Tag Archives: Stalin

Happy Birthday, Robert Conquest

“I think once you accept that you have the answer to everything, you can do anything to bring it about because your enemies are trying to stop you, are enemies of reason, of truth of everything – enemies of the … Continue reading

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“And the role of the fatal chorus / I agree to take on” — Anna Akhmatova

“This I pray at your liturgy After so many tormented days, So that the stormcloud over darkened Russia Might become a cloud of glorious rays.” — Anna Akhmatova, “Prayer” Anna Akhmatova – born Anna Andreyevna Gorenko on this day – … Continue reading

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It’s the birthday of composer György Ligeti

György Ligeti was a classical composer, born in Romania, who lived in Hungary as a young adult, before fleeing Stalinist oppression to Austria. Stanley Kubrick used his music in 2001, The Shining and Eyes Wide Shut (one of the things … Continue reading

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“Manuscripts don’t burn.” — Mikhail Bulgakov

It’s Mikhail Bulgakov’s birthday. The author of The Master and Margarita, one of the greatest novels of the 20th century. (It’s not his only work. There are many others. But I’ll be focusing on that one today.) It’s a miracle … Continue reading

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Hey, Moscow, let’s party tonight like it’s 1929!

I am currently re-reading Curzio Malaparte’s The Kremlin Ball. There is no other book like it. A gossipy telling of the “Soviet proletariat aristocracy” of the late 1920s, which Malaparte witnessed firsthand. (“Curzio Malaparte” was his pen name, chosen because … Continue reading

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2021 Books Read

I lived at three addresses this year. I moved twice. In the middle of a pandemic. It’s been a year of upheaval, transition, as well as endurance. For most of this year, the majority of my stuff was in storage. … Continue reading

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Stuff I’ve Been Reading

Lots of re-reads because 1. I’m in turmoil. The familiar is a comfort. 2. The majority of my books have been in storage for almost a year. We all have been reunited but they’re still in boxes stacked against the … Continue reading

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Stuff I’ve Been Reading

It’s been a while. Been a very busy summer. Family vacation as we do every year. Reunions with family after the lockdown. Tears when hugging aunts and uncles. New job, new digs, lots of change. Lots of writing too! Less … Continue reading

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May 2021 Viewing Diary

The Waterman (2021; d. David Oyelowo) I really loved this. Reviewed for Ebert. Des (2020; d. Lewis Arnold) Here’s what I jotted down on Instagram: David Tennant is eerily good in DES. He never does anything wrong, never makes an … Continue reading

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Stuff I’ve Been Reading

My lifestyle has changed. It now involves shuffling children around to dentist appointments and Little League games, joining the solidarity of the parents in the bleechers. I live in a small working-class town by the beach. I’m busy with writing … Continue reading

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