Quick Study: Pavel Lembersky is a fiction writer, screenwriter, and columnist with a background in comp lit and film.
The Lembersky File: Pavel Lembersky is an Odessa-born writer who came to the United States in 1977 and writes in English and Russian. Lembersky’s Russian-language novel Aboard the 500th Merry Echelon was released in 2011, and he has published three collections of short stories in Russian: River #7, The City Of Vanishing Spaces, and A Unique Occurrence. Lembersky also contributes pieces to such Russian publications as Snob, Teatr, and OpenSpace.ru. Lembersky, who studied film in graduate school, has worked in New York’s radio and film industry, too.
Lembersky’s Places: Odessa: Born. California: UCBerkeley (comp lit degree) and San Francisco State University (graduate work in film). New York: lives there.
The Word on Lembersky: In reviewing Lembersky’s story collection The City of Vanishing Spaces, critic Anton Nesterov wrote in 2002 for the Ex Libris book supplement of Independent Newspaper, “Imagine Borges writing philosophical conceptual anecdotes using the sparkling language of Isaac Babel. Sometimes the significant parts are located in the breaks between [Lembersky’s] phrases, and one can feel the draft of pain and despair blowing from those gaps which perhaps irony alone can suppress.”
Lembersky on Lembersky: In an interview for the Russian service of Voice of America that’s quoted in a VoA Web article, Lembersky said he has equal affinities for Russian sentimentalists from the early 1800s and American writers of the same period, “for example, Nathaniel Hawthorne or Edgar Allan Poe. I get equal enjoyment reading authors who worked at the same time on different sides of the Atlantic.”
On Writing: Lembersky also discussed his editing process in the Voice of America interview, saying, “I work for an incredibly long time on texts. Even if it’s a story that’s a page and a half or two pages, I will edit it fifty or more times, weighing every word.”
Lembersky Recommends: Sergei Yesenin, whose poetry—particularly Yesenin’s later work—Lembersky said he loved during an interesting 2005 interview with Dmitry Prigov… Lembersky also said Prigov’s poems “make a strong impression” on him.