Sep/Oct 2018 Current Moscow Time: 14:57:44
23 October 2018


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Language & Literature

Spanning all things related to Russian and Russian literature.

Politics and Technology: And never the twain should meet
Politics and Technology: And never the twain should meet

To selfie or not to selfie? That is the question, or at least one of the questions, addressed this week.

Tags: yandex, moscow, politics, duma
Celebrating Tolstoy
Celebrating Tolstoy

Today is the 190th anniversary of the great writer's birth. We thought we would share a few readings to get you in a Tolstoyan spirit.

Tags: literature, war and peace, tolstoy
Method Acting
Method Acting

Here's a suggestion for improving your Russian: watch Russian TV. But which TV? Here's a suggestion...

Tags: television, russian language, mystery
Reading Russian, Distractedly
Reading Russian, Distractedly

Reading is communication from writer to reader, and yet in Anna Karenina, whenever a character reads, he or she is often only somebody holding a prop, not reading at all.

Tags: literature, anna karenina, Tolstoy
Bananas, Ballerinas, and Bubble Bath
Bananas, Ballerinas, and Bubble Bath

Blackface and bananas raise racist concerns ahead of soccer match, a linguist links Siberian Ket and Navajo languages, and video bloggers bring bubbles and pets to parliament. 

Tags: ballet, Duma, language, Ket, soccer, World Cup, Cameroon, Russia
Teffi: The Best Russian Writer You May Not Have Heard Of
Teffi: The Best Russian Writer You May Not Have Heard Of

Known as a female Chekhov and skilled at painting the human condition as hilarious and hideous in one stroke, Teffi is a little-known author you should get to know. 

Tags: Bolshevik, Satire, Literature, Teffi, Russia
Russia's Greatest Crime Novel
Russia's Greatest Crime Novel

When you set out to write a murder mystery in Russian – or even in another language, but set in Russia – you should be mindful that you are following in the footsteps the greatest Russian crime fiction writer of all times, Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

Tags: dostoyevsky, fiction, novel
March {Translation} Madness
March {Translation} Madness

A random query led us down a rabbit hole to see how online translation engines are humming these days. Won't you join us?

Tags: translation
Who Invented the Ancient Slavic Gods, and Why?
Who Invented the Ancient Slavic Gods, and Why?

How it was that in the eighteenth century Russian mythology was trumped-up in the Western manner? Who wanted it? And where did we get Lel, Yarilo and Zimtserla? We explain everything you'd want to know about Russian fakelore.

Tags: paganism, religion, history, slavs, mythology
Better Russia
Better Russia

Bob Blaisdell reviews Other Russias, an album of images and impressions of ordinary, unconnected Russian citizens who have unexpectedly found themselves activists. 

Tags: art, illustration, dissent
Peter Aleshkovsky: 2016 Russian Booker Laureate
Peter Aleshkovsky: 2016 Russian Booker Laureate

We were excited to learn that one of our authors, Peter Aleshkovsky, was awarded the 2016 Russian Booker Prize, arguably Russia's most prestigous literary prize. 

Tags: Aleshhkovsky, fiction, awards, novel
Famous People Who Studied Russian
Famous People Who Studied Russian

Studying Russian and finding it a bit challenging? You are not alone. Check out our list of famous people who have studied Russian, and find some fellow-sufferers...

Tags: immigration, Russians, us-russian relations
Famous Americans with Russian Roots
Famous Americans with Russian Roots

America is a land built by immigrants. We researched famous Americans with Russian roots and offer this compilation.

Tags: immigration, Russians, us-russian relations
Dostoyevsky's Birthday in 10 Dark Quotes
Dostoyevsky's Birthday in 10 Dark Quotes

In honor of the writer's 195th birthday, here are 10 quotes to celebrate the life and writings of Fyodor Dostoyevsky. They may not be cheerful, but they sure are profound.

Tags: Russia, Dostoevsky, literature, Crime and Punishment, Karamazov, suffering
Fall, Tolstoy, Mushrooms
Fall, Tolstoy, Mushrooms

In honor of fall, and Russians' favorite autumnal pastime – mushroom picking – we offer these two short stories by Lev Tolstoy – in both English and Russian!

Tags: Tolstoy, fall, mushrooms
The Babi Yar Tragedy, Remembered in Poetry
The Babi Yar Tragedy, Remembered in Poetry

On September 29-30, 1941, Nazi troops shot over 33,000 Jews at the edge of the Babi Yar ravine near Kiev. Yevgeny Yevtushenko's poem memorializing the tragedy ensures it will never be forgotten. 

Tags: Russia, Babi Yar, Yevtushenko, Evtushenko, Holocaust, WWII, poetry
5 Pearls of Wisdom from Fazil Iskander
5 Pearls of Wisdom from Fazil Iskander

Fazil Iskander, a missile in the world of Soviet literature, passed away on July 31. Here are five of his pearls of wisdom on humor, science, politics, Stalin, and the Russian soul.

Tags: iskander, author, literature, russia, soviet union, politics, satire
Quotable Pushkin for Six Everyday Occasions
Quotable Pushkin for Six Everyday Occasions

In honor of Alexander Pushkin's 217th birthday, here's a small sample of his poems to show that his writing isn't just pretty and witty – it can help you through almost any situation.

Tags: pushkin, poetry, russia, literature, history, eugene onegin, boris godunov, bronze horseman
Two Miracles of Russian Love Poetry
Two Miracles of Russian Love Poetry

On the occasion of Pushkin's birthday, we offer a post on the challenge of translating his most famous love lyrics, "Я вас любил," with a bonus look at Innokenty Annensky's "Среди миров."

Tags: pushkin, literature, russian literature, poetry, annensky
Piter's Five Must-Stroll Streets (that are not Nevsky)
Piter's Five Must-Stroll Streets (that are not Nevsky)

After you finish strolling St. Petersburg's Nevsky Prospect, you'll want to visit these five must-stroll streets in the Northern Palmyra, to get a feel for the rest of the city. 

Tags: St. Petersburg, travel, tourism