All posts tagged Sovremennik

Russian thought lecture 4: Nihilism and the birth of Russian radicalism: from science to art

Readings: Nikolai Chernyshevsky, extracts from “The Anthropological Principle in Philosophy” (1860); Dmitry Pisarev, “The Realists” (1864) and “The Thinking Proletariat” (1865) We’re now moving away from the debate that arose initially out of Chaadaev’s “First Philosophical Letter” and dominated Russian intellectual life in the 1830s and 1840s. In the next generation a different set of […]

Russian perspectives on the Great Exhibition (6)

I’m going to skip one report, from Sovremennik, 29 (September 1851), Sovremennye zapiski pp. 63-4, which consists only of a rather dry description of works in gold, silver and precious stones (my plan is to publish the articles and translations separately, and this one will be included then). Instead I shall move straight to the final […]

Russian perspectives on the Great Exhibition (5)

This is the fifth report from Sovremennik on the Great Exhibition, and this time we get two sections. The first discussing aspects of London life, entertainment and commerce surrounding the Great Exhibition and commenting on the quality of reporting in European journals – criticizing them for their preoccupation with London life and entertainment and lack […]

Chaucer, Chernyshevsky and the Crystal Palace

Or, Russian perspectives on the Great Exhibition (4). The late arrival of much of the Russian exhibit probably explains why we have to wait until the August issue of Sovremennik to read any details about what one assumes would have been of some significance to many Russian readers. The majority of the report is taken, […]

Russian perspectives on the Great Exhibition (3)

Actually, this is the second, not the third report, from Sovremennik, taken from the June Miscellany of volume 27 (May-June 1851). I failed to spot it first time round. For those of you who aren’t familiar with 19th century Russian journals, they can be pretty confusing – they’re generally 800-900 pages long, and in several […]

Russian perspectives on the Great Exhibition (2)

The second article on the Great Exhibition in Sovremennik [The Contemporary] appeared in the foreign news round-up of the July-August issue. While the first report was somewhat unclear in its origins, this one was evidently cobbled together from reports in the European press. A further development is apparent regarding the naming of the building; the […]

The opening of the Great Exhibition: a view from Russia

The level of interest from around the world in the Great Exhibition was really quite remarkable, and Russia was no different. I’ve been digging out articles from Russian journals and present here what must be one of the very first, from the May-June issue of Sovremennik for 1851, which deals with the build-up to the […]

Top ten beards in Russian literature

I know I said I’d write another post about Mapping Petersburg, but I’m still thinking about that, so in the mean time, another top ten. But this time it is not the works, but the writers themselves, and specifically their facial adornments, that interest me. Beards, as Elif Batuman has affirmed, are hugely important to […]

Russians in London: Alexander Herzen, with a note on Nikolai Ogarev

When researching the history of Russians in London, Alexander Herzen presents a considerable problem. He is without doubt the most significant of all the writers and activists who visited London in the nineteenth century, not only because he settled in the capital for some years (1852-64), but also because many of his compatriots — Turgenev, […]

One year old today: where do I go from here?

Today is the first anniversary of my blog, and I’ve been reflecting on what I’ve done so far and what I’m planning to do in the coming months. I’ve made a couple of discoveries over the last year. I’ve realized that cats, the Crystal Palace, and Merthyr Tydfil all attract a more readers than Russian […]