One of the many great things about running Akira Kurosawa NID is that I am time to time contacted by interesting people with connections to Kurosawa. Yesterday, I received a note which was allegedly sent by Vladimir Vasilyev. Vasilyev worked as an associate director for Dersu Uzala. Then again, at the moment I have very little to doubt that fact, either. My Russian is nearly non-existent, but with the help of a dictionary and a machine translation tool or two, I have been able to squeeze out the following translation which, while no doubt flawed, should give you the gist of the message:.

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Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Dersu the Trapper by Vladimir Arsenyev. Jaimy Gordon Preface. Malcolm Burr Translator. Vladimir Klavdievich Arseniev undertook twelve major scientific expeditions between and in the Siberian Far East, and authored some sixty works from the geographical, geological, botanical, and ethnographic data he amassed.

Among these, Dersu the Trapper has earned a privileged place in Russian literature. In this Russian counterpart to The Journals o Vladimir Klavdievich Arseniev undertook twelve major scientific expeditions between and in the Siberian Far East, and authored some sixty works from the geographical, geological, botanical, and ethnographic data he amassed.

In this Russian counterpart to The Journals of Lewis and Clark and the novels of James Fenimore Cooper, Arseniev combines the precise observations of a naturalist with an exciting narrative of real-life adventure.

Arseniev describes three explorations in the Ussurian taiga along the Sea of Japan above Vladivostok, beginning with his first encounter of the solitary aboriginal hunter named Dersu, a member of the Gold tribe, who thereafter becomes his guide. Each expedition is beset with hardship and danger: through blizzard and flood and assorted deprivations, these two men forge an exceptional friendship in their mutual respect for the immense grandeur of the wilderness.

But the bridges across language, race and culture also have limitations, and the incursion of civilization exacts its toll. Dersu the Trapper is at once a witnessing of Russia's last frontier and a poignant memoir of rare cross-cultural understanding. Originally published in , this English translation is reprinted in its entirety now for the first time. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published June 1st by McPherson first published More Details Original Title. Prin taigaua Extremului Orient 2.

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Get out your man card and start punching: - go on an expedition to the wildest Siberian forest: Check! Vladimir Arsenyev was a military officer, an explorer of the Far East, a scientist, a traveler, and a writer who organized several prospecting expeditions in the Ussurian taiga between and There are three main attractions in the story for me: 1 - the descriptions of the pristine forests of Far East Asia, with their incredible wealth of plant and animal life, the rugged mountains, the marshes, the rivers full of salmon, the beaches inhabited only by seals and sea lions, the majestic tigers waiting to pounce almost on a daily basis.

The few humans encountered on the trip are the original tribesmen Udehei, Nanai, etc , the first Russian settlers brought there by the Great Transsiberian Railway, some Chinese and Korean trappers. Arsenyev style is mostly dry, a detached recounting of facts, but he is effective because this lends the authenticity of the eyewitness to the text. His emotions will become more transparent towards the end, as his friendship with Dersu gains steam.

Arsenyev and his team are on their own and many times their survival is due only to the skills of one man: Dersu Uzala. Which brings me to 3 - the real star of the novel, Dersu Uzala, a simple man with basic needs and ancient wisdom inherited from his native ancestors.

Old, small of stature and poorly dressed, he is more at home in the wilderness that any of his Russian employers. He is an exceptional marksman with a rifle but his real talent is to read the language of trees and the tracks of the animals, the patterns of the clouds and the winds.

He is a survivor who chuckles at Arsenyev when he fails to spot a broken branch on the trail: "Hm! Like a baby. See nothing, savvy nothing. Live in town. Want to eat - go buy. Live alone in mountains - soon die. It's bad to shoot for nothing. Arsenyev will come not only to respect him and to depend on his expertise, but to form a strong friendship with the diminutive guide, offering him the shelter of his home in Khabarovsk when the guide's eyesight begins to falter.

For me, the most important aspect of Dersu personality is his animist spirituality - his belief that every living thing has a soul and is talking gently to him, his view that nature is a garden to be nurtured or at least respected, and not an adversary to be conquered.

