‘arts’ Category

  1. Roots and routes: Mandelshtam on Khlebnikov


    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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  2. Flying stones


    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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  3. Kiefer and Khlebnikov


    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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  4. Poets as players 2


    May 24, 2017 by AK

    More from Khodasevich’s 1924 memoir on Bryusov quoted in the previous post. Card players inadvertently reveal their deeper selves to discerning eyes: I have played cards a lot in my day; I have seen many players, both occasional and professional. I believe that at the card table, one can learn a great deal about people – at any …
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  5. Poets as players


    May 21, 2017 by AK

    Language Hat has a post on the card game played by Grandma Lausch and her Hungarian friend Mr. Kreindl in The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow. It’s called klabyash in the book while clobyosh seems to be the more common spelling, and the present-day Russian names for similar games are deberts, klabor, and belot. …
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  6. Ireland’s fine timber


    May 10, 2017 by AK

    Prompted by Language Hat’s latest post on Ivan Goncharov’s Oblomov, I wondered if its protagonist could be described as “fine-souled” and ran a Google search for the expression. The second link on the results page brought me this: Here the sensitive and fine-souled author of “Psyche” died. I thought of Keats (Ode to Psyche) but he died …
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  7. Nailed to a bar


    March 26, 2017 by AK

    Tom the Amateur Reader, the author of the Wuthering Expectations blog, quotes from the 1970 collection of translations from Alexander Blok by Jon Stallworthy and Peter France: I am nailed to a bar with liquor. It’s the first line of this poem from 1908. (I tried to translate it in 2006.) Its second word is the translator’s …
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  8. Troubetzkoy’s Children


    March 5, 2017 by AK

    The sculptor Paolo Troubetzkoy was born in 1866 in Intra, by Lago Maggiore in the north of Italy, to Ada Winans, an American pianist and singer, and Petr (Pyotr) Petrovich Trubetskoy, a Russian diplomat of aristocratic lineage. Paolo grew up in Italy and spoke little Russian but lived and worked in Russia for almost ten …
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  9. Who should have the last word?


    February 26, 2017 by AK

    The Economist‘s Erasmus wrote last Sunday about the “row” concerning Saint Isaac’s Cathedral in Saint Petersburg: After the Bolshevik revolution a century ago, [the building] became a museum, dedicated at various times to science, atheism or simply its own history. Services have been held there since the fall of communism, but it continued to be …
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  10. Zhukovsky’s note from February 1821


    February 22, 2017 by AK

    I’ve come across an English translation of Zhukovsky’s comment on his 1821 poem, Lalla Rookh – not a Russian version of Thomas Moore’s long work but a lyrical essay on beauty and imagination. The brief prose note complements the poem. The book is Russian Romantic Criticism: An Anthology compiled by Lauren G. Leighton, who taught Russian literature …
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