Showing posts from August, 2011

Alla Pugacheva Sings I Like, the Poem by Marina Tsvetaeva

I like that you are not obsessed with me,
I like that I have no obsession either,
And not for once in the eternity
The heavy earth beneath our feet will wither
I like I can be funny and be free,
Be careless with words and never bother
To be betrayed by tide of blush when we
Brush with our sleeves when passing one another.

I also like that in my company
You’re confident enough to hug the other,
You don’t foretell infernal suffering
To me for being kissed by other lovers.
I also like you never call in vain
The sweet  inflection of my name, my sweetie
And that we’ll never live to see the day
When wedding bells hail us with nuptial greetings.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart
For loving me so much quite unawares:
For nightly peace that you will never thwart,
For twilight dates that can not be more scarce,
For moonlight walks that we will never start,
And for the sun above that'll never wear us,
For you, alas, who’re not obsessed with me,
For me, alas, with no obsession either.

May 3rd, 1915

Marina Tsvetaeva: These my poems, written so early…

These my poems, written so early
That I did not know then I was a poet,
Which having tore, like droplets from a fountain,
Like sparks from a rocket,
Into a sanctuary, where there is sleep and incense
Like little devils having burst,
These my poems about youth and about death,
This unread verse!
Scattered through shops in piles of dust
Where nobody picked them up or does,
These my poems, like precious wine,
Will have their time.


Arkady Averchenko: The professional

Not so long ago he burst into my room and anxiously exclaimed: “Why don’t you answer the door?” “Someone has broken my door bell. I will call a serviceman and get an electric one instead.” “My friend! And you’re telling me this? Me, who was born an electrician…Who else will fix it for you, if not me?” His eyes were glistering with tears of sincere joy. “Usatov!” I said sullenly “You shaved me once and I had to call two doctors. You tuned my piano and I had to call a tuner, a joiner and a polisher to come in.” “Oh, you called a polisher?! Dear! You could have told me, and I would have…” He had already taken off his coat, not listening to my objections, rolling up his sleeves: “Glasha! Go buy me twenty meters of wire. Ivan! Run to the electrical store on the corner and get two buttons and a double pressure bell.” Since I did not know anything about fixing door bells, the term “double pressure bell” brought me hope that electricity was something I can trust my old friend with. “Maybe,” I…

Great dynasties of the world: The Romanovs

Early on the morning of 17 July 1918, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, and his wife Alexandra, their son, Alexei, and their four daughters – Tatiana, Olga, Maria and Anastasia – were gathered in the basement of Ipatiev House in the city of Ekaterinburg, in the Ural mountains, along with the family doctor, a footman, a housemaid and a cook. They had been imprisoned, in different locations, after the February revolution of 1917 and Nicholas's subsequent abdication. In Ekaterinburg, the local Bolsheviks, led by Yakov Yurovsky, feared that the family might be liberated by advancing monarchist forces. Yurovsky entered the room where the family were waiting and announced: "Nicholas Aleksandrovich, by the order of the Regional Soviet of the Urals, you are to be shot, along with all your family." The family and their servants were then shot, bayoneted, their bodies hacked to pieces, set alight, doused with acid, and the remains thrown into a mine shaft. It was the end of the Romanov…

Dormition Cathedral - Uspensky sobor, Moscow


Wooden Masterpieces of Karelia

Wooden Masterpieces of Karelia: We invite you to the museum of woodcarver Kronid Gogolev localed in Karelia. So let’s admire his wooden masterpieces. Location:Sortavala, Karelia via di7foto

Russian Dance - Summer (Leto). Igor Moiseev's Ballet


Anton Chekhov - Portrait


The Pechorsky Monastery of Nizhny Novgorod


Lunacharsky: Pushkin as Critic

Translator: Irving D. W. Talmudge; Source: Pushkin: Homage by Marxist Critics ed. Irving D. W. Talmudge, Critics Group, New York, 1937; Transcribed: Sally Ryan for, January 2000.

Pushkin was not what one might call a theoretician of the arts. He had no systematized body of principles underlying his evaluations. In the long evolution of his aesthetic concepts he never attempted to express in writing any theoretical ideas relating to the different stages of this evolution. Pushkin passionately loved art and especially literature. The significance of literature in social relations is a question which he never pondered. Nor did he ever consider for whom the artist should write. He envisioned before him a hazy collective face--the 'reader' and in that alluring, sympathetic countenance Pushkin discerned his friends, members of his own social group; beyond that--dimly-perceived contemporaries, and a posterity who would accept with delight the gifts of his muse. Actually…

Falling House Of Vladivostok

Falling House Of Vladivostok: If you stay in Vladivostok be ready that your house can be destroyed at any time. This one you see in the picture was built in 1950 and never reconstructed since then. According to official sources, one part of the … Read more...

