All posts tagged St Petersburg

Mapping Petersburg

Over the last few months I have been working with John Levin on the pilot for a digital Russian literature project, and last week we launched the website, Mapping Petersburg: Experiments in Literary Cartography. The project aims to explore the role of Petersburg’s topography in shaping the literature for which the city is so famous, […]

Atamansha

According to one of my mailing lists, a poll to identify the women who best symbolize modern-day Russia has seen the top two places given to ageing  lite entertainment diva and staple of celebrity gossip magazines, Alla Pugacheva (I could never see the point, even ironically – perhaps because I like music), and the arch-Putinite […]

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 […]

Russians in London: Pyotr Kropotkin

The geographer and anarchist Prince Pyotr Kropotkin first arrived in England in July 1876, fresh from his legendary escape from the Peter and Paul fortress in St Petersburg. He lived briefly in Edinburgh, and earned a living writing for The Times and the journal Nature, but it would be another ten years before he settled […]

Russians in London: Dostoevsky

Dostoevsky left St Petersburg for his first trip to Europe on 7th June 1862. He spent most of his time in France and Italy, but also visited London for 8 days – his only trip to Britain – arriving on 9th July (Dryzhakov, p. 328). Like many other writers, one of his chief aims was […]

Russians in London: Mikhail Bakunin

Mikhail Bakunin, anarchist and revolutionary, already had a reputation in England before his arrival in London in 1861. The story of his alleged links with the Russian state reached the press in the form of an article in the Morning Advertiser, ‘Was Bakunin a Russian Agent or Not?’ (23 August, 1853), written by the conservative […]

Russians in London: Peter the Great

For such a famous visit, Peter the Great’s stay in London in 1698 seems to be surrounded by confusion and apocryphal tales (this article from the Torygraph retails its fair share of them), from the misplaced plaque that once adorned 15 Buckingham Street, several streets away from where he actually stayed on his arrival, to […]

Chto delat? at the ICA

Chto delat? (What is to be Done?) is a collective of artists, theorists and political activists from Moscow, Petersburg and Novgorod, formed in 2003. In general I’m more au fait with their political work, via their Russian blog, where I’ve been reading intermittently about the activities and persecution (both official and unofficial) of anti-fascist, ecological and […]

Vavilov and the Pavlovsk Experimental Station

My knowledge of science in Russia is pretty limited. Like most students of Russian literature, I know that Dmitry Mendeleev, of periodic table fame, was the father-in-law of the poet Alexander Blok. Shalamov, in his story Courses, tells the tale of having to pass an oral exam in Chemistry, his weakest subject, in order to […]

Four short links: old Russian photos

I’ve been interested in old photos of Russia since visiting a fabulous exhibition at the Manezh in St Petersburg in late 2004. I still have vivid memories of pictures of the elderly Tolstoy riding his horse with his beard streaming, and a fascinating set of photos of the first trams in Petersburg. My love of […]