Tag Archives: stalin

New and Novel

The 20th century’s darker chapters loom large in this week’s newly published books, with a story of romance set during the Auschwitz trials, a story of trickery and imagination written by one of the victims of Stalin’s Terror from Georgia, and the long-awaited translation of one of Hungary’s legendary works of modernism.     This […]

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New and Novel

This week’s new and newish books offer up some Russian murder, more Russian murder and ah, relief – an unraveling alcoholic Russian life! Well, don’t blame me, read about a school for wizards, S&M or the latest Junot Díaz if you want, but these books all look amazing.       The Stone Bridge by […]

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Literary roundup: Yevtushenko in Upstate New York and new writing galore

Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko is appearing at the University of Buffalo through November 3 for a series of events devoted to his work. He will read his poetry on November 1, hold discussions of his poetry and film, screen his film Stalin’s Funeral starring Vanessa Redgrave and be present at a Buffalo Philharmonic performance of […]

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Literary roundup: The apartment of Russia’s King Lear and Tolstoy the outrageous

At The Moscow Times, John Freedman writes about discovering that the unassuming Moscow apartment building he passed countless times had belonged to Russian/Soviet/Yiddish theater legend Solomon Mikhoels. As Freedman notes, Mikhoels performance of King Lear was his most famous and celebrated role along with that of Tevye the Milkman (best-known worldwide in adaptation in Fiddler […]

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Right turn for the next renaissance – Part II: In nihilism we trust

Part I: where American conservative Charles Murray’s scientific assessment of periods of cultural greatness is held up to a closer scrutiny than he would probably care for. The further Murray’s essay goes on, the more his conditions for cultural greatness fall into a deeper and deeper murkiness. At one point he sets up a hypothetical […]

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Right turn for the next renaissance – Part I: conservatism and kitsch

In this season of bitter political squabbling you would think that art and culture could provide a refuge from the name calling and finger pointing that seems to have taken the place of legitimate debate. Think again, because whether it’s Hungarian plans to ceremonially rebury the fascist writer Jozsef Nyiro or Dmitri Medvedev adding to […]

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Literary roundup: Putting Jewish history online and Hungarian literature into English

The New York Times has an article on the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s putting its archives online. The organization, which is known as “the Joint” (except perhaps among old-school gangsters) will be making its massive archives of photographs (100,000) and information (containing 500,000 names) available with a searchable index. The Times has a slideshow […]

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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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