Mikhail Yelizarov: The Librarian

This novel became the subject of controversy last December, when it was unexpectedly awarded the Russian Booker prize, one of the most conservative literary awards in the country. For years, the Russian Booker was primarily associated with the most traditional wing of the domestic literary scene, and on most occasions the prize went to books that are utterly conventional, often to the extent of being boring. By the award’s standards, Yelizarov’s novel about a cult following formed around books by a fictional mediocre Soviet writer Gromov, which allegedly have a magical effect, shouldn’t have even been short-listed in the first place. And the fact that it was not only nominated, but ended up winning the award was too much for some in the literary establishment to process. Writer Alexander Kabakov dismissed the book as “low-value fascist trash,” while prominent critic Andrei Nemzer said that he wanted to forget the awards ceremony as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, quite a number of peo…

Ivan Ivanovich Shishkin - landscape painter


Rimsky-Korsakov: Capriccio Espagnol, Op. 34

Nikolay Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov (1844~1908)
Capriccio espagnol Op. 34

I. Alborada
II. Variazioni

Kirov Orchestra of Mariinsky Theater
Valery Gergiev

Mariinsky Concert Hall
Jan 2007

Anatoly Aleksin: The Actress

The house my grandma used to live in is no longer there. It was demolished to make the street more spacious. I think Grandma would only be happy about that. She was such an amazing person. For example, she liked that instead of a quiet backyard, her old-style balcony overlooked the sidewalk, with its non-stop, 24-hour bustle. “That makes a good excuse for my senile insomnia!” she would say. She had four daughters. But only my mom lived in the same city. Well, actually, not just in the same city, but around the corner, a stone’s throw from us. Or, to be more precise, a 27-step distance away… I once counted the number of steps from our place to Grandma’s. “It’s good we don’t live together, in the same apartment,” Grandma used to say. “I’ve always loved to go out and visit people. They see you in, see you off… They take care of you, in other words!” Aside from dropping by at her friends, she also liked to travel. She enjoyed reminiscing about how she used to go to the countryside several…

History of Russia In Photos

History of Russia In Photos: Here is a set of old Soviet photos. Private stories in the whole history of the country. A street photographer, 1920. “Do not sing songs. Do not drink vodka. Be quiet”. A fight in the courtyard of a dosshouse, 1895, … Read more...

Dmitri Hvorostovsky in Tchaikovsky's Queen of Spades

Prince Yeletsky's Act 2 aria from The Queen of Spades.
Gala concert at the Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg, 2003.

Nikolay Trubetskoy - Short Biography

Nikolay Sergeyevich TRUBETSKOY (16. 04. 1890, Moscow — 25. 01. 1938, Vienna) — Russian linguist and philosopher. Trubetskoy was a member of one the noblest families in Russia. His father was rector of Moscow University and his brother Eugeny was a well-known religious thinker. From the age of 15 he published a number of works on Finno-Ugrian folklore. In all he learned more than 12 ancient and live languages. In 1913 he went to Leipzig University to study Indo-European Comparative Linguistics. In 1915 he became an Associate Professor at Moscow University. His thesis on (Pre) History of languages was lost during the evacuation in 1919. Trubetskoy left Russia in 1920, and taught his course in Comparative linguistics in the University of Sophia. After he moved to Prague, he became a central figure of the Prague School of Linguistics, and was noted as the author of its most important work on phonology: 'Grundzüge der Phonologie' ['Principles of Phonology'] (1939). From 192…

Don Quixote - The Mariinsky Ballet


Alina Ibragimova performs Saint-Saëns' Violin Concerto No. 3


Vladimir Nabokov: The Vane Sisters

Being a conversationalist more verbose than thorough, she could never describe in full the theory of aura intervention that she had somehow devised. Fundamentally there was nothing new or unusual about her personal beliefs, since they supposed quite conventional likelihood, a silent solarium of immortal souls (sewn together with mortal surroundings), the main entertainment of which involves occasionally hanging over the souls of their living friends. What is of interest is the strange practical quirk that Cynthia gave to her tame metaphysics. She was certain that her existence was influenced by many of her dead friends, each of whom took turns in ruling her fate, in exactly the same way as if she were a homeless kitten, which a passing school girl picks up and presses to her cheek, and again carefully puts down near some suburban fence - to be stroked again by another passerby or carried to a world of doors by a kindly lady. 

