‘Russia’ Category

  1. The Kalashnikov question: a biographic angle

    1

    October 1, 2017 by AK

    Mikhail Kalashnikov’s contribution to the development of AK-47, relative to the role of other Soviet Russian designers, will probably remain an open question in the foreseeable future. Likewise, the contribution of the German weapons designers and engineers, including but not limited to Hugo Schmeisser, will continue to be discussed. I have no comment on the …
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  2. Hungarian affairs

    9

    September 27, 2017 by AK

    Andrei Kolesnikov of the Carnegie Moscow Center (not to be confused with the reporter of the same name) writes in today’s Vedomosti: As far as I can recall, in The Conformist, the novel by Alberto Moravia on which Bernardo Bertolucci’s famous film is based, the protagonist’s father, confined in an asylum, imagines himself a minister …
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  3. Define “embarrassment” for me

    3

    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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  4. The Shooting Party

    0

    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 …
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  5. Chekhov’s Prank

    0

    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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  6. “You are a little mistaken about all this.”

    0

    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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  7. He Who Must Not Be Named

    1

    September 17, 2017 by AK

    For years, senior Russian officials avoided mentioning Alexey Navalny’s name on TV and in the press. It was hardly a sign of self-confidence and strength. This last Tuesday, Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s op-ed appeared in The New York Times urging Russian “democrats” to adopt the goals and  priorities he favors (thanks to Tim Newman for pointing out …
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  8. Houellebecq and the Karamazov family

    0

    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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  9. Not much on Russian politics here

    0

    September 4, 2017 by AK

    Not that I’m not following it or stopped caring (I wish I could). Unfortunately, my response to the goings-on often resembles Khodasevich’s triad – “disgust, anger, and fear” or, in a more literal translation, “revulsion, malice, and fear.” Occasionally, I even lapse into pathetic fits of useless rage. In other words, if I can’t think …
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  10. The court found their arguments irresistible

    1

    August 26, 2017 by AK

    The New York Times – Andrew Kramer, to be precise – reports from Moscow: A court ordered Russia’s largest privately owned business conglomerate [Sistema] on Wednesday to pay $2.3 billion to the country’s state oil company [Rosneft]… The conflict pits two of Russia’s largest companies. As the overall economy stagnates amid sanctions and low oil prices, …
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