The most generous SOB of them all

About ten days ago, Language Hat wrote about the 1928 novel The Cynics by Anatoly Mariengof (alternatively transliterated as Marienhof): Given its low profile, I probably wouldn’t have read it if Joseph Brodsky hadn’t called it one of the most…

Russia’s true leader

Oleg Kashin in the New York Times today (“Aleksei Navalny Is Russia’s True Leader“): Now, after getting rid of all his opponents, real and imaginary, Mr. Putin finds himself alone. Like the queen in a Russian fairy tale, who every…

“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…

John Kerry as the weak link?

In September 2016, Marwan Bishara wrote a series of five pieces on the unusual personal relationship between the then Secretary of the State John Kerry and the Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov. This a link to the fifth, and last,…

Dim and mighty

Here’s an extract from The Rainbow (1915) by D. H. Lawrence describing Will Brangwen’s infatuation with German religious art: These were the finest carvings, statues, he had ever seen. The book lay in his hands like a doorway. The world…

A test of American resolve

The Kyiv Post reported yesterday: U.S. President Joe Biden on April 2 held his first phone call with President Volodymyr Zelensky amid Russian military buildup near Ukrainian borders. According to Politico, The conversation follows at least three high-level calls between…

Added in translation II

It’s good to know that Edward Luttwak put things straight when the Italian new agency Adnkronos asked his view on President Biden’s “killer” interview: Biden spoke the truth: Putin is a murderer [assassino]… In Berlin, where Navalny was hospitalized, they…

They had better think again

Adam Kirsch writes in the New Criterion: If millions of people think Rupi Kaur is a poet, comparing her to Wallace Stevens won’t convince them otherwise. I believe I understand correctly what Kirsch is saying here but I wish he…

Developments in the Markiv case

In October 2020, I learned about the trials of Vitaliy Markiv, the Ukrainian soldier accused by Italian prosecutors of murdering an Italian reporter in Donbas in 2014. In July 2019, Markiv was found guilty and sentenced by a first-level court…

The tortoises of 1921

Tortoises, consisting of six long, unrhymed poems by D. H. Lawrence, was printed in 1921 in New York City (by Thomas Seltzer). In Baby Tortoise, Lawrence writes: Voiceless little bird,Resting your head half out of your wimpleIn the slow dignity…