For several hours or several days – in a row or recurrently …

Mikhail Veller: The Guru

"Your ignorance is boundless, and not even amusing..." This was the first sentence I heard from him - the slide-tackle to my fate that forever changed its course. But, to hell with the intimate details. Everything I am, I owe to him. Everything. It is too late now to know who he really was. He liked being mystical. Very much. I would come to his doghouse of an apartment with a bottle of port and a hunk of salami, or a loaf of bread, or a package of dumplings, or a carton of cigarettes. And, before my finger touched the doorbell, the confident, successful, well-dressed educated young man turned into something I really was - a young pup. He was a master who, from the mountain peaks of enlightenment, had scorned the trades. He was a sage. I - a frantic and arrogant brat. He hated order, clothes, reputation and public opinion. He hated money, but he hated conceited poverty even more. Good and evil didn't exist: he be…

Nina Kaptsova in The Sleeping Beauty - Bolshoi Ballet


Nicholas G. Chernyshevsky: The Aesthetic Relations of Art to Reality

Written: 1853;
Source: Russian Philosophy Volume II: The Nihilists, The Populists, Critics of Religion and Culture, Quadrangle Books 1965;
Transcribed: Harrison Fluss, February 2008.

The sea is beautiful; looking at it, we never think of being dissatisfied with it, aesthetically. But not everyone lives near the sea; many people never in their lives get a chance to see it. Yet they would very much like to see it, and consequently seascapes please and interest them. Of course, it would be much better to see the sea itself rather than pictures of it; but when a good thing is not available, a man is satisfied with an inferior one. When the genuine article is not present, a substitute will do. Even the people who can admire the real sea cannot always do so when they want to, and so they call up memories of it. But man’s imagination is weak; it needs support and prompting. So to revive their memories of the sea, to see it more vividly in their imagination, they look at seascapes. This is th…

Meanwhile In the Kronotsky Nature Reserve

Meanwhile In the Kronotsky Nature Reserve: "The Kronotsky Nature Reserve holds unparalleled spectacles for even the most experienced travelers. There are warm waterfalls flowing down from rocks, groves of sea plants and noisy bird colonies on the coast, narrow paths with walls of giant grasses and … Read more..."

Andrei Sinyavsky: IVAN THE FOOL

Chapter 4
The Fool is the folktale’s favorite hero. I would even go so far as to say that he is the most popular and most colorful folktale character, its favorite, and deserving of special attention. In a broad sense, the Fool is a variant of the most worthless and worse person on earth. Only a more compressed, concrete, and tangible variant. The Fool occupies the lowest rung on the social ladder and the human ladder in general. No wonder the word “fool” in Russian (durak) is an oath – both very insulting and very common. No one wants to be a fool. But in the folktale, this oath is the hero’s name, or, in any case, his nickname, a stock epithet that sticks to him. Even the hero sometimes calls himself Ivan the Fool. Everyone despises the Fool, everyone laughs at him, everyone curses him, even thrashes him. In his own family, he is an outcast. Which is why many of these tales begin something like this: “There once lived an old man. He had three sons: two of them were clever, but the …

Lev Shestov: All Things are Possible

Part I
Zu fragmentarisch ist Welt und Leben. Too fragmentary is life and the world. 

1 The obscure streets of life do not offer the conveniences of the central thoroughfares: no electric light, no gas, not even a kerosene lamp-bracket. There are no pavements: the traveller has to fumble his way in the dark. If he needs a light, he must wait for a thunderbolt, or else, primitive-wise, knock a spark out of a stone. In a glimpse will appear unfamiliar outlines; and then, what he has taken in he must try to remember, no matter whether the impression was right or false. For he will not easily get another light, except he run his head against a wall, and see sparks that way. What can a wretched pedestrian gather under such circumstances? How can we expect a clear account from him whose curiosity (let us suppose his curiosity so strong) led him to grope his way among the outskirts of life? Why should we try to compare his records with those of the travellers through brilliant stre…

Anatoly Aleksin: Ivashov

Everyone in our class knew that Lyalya Ivashova’s father was a “big boss”. Sometimes, he was referred to as “great man”. As years went by, I realized it didn’t always mean the same.
Even back then, before the war, the Ivashovs had a separate apartment. It made my mom excited, as we had to co-exist with eight neighbors. Jealousy just wasn’t in my mom’s nature. If a person possessed something that we couldn’t afford, it meant he had earned it. And if he earned it, she respected him. “The only people I am jealous of are healthy old people,” she would say. “If an eighty-year-old is walking along the street, without any assistance, asking for no favors, having a vigorous memory – this is what I dream about.”
Visiting Ivashov’s place always gave that holiday spirit, I got at Christmas parties. Although I visited them every day, that feeling never went away. And absence of neighbors in his apartment was one of the reasons. And the radio Ivashov had brought from one of his business trips. And…

Stylish French Women In Soviet Moscow

Stylish French Women In Soviet Moscow: "In 1959 French models and clothes of Fashion House Christian Dior arrived in Moscow for a fashion week. Soviet people of those times who had just survived the most awful war in history could never forget the beautiful ladies and … Read more..."