He reminds me of Winnetou and Uncas Leatherstocking, with the important difference that Dersu is not an imaginary character. Here's the relevant quote, as narrated by Arsenyev: During our meal I threw a bit of meat into the fire. Dersu pulled it out hastily and flung it to the ground. They can eat it. There are all kinds of people in the taiga. Consider also that the movie won an Oscar for the best foreign language film.

I have waited to read the book before renting the movie, but I plan to remedy this and get it into my player soon. View all 3 comments. Mar 23, Katya Reimann rated it it was amazing. This is an extraordinary book. A 'classic,' in Russia, but Akira Kurasawa was inspired by this book to make his Oscar-winning movie Dersu Uzala, , George Lukas was inspired by the syntax Arseniev puts in Dersu's mouth to create his character Yoda.

The recent bestseller Tiger, by John Valliant, also a lovely book clearly takes its inspiration from Arseniev. There's a wonderful page up by Chad Garcia, titled "Watching Dersu Uzala," which describes This is an extraordinary book. There's a wonderful page up by Chad Garcia, titled "Watching Dersu Uzala," which describes Kurasawa's relationship to the material. Kurasawa's movie was the first complete work he produced after a suicide attempt.

I'd say--read Chad's page. No need for me to crib those thoughts here, when Chad has already written them so finely.

This said, my first reaction on reading the text? It was deep gratitude that I did not find the material to be "dated. The narrative is a factual account of Arseniev's three surveying trips in the coastal area north of Vladivostok--but the story is so much larger. Friendship, the slow terrible impact of one culture upon another, the slow terrible impact of human culture upon nature How can one expect this book, written by a man who was born the son of a serf?

From what source does such human sensitivity arise? In others mountains seem surly and wild. It is a strange thing that such impressions are not purely personal and subjective, but were felt by all the men in the detachment In that spot there was an oppressive feeling in the air, something unhappy and painful, and the sensation of gloom and ill-omen was felt by us all.

The charge I feel, reading the descriptions, the sentences; the feeling that courses through me, knowing that I am learning something new, yet something so connected to so much of what I have thought before. So much about reading is that spark, that sense that one has made an acquaintance of a book at a time and place where the connection one has with one's reading I'm so grateful to have met this book and to have been able to read it in this way.

And such a strong book--in this case I know my feelings are not mine alone. View 2 comments. Jul 12, J. Hushour rated it it was amazing. Arseniev, the author, recounts here three expeditions he did along the Sihote Alin and hinterlands between the Russian frontier and the Sea of Japan in the s. Dersu was his guide and friend, one of those almost mystical dudes who can read intent, age, and health from spoor and know a person by their tracks.

None of this Hollywood Aragorn-patting-grass-where-hobbits-made-love: no, Dersu the Trapper was the real dilly, an unfortunate kind of human that fantasy and culture have ruined by taking their banality and making it something fantastic, while their counterparts in politics have seen to it that they are properly destroyed and forgotten.

Arseniev and Dersu battle tigers, bandits, and nature, while Dersu points up what an infant Arseniev and the other Russians are when it comes to reading the world around them. A classic that makes we want to vanish with my berdianka into the wastes above Lake Hanka!


Dersu Uzala

Seller Rating:. About this Item: Heron Dance. Condition: Good. A copy that has been read, but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact, and the cover is intact. The spine may show signs of wear.


Dersu the Trapper

Arsenyev's book tells of his travels in the Ussuri basin in the Russian Far East. Dersu Uzala was a Nanai hunter who lived c. Arsenyev portrays him as a great man, an animist who sees animals and plants as equal to man. From , Arsenyev invited Dersu to live in his house in Khabarovsk as Dersu's failing sight hampered his ability to live as a hunter. In the spring of , Dersu bade farewell to Arsenyev and walked back to his home in the Primorsky Krai , where he was killed. According to Arsenyev's book, Dersu Uzala was murdered near the town of Korfovskiy and buried in an unmarked grave in the taiga.


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