Alexander Palace Forum

Books and Films about the Romanovs and Imperial Russia => Books about the Romanovs and Imperial Russia => Topic started by: Cristina Franco on October 16, 2015, 03:28:01 AM

Title: 'Romanov. Countess Natasha Brasova’ Kindle
Post by: Cristina Franco on October 16, 2015, 03:28:01 AM


The book 'Romanov. Countess Natasha Brasova’ is already in digital format Kindle.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B016N6SRWW#reader_B016N6SRWW
Title: Re: 'Romanov. Countess Natasha Brasova’ Kindle
Post by: Превед on October 16, 2015, 09:25:23 AM


The book 'Romanov. Countess Natasha Brasova’ is already in digital format Kindle.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B016N6SRWW#reader_B016N6SRWW


Hm, it is a curious work you have published here. Knowing very little Spanish I can only glimpse the content, but from what I can see I'm not very tempted:

You are sprinkling the Spanish text with terms in French, which I do agree creates an upper-class imperial Russian feel. But you give the transliterated Russian names in the English forms, for example in this quote:
Yaroslav Vladislavovich Kedrov. Docteur de la Famille du tsar Nicholay II St. Pétersburg.
In imperial times one would have written "Kedroff". NII used the form "Nicholas" in West European languages. And in French St. Petersburg is "St. Pétersbourg". In Russia NII was not called "tsar Nicholay II". He was the "the Emperor" or his "His Imperial Majesty" to educated people, perhaps "the Tsar" to peasants. Only a fraud (is he?) would title himself "docteur de la Famille du tsar". "Docteur" is an academic title tied to the person's name, thus le docteur Kedroff, but his position would be "médicin de la cour impériale" or less formally "médicin de la famille impériale".
Title: Re: 'Romanov. Countess Natasha Brasova’ Kindle
Post by: Превед on October 16, 2015, 09:57:42 AM
The same about this quote:
Mon père, Sergei Alexandrovich Sheremetevky....

Here you have both managed to use a French term together with the English transliteration and misspell the name. It should be:
Mon père, Serge (or Sergueï) Alexandrovitch Cheremetievski.......

And what's with all the endless "mon père"? Do you have sources for Countess Brassova calling her father that while she called her mother "maman"? Why not "papa"?
Title: Re: 'Romanov. Countess Natasha Brasova’ Kindle
Post by: Cristina Franco on October 25, 2015, 10:53:17 AM

Dear friend: I might be wrong, but I think that you did not like the first part of the book that is available through the "Look inside" option. Probably you're more interested in the style rather than the substance of the book.
Title: Re: 'Romanov. Countess Natasha Brasova’ Kindle
Post by: Превед on October 25, 2015, 12:21:29 PM

Dear friend: I might be wrong, but I think that you did not like the first part of the book that is available through the "Look inside" option.
Correct. What I can glimpse from the Spanish text is that it's rather full of sentimental and worn-out clichées.

Quote
Probably you're more interested in the style rather than the substance of the book.
Yes, isn't that one of the features that distinguishes a (historical) novel from a prose biography?

The book 'Romanov. Countess Natasha Brasova’ is already in digital format Kindle.
It also seems rather strange to use the diminutive (Natasha) of her name (Natalia) together with the name of the dynasty and her title.
Title: Re: 'Romanov. Countess Natasha Brasova’ Kindle
Post by: Превед on October 25, 2015, 03:41:11 PM
One of the panegyrizing panelists at this book presentation (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCERbkt8XUU) says you have un gusto por los detalles, but I'd rather say the excerpt shows the opposite:

- Why would the Russian upper-classes use the French version les Soviétiques of a Russian term denoting a specifically Russian phenomena? (Even though Russian doesn't have a totally satisfactory equivalent.) I think they'd say sovyetov or sovyetskikh, in their typical French mixed with Russian expressions.

- It's manoir, not manor in French. (And here I'm sure an upper-class Russian would use the word datcha, even in French.)

- Piroskys - ? You mean pirozhki or pirojki in French transliteration (see Wikipedia (https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pirojki), de petits pâtés en croûte? -i/-y is the Russian plural, a bilingual person would not add an -s in French.

- "la Nevsky prospekt"? Again, see Wikipedia (https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perspective_Nevski). The street has always been known as la perspective Nevski or la perspective Newski in French.

