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All posts for the month September, 2010

The yellow card: a footnote

Earlier in the year, I wrote about the regulation of prostitution in Russia as part of my consideration of the representation of Sonia in Crime and Punishment. The subject has now come back to my attention as the result of some completely unrelated reading: the very fine East End Jewish Radicals, 1875-1914, by William J. […]

Russkii vestnik 1859

In terms of Russian literature, the big work of 1859 is Tolstoy’s Family Happiness, though I have to admit I think it’s dreadful, sentimental rubbish, probably the worst thing he ever wrote. On a more positive note, I’m happier to see Adam Bede, which is my favourite work of George Eliot’s (I’m not her biggest […]

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 […]

Russkii vestnik 1860

Women again make a fairly strong showing, with contributions from Evgeniia Tur, Pavlova and Shcherbinina, as well as George Eliot’s Mr Gilfil’s Love Story appearing in the supplement to volume 28. Other works of English literature to appear in 1860 are Thackeray’s Four Georges and Dinah Craik’s John Halifax, Gentleman, and the interest in things […]

Russkii vestnik 1861

There are no particularly famous works of Russian literature in these volumes, although there are poems by Viazemsky and Almazov, as well as N. D. Akhsharumov’s A Strange Name and a couple of short stories. It’s stronger on history, with Sergei Solov’ev on 18th century Russian history, N. A. Popov on Peter the Great’s administrative […]

Re-reading Crime and Punishment: the Drunkards

When Dostoevsky first conceived of the work that ultimately became Crime and Punishment, he titled it ‘The Drunkards’, and said that it would deal with ‘the present question of drunkenness … [in] all its ramifications, especially the picture of a family and the bringing up of children in these circumstances’ (letter to A. A. Kraevsky, June […]

Russkii vestnik 1862

Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons was obviously the literary event of 1862, and the furore that surrounded the novel is also reflected here in articles about Turgenev and nihilism. Other critical works include Druzhinin on new talent in contemporary English literature, Nikolai Tikhonravov on Russian literature and on Karamzin, de Roberti on English journalism, and P. […]