Robert Donaldson : Eulogy delivered at a Celebration of Life for Yevgeny Aleksandrovich Yevtushenko.

Yevgeny Yevtushenko file photo, adapted from image at archives.gov

Subject: Eulogy for #Yevtushenko Date: Thu, 6 Apr 2017 From: Robert Donaldson <robert-donaldson@utulsa.edu> Here is a somewhat shortened version of the Eulogy I delivered last evening at the University of Tulsa’s “Celebration of Life” service for Yevgeny Yevtushenko, who taught for us for a quarter of a century. The service featured readings (in English and Russian) by two of his […]

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NEWSLINK: INTERVIEW AND INTRODUCTION: “Yevgeny Yevtushenko – His Poetry Engaged and Enraged Readers at Home and Abroad [2017 reprint of 1987 Interview” – The Progressive/ Yevgeny Yevtushenko/ Katrina vanden Heuvel

Yevgeny Yevtushenko file photo, adapted from image at archives.gov

“Editor’s Note: Yevgeny Yevtushenko, internationally acclaimed Russian poet, novelist, essayist, playwright and film director died on April 1, 2017. He was 83. In honor of his tremendous work and legacy, we are sharing an interview he did with Katrina vanden Heuvel for our magazine in 1987. …”

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The Kukotsky Enigma: a sprawling philosophical epic with a Tolstoyan edge

Bookcase file photo, adapted from image at nlm.nih.gov

Leo Tolstoy, often an influence in Ulitskaya’s work, pervades this novel about family life, science, music, memory and the power of love. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – PHOEBE TAPLIN, SPECIAL TO RBTH – October 11, 2016) In 2001, novelist Ludmila Ulitskaya was the first woman to win Russia’s prestigious Booker Prize. The winning book was her fourth novel, […]

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Six Russian writers to watch at the London Book Fair

Bookcase file photo, adapted from image at nlm.nih.gov

A delegation of Russian authors is coming to London on April 11-14 for the city’s international book fair. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – ALEXANDRA GUZEVA, RBTH – April 7, 2016) The Read Russia international project returns to the London Book Fair. Among daily meetings with award-wining contemporary writers, this year the Russian stand (5D169) at Olympia Exhibition Center […]

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Russians’ Favorite Writer? The Winner is…

Leo Tolstoy file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 15, 2016) The Levada Center has recently published the results of a nationwide survey asking Russian citizens to name their favorite writer. Lev Tolstoy took first place with 45 percent of the vote, Fyodor Dostoevsky came in second with 23 percent and Anton Chekhov took third place with 18 percent. Russia is known worldwide […]

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Censors would starve in modern Russia

Bookcase file photo, adapted from image at nlm.nih.gov

Maya Kucherskaya, a writer, linguist, literary critic and director of the newly opened Creative Writing School, the first such center for budding authors in Russia, talked to RBTH about professional writing, censorship and Russia’s book market. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – YULIA VINOGRADOVA, SPECIAL TO RBTH – February 17, 2016) RBTH: How is the Creative Writing School different […]

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How Russians react to BBC’s War and Peace

Leo Tolstoy file photo

RBTH’s pick of the best comments made by Tolstoy’s compatriots. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – NATALIA MASHINISTOVA, SPECIAL TO RBTH – January 26, 2016) Although BBC’s new War and Peace adaptation hasn’t aired on Russian television yet, the most curious Russians have found a way to check it out on the internet. Any foreign attempt to adapt what […]

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Unwrapping Christmas in Russian literature

Bookcase file photo, adapted from image at nlm.nih.gov

The decorations are up, the nights are drawing in – in the northern hemisphere, at least – and gift-hunters are braving the crowds ahead of Christmas. In Russia, however, this celebration has a different meaning. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – PETER BEECH, SPECIAL TO RBTH – January 7, 2016) The majority of Russians celebrate Christmas on Jan. 7, […]

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2015 in review: Eight key events in Russian culture

Bolshoi Theater file photo

This year brought mixed fortunes for Russian culture, with successes in the realms of literature, art and ballet offset by the growing interference of the Orthodox Church in the cultural sphere. RBTH looks back at 8 important events in Russia’s cultural life in 2015 that had an international impact. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Oleg Krasnov – December […]

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RIA Novosti: Putin warns against moves to close Ukrainian library in Moscow

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(RIA Novosti – December 25, 2015) Vladimir Putin has intervened in the case of the Library of Ukrainian Literature in Moscow, whose director is in custody and facing charges of inciting hatred, RIA Novosti news agency reported on 25 December. Natalya Sharina was held on 28 October when the Investigations Committee carried out a search of the Library and found […]

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How much do we know about contemporary Russian writers?

