All posts in category Russia

Discovering Ivy Litvinov

A post for Women’s History Month A few weeks ago whilst preparing for my final-year undergraduate Dostoevsky class I plucked an old translation from my shelf that I’d bought a couple of years previously at the Amnesty shop in Shoreditch boxpark. I’d barely looked at it before – I tend to collect old Dostoevsky translations […]

Review: St Petersburg city-pick

City-pick St Petersburg, ed. Heather Reyes, Marina Samsonova and James Rann (Oxygen Books, 2012) The city-pick series of anthologies of city writing has turned its attention to St Petersburg, producing a thoroughly enjoyable collection that made me want to revisit old favourites and seek out some very interesting-looking texts (particularly non-Russian ones) that I hadn’t […]

Lenin and the Constructivists in Stockholm

One of the highlights of my recent trip to Stockholm was a visit to the Moderna Museet. In addition to a very fine lunch with a fabulous view in the restaurant, I very much enjoyed the Explosion! exhibition, and learnt a good deal about Swedish pre-WWII art, but the visit was also notable for a […]

Russian prison experience

Last week I participated in a workshop titled ‘Punishment as a Crime? Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Prison Experience in Russian Culture’, at Uppsala University’s Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies. The programme, which is available here, was notable for its wide range of papers and approaches. The imperial, soviet and post-soviet periods were all covered, and […]

Four short links (and more): the art of protest

I don’t do politics on this blog, but political art is allowed, and there have been some particularly good examples of creative protest and subversive art in Russia recently. So, while I’m stuck at home with pneumonia, a little round-up to pass the time, because I haven’t got the energy to do anything more taxing. […]

Four short links: Soviet design

The promised posts on Herzen are still in preparation, but in the meantime, a few recent features on Soviet design have reminded me that their poster art wasn’t an isolated phenomenon (incidentally, good sites for Soviet posters keep cropping up – I found this French one after I published my four short links post). Favourite […]

Four short links: Soviet posters

Soviet poster art was truly remarkable, and some amazing examples are available on the internet. My favourite sites are: 1) Plakaty.ru. A huge gallery with a wide range of subjects, from military to entertainment and advertising, including this one from the propaganda section, which reads: ‘Stalin’s mood makes our army and country strong and solid!’ […]

Vera, or The Nihilists

My interest in British views of Russians recently led me to read Oscar Wilde’s first play, Vera, or The Nihilists, apparently inspired by Vera Zasulich’s attempted assassination of the Governor of St Petersburg in 1878. It’s spectacularly bad, and I’m surprised neither that its first productions, in London in 1880 and New York in 1882, […]

Hughesovka revisited

Finding the concept of Welsh Noir rather appealing, I’ve been meaning to get round to reading Malcolm Pryce’s Aberystwyth novels, featuring gumshoe Louie Knight, for some time. But it was only when I picked up a copy of the latest addition to the series,¬†From Aberystwyth With Love,¬†that I realized its true significance. I had anticipated […]

Four short links: Russian oddments

1. Hermitage cats. For over 250 years – with a break during the siege when they sadly all perished – the Hermitage has been home to an army of 50 or so cats, and every year the museum holds a Cat Day in March with lots of cat-related events to celebrate the Winter Palace’s most […]