At a book promotion event, the writer Mikhail Shishkin told a little story about how he became a writer. He was 15, and in love for the first time. He went to tell his love of his feelings, and when he opened his mouth he realized he did not have words for what he wanted to say. It might be said now that even after years of struggle with the Russian language, and after becoming become an award-winning novelist and essayist, and marrying another woman, a student of his, and raising two children with her: Mikhail Shishkin has never been so articulate as he was that day, open-mouthed and tongue-tied, facing his first love.
Bibliographic information: The event was held at the McNally Jackson bookstore in New York City and featured Shishkin, his American translator Marian Schwartz, and his American publisher, Chad Post of Open Letter Books — all talking about Shiskin’s novel Венерин Волос and the soon to be published translation of it: Maiden Hair.
Afterwords from the winter of 1598-1599
Claudio, after Hero’s father has consented to their marriage, in Much Ado About Nothing: “Silence is the perfectest herald of joy; I were but little happy, if I could say how much.”