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3 July 2015


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Saturday, December 03, 2011

Chtenia 17 preview

by Nina Shevchuk-Murray
Chtenia 17

The next issue of Chtenia, #17, is being laid out this weekend, and as always, there's a deep satisfaction in seeing the whole team's work come to fruition. The theme of the issue is Sport, which at the moment strikes me as a great counterpoint to the winter season, when holidays and cold weather compromise one's fitness routine with such gleeful impunity.

One of the highlights of the new issue is The Tale of Vasilisa the Beautiful– an ancient bylina about a noble lady who, when crossed, puts the Kievan athletic elites to shame. Even though the lady has to compete in man's dress (she happens to be a persona non-grata at the court), the interesting thing is that no one disputes her winnings. In the tale, the contests in wrestling, archery and chess have enormous significance; the fate of the entire city of Kiev, at one point, hangs in the balance. 

In the world of Vasilisa the Beautiful, he (or she, as the case may be) who wins at sports, wins in life – a rather modern attitude, when you think about it. It is also unique to have a woman be a hero of a bylina, so when I was little, this was my favorite of all tales (which is saying something, given that the Ilya Muromets stories, for instance, have an awesome horse in them, and I love horses). So I'm delighted to find the animated version on YouTube:

July 1, 2015
War and Peace: 7 Fun Facts
War and Peace: 7 Fun Facts
By Eugenia Sokolskaya

How many characters are in Tolstoy's War and Peace? Could it have been any shorter? Did Tolstoy himself love it or hate it? Find out the answers to these – and more! – questions in this quick list of little-known War and Peace facts.

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Tags: Tolstoy, war and peace, literature
June 24, 2015
What a Difference a Decade Makes
What a Difference a Decade Makes
By Paul E. Richardson

We will send two photojournalists – one American, one Russian – on a month-long road trip down “The Spine of Russia,” to gather the story of modern Russia, to talk to Russians about what they think about America and Americans...

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Tags: travel, us-russian relations, society
June 23, 2015
Faberge Documentary is a Jewel
Faberge Documentary is a Jewel
By Paul E. Richardson

It is nice to come across a documentary about Russia that is not all Sturm and Drang, Stalin and Purges, mafia and Putin. The story of Peter Carl Fabergé and the jewelry empire he built is a truly remarkable story, and it is the focus of this new documentary from Arts Alliance.

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Tags: Faberge, faberge eggs, Romanovs, art, history
June 12, 2015
How to Celebrate Russia Day
How to Celebrate Russia Day
By Alice E.M. Underwood

The history of Russia Day is both complicated and controversial, with its origins in the dusk of the Soviet Union. Even its name causes confusion, with only about half the Russian population correctly identifying the holiday observed on June 12. We dig in to ferret out the facts.

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Tags: holidays, russia day, june 12