‘No True Russian’ Feeds the Penguin


Russia & the West.

Pt. V: ‘No True Russian’ Feeds the Penguin.

Feed the Penguin

Person A: "No Russian feeds the Penguin."
Person B: "But my uncle Andrey feeds the Penguin all the time."
Person A: "Ah yes, but no true Russian feeds the Penguin."

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After the Penguin ad controversy, I thought of a very famous (in Russia) quote from another oustanding Russian – Alexander Pushkin. In his 1826 letter to Pyotr Vyazemsky he wrote:
Continue reading “‘No True Russian’ Feeds the Penguin”

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#Dostoyevsky Is the Limit?!


Between Russianness & Dostoyevskiness

Dostoyevskiness © Sergey Armeyskov, 2014.Oh, dostoyevskiness of a flowing cloud!

Oh, pushkinities of mellow noon!

Night looks like Tyutchev,

Filling boundless with supernal.

Velimir Khlebnikov, 1908-1909.

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Apparently, Fyodor Dostoyevsky became a symbol, an archetype of a Russian writer, along with Lev Tolstoy (‘Tolstoyevsky’). Simplified image of Dostoyevsky’s Russia (or Dostoyevskian Russia) became a part of popular culture both in the West and in Russia. Continue reading “#Dostoyevsky Is the Limit?!”

Alexander Pushkin – To the Slanderers of Russia (1831)


Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin

Pushkin's Farewell to the Sea by Ivan Aivazovsky and Ilya Repin (1877)
Ivan Aivazovsky and Ilya Repin – Pushkin’s Farewell to the Sea (1877)

TO THE SLANDERERS OF RUSSIA

Why rave ye, babblers, so — ye lords of popular wonder?
Why such anathemas ‘gainst Russia do you thunder?
What moves your idle rage? Is’t Poland’s fallen pride?
‘T is but Slavonic kin among themselves contending,
An ancient household strife, oft judged but still unending,
A question which, be sure, you never can decide. Continue reading “Alexander Pushkin – To the Slanderers of Russia (1831)”

Alexander Pushkin “Once Coming Home from the Church…”


Firs Zhuravlev - Bachelorette Party in the Banya, 1885.
Firs Zhuravlev – Bachelorette Party in the Banya, 1885.

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Once coming home from the church
Two women had a spat.
The first one said: “I do remember ’bout your smirch;
You will be in regret. Continue reading “Alexander Pushkin “Once Coming Home from the Church…””

#RussianProverb: It’s Better to See Once than to Hear a Hundred Times


The painting by Ivan Bilibin called "Buyan Island" (1905) made as an illustration for Alexander Pushkin's tale "The Tale of Tsar Saltan" (1831).
The painting by Ivan Bilibin called “Buyan Island” (1905) made as an illustration for Alexander Pushkin’s tale “The Tale of Tsar Saltan” (1831).

Лучше один раз увидеть, чем сто раз услышать (luchshe odin raz uvidet’, chem sto raz uslyshat’), i.e. it’s better to see [something] once than to hear [about it] a hundred times.

English equivalents:

  • seeing is believing;
  • a picture is worth a thousand words.