‘arts’ Category

  1. Define “embarrassment” for me

    2

    September 25, 2017 by AK

    Here’s a good write-up of the monumental gun snafu in Moscow: It’s a blunder so bad it makes you look twice: On the new sculpture dedicated to Russia’s most famous small arms designer, there is an unintentional homage to a weapon of Russia’s hated adversaries during the Great Patriotic War. The author, Nathaniel F, seems …
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  2. The Shooting Party

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    September 23, 2017 by AK

    Simon Karlinsky wrote in Anton Chekhov’s Life and Thought: Selected Letters and Commentary (1973): The other novel of Chekhov’s student years, the somewhat Dostoyevskian murder mystery The Shooting Party (the original Russian title was Drama During a Hunt) of 1884, had an even more distinguished career; its basic narrative structure was borrowed by none other that …
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  3. Chekhov’s Prank

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    September 21, 2017 by AK

    Chekhov started writing around 1880 to support his family while studying medicine and produced “more than 500 comic stories, spoofs, and vignettes for Moscow’s popular weekly magazines” in the 1880s. Some of them can be found in The Prank, the collection Chekhov himself compiled (and his brother Nikolai illustrated) in 1882, which was never published …
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  4. “You are a little mistaken about all this.”

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    September 17, 2017 by AK

    Chekhov’s first published work was a short story, A Letter to a Learned Neighbor. It’s what the title say it is – a letter to an apparently retired professor from an old fool full of childishly absurd opinions. The professor has certain ideas à la Jules Verne, which his neighbor rebuts brilliantly: … if people …
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  5. Houellebecq and the Karamazov family

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    September 14, 2017 by AK

    In a review of Michel Houellebecq’s H. P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life, Lee Rourke quoted the opening lines of the French author’s 2001 novel Platform: Father died last year. I don’t subscribe to the theory by which we only become truly adult when our parents die; we never become truly adult… As I stood before …
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  6. Subterranean work

    1

    August 2, 2017 by AK

    In 1877, Nikolai Nekrasov wrote an epigram, To the Author of Anna Karenina: Tolstoy, you have proven with patience and talent That a woman should not have affairs Either with a sub-chamberlain or with an aide-de-camp When she’s a wife and a mother. There’s still some bite in this because of Tolstoy’s ineradicable moralizing, and …
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  7. Tortured with Les Annales de la vertu

    2

    July 5, 2017 by AK

    Erik McDonald is translating a novella by Sophie (Sof’ia) Engelhardt (Engel’gardt), nėe Novosil’tseva (1828-1894), a Russian author who published her fiction under the pen name Ol’ga N. In 2016, Erik translated another long story by Ol’ga N., The Old Man, now available as a free .mobi e-book. The female narrator in Engelhardt’s story, published in 1867, grew up under the strict …
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  8. Roots and routes: Mandelshtam on Khlebnikov

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    June 12, 2017 by AK

    To add to my recent note on Anselm Kiefer’s new Khlebnikov-inspired exhibition and to my earlier posts on the poet (Jakobson reading K.; Bobeobi 0, 1, and 2), two excerpts from Notes on Poetry by Osip Mandelshtam (1923): Modern Russian poetry did not fall out of the sky but was foretold by the whole poetic …
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  9. Flying stones

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    June 10, 2017 by AK

    This 1989 painting (the one on the left, Falling Stones I) by Nikolai Vechtomov (1923-2007) resembles an older work of his, from the 1960s, shown at the Thaw exhibition that ended in Moscow yesterday. Unfortunately, I cannot find the earlier work online, bust it’s probably oil on canvas and has “stone(s)” in the title. Both paintings make …
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  10. Kiefer and Khlebnikov

    1

    June 6, 2017 by AK

    From the website of the Hermitage museum, St. Petersburg: In 2016, Anselm Kiefer, inspired by his visit to St. Petersburg, created a new exhibition project specially for the Hermitage Museum. It is in the triadic space of the colossal Nikolaevsky Hall of the Winter Palace that Kiefer chose to display around 30 new works dedicated …
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