November 17, 1999 |
"I wanted to get Kvas--a naturally fermented drink from Russia, a wonderful drink. But they forgot to include it in the order," said Anne Volokh, turning her cheek to exchange "hello" kisses with Princess Katya Galitzine. (The pre-Romanov Galitzines occupied the top rung of society for many centuries in Russia.) Oh well, vodka and caviar would have to do.
May 30, 2004 |
In "The Anxiety of Influence," first published in 1973, Harold Bloom argued that all literary texts are creative, unavoidable misreadings of prior texts. The novels of Alice Randall are deliberate reinterpretations of classics refracted through a Negro-centric lens.
May 16, 1994 |
Notebooks in which Alexander Pushkin doodled, daydreamed and scratched out epic poems with a goose-feather quill will be published for the first time this year in a charitable venture sponsored by Britain's Prince Charles. Scholars say the rarely seen manuscripts will provide a glimpse into the mind behind the myth of Pushkin, the poet revered as the richest in the Russian language.
June 4, 1999 |
In Russia, a country rich with writers, one literary figure towers above the rest--above Dostoevsky, above Chekhov, above Tolstoy. These days, he literally towers. His picture is draped from the top of skyscrapers, his verses strung across the capital's boulevards. His writings are recited on every stage, from the Bolshoi to the corner soapbox to national news broadcasts. And if you're like most Americans, you've probably never heard of him. He is Alexander Pushkin, Russia's national poet.
March 21, 1999 |
When I picture bookstore browsers pausing in front of "Pushkin's Button," the cognoscenti puzzle,"Pushkin's button? Can they possibly have dug up something we don't already know about Pushkin?" The rest ask simply, "Who's Pushkin?" One of the paradoxes of global culture is that the more its many media clamor for our attention, the less we are able to keep up with even the masterpieces of other national literatures.
March 21, 1999
When the loud day for men who sow and reap Grows still, and on the silence of the town The unsubstantial veils of night and sleep, The meed of the day's labour, settle down, Then for me in the stillness of the night The wasting, watchful hours drag on their course, And in the idle darkness comes the bite Of all the burning serpents of remorse; Dreams seethe; and fretful infelicities Are swarming in my over-burdened soul, And Memory before my wakeful eyes With noiseless hand unwinds her lengthy