Poet, critic, editor, and translator, Maxim Amelin is among the last generation of Russian poets to grow up in the Soviet Union. The recipient of numerous national awards, including the Moscow Reckoning Award, the Anti-Booker, the Novyi Mir Prize, and the Bunin Prize, his work has been translated into over a dozen languages. In 2013 Amelin won the prestigious Solzhenitsyn Prize for his contributions to Russian poetry. The author of three books of poetry, including Cold Odes (1996), Dubia (1999), and The Horse of the Gorgon (2003), as well as a collection of prose and poems, Bent Speech (2011), he is also an accomplished translator of Pindar, Catullus, Homer, and other ancient and contemporary poets. He currently lives in Moscow. He is a member of the Russian PEN-Club and editor-in-chief at OGI, a leading publisher of contemporary literature.
The Joyous Science, Part 1
by Maxim Amelin, translated from the Russian by Derek Mong and Anne O. Fisher
The True Story of the Famous Bruce, Composed in Verse from the Accounts of Several Eyewitnesses
Maxim Amelin’s “The Joyous Science” chronicles the real and imagined exploits of Jacob Bruce (1669 1735), an astronomer, alchemist, and military strategist to Peter the Great. The poem is a mock epic, a biographical adventure, and a series of comedic set pieces that demonstrate how Amelinin the words of the 2013 committee for the Solzhenitsyn Prizehas “expand[ed] the limits and possibilities” of Russian verse.