March/April 2009

Features in this Issue

Understanding Gogol

Recognized soon after his first publication as a writer of great promise, Gogol went on to prove the critics right, and to create a body of work that has no equal in the Russian pantheon. This April (or March, depending on your calendar) is his bicentenary.

The Hunger Artist

Gogol's writing is intensely sensual - full of rich tastes, smells, sights and sounds. We consider how his fixation on food and digestion influenced his storytelling, how, as Nabokov put it, "the belly is the belle of his stories."

Dead Souls for Two Metronomes

From Gogol's work have arisen some truly great works of music. We look at the composers he influenced and the music they have offered.

Still More Gogol

Some additional notes on Gogolian influences in Russian life.

Baltic Outpost

Kaliningrad is unlike anywhere else in Russia. Half German, half Russian, it perches on the Baltic coast, uncertain where the winds of history might blow it.

Art Repatriated

Russia is quietly (and sometimes not so quietly) searching out and bringing home lost treasures. This is the story of one of those quests - to return to Russia a rather amazing and singular collection.

Departments and More

  • 5

    Letters to the Editor

    Readers comment and correct.

  • 7
    Note Book

    Murder in Broad Daylight

    The murders of lawyer Stanislav Markelov and journalist Anastasia Baburova in the context of the endangered climate for journalism in Russia.

  • 8
    Note Book


    All the news that fits from all across Russia.

  • 14
    Travel Notes

    Travel Notes

    The latest from the travel front.

  • 19
    Russian Calendar

    Arrival of Russian Democracy

    In the spring of 1989, election fever swept through Russia - a country well experienced in elections, just not free and open ones...

  • 21
    Russian Calendar

    Deconstructing Dashkova

    If we look closely at Dashkova, one of the most famous women in Russian history, we find that things are not as clear as we imagined. In fact, we get the impression that much of Dashkova's life was filled with heartbreak and sorrow.

  • 24
    Russian Calendar

    Terrible's Father

    It was the fate of Grand Prince Vasily III to be squeezed into history between two more famous men - one great, one terrible, and both named Ivan.

  • 26
    Survival Russian

    825 Yards for Barack

    The financial crisis offers a pretext to return to a consideration of "despicable metal" and how it is influencing Russian speech.

  • 52

    Going Green in St. Petersburg

    Sustainable, organic and green cuisine comes to St. Petersburg. Our recipe: Lentil Soup.

  • 61
    Under Review

    Verses, Vodka and Royalty

    Reviews of Verses and Versions; The King of Vodka; The Last Days of the Romanovs; The Rebellion of Ronald Reagan. Plus brief reviews of some potboiler thrillers, some worthy, some not so much.

  • 64
    Post Script

    After the Crisis

    Russia needs to prepare now for the post-recession world, by looking at how it supports and invests in Russian industry, particularly in the natural resource sphere.

  • 65

    Uchites 02

    The second edition of our Uchites language insert, sponsored by Russkiy Mir Foundation, uses the life and works of Nikolai Gogol to explore grammar, build vocabulary and facility in reading Russian. Language

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

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