‘history’ Category

  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. “Nothing I saw at Magadan… suggested slave labor.”

    2

    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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. Who’s next, the Pentecostals?

    2

    April 21, 2017 by AK

    Christianity Today reports from Moscow: It’s official. Jehovah’s Witnesses can no longer practice their faith freely in Russia, where the Supreme Court on Thursday declared the pacifist religious organization an “extremist group” and banned all of its activity. The judge ordered all 395 local chapters and its Russian headquarters to close and authorized the government to …
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  8. “Positive obligation of the State to prevent any threat to life”

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    April 15, 2017 by AK

    The Kremlin has called the ECHR’s ruling on the 2004 Beslan attack “absolutely unacceptable.” And yet, unless Russia wins a reversal, it will have to accept it. After all, what did it expect? Everyone who has been paying attention knows that Russia bungled the siege and blocked attempts by victims’ relatives to get at the truth. Now the …
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  9. The Lord’s refuse

    1

    April 5, 2017 by AK

    Christopher Caldwell’s speech at Hillsdale College, How to Think About Vladimir Putin, suggests an angle and a point of view symptomatic of a certain strain of thought on the American right. I believe it rests on error. No matter what perspective the observer chooses, mistaking myths and half-truths for verifiable facts will distort his view …
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  10. SWIFT and the long run

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    March 26, 2017 by AK

    The Economist wrote in November 2014 considering the proposal that Russian banks be disconnected from the SWIFT payment system: Now there are calls for Russian banks to be banned from SWIFT in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. A group of American senators is arguing for the measure… The impact of a reprise on Russia’s …
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