October 11, 2018

Things Look Different Below the Surface


Things Look Different Below the Surface
Freaky Fish, Fake Feminists, and Freed Fishermen

1. One fish, two fish, red fish, what-the-heck-is-that fish?! Roman Fedorstov is a Russian fisherman whose life’s work is finding the weirdest, creepiest, and sometimes cutest fish you’ve ever seen. Roman is a deep-sea fisherman based in Murmansk, an Arctic Circle city. He goes out for months at a time, returning to the internet with photos that elicit all types of emotions, from disgust to fear to love. Whatever emotion it is, we’re taking the bait.

Fish breath

Photo: Роман Федорцов

2. Not just punked but double-punked… Russians outraged by a feminist prank video may just be falling into a trap. Last month, a video of a woman appearing to dump bleach on metro-riding, manspreading men went viral on Russian social media. This, of course, caused outrage beyond compare against “feminists who take things too far.” Well, the video may be fake. A St. Petersburg publication found evidence that the disgruntled men in the video were paid and suggests that the studio that shot it is linked to the Kremlin. In this light, the video may have been created to stir resentment towards feminists, taking he said, she said to the next level.

Fake bleach

Photo: The Verge

3. In the past week, Russian border guards have helped rescue at least six North Korean fishermen stranded in capsized boats during deadly typhoons. The helping hand isn’t limited to aiding North Koreans: officials said that in the past 2 months 540 Chinese, South Korean, and North Korean vessels sought safety in the port of Primorye during dangerous typhoons. However, it’s not all good neighborly generosity, as the acting governor of Primorye stated that the need to rescue North Koreans demonstrated the amount of North Korean poaching in Russian waters.

In Odder News:
  • Fines are temporary, glory is forever. One helicopter pilot flew under a St. Petersburg bridge and is now paying the (minor) price

  • Tough stuff for Russians: Russians rank second in the notorious death-by-selfie

  • Udder destruction: a bus colliding with a cow in Dagestan left 10 people injured (no word on the cow)

Quote of the Week:

“I will be at sea for 2.5 months. Without internet. See you in late autumn. I hope you will like my new photos!”

Roman Fedorstov, as he leaves for a new funky-fish-finding voyage

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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.
Fearful Majesty

Fearful Majesty

This acclaimed biography of one of Russia’s most important and tyrannical rulers is not only a rich, readable biography, it is also surprisingly timely, revealing how many of the issues Russia faces today have their roots in Ivan’s reign.
Jews in Service to the Tsar

Jews in Service to the Tsar

Benjamin Disraeli advised, “Read no history: nothing but biography, for that is life without theory.” With Jews in Service to the Tsar, Lev Berdnikov offers us 28 biographies spanning five centuries of Russian Jewish history, and each portrait opens a new window onto the history of Eastern Europe’s Jews, illuminating dark corners and challenging widely-held conceptions about the role of Jews in Russian history.
Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

A book that dares to explore the humanity of priests and pilgrims, saints and sinners, Faith & Humor has been both a runaway bestseller in Russia and the focus of heated controversy – as often happens when a thoughtful writer takes on sacred cows. The stories, aphorisms, anecdotes, dialogues and adventures in this volume comprise an encyclopedia of modern Russian Orthodoxy, and thereby of Russian life.
A Taste of Russia

A Taste of Russia

The definitive modern cookbook on Russian cuisine has been totally updated and redesigned in a 30th Anniversary Edition. Layering superbly researched recipes with informative essays on the dishes' rich historical and cultural context, A Taste of Russia includes over 200 recipes on everything from borshch to blini, from Salmon Coulibiac to Beef Stew with Rum, from Marinated Mushrooms to Walnut-honey Filled Pies. A Taste of Russia shows off the best that Russian cooking has to offer. Full of great quotes from Russian literature about Russian food and designed in a convenient wide format that stays open during use.
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.
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Murder at the Dacha

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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.

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