Category EU

To go to Lwów

Robert Pinsky reviews a translation of Adam Zagajewski’s poetry in the NYT. Among other things, he says: The Polish pronunciation and spelling Lvov has been replaced by the Ukrainian Lviv, and behind it the linguistic and cultural echoes of Lwow…

Van der Bellen II

Alexander Van der Bellen has been re-elected President of Austria. As I wrote in 2016, when he won his first term, Van der Bellen’s ancestors had moved from the Netherlands to Russia in the 18th century. They lived in Pskov…

That’s not what’s called spare capacity

Emmanuel Macron reportedly said this to Joe Biden a couple of days ago: I had a call with MbZ [UAE leader Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan]… He told me two things. I’m at a maximum, maximum (production capacity). This is…

Pines in wet climates

The pine forest on the left grows in the Pskov region of European Russia, not far from Pushkin’s ancestral estate. The climate there is moderately cold and rather wet, with more than 700 mm of precipitation per year.  Winters are…

The director’s part

“We liked how Actress X played her part – we just didn’t like Director Y’s production.” Every now and then, critics write this – without noticing the contradiction within. More often than not, it turns out that Actress X excelled…

East Europeans at Bayreuth

The Bayreuth Festival opened last Sunday with a performance of The Flying Dutchman (Der Fliegende Holländer). The first thing that meets the eye is the roster of the artists who created this production. Most of the key names are Eastern…

Olalla II

How did R. L. Stevenson intend Olalla to be pronounced – in English, since he wrote in English? (The Spanish pronunciation is discussed in the comments to Baia, the post at Language Hat’s that inspired this and the previous one.)…

Olalla

On Independence Day, Language Hat wrote: Reading The Recognitions… involves encountering a whole lot of allusions, and one of them was to a Saint Olalla. Wanting to make sure I was pronouncing that right (/oˈlayə/, in Americanized form), I looked…

“Kipling was a great writer”

This past Wednesday, AP reported from Moscow on Putin’s 2021 state of the nation address: In an apparent reference to the U.S. allies, he compared them to Tabaqui, a cowardly golden jackal kowtowing to Shere Khan, the tiger in Rudyard…