Tag Archives: Soviet Union

Andrea Gullotta, curator of the exhibit Beauty in Hell

Beauty in Hell: Culture in the Gulag is an online exhibition at The Hunterian at the University of Glasgow on one of the Soviet Union’s earliest prison camps, Solovki. Recently, B O D Y published a poem by a former Solovki inmate Yury Kazarnovsky, “Tram“, and an example of some of the amazing cultural and […]

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Yury Kazarnovsky in B O D Y

In 1927, Russian poet Yury Kazarnovsky was arrested along with 11 other students as part of what the Soviet authorities considered a subversive literary circle and was sent to the Solovki prison camp, generally considered the first Gulag. Despite its brutal hardships the camp had a cultural and intellectual life, among which is the literary […]

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Reading Russia: yesterday and today, true and false

At Russia Beyond the Headlines novelist Zakhar Prilepin has written a broadside against the neglect of contemporary Russian literature, ongoing simplifications of Russia he sees coming from the West, and makes a case for a non-parodic, traditional, conservative form of Russian writing as it existed in the time of Tolstoy and Chekhov. Well, he is […]

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Literary roundup: Russian women and Russian words

At Russia Beyond the Headlines there is an interview with Boris Pasternak’s nephew Nicolas Pasternak Slater talking about his translation of the correspondence between his family and his famous uncle as well as his current project of preparing a trilingual edition of his mother Lydia Pasternak’s poetry for publication (she wrote poetry in Russian, German […]

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A life on ice: Bohumil Modrý and Jáchymov

In the late 1940s Bohumil Modrý was on top of the world. As an ice hockey goaltender he had six Czechoslovak championships under his belt as well as World Championship victories in 1947 and 1949. In 1948 his Czechoslovak team won the Olympic silver medal at the games in Switzerland. He was considered to be […]

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The Soviet ghost, the hidden one and a lucky escape: new magazines

The Fall 2011 issue of The Virginia Quarterly Review is out and devoted to the former USSR. There is an excellent selection of essays, fiction and poetry some of which is available online. There is too much good stuff to single out anything, but a couple pieces worth noting are Jason Motlagh’s essay “Dark Days […]

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Spotlight on Vasily Grossman

Russian novelist and celebrated war correspondent Vasily Grossman is the focus of a conference at Oxford as well as a radio dramatization of his epic novel Life and Fate on BBC Radio 4. The conference is taking place on September 9 (which is today, so hurry) and includes discussions of Grossman’s work and life, its […]

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Night of the Murdered Poets

On August 12, 1952 Yiddish literary culture received a fatal blow when novelist Dovid Bergelson and poet Peretz Markish were among 13 Soviet Jews murdered in Moscow’s Lubyanka Prison. The execution became known as the Night of the Murdered Poets, with three other poets also shot that night. The outcome of Stalin’s paranoid antisemitism was […]

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Joseph Brodsky

On May 24, 1940 the great Russian poet and essayist Joseph Brodsky was born in Leningrad. And while the 71st birthday of the man who was viewed by many, including Anna Akhmatova, as pulling the country’s poetic tradition out of the Stalinist ashes may not be occasion for parades on the streets of Moscow or […]

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