Something which makes this sentence a horror of faux Franco-Russification: "Tal era su prestigio que en varias ocasiones fue llamado a consulta para visitar a la mismísima tsarina viuda Marie Feodorovna, en el dvorets Anichkov de la Nevsky prospekt." Instead of mangling French and Russian, you should rather avoid making the beginner's mistake of using "tsarina (German-Italian form of pre-18th century tsaritsa title) widow" instead of the correct impératrice-douairière / Dowager Empress / vdovstvuyushchaya imperatritsa. Since Spanish seems to lack the concept of "dowager" as opposed to "widow", this would have been a better word to introduce to your readers, in either French or Russian.

-"... en la ulitsa Millionaria." It's ulitsa Millionnaya.

- el petite-déjeuner. It's petit-déjeuner and I'd say it gets less confusing if you write le petit-déjeuner.

- "en el óblast de Tiumen"! Oblast, in Imperial times? Guberniya / gouvernement of Tobolsk, please.
Title: Re: 'Romanov. Countess Natasha Brasova’ Kindle
Post by: Превед on October 25, 2015, 04:54:06 PM
And BTW what's your source for (no, not Tsarina or Tsaritsa, but Empress) Alexandra Fyodorovna being called die deutsche (sic! should be die Deutsche, in correct German) in German in Russia? Is this irony, i.e. German-speaking Baltic baronesses calling her that? If not I think they called her l'Allemande or nemka.

And why do you write (no, not Tsar, but Emperor) Alexandre II, but Alexander III mostly, and some places also Alexandre III? Nicholay instead of Nicholas, but Alexis instead of Alexey? You are desperately trying to add some Russian and French flair, but call Gorky Maximo? Why even bother with all the Russian terms when you call Moskvá Mosscú?
Title: Re: 'Romanov. Countess Natasha Brasova’ Kindle
Post by: Превед on October 25, 2015, 05:08:33 PM
Your publisher, Brúfol, proclaim on their homepage:

Publica tu libro ¡es muy fácil!
Muchas veces nos llega la petición de algún autor para que le publiquemos un libro. Por supuesto es algo que nos encanta. El proceso de creación de un nuevo título es algo que es muy atractivo para el autor, pues muchas veces llega con un manuscrito debajo del brazo y unas semanas después es un libro totalmente acabado, con un trabajo intenso de edición, corrección ortográfica, corrección ortipográfica (básicamente que todo esté en su sitio, que se respeten los márgenes, interlineados, que no haya líneas de texto o palabras sueltas, un trabajo minucioso, que a primera vista igual no se nota, pero que sí en el resultado global de un producto bien acabado), diseño de portadas, impresión, acabados (laminados, hendidos de cortesía) y encuadernación.


Obviously it was very (too!) easy for them to publish your book. You should sue them, as they haven't done anything of the editing they promised you. As you can see, you would have gotten better help (for free!) if you had consulted the many knowledgeable people on this board.


Title: Re: 'Romanov. Countess Natasha Brasova’ Kindle
Post by: Превед on October 25, 2015, 05:46:43 PM
Why even bother with all the Russian terms when you call Moskvá Mosscú?

OMG, I've never learned or studied Spanish and even I can spot that Mosscú is a misspelling of Moscú!

And what's socialités? You put it in italics because you think it's a refined French word de la vieille Russie?
Well, see what es.wiktionary.org has to say:

socialité
Neologismo tomado desde el inglés norteamericano, al que sin embargo se le ha impuesto una pronunciación francesa acentuándolo en la última sílaba


The word you are looking for is mondaine.
Title: Re: 'Romanov. Countess Natasha Brasova’ Kindle
Post by: Превед on October 25, 2015, 06:22:23 PM
This sentence about the Revolution is hilarious:

"Otros eran obligados y reducidos a vivir únicamente en dos estancias de sua propia maison, cuando el comité del barrio decidía que en ella había espacia suficienta para albergar seis o siete familles."
LOL!

By using French terms about not only the nationalized patrician house (not hôtel particulier or appartement?), but also about the presumably lower-class families moving into it as occupiers, the effect is just comical, especially as the intimacy-evoking famille is used about the Romanovs in their entirety several times too, instead of famille regnante, dynastie or the maison so beloved by the author. It does make the Revolution sound like Lenin's proverbial tea party, after all!


Title: Re: 'Romanov. Countess Natasha Brasova’ Kindle
Post by: Превед on October 25, 2015, 08:10:21 PM
So first the author introduces Countess Brassova's father as a doctor, consulted by Empress Maria Fyodorovna and then again presents him as the lawyer he was, or have I misunderstood something?

