): Ah you, the robber, ah the villain! Well how are you? You undress people When them dress! And here a note to the minister kept it long waiting in reception: At you, comrade Bolshakov, Not too is a lot of Marshaks. Once on an anniversary of known historian Tarle Chukovsky has argued with Marshak, what even to it, Самуилу Яковлевичу, it will not be possible to pick up a rhyme to a surname юбиляра. Marshak has instantly answered with an impromptu: At one go historian Tarle Could write (as I to an album) Huge volume about each Charles And about Lui anyone. Same Чуковскому which was a little bit more senior than it, it devotes comic verses: I See: Чуковского to me to not catch up. Let heavens will judge us! Was Чуковскому seventy five, it will be fast to me as much. Lo and behold, from me it has skipped away again, is Again ready to an anniversary... If will knock to me one thousand five, One thousand ten - Корнею! And here that Marshak writes about Damian Bednom: the Social security! Your affairs are fruitless, What unprecedented shame! The poet of work, the poet national Has remained Poor till now! Unforgettable the History of my acquaintance with Самуилом Яковлевичем is those. The background - is usual. Guys with whom I studied, having taken offence on " the Pioneer truth " (there was it in 1952 or 1953) which has refused to print my verses, have sent "masterpieces" of unrecognized poet Samuilu Jakovlevichu. Marshak has answered with the kind letter, but thus recommended to read more verses, than to write: " Good readers are necessary not less, than good writers ". In due course I have forgotten about this letter, the destiny, probably, needed to not separate me with Самуилом Яковлевичем. I do not remember, apparently, in 1960 or 1961 in any thick magazine I have read a selection of poems of Marshak and among them эпитафию: it is not necessary to me neither tears, nor pale roses - I and at a life saw them much. And I in the ground have not carried away anything, That on the ground alive belonged. I have almost physically felt a condition of the poet during that time. Has decided to send it the letter. It was not kept from temptation - has enclosed in an envelope some the poems. In S.JA.Marshak's reciprocal letter thanked me for attention and called on a visit. In 1963 I was in Moscow and one day prior to departure have ventured to call Самуилу Яковлевичу. Is Mark? From Аккермана? Where you now? I wait for you, immediately come! Самуил Яковлевич spoke still something, probably, told how to go to it, but for excitement I already perceived nothing.. .. I have risen on the third floor "чкаловского" at home (N№14/16), have seen to the right of the lift an apartment 113 and, stretching a hand to the button of a bell, have heard, as behind door Самуил Яковлевич to someone spoke: " Now to me there will arrive Mark, and we together shall have dinner ". The door was opened by the elderly woman: " Mark? My name is Розалия Ивановна ". From a room to the right of прихожей, leaning on a stick, Marshak, small, very thin, childly helpless has left. Well tailored dark jacket hung on his shoulders literally. And only on a sight - surprising маршаковскому to a sight familiar to me on photos, I have learned Самуила Яковлевича. - Well, at last, the smart guy, you came. I in fact have explained to you how more likely to reach. Well, anything! Undress, Mark. Розалия Ивановна has told to me: " you, probably, have got tired and for a long time did not eat. We had not dinner, waited for you ". And whisper has added: " Самуил Яковлевич eat nothing, maybe, with you something съест ". We have come in a small silent room. First of all the abundance of books was evident to me, has drawn my attention and a carpet to a wall with the portrait of Robert Bern weaved on itса. Is a gift of my Scottish friends, - the owner of a house has explained. Soon Розалия Ивановна has rolled in a room a little table on wheels, on it there was a meal. - Самуил Яковлевич, you as want, and it is necessary to feed Mark. Marshak as if does not hear its words and addresses to me: - So you at school work? Whether children read? Than are interested? I answer somehow muffledly, not hearing myself. - And verses still write? - Самуил Яковлевич it is unexpected for me reads a fragment from my "verse": I in a life of much have experienced, not knowing itself that wished. The dream caressed and indulged And everywhere for pleasure of storms searched. I against a wind went obstinately, did not bend, did not look back And even there where I was not right, nevertheless to new storms Was glad. - As many одесситы, Mark, you love " a genitive case ". To read verses continue? Shakespeare read? - Even by heart I know! And I am unexpected for myself "volley" have recited two sonnets (1-st and 66-th), 66-th - in B.L.Pasternaka's translation. - Boris Leonidovich the fine translator. But Shakespeare's sonnets is a poem about his life and an epoch. The poet wrote them almost ten years and before has dared to give them on court of the reader, "has sustained" even the whole decade. Has published them all together, instead of it is selective. (Marshak's Each word seemed to me invaluable, and I, "having taken advantage" of that it is keen бе-gray-haired and is obvious very much близорук, having hesitated for a time, began "to summarize" furtively that it spoke.) High, silent, slightly задыхающийся voice Самуила Яковлевича with his unique intonation has filled in a small room, and, appear, all around has disappeared, only sounded and quiet slow speech