What’s with all those duels?

What’s with all those duels?

The Russian literature of the 19th century is full of duels. Duels figured prominently as subjects in important works by all the major writers of the period: Pushkin, Lermontov, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Turgenev, and Chekhov. Duels also killed Pushkin at 37 and Lermontov...
Literary References

Literary References

Tolstoy and ChekhovThe business of comparing national literatures across languages and time is anything but tricky. Take the English 19th century prose from Jane Austen through Dickens, the Brontë sisters, Trollope, George Eliot, Hardy, to Joseph Conrad. By any...
WTO and Alexandr Pushkin

WTO and Alexandr Pushkin

On August 22, 2012 Russia joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) as its 156th member. What does it mean? The WTO is a club of countries that promise to liberalize trade with each other and resolve their disputes by following legal rules. As with other clubs, to...
Russian Corruption

Russian Corruption

The Governor-General of the Ryazan Province, who is introduced to readers in Chapter IV of The Estate of Wormwood and Honey, is a deeply corrupt man. His first instinct is not simply to look down on the people beneath him, but to use them in any way he can, and...
Sheremetievo

Sheremetievo

Praskovya SheremetievaIf you ever visit Moscow, you will probably fly into Moscow’s international airport.  It’s called Sheremetievo. Where does it name come from? Well, the land where the airport is now used to belong to the Sheremetiev family, which was among...
My tortuous path to the Russian language

My tortuous path to the Russian language

I grew up in Warsaw at a time when its government looked to the Soviet Union as its Big Brother. We all had to study Russian starting in 5th grade. Learning Russian was about the most uncool thing one could do in Warsaw at that time.At the end of 7th grade, right...