Bookcase file photo, adapted from image at nlm.nih.gov

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – PHOEBE TAPLIN, SPECIAL TO RBTH – December 9, 2015) As December 2015 sees another week of Russian literary events in New York City, RBTH asks Anglophone readers and publishers about their favorites and bestsellers among 21st-century Russian fiction. When English-speaking readers talk about Russian novels, they generally mean Dostoevsky and Tolstoy, Bulgakov and […]

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NEWSWATCH AP: “Russians Read Tolstoy’s War and Peace in 60-Hour TV Marathon”

Leo Tolstoy file photo

AP covers a televised reading of War and Peace. More than 1,300 Russians are reading Leo Tolstoy’s notoriously lengthy novel “War and Peace” aloud in a 60-hour marathon on national television. The public readings, pre-recorded at locations all over Russia, from the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg to remote Arctic islands, have been coordinated by Tolstoy’s great-great-granddaughter and feature Russians […]

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Despite Economic Woes, the Book Fair is Bigger Than Ever

Bookcase file photo, adapted from image at nlm.nih.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Justin Lifflander – November 28, 2015) Other countries have book fairs where publishers come to do business. The 17th International Book Fair for High-Quality Fiction and Non-Fiction – commonly simply referred to as “nonfiction” – taking place in Moscow this week is very much an event for readers. And as such it is a good […]

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Case against Moscow’s Library of Ukrainian Literature may be closed

Vladimir Markin file photo

(Interfax – October 30, 2015) A criminal investigation launched against the director of the Moscow-based Library of Ukrainian Literature, Natalya Sharina, who is a suspect in a case opened into the spreading of extremist literature, may be closed, a source in law enforcement agencies told Interfax. “The case against Sharina may be closed on the basis of the Prosecutor’s Office’s […]

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Online reading of Tolstoy’s ‘War and Peace’ to be open to all; Any Russian speakers can apply to take part in December event

Leo Tolstoy file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Oleg Krasnov, RBTH – October 12, 2015) Anyone on the planet who speaks Russian will be able to read a chapter from Russian writer Lev Tolstoy’s classic War and Peace directly online as part of an upcoming event The “War and Peace: Let’s Read The Novel” event will take place between Dec. 8 […]

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Russia’s Book Industry Wanes as Russians Stop Reading

Bookcase file photo, adapted from image at nlm.nih.gov

  (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anastasia Bazenkova – July 30, 2015) More Russian bookshops are facing closure every year, shaking the publishing industry and threatening writing as a profession. Bookselling, never the most profitable retail business, is struggling to stay afloat thanks to expensive shop rental rates and decreasing interest from customers. In Moscow, considered the most well-read city […]

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The Top 10 Summer Books for Russia Watchers

Bookcase file photo, adapted from image at nlm.nih.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 3, 2015) Here at The Moscow Times culture desk, we like to think of ourselves as highbrows. We like opera. We spend our evenings reading the “Great Authors.” We think we understand the “Black Square.” But even we like to kick back on a hot summer weekend with a can of beer and a […]

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Quiet days for books on Russia published in first half of 2015

Bookcase file photo, adapted from image at nlm.nih.gov

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – BOOK REVIEW: Chris Weafer in Moscow – June 18, 2015) The first half of 2015 can hardly be described as a vintage period for new books about Russia. It seems that the Ukraine crisis and recession have led to many authors delaying completing their work until there is a little more clarity on how […]

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NEWSWATCH Foreign Policy Magazine: Is Russian Literature Dead? How the land of Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy became a book lover’s afterthought

Bookcase file photo, adapted from image at nlm.nih.gov

[“Is Russian Literature Dead? How the land of Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy became a book lover’s afterthought” – Foreign Policy Magazine – Owen Matthews – March 24, 2015] Writing in Foreign Policy Magazine Owen Matthews addresses the lack of attention and celebrity for Russian literature created in recent decades, at least among American readers. The last Russian novel to become a genuine […]

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NEWSLINK: Valentin Rasputin, Russian Writer Who Led ‘Village Prose’ Movement, Dies at 77

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

Valentin Rasputin, a patriarch of the so-called village prose writers who emerged in the Soviet Union in the 1960s to address moral and environmental issues and depict the remains of a rural Russia about to be consumed by industrialization, died here on Saturday. He was 77. …   http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/19/world/europe/valentin-rasputin-russian-writer-who-led-village-prose-movement-dies-at-77.html?_r=0

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Russia about to Lose Its ‘Thick’ Journals and Culture Ministry Won’t Help

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, January 22, 2015) Russia’s “thick” journals, the pride of its intellectual life for more than a century are dying, the result of changes in the media marketplace, but despite 2015 having been declared “The Year of Literature” in Russia, the Russian government is unwilling to do anything to save them. Indeed, it […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: Five Russian books for your Christmas gift list