Mikhail Glinka: Ruslan and Lyudmila

From Mariinsky theatre St. Petersburg, Russia
The Kirov Opera in assosiation with San Francisco Opera
"Ruslan and Ludmila" magical opera in five acts by Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka

Svetozar Mikhail Kit
Lyudmila Anna Netrebko
Ruslan Vladimir Ognovenko
Ratmir Larissa Diadkova
Farlaf Gennady Bezzubenkov
Gorislava Galina Gorchakova
Finn Konstantin Pluzhnikov
Naina Irina Bogachova
Bayan Yuri Marusin
Dancers of the Kiron Ballet.
The Kirov Orchestra
Conductor Valery Gergiev
Original designs for sets and costumes by Alexander Golovin

Maria Fyodorovna Andreyeva

Andreeva, Maria Feodorovna (real name Yurkovska) (1868 – 08/12/1953), Russian actress and social activist. A member of the Communist Party since 1904.

Maria Fyodorovna Andreyeva had been the common law wife of writer Maxim Gorky since 1903

Innokenty Annensky: Sad country

Sad and made of copper
The symbol we are wed,
Even our comedies
End a little sadly….
Our joyful neighbors
Wear their infernal
Hirsute fur coats….
And that only… banal
Are our mangy bears
With prey trembling
In blood-covered lips.

Vladimir Korolenko: The Shades, A Fantasy

A month and two days had elapsed since the judges, amid the loud acclaim of the Athenian people, had pronounced the death sentence against the philosopher Socrates because he had sought to destroy faith in the gods. What the gadfly is to the horse Socrates was to Athens. The gadfly stings the horse in order to prevent it from dozing off and to keep it moving briskly on its course. The philosopher said to the people of Athens:
“I am your gadfly. My sting pricks your conscience and arouses you when you are caught napping. Sleep not, sleep not, people of Athens; awake and seek the truth!”
The people arose in their exasperation and cruelly demanded to be rid of their gadfly.
“Perchance both of his accusers, Meletus and Anytus, are wrong,” said the citizens, on leaving the court after sentence had been pronounced.
“But after all whither do his doctrines tend? What would he do? He has wrought confusion, he overthrows, beliefs that have existed since the beginning, he speaks of new virtues w…

Boris Pasternak: Winter Night

It snowed and snowed ,the whole world over,
Snow swept the world from end to end.
A candle burned on the table;
A candle burned.

As during summer midges swarm
To beat their wings against a flame
Out in the yard the snowflakes swarmed
To beat against the window pane

The blizzard sculptured on the glass
Designs of arrows and of whorls.
A candle burned on the table;
A candle burned.

Distorted shadows fell
Upon the lighted ceiling:
Shadows of crossed arms,of crossed legs-
Of crossed destiny.

Two tiny shoes fell to the floor
And thudded.
A candle on a nightstand shed wax tears
Upon a dress.

All things vanished within
The snowy murk-white,hoary.
A candle burned on the table;
A candle burned.

A corner draft fluttered the flame
And the white fever of temptation
Upswept its angel wings that cast
A cruciform shadow

It snowed hard throughout the month
Of February, and almost constantly
A candle burned on the table;
A candle burned.

Russian Tango "Chernie glaza" ("Black Eyes") Jurij Morfessi

Composed by Oscar Davidovich Strok. Jurij Spiridonovich Morfessi - famous russian singer of Tsar's Russia recorded it in emigration in Berlin, in 1930. He recorded in "Odeon" 18 things, "Chernie glaza" was among them

Soviet Posters from the Great Patriotic War

More here.

Victor Pelevin - Biography

Victor Pelevin is one of the most vivid and provocative modern figures of Russian literature.

Victor Olegovich Pelevin was born on November, 22nd, 1962 in Moscow. In 1985 he graduated the Moscow Power Institute as an electrician. In April the same year he was admitted to the post of the Engineer of the Electric Transport Chair, and two years later passed exams for postgraduate studies. However, he never defended his dissertation, as he decided to change his occupation.

In 1989 the future writer entered Mikhail Gorky Literary Institute, and then for some years worked in the journal Science and Religion, contributing publications on Oriental mysticism. The year 1989 saw Pelevin's first publication – it was the fairy tale Sorcerer Ignat and people followed by his article Rune divination.

His first stories appeared in sci-fi collections and the magazine Chemistry and life also in the late 1980s. Pelevin’s debut collection “Sini fonar” (Dark blue lantern) was initially overlooked by…