This paragraph is typical of bad tell-don't-show writing and confirms rather dubious old clichées:
"Mi primer recuerdo de infancia se remonta a 1884 y tristemente, se halla ligado a la muerte. Una leyenda popular señala que cuando las niñas juegan con sus muñecas, imaginan que las entierran, señalando así el espíritu trágico y sombrío del alma russe desde la más temprana niñez."

In which cultures before WW2 did children not play-act funerals? How could they not, when funerals were huge social occassions, followed by weeks or months of restrictive morning. And this coming from a Spaniard!


Title: Re: 'Romanov. Countess Natasha Brasova’ Kindle
Post by: Превед on October 25, 2015, 10:02:07 PM
Ridiculous to read how some provincial papers and online forums in Spanish review this book, gushing about and mixing up the "love" and "respect" they have for the book, for the author and the author for her subject. The lack of any concrete comments makes it appear like none of the reviewers has bothered to read the book, but they still tragic-comically compare it with Stefan Zweig's.
Title: Re: 'Romanov. Countess Natasha Brasova’ Kindle
Post by: Cristina Franco on October 26, 2015, 02:29:04 PM
Dear friend: many thanks. I will consider your magnificent comments. But:

OMG, I've never learned or studied Spanish.
¿¿ One of the panegyrizing panelists at this book presentation says you have un gusto por los detalles, but I'd rather say the excerpt shows the opposite??
As you may understand that if you do not speak Spanish?



So first the author introduces Countess Brassova's father as a doctor, consulted by Empress Maria Fyodorovna and then again presents him as the lawyer he was, or have I misunderstood something?
He misread the text. The 'doctor' is the fictional father Yaroslav Vladislavocih Kedrov. Of course, Natasha's father was a lawyer.


Ridiculous to read how some provincial papers and online forums in Spanish review this book, gushing about and mixing up the "love" and "respect" they have for the book, for the author and the author for her subject. The lack of any concrete comments makes it appear like none of the reviewers has bothered to read the book, but they still tragic-comically compare it with Stefan Zweig's.
I repeat. If you do not speak Spanish, so Spanish as read forums and understood the reference to Stefan Zweig’s……… We met?

Title: Re: 'Romanov. Countess Natasha Brasova’ Kindle
Post by: thebelgianhare on October 26, 2015, 04:04:42 PM
Just to say, there are some absolutely stunning and rare glossy photographs within this book. I enjoyed seeing the Tsar, Grand Duke Michael and Grand Duke Dmitri relaxing together having fun in the same photo! And of course the many pictures of Michael, Natasha, and Tata too which I enjoyed immensely.
Title: Re: 'Romanov. Countess Natasha Brasova’ Kindle
Post by: Превед on October 26, 2015, 04:14:30 PM
OMG, I've never learned or studied Spanish.
¿¿ One of the panegyrizing panelists at this book presentation says you have un gusto por los detalles, but I'd rather say the excerpt shows the opposite??
As you may understand that if you do not speak Spanish?

Well, I certainly don't speak Spanish and I've never studied it any meaningful sense, just picked up a little here and there. But from knowing French and English I can often guess the meaning of a Spanish sentence. To me, Spanish often appears as some kind of very rustic, antiquated French patois. :-) I was amazed by how much of the preview of your book I could understand. Google Translate helped with the rest, including translating the reviews.

Quote
Quote
So first the author introduces Countess Brassova's father as a doctor, consulted by Empress Maria Fyodorovna and then again presents him as the lawyer he was, or have I misunderstood something?
He misread the text. The 'doctor' is the fictional father Yaroslav Vladislavocih Kedrov. Of course, Natasha's father was a lawyer.
So you mix fiction and fact in the same text, without telling the reader? Genre étrange, certes.

Quote
Quote
Ridiculous to read how some provincial papers and online forums in Spanish review this book, gushing about and mixing up the "love" and "respect" they have for the book, for the author and the author for her subject. The lack of any concrete comments makes it appear like none of the reviewers has bothered to read the book, but they still tragic-comically compare it with Stefan Zweig's.
I repeat. If you do not speak Spanish, so Spanish as read forums and understood the reference to Stefan Zweig’s………
¡Google Translate es tu amigo mejor! :-)

Quote
We met?
I doubt it. I am Norwegian and live in Norway. Unlike most Norwegians I've never been to mainland Spain or Valencia, just the Canary Islands.
Title: Re: 'Romanov. Countess Natasha Brasova’ Kindle
Post by: Превед on October 26, 2015, 07:22:07 PM
To me, Spanish often appears as some kind of very rustic, antiquated French patois. :-)

Something which gives me an idea: You, like many other Romanov writers, should rather write an earthy book about the relationship / gulf between Mikhail and Natalia and the peasants at Brasovo, which you already have shown an admirable interest in, free from all false sentimentality and ludicrous pretensions of being a kitschy Proust.
Title: Re: 'Romanov. Countess Natasha Brasova’ Kindle
Post by: Kalafrana on October 27, 2015, 04:55:07 AM
I am getting a bit confused.

