All posts tagged Bulgakov

Top ten fictional writers in Russian literature

The Guardian’s list of the 10 best writers in novels is so patently rubbish (two each entries for Martin Amis and Stephen King!?) that I feel compelled to respond with my own round-up of fictional writers in Russian literature. The usual rule applies: no more than one work per author. On the basis that he […]

Top ten undead in Russian literature

“The dead are people too.” Andrei Platonov, The Foundation Pit Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the influence on nineteenth-century Russian literature of romantic and gothic sensibilities, and of fantastic writers from ETA Hoffmann to Edgar Allan Poe, the notion of the undead plays a significant role for some of the most prominent Russian writers. Encompassing not only […]

Top ten food in Russian literature

Food is a tricky subject, as there are a lot of viable candidates for inclusion – so many that I toyed with the idea of doing a top twenty, but that’s a cop out, so I’ve had to whittle it down, and some exceptional works have missed the cut. I’ll say a bit more about […]

Top Ten Animals in Russian Literature

As I have suggested previously, animals have a significant place in Russian literature, and I think this is quite unusual, probably reflecting the greater proximity of Russia literature to its folklore roots than is the case with other literary cultures. Although obviously children’s stories in English (as in other languages), are full of animal characters, […]

Soviet jokes

The book I’ve been reading for fun over the last few days could, for once, actually be described as fun: Ben Lewis, Hammer and Tickle: A History of Communism Told Through Communist Jokes (2008). Actually, it isn’t that funny, partly because analyses of humour never are (the worst research seminar I’ve ever been to was […]

Gratuitous cat picture

…because it’s what the internet’s for. There is a tenuous Russian connection, as although she’s universally known as Chicken, her real name is in fact Chapaev. When she first came into my life, I was reading Victor Pelevin’s novel┬áChapaev i Pustota (variously translated as The Clay Machine Gun and Buddha’s Little Finger). It’s far from […]

Teaching Russian literature

One of the big dilemmas in teaching Russian literature at undergraduate level is the translation vs. original question. Clearly, most of us would like to see our students reading texts in the original, because there are always losses in translation, and because reading in the original helps develop language skills, but it presents various problems. […]

My work (2)

I’ve added another piece of my research, this time a paper I delivered earlier this year as part a Gogol’ bicentenary panel at the BASEES annual conference. The paper was a bit of a departure from my current preoccupations, but the idea arose while I was teaching my final-year undergraduate course on Modern Russian Prose […]