BOOKSTORES IN KAZAN AND CHEBOKSARY.

I dearly love reading about bookstores I’ll never visit, and Christopher Culver feeds this appetite in a couple of recent posts at his weblog (as he quaintly calls it). Minority-language books in Kazan—”If you visit Kazan and want to buy books in Tatar, the place to go is the intersection of Bauman (ул. Баумана) and Astronimičeskaja (ул. Астрономическая) streets”—has a couple of exterior photos of the bookstore in question, and New Chuvash resources in Cheboksary—”Located on Egerskij bul’var near the intersection with prospekt 9-j Pjatiletki (just across the street from the Šupaškar shopping mall and McDonalds), this bookshop offers seemingly every recent publication from the Chuvash state publishing house”—has an enticing interior shot, along with this depressing conclusion:

Gennady Aigi’s complete poems have recently been issued in a two-volume set. I was able to purchase the second volume, which collects his poems in Russian…. However, the first volume, which collects his poems in Chuvash, is sold out. I heard a rumour from a trusted source that almost the entire print run of that volume went to Chuvash politicians and is gathering dust on their shelves.

Linguistically, though, the most exciting post is Tuqay in Volga-Kama languages, which presents a half-dozen versions of the two-line poem “Kazan” by Ğabdulla Tuqay (1886-1913); here are the Tatar original and a Russian translation, and you can see the Bashkir, Chuvash, Udmurt, and Meadow Mari versions at Chris’s site:

Tatar
Ут, төтен, фабрик-завод берлә һаман кайный Казан;
Имгәтеп ташлап савын, сау эшчеләр сайлый Казан.
Russian
Огнем заводов дни и ночи людей ты жжешь, Казань.
Здоровых погубив рабочих, ты новых ждешь, Казань.


I guess I should give a rough translation into English: “With factory’s fire you burn people day and night, Kazan./ Having destroyed healthy workers, you await new ones, Kazan.”

Comments

  1. Hat, had I known you were going to do a post like this, I would have waited to post about my page on Mongolian-language bookshops in Hohhot! At any rate, here is the link again for those who are interested:
    Mongolian-language Bookstores in Hohhot.

  2. Incidentally, Cheboksary has an excellent record store near that same intersection. Lots of Chuvash music!
    Oh, and bad jazz.

  3. That’s a great site you’ve got, Bathrobe. I was very interested by the year of the goat post and the one, on your other site, about stone lions (I once did a post on stylobate stone lions that I now see are quite derivative of the Chinese ones).

  4. The site is quite old and almost defunct, but I hope to start rejuvenating it in the not too distant future….

  5. I wanted to comment on the exorbitant cover price of the textbooks (RR1,000=€24=US$32) when I saw another comment linking to someone else’s web-site where Hat’s post is reposted. (don’t want to put a live link to it – http://www.benlowensohn.com/2011/11/03/bookstores-in-kazan-and-cheboksary/).
    How do you deal with these? ignore or go and shoot’em?

  6. Of course, to be fully able to savour the poem, one must know that kazan’ has the semantics of ‘kettle’, ‘oven’ etc.

  7. J.W. Brewer says:

    “Bad Jazz In Cheboksary” is an awesomely film-noir title. Someone write a script and get Hollywood on the line!

  8. How do you deal with these? ignore or go and shoot’em?
    Ignore. They piss me off, and I used to send takedown notices, but it’s too much trouble and I guess they’re not actually harming me.
    Also, much as I hate to say it, $32 isn’t at all exorbitant for a textbook these days; they can run into the hundreds of dollars. (Mind you, I’m aware that $32 is doubtless a lot of money in those parts; I’m just pointing out that an American isn’t going to be shocked by the figure.)

  9. He also links back to Languagehat :)

  10. What’s the etymology of the Tatar “фабрик-завод”? Is it merely duplicative or is there another kind of завод in Tatar (or maybe another kind of фабрик? I have no idea what’s modifying what, since I don’t know Tatar).

  11. More common translation into Russian is following:
    В жаре и чаде
    Ночи и дни
    Жжешь ты, Казань, рабочих.
    Силы и жизни
    Спалив одних,
    Новых, Казань, ты хочешь!
    (Перевод Н. Ахмерова)
    http://gabdullatukay.ru/rus/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=288&Itemid=37
    But it’s not quite right to translate into English from Russian translation. Tatar-English word-for-word translation would be following:
    Fire, steam, with factories and plants you boil continuously, Kazan.
    Having mutilated and thrown healthy ones, you pick up [new] healthy workers, Kazan.
    Not that translation above or Akhmerov’s one is totally incorrect; but first line’s mood is different to me. A reader consider the poem to be a hymn to industrialization—until [s]he runs into second line. In Russian translations there’s a tragedy from the beginning.
    As for etymology of фабрик-завод, it’s just duplication.

  12. @AJP
    I tried looking at your page on stylobate lions. The first time I could access it, but the photos failed to materialise. The second time, just now, no access at all. China appears to be blocking, or sporadically or partially blocking, WordPress. (It’s often hard to figure out what they are doing).

