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Woe from Wit


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About the Author

Alexander Griboedov (1795-1829), described by Pushkin as the "cleverest man of his generation," is best known as the author of Woe from Wit. While serving on a diplomatic mission to Persia in the aftermath of the 1826-1828 Russo-Persian War, he was brutally murdered when a mob assaulted the Russian embassy in Tehran.

Betsy Hulick has translated Russian poets and playwrights, including Pushkin and Chekhov, and her translation of Gogol's Inspector General was produced on Broadway.


Enjoyable, clever, and very amusing, Woe from Wit deserves to be better-known and more widely performed beyond Russia. -- M. A. Orthofer * The Complete Review *
For those of you who feel the urge to broaden your horizon of the Russian classics, Woe from Wit offers a few hours of light and satisfying entertainment that I highly recommend. * Lossi36 *
A wonderfully entertaining read, with laugh-out-loud lines and memorable set pieces. * Kaggsy's Bookish Ramblings *
Certain masterpieces seem to defy translation. Griboedov's scintillating verse comedy of manners, Woe from Wit, is thought to be one of them. Betsy Hulick's translation comes as close to nullifying that notion as any. It is accurate, sprightly, inventive, and eminently playable. She has captured the sharp characterizations and aphoristic dialogue of the original. Her version deserves to be on the same shelf as Richard Wilbur's Tartuffe and the Cyrano of Anthony Burgess. -- Laurence Senelick, Tufts University
The picture of Russia reflected in Griboedov's great play in the nineteenth century has been brilliantly realized in Betsy Hulick's twenty-first century translation. This paradoxically contemporary classic, with its far-seeing themes, will be a welcome contribution to the English speaking stage. -- Sergei Kakovkin, Honored Artist of the Russian Federation, playwright, director, actor
Finally: an eminently stageable translation of Griboedov's Woe from Wit! The play truly comes to life in English and the dialogue that created so many Russian catchphrases comes through as lively, effortlessly colloquial, and often hilariously funny. -- Julia Trubikhina, City University of New York
Betsy Hulick's recent translation is, like the original, rhymed and intended for the stage. . . the fluidity of the text has been preserved with minimal losses. -- Anna Aslanyan * Los Angeles Review Books *
Those who know and love the original might have wished to see more of their favourite maxims recreated, but this buoyant English version wasn't prepared with them in mind. It stands, and often takes to the air, on its own. -- Boris Dralyuk * Times Literary Supplement *

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