sounded... Самуил Яковлевич already then was hardly sick. To breathe to it it was difficult, and to speak - even more difficultly. It smoked much, and from it fits of coughing became frequent. I tried to speed up the leaving, but Самуил Яковлевич did not release me. Once again having said goodbye, I was directed to a door. Самуил Яковлевич has tried to rise to carry out me, but the cough which has captured it has not allowed it to make it. When cough has stopped, it has asked: - Побудьте some more minutes, I want to carry out you up to the lift ". It was very pale and sad. I have recollected war, mum, reading to me Marshak's verses. Has passed some minutes. Самуил Яковлевич has smoked the next cigarette and has told: - In a youth I worked as the tutor. Know, what the most important, in my opinion, in pedagogics? To not adjust взросление children! It is necessary for the nature, that children remained children. In the far antiquity Абайя, the well-known interpreter of a Torah, spoke: " At children study in wisdom ". Now, apparently, at school adjust взросление. Do not hasten, Mark, with it and transfer from me it is to the colleagues! I, having overlooked about the weariness and Marshak's condition, have for some reason decided to tell to it as my grandfather, having collected last pennies, has bought to me a violin and have led to teacher Ilya Izrailevichu. I would not like to play on a violin. After the second employment I have exchanged her for football boots and a football. Month I deceived the grandfather - spoke, that I go to Ilya Izrailevichu, then have not sustained and have admitted. Tears were screwed on pale blue eyes of the grandfather. Pounding them on the person as the offended child, it has spoken: " Probably, you are right, my grandson. After the childhood in a ghetto the ball is more necessary than a violin... " The grandmother has come In a room. " That with you why you cry? " - she has asked it. « I do not pay, - the grandfather has answered, - tears flow. It is cried... Today at night I thought about Мойшеле (so called my father who has lost in a ghetto). You know, what it to me would tell? " I have implored at Б-га your life and I want, that my son was happier than me. Do not force it to play on a violin. Buy to it a ball and boots, let it plays football... " ». For the first time during our meeting Самуил Яковлевич has smiled. Something direct, irresistably children's has flown in this smile, and I have thought of that instant, that skill to come back in the childhood all the same, that skill to come back in the last, eternal truth... - the Clear head your grandfather, oh, the clear head! About, these remarkable backward old men! How many wisdom, humour and griefs they stored in the hearts!.. I Remember, my grandfather - by the way, it was the lineal descendant known талмудиста Aaron - Шмуэла Kojdanovera - frequently repeated: " Poor it is pleased, when loses, and then finds, that has lost ". Certainly, wisdom of these old men, their skill to be content small to accept as gift simple terrestrial pleasures and them really the philosophical attitude to death has genetically inherited Самуил Яковлевич. Still it has recollected, how his grandfather once, shortly before death, has told to the son - to father of the future poet: " The life is lived, and a way, specified to me Б-гом, is gone ". And it was, probably, very close to Marshak. Shortly before death Самуил Яковлевич has written verses: All dies on the ground and in the sea, But the person суровей is condemned: it should know about the death sentence Signed when it has been given birth... And hardly later: the world at that o'clock, When исчезну I As it has died away for your eyes, Left friends Will disappear. Does not become the sun and the moon, all flowers Will fade. There will be no even a silence, does not become darkness... No, the world will exist, And let I in it was not present, But I have had time to embrace all world, All millions years... I have slowly gone on street Chkalovskoj to Kursk station. Has gone on a way to post office, has seen the records and on cable forms has written down everything, that has remembered and could not write down during our conversation. Since then минуло thirty five years. I till now am in Marshak's house and mentally I continue conversations with it...  

Copyright H. David Marshak, All Rights Reserved
I wanted to publish Pride and Prejudice, but that was not so easy. The British Marxist Arnold Kettle spoke very critically of her in his Introduction to the English Novel. He said Austen's heroes were too isolated from common people, since they lived behind the high walls of their estates... Several years later the publishing house Inostrannaya Literatura [Foreign Literature] published this novel in English with my preface where I quoted the Kettle's article (this was a must), though I did not agree with it. The thaw was only about to begin.

Later I learned that the famous physicist Emmanuel Marshak, the son of Samuel Marshak loved Jane Austen and had been translating this novel for twenty years. Several years after "Pride and Prejudice" had been published in our country, I received a letter from him where he asked me to write a preface and a commentary to his translation, which was later published in the "Literary Memorials" series by the Nauka [Science] publishing house. This was an outstanding series! I also wrote about Jane Austen later, though I never translated any of her works.

Nina Demurova


The Rainbow Book

Copyright H. David Marshak, All Rights Reserved