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by Israel Kremen


CS:  Dr. Kushner, you teach math on the highest level of that science at the University in the USA for many years. You meet a lot of young Americans, the brightest and the most active, from different background. What or who can bring the attitude of the majority of the best American youth back to the high-brow Culture, bring back their interest to the process of learning?
And also, please, give an e-mail address to those readers of this site, who are interested in purchasing your books in Russian language.

BK: I think that the problem you are talking about is not a specifically an American one.  In my time and, I assume,  even today in Russia a significant number of the young people (and not the young people only) was and still is deaf, if not aggressively negative, to the "high-brow" (I use your expression) culture. I have met  thousands of students in my classes. They all are so different: from the loafers to those young men who have a thirst for knowledge.  I do not see any difference between the American students here and the Russian students I taught in the USSR. Well, the Americans are even more mature than their Soviet peers (as I remember them now.) The most young Americans are working, besides their school studies. I often meet my students among the employees in the stores and workshops. In all the fairness, I must say that I am lucky: most of my students come from the middle class. Their parents are workers and farmers. All in all, my students are the best people who I met in America.

It is wonderful to be able to teach mathematics, of course, "to sow the reasonable, kind, eternal" (a typical Russian expression), not the destructive and politically correct fashionable nonsense. There is an undoubtedly Divine origin in the mathematics. The Math is a science about the Infinity; the science in which the physical being, the Man, is breaking through to the Infinity due to his intellect and reason. I was very lucky to be a student of the most remarkable mathematician Andrey Markov, Jr. The International Society of Mathematicians celebrated his 100th Anniversary in 2003. I wrote a long essay, dedicated to the Markov's memory, about Andrey Markov and other mathematicians who I met, who I collaborated, socialized and associated with, as well as about this science itself.

The website: http://berkovich-zametki.com is open to all who are interested in Russian-language  literature.
Thank you, Dr. Kremen, for this conversation, for your attention and your time.

CS: Boris Kushner, thank you for your Interview.
But here is a little surprise for you. This is my own attempt to give a taste of your excellent poetry to those readers who read in English language, not in Russian.
I translated three pieces from Russian to English:
Sonnet "The cello's human face...", written by Boris Kushner on August 30, 1999; 
Poem "The artists...", written by Boris Kushner on August 27, 1998; and
Sonnet "The fingers searched...", written by Boris Kushner on August 28, 1998, 
from the book of his poems "Frost of Time" (selected poems, 1998-99.)


The cello's human face...The bow is swimming...
Of melancholy's sense of doom eruption
Divine eyes' sorrow is swift relieving
To celebrating mood: "I'm ready for adoption!"

So what, if month of August comes to end,
And all green forests' bitter death is scheming?
The joyful month of March, as a baby bird, will send
All nightingales, Karuzo, crows singing.

I'll soar into unthinkable falsetto
In the sunset of mine; the heart is splitting up...
Creator's gift: a sky's all-night Concerto
With cello's human voice - song not to interrupt!

If no chance I'll sing next March again,
Let Love of mine to sing my song's refrain.

August 9, 2007,Pittsburgh         Translated by Israel Kremen


Борис Кушнер


Плывёт смычок, и cello, как чело,
Печаль очей божественна не тем ли,
Что чёрная тоска "обречено"
Сменяется торжественным "приемлю".

Что из того, что Августу конец,
И горько умирать лесам зелёным?
Вернётся Март, весёлый, как птенец, -
Петь соловьям, Карузо и воронам.

И я взлечу в немыслимый фальцет,
Пусть мне закат, пусть сердце раскололось.
О дар Творца, - ночных небес концерт,
Виолончели человечий голос.

Но, если Марта не увижу я,
Пусть за меня поёт Любовь моя.
30 августа 1999              Джонстаун

* * *
The artists, like wild animals in prarie,
To gnaw  through each other's throat rush. -
And Mozart's so jealous of Salieri,
And Mozart's so jealous of Salieri...
What's Judgement's Day by Buonarotti's brush.

Ask Zeus, Creator, beautiful Astarta -
A talent's not a genius, which talent is not. -
Salieri's so jealous of Mozart, ah,
Salieri's so jealous of Mozart, ah,
This trash: the wig, the bow...let all of it rot!!!

Persistent labour days and days impractical,
Nostalgia for stars are so acute and clear...
But Father's dearest is only son who's prodigal,
But Father's dearest is only son who's prodigal...
The Envy's laughing, Jealousy's old sister.

August 4, 2007, Pittsburgh     Translated by Israel Kremen


Борис Кушнер

* * *
Артисты, как самцы в вольере, -
Друг другу горло перегрызть. -
И Моцарт так завидовал Сальери,
И Моцарт так завидовал Сальери,
Что Страшный Суд - Буонаротти кисть.

Зови Творца, иль Зевса, иль Астарту, -
Талант не гений, гений не талант. -
Сальери так завидовал Моцарту,
Сальери так завидовал Моцарту... -
Ах, этот хлам, - жабо, парик и бант.

Упорный труд неисчислимых буден,
Тоска по звёздам чиста и остра... -
Но сын Отцу милей, который блуден,
Но сын Отцу милей, который блуден,
Смеётся Зависть, Ревности сестра.

27 августа 1998               Питтсбург



The fingers searched, have found them, and catered
The same notes in their endless alternation. -
As the conception of a stubborn Creator
Extracted from the Chaos the Universal Legislation.

Have mercy and forgive me, Lord in Heaven,
But this's the same out-of-the-World occurence:
To build the world from emptiness with amen
Or put the verse together using words recurrence.

Akin to the Creator's lips to order back,
To beat all swords into the plowshares ample.
The same're fervent Mozart and majestic Bach,
Who bent his head to his Chorale's new temple.

You did create us, maybe, for a game.
Create the Worlds from Chaos here we came.

August 5, 2007, Pittsburgh    Translated by Israel Kremen


Борис Кушнер


И пальцы находили без конца
Всё те же ноты в их чередованье. -
Так замысел упрямого Творца
Из Хаоса извлёк Законы Мирозданья.

Помилуй и прости, Отец небесный мой,
Но ведь одно нездешнее явленье -
Воздвигнуть мир из бездны, что под тьмой,
Или сложить из слов стихотворенье.

Сродни Творцу реченье на губах,
Что из мечей зовёт ковать орала,
И пылкий Моцарт, величавый Бах,
Склонившийся над зданием Хорала.

Быть может, Ты нас создал для игры -
Но мы творим из Хаоса Миры.

28 августа 1998   Питтсбург


The readers who want to read Boris Kushner's articles (in Russian language)
which he mentioned in this Interview, please visit these websites:




portrait 2015
Israel Kremen

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