Mondegreen: Songs about Death and Love - Harvard Library of Ukrainian Literature (Hardback)
  • Mondegreen: Songs about Death and Love - Harvard Library of Ukrainian Literature (Hardback)
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Mondegreen: Songs about Death and Love - Harvard Library of Ukrainian Literature (Hardback)

(author), (translator)
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£33.95
Hardback 250 Pages
Published: 17/05/2022
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A mondegreen is something that is heard improperly by someone who then clings to that misinterpretation as fact. Fittingly, Volodymyr Rafeyenko’s novel Mondegreen: Songs about Death and Love explores the ways that memory and language construct our identity, and how we hold on to it no matter what. The novel tells the story of Haba Habinsky, a refugee from Ukraine’s Donbas region, who has escaped to the capital city of Kyiv at the onset of the Ukrainian-Russian war. His physical dislocation—and his subsequent willful adoption of the Ukrainian language—place the protagonist in a state of disorientation during which he is forced to challenge his convictions. Written in beautiful, experimental style, the novel shows how people—and cities—are capable of radical transformation and how this, in turn, affects their interpersonal relations and cultural identification. Taking on crucial topics stirred by Russian aggression that began in 2014, the novel stands out for the innovative and probing manner in which it dissects them, while providing a fresh Donbas perspective on Ukrainian identity.

Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674275577
Number of pages: 250
Dimensions: 203 x 127 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

True to its title, Rafeyenko’s Mondegreen is a tapestry of Soviet rock lyrics, traditional folk ballads, the poems of Taras Shevchenko, and contemporary literary memes, all filtered through the ears of a Ukrainian language learner…Given the complexity of the text, it’s astonishing how much Andryczyk was able to impart in his English version. Moreover, the translation leaves the reader not with a sense of loss but with a feeling that over the horizon there is a tantalizingly rich and vibrant world that one can only access if they too learn Ukrainian…Mondegreen is truly indulgent, a lyrical celebration of words and their power, not just to express but to transform. - Lillian Posner, Los Angeles Review of Books

Playful and allusive, with bursts of fantasy and nightmare, in the tradition of magic realism. - Luke Harding, The Guardian

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Hardback

“Linguistic repositioning in a time of war”

This book is mad in every way.

I was waiting for this for a few months now when I read about it being translated into English. It’s a story of a refugee from Ukraine’s Eastern Donbas region who fled to Kyiv at the... More

Paperback edition
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