[…] a good time no matter the time of day or reason to celebrate. Blogger Katelin writes in her post ‘War on…Alcohol?’ about the Soviet Union’s struggle with their population that was showing some unfortunate […]
So this was the first Russian novel I ever read years ago. Pevear and Volkhonsky have become the rather prolific duo in their translations, though at this point it’s to such an extent that there’s some pushback by Russian lit professor at Northwestern Gary Saul Morson (<a href=”https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/the-pevearsion-of-russian-literature/” rel=”nofollow”>The Pevearsion of Russian Literature</a>). I’m not sure I agree wholeheartedly with the criticism… translation is a tricky business and someone is always going to disagree with this or that choice, and one can always go to the original when in doubt. I wrote a little earlier in the semester about Bulgakov’s other really well-known work, Heart of a Dog, which was also made into a great film. Dr. Milman-Miller, Russian professor here at VT, told us about reading circulated copies of this novel. I think your comparison to the hype Harry Potter received is exactly right, as others have mentioned.
So, I loved this post and the podcast especially. The Lenin is a Mushroom thing is hilarious. The anekdoty are still popular in my experience, especially among the older generation… for the longest time I just thought the Russian word translated the same, as “anecdotes,” and I always wondered why people kept asking me for anecdotes, when they really wanted me to just tell them a joke. This was the first time I’ve heard of styob… I think nowadays people mostly say “prikol”. The only anekdot I remember was about sausage deficit… something like a salesperson in a store asks if a customer wants to buy another half inch of sausage and the customer resonds “gulyat’ tak gulyat'”, which means something like “if you’re going to buy something, might as well splurge”.
Actually, I’m mistaken. It was mentioned <a href=”https://kherrity89.wordpress.com/2017/04/22/anekdoty-quiet-pessimism/” rel=”nofollow”>here</a>.
So, the detail on the epaulettes really stands out to me here as a signal of the broader changes around leadership. Rather less egalitarian than the Petrograd Order No. 1 we read about it earlier. I especially liked the picture on <a href=”http://soviethistory.msu.edu/1943-2/epaulettes-back-on-uniforms/epaulettes-back-on-uniforms-images/#bwg108/659″ rel=”nofollow”>17 Moments</a>, linking Zhukov with medieval and imperial Russian figures (Donskoi, Nevskii, Kutuzov).
Thanks for writing on the attitudes towards ecology/ecological developments and Lake Baikal, which was a sore spot for me in conversation with Russians when I studied abroad. There’s a saying “posle nas, khot’ potop” taken from French(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apr%C3%A8s_nous_le_d%C3%A9luge)… a bit strange perhaps, but people actually said this to me and said I was naive for being concerned, the idea of the saying being that the concerns and problems of future generations are not our worry. Environmentalism seems to be one of the first things axed when greed takes over (ahem, Trump and the EPA). Anyway, I’d be interested to find out when that picture of Baikal was taken. In 2015 there were massive forest fires across Siberia and around Baikal (http://siberiantimes.com/ecology/casestudy/features/f0148-wildfires-around-lake-baikal-are-close-to-catastrophic-say-wwf/)
I really appreciate how you tied this situation into things we see today. I recently did a paper on Afghanistan as well in which I noted there has been little progress. It does seem like we have fallen into the same trap as the Soviets did. I also enjoyed the video and the CIA document! Those were awesome finds!
I love your title and I love Misha! I kind of feel bad that they worked so hard to make the Olympics happen and then nobody showed up! It’s like nobody showing up to a kids birthday party. Even though they were being a bad kid and stealing Afghanistan’s toys. I enjoyed how you mentioned the propaganda with making the political boycott out to be an Olympic boycott.
This is so cool! Admittedly I have never watched James Bond, I have only heard the name in popular culture. So thank you for noting the differences! This reminds me of how during and after WWII Americans idolized Captain America.
That “Soviet James Bond” source you cite is really interesting! Thanks for writing about Stirlitz. He remains a compelling television character even after all these years. I wonder if there isn’t another (less offensive) way of writing describing the role played by women in the series?