Author: Contributors

The Decree of 1948: Shostakovich’s Rehabilitation

The history of Soviet music cannot be discussed without mentioning the Decree of 1948 and the anti-Formalist campaign that followed. Dmitri Shostakovich was one of a select number of Soviet composers who were denounced by this powerful document. After its publication, several of Shostakovich’s compositions were banned from performance, he temporarily lost his job at […]

Suicide as a Final Reconciliation of Conflicting Identities in The Brothers Karamazov

The function of violent death is complex in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov: it serves as the driving focus of the work, calls into question the many characters’ agency and morality, and provides a forceful resolution. At the forefront of the novel is the murder of Fyodor Pavlovich by one of his sons. Parricide is the […]

Russian Painters For Dummies

In response to a wider trend of “Art History for Dummies” that has recently gone viral, the staff at, a Russian website, recently created a short guide that will help you to distinguish Brullov from Surikov and Kandinsky from Malevich. Please note: this is not an art appreciation course but a simplified guide created […]

Moscow’s Stalinist High-Rise Stars as You’ve Never Seen Them

The Village presents drone photographs of the tops of Soviet skyscrapers. Every Russian knows the seven Stalinist high-rises (or, as foreigners call them, the “Seven Sisters”), which were the first Soviet skyscrapers and remained the tallest buildings in Europe for many years. The following article appears on The Village in Russian. It has been translated […]

Worlds within Words: A Translation of Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky’s ‘The Rosary’

“The creative legacy of Krzhizhanovsky, rising before our eyes entirely from nonexistence…is a unique case even in the history of our culture which, to put it lightly, has not stinted on the excommunication of artists who could have become its pride,” writes Vadim Perelmuter in the introduction to the first of five volumes of Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky’s collected […]

Accessible Art and Dialectic Potential: The Soviet Legacy in the Art community of Kyrgyzstan

”In the artistic world, Central Asian artists are still listed as “Others.” Ulan Djaparov, exhibition notes for “…and Others,” 2004. Within the last three decades, the international art system has seen the inclusion of contemporary art from regions of the world, which once seemed remote. The newest region to enter the international art system is […]

Competing Conceptions of the Good Life in Anna Karenina

The main characters in Anna Karenina all strive to attain their conception of the good life. Their ideas about what this life entails differ drastically: some seek personal happiness, some endeavor to serve the public good, and others try to strike a precarious balance between these two goals. This paper briefly describes four influential philosophical theories about […]

The Paradoxes of Vladimir Mayakovsky

Can a poet influence his own legacy after his death? Consider the power of an individual’s era, homeland, contemporaries, and critical reception as additional deciding factors toward establishing a legacy. With several sources of interpretation, it is inevitable for multiple legacies of a person to emerge in the wake of a singular event; it can […]

The Control of Semantic Space: Bulgakov’s Challenge of the Stalinist Vision

Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita (1967) and Heart of a Dog (1925) are among the most provocative works which challenge the Stalinist vision of controlled cultural space. His stories illustrate in detail how space forms society and influences cultural development. Through his prose, Bulgakov exhibits a unique understanding that Stalinism maintained control of society by controlling Soviet space. His […]

How and Why Did the Focus of Samizdat Shift Following the End of the Khrushchev Thaw?

The phenomenon of self-publishing is by no means new or unique to the Soviet Union. Indeed, self-published letters and manuscripts have been circulated among the people of Russia from the time of Prince Kurbskii’s letter to Ivan the Terrible to the 17th century writings of archpriest Avvakum.[1] However, the term samizdat (literally “self-published”) can be used to […]

Rational Perversions of Love in The Brothers Karamazov: Spiritually Fruitless, yet Thematically Useful

In The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoevsky spends countless pages elucidating his ideal of love. Among his many characters, he offers complex portraits of two intriguing individuals, whose love does not quite fit his definition of this ideal. The Grand Inquisitor and, by extension, his creator Ivan, are often seen as simply hyper-rational characters who reject God’s […]

Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Meek One: A Rebellious Reading

The Meek One (Кроткая) was published in The Diary of a Writer (Дневник писателя) in 1876 and is one of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s lesser known works. Despite this, The Meek One is a purely Dostoevskian story, displaying themes common throughout his larger works. I will examine cruelty, freedom, utopianism and suicide in The Meek One to show its relationship to some of Dostoevsky’s larger […]

1 2 3 4
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!