Fyodor Dostoyevskty file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Phoebe Taplin, special to RBTH – December 3, 2014) Book reviews: Great Russian reads sparkling with wit, humor and drama that should be on your Christmas gift list. 1) ‘Crime and Punishment’ Fyodor Dostoevsky Hailed by AN Wilson in The Spectator as a “truly great translation” that captures the novel’s “knife-edge between sentimentality […]

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Tolstoy’s Canadian Doukhobors Return to Russia Over 100 Years After Fleeing

Leo Tolstoy file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – YASNAYA POLYANA, Tula Region – October 3, 2014) When they were in their 50s, Elaine and Alfred Podovinikoff packed up their lives in their native Canada and emigrated to a muddy, provincial Russian settlement with a single paved road and freely roaming chickens. The Podovinikoffs resettled just south of Tula – an […]

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Solzhenitsyn Spat Sees Mironov Attack Putin Ally

Alexander Solzhenitsyn file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – John Freedman – September 29, 2014) As Moscow’s weather gradually cools down, the temperature of political discourse is definitely heating up. A public spat over the place in history of novelist and historian Alexander Solzhenitsyn led last week to some fighting words that culminated with a popular actor, Yevgeny Mironov, slinging rhetorical mud at a […]

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When literature came under state control: 80 years since the First Congress of Soviet Writers

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – August 27, 2014) When literature came under state control: 80 years since the First Congress of Soviet Writers When the First Congress of Soviet Writers opened on Aug. 17, 1934 in Moscow, it marked a watershed in Soviet literature. The artistic freedom that had characterized the turbulent 1920s was now gone, replaced by forced […]

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Making sense of war: The perspective of five great Russian writers

Battle of Stalingrad file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Mikhail Butov, special to RBTH – July 23, 2014) The author is a writer and Russian Booker Prize winner. The current conflict in Ukraine is raising sensitive ethical questions, forcing us to consider the justifications and meaning of using military force, and whether it should be allowed at all. RBTH looks at what […]

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The Russian novel returns: Solovki prison, the defense industry, and an agronomist called Gogol

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Georgy Manaev, RBTH – June 15, 2014) The shortlist for the ninth annual national literary prize “The Big Book” has been unveiled. This is Russia’s most influential literary award in mainstream prose and – with a prize fund of $174,000 – its most lucrative. The winners will be announced in November The jury […]

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Russian Writers Call for Free Speech as Pasternak’s Birthday Celebrated

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – D. Garrison Golubock and Olga Chetina – February 17, 2014) Feb. 11 marked the 124th anniversary of the birth of Boris Pasternak, the famed Soviet author best known for his book “Doctor Zhivago,” which was published abroad after being banned in the Soviet Union. Pasternak’s birthday was celebrated with great fanfare by Russia’s literati, including […]

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Literature on the front lines: Russian writers in the Caucasus conflicts

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Phoebe Taplin, special to RBTH – February 11, 2014) The tradition of literature exploring conflict in the Caucasus began with the great stories by Lermontov and Tolstoy, and is carried on by today’s writers: RBTH presents 5 contemporary authors, each with military experience and individual views on duty, violence and the casualties of […]

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Writers Denounce Repressive Russian Laws in Open Letter

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jennifer Monaghan – February 6, 2014) More than 200 writers from around the world have signed an open letter to the Russian authorities denouncing the introduction of gay-propaganda and blasphemy laws in Russia, which they call an attack on freedom of expression. We “cannot stand quietly by as we watch our fellow writers and journalists […]

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Russian writers and rulers: the love-hate relationship

Alexander Solzhenitsyn file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – February 3, 2014) For Russian literature, it’s time again for a political choice: for or against Putin? RBTH presents an overview of the problem and interviews experts. Russian literature and government power have always had something of a love-hate relationship. There have been periods when writers were exiled or put before the firing […]

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Celebrating Aitmatov and his examination of collective memory

File Photo of Prison in Russia with Wall, Barbed Wire, Guard Tower

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Olga Fedina, special to RBTH – December 12, 2013) The author of the acclaimed novel “The Day Lasts More Than a Hundred Years,” would have been 85 years old on Dec. 12. When I was finishing school in the late 1980s, in the anarchic and utopian times of perestroika, I remember discussing in […]

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Interfax: There is no persecution of political views in Russia, but ‘law can’t be violated with actions’ – Putin

Kremlin and St. Basil's file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 21 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said that no one is imprisoning anyone for their political views in Russia, but no one allowed to take actions that break the law. “No one is grabbing anyone and no one is imprisoning anyone for ideas, for political views, and we will never allow that. We will never go back […]

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RIA Novosti: Moscow Is for Writers

Gorky Park file photo

(RIA Novosti – Natalia Antonova – October 29, 2013) Natalia Antonova, is the acting editor-in-chief of The Moscow News. She also works as a playwright ­ her work has been featured at the Lyubimovka Festival in Moscow and Gogolfest in Kiev, Ukraine. She was born in Ukraine, but spent most of her life in the United States. She graduated from […]

