Reading on Russia Roundup #46

The 2017 Big Book Longlist: Another Better-Late-Than-Never Production (Lizok’s Bookshelf)

I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again, more than once: I love literary award longlists. And I particularly love comparing literary awards longlists because it seems there are lots of good books that make longlists but not shortlists…

Anyway. This year’s Big Book longlist has 34 titles, of which two are in manuscript form, hence unpublished at the time they were submitted. (I always find this a bit mysterious…) As for methodology: I’ll first list eight books I’m already interested in then move on to a few titles by unfamiliar authors.

Roadmap of Linguistic Cargo Cult (Russian Universe)

Интернет против телевидения: битва продолжается (VTsIOM)

За три последних года доля россиян, назвавших главным источником информации ТВ, снизилась с 60% до 52%.

What’s wrong with American articles about the “New Cold War” with Russia? (Meduza)

In recent months, Russia and Vladimir Putin in particular have been one of the hottest topics in the American media. Often, however, the level of panic surrounding Russia’s possible role in American (and Western) politics is so high that journalists abandon their own professional standards. Meduza examines the most common issues with today’s English-language texts about Russia.

Summer School in Nizhny Novgorod (Street Russian)

Do you want to study Russian in Nizhny Novgorod this summer?

You have until May 20th (or June 15th, if you’re an EU citizen) to apply!

Last July, I attended the “Russian Summer” program at Lobachevsky University in Nizhny Novgorod. It was a good program: 20 academic hours of instruction a week, housing in dorms or homestay, and lots of afternoon excursions.

About that Credit Suisse Russia Inequality Report (Mark Ames)

The Guardian just published a piece on Russia’s inequality problem — first and worst in the world, according to a new Credit Suisse report. Funny to see Credit Suisse wringing its hands over Russian inequality, given that bank’s active complicity in designing and profiting off the privatization of Russia in the early-mid 1990s. Shortly before Credit Suisse arrived in Russia, it was the most equal country on the planet; a few years after Credit Suisse arrived and pocketed up to hundreds of millions in profits, Russia was the most unequal country on earth, and it’s pretty much been that way since.

From Russia, with Panic (The Baffler; Yasha Levine)

Текущее: «Рассказ служанки», мобильный Лабиринт и что читаю (BookGeek)

Начался сезон новых сериалов или продолжения старых, и вышли первые четыре серии «Рассказа служанки» по книге Маргарет Этвуд. У нас массово обсуждают «Американских богов» (Нетфликс), хотя идея Этвуд сейчас актуальней.


A cryptic comment, trapped in the spam filter

I feel like I’m on a cruise ship and I can see through the window into the bridge, and I see the captain and crew who are supposed to be steering the ship are all fighting and locked in a death grip and aren’t going to let go until everyone on it is dead. And wouldn’t you know it, they’ve locked the door to the bridge so that after they’re all dead the ship will be left to drift helplessly on its own like some kind of ghost ship, forever and ever. All I hope is that all the bars on the ship are really well stocked. If so, this could turn out to be the best cruise I’ve ever been on.

Side book #10

This week, I began reading and translating Close to Zero (Original: Околоноля) by Nathan Dubovitsky.



Give me some light



  1. Word of the week – “обмазываться (чем-то)”. Is a Russian rendition of the “Feels Good” visual meme. E.G.:

    Used to express a gratitude for something linked/posted, which you gonna “rub into yourself gently”, so to speak.

    For me it was Yasha Levine real journalist investigation of another modern meme – “Russian hackers did it”. I too gonna “rub it all over me” and share with others. Excellent, golden iridium find, J.T.!

    As for the others – Russian Universe new post is movement in the right direction, but not far enough. “Meduza” suddenly becoming aware, that it might loose credibility (and funding, seeing as Khodorkovsky cut all ties with them) over “Russian propaganda” rumours is hilarious, but too little too late – more like an attempt to settle some score with other members of Nest of Vipers so-called Russian non-systemic opposition.


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