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A Russian Landscape

September 16, 2002

Nikolai Polissky brings to mind the great Russian writer Ivan Turgenev, who always set his tales of village life in all its hardships and folklore against landscapes of hauntingly natural beauty ("Hope in a Russian Haystack," Sept. 11). These antithetical juxtapositions underscored the ironies of life and inevitabilities of fate in the lives of his characters.

No, the snowmen and the basket-weave towers offer no practical solutions to the problems of those who inhabit Nikola-Lenivets, but like all important works of art, they draw the viewer into an alternate reality, apparently much needed, although at times underappreciated by the people of this former Soviet enclave.

Orly Frank

Westlake Village

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