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All posts for the month May, 2010

Summer reading

The exam season is more or less over, my marking marathon is finished, and one of the things I always look forward to at this time of year is being able to read intelligent books for fun. First up is my annual Dickens fix, and this time I’m reading Oliver Twist. This was the book […]

Grossman events

Three events in June: Monday 7 June, 6.30pm, Free Word Centre: Robert Chandler talking about Vasily Grossman. Tuesday 15 June, 7.3opm, Pushkin House: Robert Chandler reading from his translation of Everything Flows, and discussing Grossman with Yekaterina Korotkova-Grossman (the author’s daughter). Sunday 20 June, 2pm, British Museum, Stevenson Room: Yekaterina Korotkova-Grossman talks to Robert Chandler about […]

Imagining St Petersburg

I’ve finally got round to reading Solomon Volkov’s St Petersburg: A Cultural History (Simon & Schuster, 1995). I’ve felt a bit ashamed that I haven’t managed to read it before, but since I reached the half-way point I’ve changed my mind about how important it is, for me at least. It mainly deals with twentieth-century […]

Dostoevsky and Holbein

I have a new publication, but unfortunately I fear that most of my readers will be as incapable of reading it as I am: ‘“Hakuchi” to Holbein “Hakano nakano Kirisuto”,’ Gendai Shiso, 38.4 (2010), 298-307. That’s ‘Holbein’s Christ inthe Tomb in The Idiot‘, translated by Kyohei Norimatsu (to whom many thanks) in a special Dostoevsky issue […]

Four short links: Russian avant-garde

Not exactly my speciality, but it will keep a certain someone happy. 1. Architecture and the Russian Avant-Garde: a decent collection of videos on YouTube on the Russian avant-garde of the 1910s and 20s, mainly covering visual arts — Malevich, Tatlin and Rodchenko are particularly well represented. 2. Tango with Cows: really interesting site connected with […]

Merthyr Tydfil: the cradle of civilization

Merthyr Tydfil is one of my other interests, because of family connections and most importantly a great-great-uncle, D.B. Davies, who played rugby league for Merthyr and Wales in the early 1900s. (D.B. stands for Dai ‘Brecon Road’ Davies, to distinguish him from the other Dai Davies on the Merthyr team; here are some old photos […]

Two articles

Russian literature is featuring more than usual in The Guardian this week. First, sadly, the obituary of the poet Elena Shvarts, one of the great heirs to the Petersburg tradition of Russian literature. Second, an article about Vasily Grossman to mark the British publication of Robert Chandler’s translation of Everything Flows (read it — it’s extraordinary!). […]

Crystal Palace Literature

Now I’ve recovered from the unbearable strain of watching Crystal Palace’s game against Sheffield Wednesday and can breathe a sigh of relief as we’ve avoided relegation, I can get back to the Crystal Palace itself and continue my musings on some of its representations in literature. The Crystal Palace first appeared in fiction in the […]