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Snowden – the only Solzhenitsyn we deserve

Edward Snowden file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Dmitry Babich, special to RBTH – October 21, 2013) Dmitry Babich is a columnist for Voice of Russia radio. Is the former NSA analyst a modern-day dissident? There are many interesting similarities between Edward Snowden and the famous Russian dissident writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008). The most recent example of these is the interview […]

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Russian Authors Face Long Odds for Nobel

Alexander Solzhenitsyn file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Christopher Brennan – October 9, 2013) Russian literature is a serious business. The books are heavy, the beards are long and the descriptions of women’s upper lip hair are detailed. Russian authors from the 18th century onwards are read in classrooms from Tokyo to Buenos Aires and have been lauded the world over. Writers of […]

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Tolstoy Museums Unite, Tolstoy Goes Online

Leo Tolstoy file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – D. Garrison Golubock – September 9, 2013) Leo Tolstoy, the world-famous author and doyen of Russia’s golden age of literature, is not a gentleman about whom one expects to hear breaking news. However, in a surprise announcement last Thursday, Russia’s two most prominent Tolstoy museums announced that they would be merging and appointing a new […]

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131 Years After Death, Dostoyevsky Undergoes Criminal Check in Russia

Fyodor Dostoyevskty file photo

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, August 1, 2013) As if Fyodor Dostoyevsky wasn’t depressing enough, Russian court marshals have added a touch of Kafka to his legacy, investigating the Russian literary giant for contempt of court ­ and only clearing him because he is no longer alive. The amusing story began with an “idiot” ­ both the title of an 1869 […]

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Mayakovsky anniversary reveals struggle over poet’s legacy

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Joy Neumeyer – July 22, 2013) On July 19, Moscow marked the 120th anniversary of Vladimir Mayakovsky, the rebellious Futurist poet who rose from a childhood in Georgia to become the voice of the October Revolution. The commemorations came on the eve of the controversial renovation of Moscow’s Mayakovsky Museum, which some fear will remove […]

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Mayakovsky Still One of Russia’s Most Popular Poets – Poll

Map of Russia

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, July 19, 2013) ­ A hundred and twenty years after his birth and 83 years after his suicide, literary rebel-cum-Communist Vladimir Mayakovsky remains one of modern Russia’s most popular poets, according to a new poll. Mayakovsky is the second most popular Russian poet of the 20th century, according to a poll by the Levada Center published […]

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Russian Booker Nominees Listed

Map of Russia

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 11, 2013) The “long list” for the Russian equivalent of the prestigious literary award was announced at a press conference on Wednesday. Twenty-four hopefuls have entered the running, whittled down from 87. The final shortlist of six candidates is to be announced on October 3. The award is considered one of the most prestigious […]

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Tolstoy’s Entire Body of Work Goes Online, Descendant Says

Leo Tolstoy file photo

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 26, 2013) ­ Count Leo Tolstoy was a prolific author, rich and generous enough to bequeath his works to be published and distributed free of charge. His epics “War and Peace” and “Anna Karenina” still top most of the lists of greatest novels of all time, and his controversial views on Christianity earned him excommunication […]

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Leo Tolstoy’s library of work goes online

Leo Tolstoy file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alena Tveritina, RBTH – June 20, 2013) All Tolstoy in One Click [http://www.readingtolstoy.ru/]­ the Russian project, similar to the international humanitarian Project Guttenberg, begins digitizing the 90-volume collection of works by the great Russian writer. The project was announced by the Leo Tolstoy State Museum and ABBYY. The multi-volume collection of works by […]

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Father’s Day: As Tolstoy wrote, all happy families are alike…

Leo Tolstoy file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Viktoria Ushakova, special to RBTH – June 16, 2013) RBTH looks at parenting skills of five great Russian writers. Some writers are so consumed by their art that their families are eclipsed, while other writers manage an enviable closeness with their loved ones. On the occasion of Father’s Day, RBTH recalls what kind […]

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Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose

File Photo of Crowd of Russians with One Waving Russian Flag

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – George Feifer, special to RBTH – April 25, 2013) Author and longtime Russian expert George Feifer turns conventional wisdom on its head and explains the ways in which Russians are free and Americans are dully imprisoned. When Denis Diderot visited St. Petersburg at Catherine the Great’s invitation, the great philosopher and founder of […]

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How to brand great Russian literature

Leo Tolstoy file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – www.rbth.ru – Stepan Ivanov, combined report, RBTH – February 24, 2013) Dmitry Bak, the new director of the Literature Museum, talked to a number of journalists about how the museum is developing and emphasized how classic Russian literature needs to be understood through the contemporary. To this end, the director suggests branding Russian literature ­ […]

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