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Four short links: eat, drink and be merry

Or… Four slightly random Russian-related things that have very little in common other than the fact that they’re somewhat more fun that my usual preoccupations. The first two are my favourite Russian news stories from the last few days — they certainly make a change from the usual fare. My thanks to John for alerting me to more than one of the following.

1) Krupskaya was a sweetie after all! The Guardian’s story about the relaunch of Krupskaya chocolate (the factory was renamed in her honour after her death in 1939) made me reconsider my generally uncharitable attitude to the famously sour-faced old bag, although obviously not for long.

2) Drunk in charge of a theatre: also in the Guardian, the story of the German actors who used real, 80 proof vodka in their production of Venedikt Erofeev’s Moskva-Petushki (Moscow to the End of the Line) and, unsurprisingly, got extremely drunk, is so brilliantly in the spirit(s) of the original that I really wish I’d been there. I was chuckling about it all day (and frankly, given the week I’ve had, that’s quite amazing).

3) For those of us who can get a bit nostalgic for Soviet aesthetics, Soviet Music is the answer. Who can fail to be moved by the tender lyricism of ‘Steel Horses,’ the collective farm workers’ hymn to their new tractors? There are some posters too, including Alcohol, the enemy of production — clearly the German actors hadn’t seen that one.

4) And also related to Soviet nostalgia, David Hlynsky’s photographs of Communist-era shop windows take me right back to those days when you’d go into a Soviet bakery and be confronted by a pile of tins of pineapple and nothing else. A great idea for a photo-documentary project — their like will never be seen again.

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  1. Sarah J. Young » Blog Archive » Krupskaya: an apology

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