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…

Age is a cunning beast

Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign made a big deal of Joe Biden’s advanced age, claiming he was too senile to be president. The Kremlin’s propagandists in the media, both traditional and social, rushed to ridicule Biden as well, along the lines…

Kipling and Carlyle

Reading Faramerz Dabhoiwala‘s review of three books on British imperial history, I saw this quote from 1911 concerning West Indians of color: …lazy, vicious and incapable of any serious improvement, or of work except under compulsion. In such a climate…

Quitanda

Late in May, Chris Bertram posted this photograph on Crooked Timber under the title Brazil, shop at night. The shop is in Pirenópolis, a city in the state of Goiás. The sign in the center of the photograph reads: “Temos…

A side effect of propaganda

The Kremlin is persecuting its domestic opponents with unprecedented viciousness and is close to suppressing, almost completely, free political speech on social media platforms – but is obviously lacking in resolve when it comes to fending off the new coronavirus…

Blok in the dialect of Brescia

At Language Hat‘s, a link to and discussion of Alexander Blok in Dialèt Bresà, a translation or “transplantation” of Alexander Blok’s famous poem, Night, Street, Lamp, Drugstore, into a Gallo-Italic language, by Valentina Gosetti. The language is her native dialect,…

The prognosis is unfavorable

In the past two or three months, the Kremlin has suppressed all organized opposition and outlawed most political speech. Apparently terrified that the regime’s growing unpopularity would translate into a humiliating defeat at the Duma election in September 2021, Putin’s…

Burying Russia

This dispatch by Tom Parfitt from Moscow was published by the Times of London and was not intended as an imitation of a piece from the Onion or the National Lampoon. Take a look at the images and video in…