January 20, 2022

Good Deeds, Gas, and Gasless Cars


Good Deeds, Gas, and Gasless Cars
In Odder News

In this week's Odder News: Tesla owners demand service, a lonely cat, and a rapper's ties to Russia.

  • Popular American rapper Kanye West (who apparently has started calling himself "Ye") is planning a trip to Russia sometime this coming spring or summer, during which he expects to meet with President Vladimir Putin. West's strategic advisor Ameer Sudan has said that Russia is going to be like a second home for the rapper, as he plans to expand his business relations with the so-called "Trump of Russia," Aras Agalarov.
  • A family in Novosibirsk left their cat home alone during the New Year's holidays, with nobody to look after it. Fortunately, the neighbors heard the cat's pleading and were able to feed him through the peephole of the door until the police received permission from the owner to open the apartment. The cat was safe and happy (as happy as a cat can be) to meet his rescuers.
  • President Putin has recently approved an initiative presented by the Federation Council (essentially the Russian Senate) to make all natural gas used for eternal flame war monuments free. The multi-billion-dollar corporation Gazprom has generously(ish) offered to handle the cost by itself.
  • Russian Tesla owners have recorded a video for Elon Musk, imploring him to open up a Tesla office in Russia. The drivers complain that, despite how much they enjoy their electric cars, it is very difficult to keep their cars maintained and properly charged, since there are no official Tesla service centers or dealerships in Russia, and all parts need to be ordered from abroad. Perhaps it would be easier to stay "green" in Russia by driving cars that run on natural gas?
  • Dima Vasetsky, a 10-year-old from Yekaterinburg, has been dubbed world champion in knowledge of the Chinese language. Aside from his fluency in Chinese, Dima has also been praised for his understanding of Chinese etiquette and culture. Dima started learning the language at the age of five, and has also been given the title of "small ambassador of China in the world." Is it ironic that the "small ambassador" is from the world's largest country? We think so.

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Some of Our Books

Woe From Wit (bilingual)

Woe From Wit (bilingual)

One of the most famous works of Russian literature, the four-act comedy in verse Woe from Wit skewers staid, nineteenth century Russian society, and it positively teems with “winged phrases” that are essential colloquialisms for students of Russian and Russian culture.
The Little Golden Calf

The Little Golden Calf

Our edition of The Little Golden Calf, one of the greatest Russian satires ever, is the first new translation of this classic novel in nearly fifty years. It is also the first unabridged, uncensored English translation ever, and is 100% true to the original 1931 serial publication in the Russian journal 30 Dnei. Anne O. Fisher’s translation is copiously annotated, and includes an introduction by Alexandra Ilf, the daughter of one of the book’s two co-authors.
Life Stories: Original Fiction By Russian Authors

Life Stories: Original Fiction By Russian Authors

The Life Stories collection is a nice introduction to contemporary Russian fiction: many of the 19 authors featured here have won major Russian literary prizes and/or become bestsellers. These are life-affirming stories of love, family, hope, rebirth, mystery and imagination, masterfully translated by some of the best Russian-English translators working today. The selections reassert the power of Russian literature to affect readers of all cultures in profound and lasting ways. Best of all, 100% of the profits from the sale of this book are going to benefit Russian hospice—not-for-profit care for fellow human beings who are nearing the end of their own life stories.
Fish: A History of One Migration

Fish: A History of One Migration

This mesmerizing novel from one of Russia’s most important modern authors traces the life journey of a selfless Russian everywoman. In the wake of the Soviet breakup, inexorable forces drag Vera across the breadth of the Russian empire. Facing a relentless onslaught of human and social trials, she swims against the current of life, countering adversity and pain with compassion and hope, in many ways personifying Mother Russia’s torment and resilience amid the Soviet disintegration.
Marooned in Moscow

Marooned in Moscow

This gripping autobiography plays out against the backdrop of Russia's bloody Civil War, and was one of the first Western eyewitness accounts of life in post-revolutionary Russia. Marooned in Moscow provides a fascinating account of one woman's entry into war-torn Russia in early 1920, first-person impressions of many in the top Soviet leadership, and accounts of the author's increasingly dangerous work as a journalist and spy, to say nothing of her work on behalf of prisoners, her two arrests, and her eventual ten-month-long imprisonment, including in the infamous Lubyanka prison. It is a veritable encyclopedia of life in Russia in the early 1920s.
Murder at the Dacha

Murder at the Dacha

Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin has a problem. Several, actually. Not the least of them is the fact that a powerful Soviet boss has been murdered, and Matyushkin's surly commander has given him an unreasonably short time frame to close the case.
Moscow and Muscovites

Moscow and Muscovites

Vladimir Gilyarovsky's classic portrait of the Russian capital is one of Russians’ most beloved books. Yet it has never before been translated into English. Until now! It is a spectactular verbal pastiche: conversation, from gutter gibberish to the drawing room; oratory, from illiterates to aristocrats; prose, from boilerplate to Tolstoy; poetry, from earthy humor to Pushkin. 
The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

This exciting new trilogy by a Russian author – who has been compared to Orhan Pamuk and Umberto Eco – vividly recreates a lost world, yet its passions and characters are entirely relevant to the present day. Full of mystery, memorable characters, and non-stop adventure, The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas is a must read for lovers of historical fiction and international thrillers.  
93 Untranslatable Russian Words

93 Untranslatable Russian Words

Every language has concepts, ideas, words and idioms that are nearly impossible to translate into another language. This book looks at nearly 100 such Russian words and offers paths to their understanding and translation by way of examples from literature and everyday life. Difficult to translate words and concepts are introduced with dictionary definitions, then elucidated with citations from literature, speech and prose, helping the student of Russian comprehend the word/concept in context.
White Magic

White Magic

The thirteen tales in this volume – all written by Russian émigrés, writers who fled their native country in the early twentieth century – contain a fair dose of magic and mysticism, of terror and the supernatural. There are Petersburg revenants, grief-stricken avengers, Lithuanian vampires, flying skeletons, murders and duels, and even a ghostly Edgar Allen Poe.

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