  13. But it’s not quite right to translate into English from Russian translation.
    Of course not, but I know Russian and I don’t know Tatar. Thanks very much for your improved translation (and for the alternate Russian one)!

  14. You’re welcome. :)

  15. J.W. Brewer says:

    I still get caught up short everytime I see the word “Tatar” in print, because it makes me feel like I got stuck on “Tartar” (esp. for pronunciation) as an error in childhood and never shook it. (And, I mean, I say “acrosst” for across but I’m not put out by the t-less spelling, so this reaction is somewhat unusual for me.) But this time I was inspired to do some googling and it appears that adding the gratuitous first r has been reasonably common in Western European languages since more or less forever, even if snootier editors more recently try to conform English spelling to the transliterated cyrillic.
    There is a well-known anecdote (I don’t have a firm view on its historicity) that when the Wehrmacht was approaching Moscow in ’41 Stalin’s faith in scientific materialism failed him and he arranged to have the icon of Our Lady of Kazan retrieved from whatever Museum of Atheism it was resident in and deployed to protect the city against the invader. (Other stories have her defending Leningrad while it was besieged.)

  16. it appears that adding the gratuitous first r has been reasonably common in Western European languages since more or less forever, even if snootier editors more recently try to conform English spelling to the transliterated cyrillic.
    That’s a tendentious way of saying “things are changing, and I don’t like it.” The fact is that “Tartar” is vanishingly rare these days except as a historical reference, and for very good reason; unlike most historical forms (say, Lyons for Lyon), it has a clear negative connotation, and furthermore it had a much wider reference than the actual Tatars, having been used for just about every infidel menace from the East.
    There is a well-known anecdote (I don’t have a firm view on its historicity) that when the Wehrmacht was approaching Moscow in ’41 Stalin’s faith in scientific materialism failed him and he arranged to have the icon of Our Lady of Kazan retrieved from whatever Museum of Atheism it was resident in and deployed to protect the city against the invader.
    Probably urban legend, but if it happened it was certainly not due to Uncle Joe’s having gotten religion but to his deciding that, like opening churches and letting priests do their thing, it would aid the fighting spirit of the populace.

  17. J.W. Brewer says:

    Well, the changeover in spelling in formal prose had probably largely occurred before I was born. I was more pleased to learn that what I’d thought was an idiosyncratic childish error was in fact part of a venerable tradition.

  18. Robert Berger says:

    “Tartar ” is still used – for tartar sauce !
    Yum !

  19. So how is “Tatar” supposed to be pronounced? Like “totter”? “Tatter”? Or maybe made to rhyme with “bazaar”? Because if you pronounce it as “tartar” but write it “Tatar,” then that’s no better than writing “Tartar,” isn’t it?
    I also noticed the фабрик-завод thing — curious.

  20. You can rhyme with “bazaar” as the second syllable is stressed. Plenty of historic negative connection in Russian language too … little wonder… Dahl to assist the un-PC curious.
    Despite the fact that one of our best friends is Tatar, and despite an internship in Azerbaijan (formerly known as Tatar too, in Dahl’s times), my “bazaar Tatar” is too weak … I could only recognize төтен in the verse. But “фабрик-завод” has been a standard construct in early XXth c. Russian, usually as an adjective фабрично-заводской “industrial”, and even with curious slang derivations such as фабзаяц.
    And lastly, of the legend of Joe and the holy icon … just don’t forget that he was an Orthodox priest by trade.

  21. The traditional explanation of Tartar is that it was bad etymology. In a supposed letter of St. Louis of France, 1270, we hear “In the present danger of the Tartars either we shall push them back into the Tartarus [Gk Ταρταρος 'Hell'] whence they are come, or they will bring us all into heaven.” Of the European languages, Polish alone traditionally had Tatar; at all points west it was Tartar, and it still is in all the derived senses: ‘military valet’, ‘rough, intractable person’, ‘violent person’, ‘adept, champion’, ‘someone unmanageable’ (in to catch a Tartar).

  22. Robert Berger says:

    To call Azerbaijani Turkish Tatar is ridiculous.
    People from Turkey don’t even consider it to be a distinct language from standard Turkish, just a dialect.
    The Azerbaijanis call the standard Turkish of Turkey
    “Istanbul Turkish”.
    Kazan Tatar is a peculiar form of Kipchak Turkish
    where the vowels have shifted so that the number one in Turkish “bir” becomes “ber” , “Kishi” meaning person,becomes “keshe ” “biz(we), becomes “bez”,
    and “Bil” (to know) becomes “bel”, etc.
    The Kipchak Turkish of the Crimea (Crimean Tatar) is somewhat closer to Turkish.

  23. John Emerson says:

    Poland had Muslim Tatars in their nobility (Lipka Tatars), so maybe the did a spell-check for the other Poles.

  24. John Emerson says:
  25. Your link to Lipka mosques doesn’t quite work. Not your fault.

  26. Couldn’t resist linking to an older LH thread on Tatars, per XIX c. definitions. The language specifically mentioned there is Old Chagatay, the source of great many words revived in modern Turkish to replace the Farsi borrowings common both in XIX c. Turkish and modern Azerbaijani (but purged from the usage in Turkey under Ataturk rule).

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