February 10, 2022

"Slush Funds," Spotify, and a Subway Surprise


"Slush Funds," Spotify, and a Subway Surprise
In Odder News

In this week's Odder News: an Oscar nomination, slippery sidewalks, and IT-giants.

  • You may be familiar with Cheburashka, but did you know that some good cartoons are still coming out of Russia? In fact, the Russian cartoon "Boxballet" has been nominated for an Oscar in the short animation category. It tells a tale of love between a boxer, Yevgeny, and a ballerina, Olga.
  • Russian streets are covered in snow! Unintentionally. After receiving over one thousand complaints from citizens in St. Petersburg, the city's prosecutor's office has started an investigation into the embezzlement of funds meant for the removal of snow. Inspectors have found hundreds of code violations. It raises the question: where is all the money going? And from something so crucial?
  • An alpaca has been filmed taking the Moscow Metro with its owner. The alpaca walked around the train car and greeted many smiling passengers, but nobody really knows what the South American animal was doing in the Moscow subway in the winter.
  • One of the perks of living alone is having lots of space for yourself. Unless, of course, you're renting this apartment in St. Petersburg. For the small fee of R9,000 ($120) per month, you could live in a tiny, 10 square-meters apartment, decked out with a bed, a kitchen, and a toilet right above said kitchen. And we thought Raskolnikov had it bad.
  • Apple and Spotify have officially opened offices in Russia, something that has been made more difficult by a new law with strict requirements for large international IT companies wanting to operate in Russia. Gotta protect Yandex.

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The Little Golden Calf

The Little Golden Calf

Our edition of The Little Golden Calf, one of the greatest Russian satires ever, is the first new translation of this classic novel in nearly fifty years. It is also the first unabridged, uncensored English translation ever, and is 100% true to the original 1931 serial publication in the Russian journal 30 Dnei. Anne O. Fisher’s translation is copiously annotated, and includes an introduction by Alexandra Ilf, the daughter of one of the book’s two co-authors.
The Moscow Eccentric

The Moscow Eccentric

Advance reviewers are calling this new translation "a coup" and "a remarkable achievement." This rediscovered gem of a novel by one of Russia's finest writers explores some of the thorniest issues of the early twentieth century.
Russian Rules

Russian Rules

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Davai! The Russians and Their Vodka

Davai! The Russians and Their Vodka

In this comprehensive, quixotic and addictive book, Edwin Trommelen explores all facets of the Russian obsession with vodka. Peering chiefly through the lenses of history and literature, Trommelen offers up an appropriately complex, rich and bittersweet portrait, based on great respect for Russian culture.
Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod is a mid-sized provincial city that exists only in Russian metaphorical space. It has its roots in Gogol, and Ilf and Petrov, and is a place far from Moscow, but close to Russian hearts. It is a place of mystery and normality, of provincial innocence and Black Earth wisdom. Strange, inexplicable things happen in Stargorod. So do good things. And bad things. A lot like life everywhere, one might say. Only with a heavy dose of vodka, longing and mystery.
Life Stories: Original Fiction By Russian Authors

Life Stories: Original Fiction By Russian Authors

The Life Stories collection is a nice introduction to contemporary Russian fiction: many of the 19 authors featured here have won major Russian literary prizes and/or become bestsellers. These are life-affirming stories of love, family, hope, rebirth, mystery and imagination, masterfully translated by some of the best Russian-English translators working today. The selections reassert the power of Russian literature to affect readers of all cultures in profound and lasting ways. Best of all, 100% of the profits from the sale of this book are going to benefit Russian hospice—not-for-profit care for fellow human beings who are nearing the end of their own life stories.
Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar is a hilarious and insightful memoir by a diplomat who was “present at the creation” of US-Soviet relations. Charles Thayer headed off to Russia in 1933, calculating that if he could just learn Russian and be on the spot when the US and USSR established relations, he could make himself indispensable and start a career in the foreign service. Remarkably, he pulled it of.
Dostoyevsky Bilingual

Dostoyevsky Bilingual

Bilingual series of short, lesser known, but highly significant works that show the traditional view of Dostoyevsky as a dour, intense, philosophical writer to be unnecessarily one-sided. 
Survival Russian

Survival Russian

Survival Russian is an intensely practical guide to conversational, colloquial and culture-rich Russian. It uses humor, current events and thematically-driven essays to deepen readers’ understanding of Russian language and culture. This enlarged Second Edition of Survival Russian includes over 90 essays and illuminates over 2000 invaluable Russian phrases and words.

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