Russian Culture in Landmarks.

Via Michael Webster, editor of SPRING: The Journal of the E. E. Cummings Society, I have discovered John Freedman’s amazing blog Russian Culture in Landmarks, “Russian literature, art, music and theater through architecture and monuments.” Cast your eye down the left-hand margin and you’ll see a tag list, with the most frequent names in larger type, running from “Actors House” to “Yury Trifonov”; the first post I read was this one, on the building at 12 Bryusov Lane in Moscow in which once lived Vsevolod Meyerhold and his wife Zinaida Raikh, and I’m still shuddering at Raikh’s fate (I knew about Meyerhold’s). Anyone interested in Russian literature and culture should bookmark it or subscribe to it.

And speaking of Cummings, Vladimir Feshchenko alerted me to Aleksander Ulanov’s Znamya review (in Russian) of the translation Feshchenko did with Emily Wright of EIMI (see this post), Приключения нетоварища Кемминкза в Стране Советов: Э.Э. Каммингс и Россия [The Adventures of Untovarich Kem-min-kz in the Land of the Soviets: E. E. Cummings and Russia] (St. Petersburg: European University in St. Petersburg, 2013). It sounds like an excellent translation (accompanied by useful notes, essays, photos, and the like); it’s too bad they translated less than a quarter of Cummings’ text, but better a good translation of a part than a sloppy one of the whole.


  1. The blog is still going; the latest post is Daniil Kharms plaque and home, St. Petersburg, with the usual excellent photographs and informative text:

    Everybody has their favorite Kharms poems, plays, anecdotes, sketches, or whatever you call them. But aside from the barfing theater, my favorites are the so-called literary anecdotes, little stories and dramatic sketches that put the all-hallowed Pushkin, Gogol, Tolstoy and Dostoevsky into bizarre narratives that nobody before Kharms ever could possibly have imagined. There’s the one where Pushkin and Gogol furiously throw stones back and forth at each other, and there’s the one where Pushkin and Gogol are in some theater performance and they keep tripping on each other as they enter and exit. The stories are so precise, so funny, and so desirous of having continuation, that others have also picked up the gauntlet and written wonderfully bizarre Kharmsian tales taking down Russia’s pantheon of greats with great humor and affection. Some of the best anecdotes written by Natalya Dobrokhotova-Maikova and Vladimir Pyatnitsky begin with the line, “Gogol once dressed up as Pushkin and went to visit…” [insert various names].

    The faux-Kharms stories were mentioned at LH here.

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