‘history’ Category

  1. A question of hygiene

    1

    July 14, 2017 by AK

    Due diligence and background checks are sometimes as indispensable as an antiseptic liquid or protective gloves. Some people are literally contagious; others are metaphorically toxic. It may be tempting for a germaphobe’s son to ignore these precautions but prudence shouldn’t have yielded to temptation. I don’t disagree with Prof. Pirrong’s take on the Veselnitskaya-Trump Jr. …
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  2. Tortured with Les Annales de la vertu

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    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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  3. Franco in the 1960s: the case of Grimau

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    June 26, 2017 by AK

    Putin was born 60 years after Franco (October 1952, December 1892) and was appointed prime minister 60 years after Franco was installed in Madrid (August 1999, March 1939). Chronologically, Franco’s 1959, the year of the Stabilization and Liberalization Plan, which led to fifteen years of economic growth, roughly corresponds to Putin’s 2019 or 2020. But …
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  4. 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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  5. Kiefer and Khlebnikov

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    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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  6. Poets as players 2

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    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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  7. Poets as players

    3

    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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  8. “Nothing I saw at Magadan… suggested slave labor.”

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    May 15, 2017 by AK

    Henry Wallace was a man of great talent and achievement. As a politician, however, was susceptible to selective blindness or conscience-soothing self-delusion. In May 1944, he visited the camps of the Kolyma basin – the vast, permafrost-covered northeasternmost island of the Gulag Arkhipelago. The title of Robert Conquest’s 1978 book, Kolyma: The Arctic Death Camps, is …
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  9. Ireland’s fine timber

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    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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  10. Minsk architecture

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    April 23, 2017 by AK

    Peter Pomerantsev, writing about the Belarus Free Theater on the LRB blog: The journey took me out of the unspoilt Stalinist centre of the city. (The architecture is known as ampir in Russian, which sounds like, though doesn’t mean, ‘empire’, and contains the word for ‘feast’, pir. ‘Feast of Empire’ is a good way to describe …
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