‘Picture Show’ by Osip Mandelstam

Interpreted by Jeff Tompkins

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2013
32 pp., B & W, 6.75 x 9 in., ed. 1,000.
In Russian and English.

Osip Mandelstam’s 1913 poem about the early cinema becomes a silent movie for the printed page in an ingenious fusion of text and image.

“Picture Show” is my rendering of the original “Кинематограф.” Mandelstam’s verse is a witty evocation of the kind of generic melodrama that would have been standard movie fare at the time. In a similar spirit, my artwork mixes original imagery with vintage movie stills, movie posters, and advertising for a very 21st-century mashup.

The poem was translated under the title “Silent Movie” by Robert Tracy in his excellent edition of Mandelstam’s first collection, Stone.

For English-language readers curious about Mandelstam, I also recommend Christian Wiman’s collection of translations, Stolen Air (Ecco, 2012).

Featured on Madesmith.com, August 2013

Price:
$5.00 per copy plus postage (app. $1.50 in U.S., variable outside of U.S.).

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Questions? Comments? Напишите! Write to: info@jefftompkins.net