I assumed this book was a novel, but the reference to photographs makes me think it is a serious biography.

Does it appear on Kindle as the author wrote it, or is she suffering from a truly terrible translation?

Seriously Cristina, if you do want to write a historical novel, there are people on the Forum who can tell you not only what an officer visiting Nicholas would do with his cap (leave it in the cloakroom, so he would bow three times to Nicholas instead of saluting), but which train he should catch from Petrograd to the Stavka (the sleeper to Kiev, stopping at Moghilev mid-afternoon), and so on. I'm a geek for details, but there are lots of people here who out-geek me!

A smallish point. I understood that the Slavophile Nicholas preferred Tsar to Emperor.

Ann
Title: Re: 'Romanov. Countess Natasha Brasova’ Kindle
Post by: Превед on October 27, 2015, 08:03:40 PM
Does it appear on Kindle as the author wrote it, or is she suffering from a truly terrible translation?
She wrote it as it appears, in Spanish.

Quote
A smallish point. I understood that the Slavophile Nicholas preferred Tsar to Emperor.
One can probably create quite an interesting thesis of schizophrenic identity about how NII wanted to be a Tsar, especially to the people using "Tsar" instead of "Emperor", but due to narrow conservatism ended up being a mere Emperor to the educated people who said "Emperor" instead of "Tsar". He thought like a Tsar, but acted like an Emperor, you could say.



Title: Re: 'Romanov. Countess Natasha Brasova’ Kindle
Post by: Kalafrana on October 29, 2015, 08:02:42 AM
Msge 2:

I have horrible visions of having to change 'Tsar' to 'Emperor' in every conversation between my aristocratic characters.

Ann
Title: Re: 'Romanov. Countess Natasha Brasova’ Kindle
Post by: Maria Sisi on October 29, 2015, 04:29:15 PM
On the whole "Tsar vs. Emperor" one thing that always confused me was that many writers in their books/articles would call Nicholas Tsar and then Alexandra Empress, not Tsarina. Many times even in the same exact sentence. You normally see Nicholas written as Tsar and Alexandra as Empress.

In the beginning before I learned the titles I always got confused when they would write, "Tsar Nicholas II and his wife, the Empress Alexandra." I knew Emperor is a higher title so I didn't understand why Alexandra, a consort, had a higher title then her husband the ruler. It was only later that I realized they could switch between the two and that both were correct. 

 
Title: Re: 'Romanov. Countess Natasha Brasova’ Kindle
Post by: Kalafrana on October 29, 2015, 05:19:44 PM
Yes, I've noticed that as well. I'd also worked out that Tsaritsa is correct for a Tsar's consort, not Tsarina.

Whatever the inconsistency, Tsar Nicholas rolls off my tongue in the same way as Kaiser Wilhelm, yet their respective consorts are both Empress. Equally, Emperor Franz Josef, Not Kaiser Franz Josef.

I do the same with names, depending pretty much on how I first encountered them. Kaiser Wilhelm, but Philip II of Spain.

Oh well

Ann
Title: Re: 'Romanov. Countess Natasha Brasova’ Kindle
Post by: Carolath Habsburg on October 29, 2015, 06:10:04 PM
BTW a russian friend on Tumblr corrected me and said it was not TSARINA the right term, but TSARITSA  and Tsarina was something about a farm.  Is that right?
Title: Re: 'Romanov. Countess Natasha Brasova’ Kindle
Post by: Превед on November 02, 2015, 03:42:29 AM
BTW a russian friend on Tumblr corrected me and said it was not TSARINA the right term, but TSARITSA  and Tsarina was something about a farm.  Is that right?

Correct.

(Interesting that the faux German-Italian "tsarina" actually is a word in some Slavic languages (not Russian): In Macedonian and Serbo-Croatian царина, i.e. tax owed to the цар, means "customs" and in Ukrainian царина, as in dominion, I suppose, means the outlying part of the village, the pasture or the gate leading to it.)