March 07, 2019

Absence (of Sugar and Corgis) Makes the Heart Grow Fonder


Absence (of Sugar and Corgis) Makes the Heart Grow Fonder
It’ll be tricky sweetening this rocky deal. Elena Silich

Throwback Thursday

Nutcracker dance
The Nutcracker. / La Russ Restaurant and Show

Are you a Nutcracker fan? Then this day’s for you. Today in 1892, the suite from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker premiered in St. Petersburg.


Excesses of TV References, Dearth of Movies

1. Did someone say rock candy? A Tyumen resident was making herself tea and decided to add sugar. She opened the box of sugar she had recently purchased (photo at top of post), only to find…rocks. And she wasn’t alone: when she went to the store to complain, they told her that many others had found rocks in their sugar boxes. No one knows how the rocks got in the box; the only clue is that all boxes with rocks have a cross on the back. Stay tuned… We expect the investigators to leave no stone unturned.

2. They killed Kenny, in Kazan! If someone names their new apartment complex “South Park,” there’s only one thing you can do: make an in-joke. When a Kazan builder put up a “South Park” sign, someone took the opportunity to install a gravestone to Kenny McCormick, alluding to a running gag on South Park where a character named Kenny dies every episode and is inexplicably resurrected. Some people were happier than others; eventually the builder took down the grave. Even so, in its announcement, it made one last wisecrack about South Park, demonstrating how hard it is to resist making in-jokes.

Kenny's grave Kazan South Park
Kenny's grave. / overhearkazan

3. A dog’s life for corgi fans. Russian movie theaters were looking forward to showing the Belgian animated flick The Queen’s Corgi on March 7. However, at the last minute, the Ministry of Culture postponed the premiere until late March. As it happens, March 7 is the day a cartoon co-funded by a Russian company is slated to air, and God forbid it should share theater space with a Western cartoon. Movie theater owners are threatening to boycott the Ministry’s movie if they can’t run The Queen’s Corgi, but the Ministry is digging in its heels. It seems the dog days of cinema are nigh.

Blog spotlight

Mark the fourth day of Maslenitsa with Alisa Goz’s analysis of Maslenitsa paintings, from the realist to the postmodern.

In Odder News

  • Well, I’ll be @#$%ed! A new VTsIOM (Russian Public Opinion Research Center) survey reveals that 60% of Russians use mat, or profanity, in their daily lives.
  • Rise and shine! Just in time for spring, groundhogs are coming out of hibernation at the Moscow Zoo.

    Groundhog in spring
    Wakey wakey. / @moscowzoo
  • Ever wondered what Pushkin would do if he lived in the twenty-first century? Thanks to an upcoming exhibition of speculative Pushkin drawings, you need wonder no more.

Pushkin with computer
"It's cold, but I still need to work." Me too, dude. / Evgenia Dvoskina

Quote of the Week

“At this moment, [they] have taken producers, distributors of a domestic film, and children — who will have to survive without fresh cartoons this coming weekend — hostage.”

Russian media company MVK commenting on boycott of the movie they co-funded, whose premiere conflicts with The Queen’s Corgi

Want more where this comes from? Give your inbox the gift of TWERF, our Thursday newsletter on the quirkiest, obscurest, and Russianest of Russian happenings of the week.

Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

Turgenev Bilingual

Turgenev Bilingual

A sampling of Ivan Turgenev's masterful short stories, plays, novellas and novels. Bilingual, with English and accented Russian texts running side by side on adjoining pages.
Fearful Majesty

Fearful Majesty

This acclaimed biography of one of Russia’s most important and tyrannical rulers is not only a rich, readable biography, it is also surprisingly timely, revealing how many of the issues Russia faces today have their roots in Ivan’s reign.
At the Circus (bilingual)

At the Circus (bilingual)

This wonderful novella by Alexander Kuprin tells the story of the wrestler Arbuzov and his battle against a renowned American wrestler. Rich in detail and characterization, At the Circus brims with excitement and life. You can smell the sawdust in the big top, see the vivid and colorful characters, sense the tension build as Arbuzov readies to face off against the American.
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.
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.
The Little Humpbacked Horse (bilingual)

The Little Humpbacked Horse (bilingual)

A beloved Russian classic about a resourceful Russian peasant, Vanya, and his miracle-working horse, who together undergo various trials, exploits and adventures at the whim of a laughable tsar, told in rich, narrative poetry.
Survival Russian

Survival Russian

Survival Russian is an intensely practical guide to conversational, colloquial and culture-rich Russian. It uses humor, current events and thematically-driven essays to deepen readers’ understanding of Russian language and culture. This enlarged Second Edition of Survival Russian includes over 90 essays and illuminates over 2000 invaluable Russian phrases and words.
Murder and the Muse

Murder and the Muse

KGB Chief Andropov has tapped Matyushkin to solve a brazen jewel heist from Picasso’s wife at the posh Metropole Hotel. But when the case bleeds over into murder, machinations, and international intrigue, not everyone is eager to see where the clues might lead.
The Latchkey Murders

The Latchkey Murders

Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin is back on the case in this prequel to the popular mystery Murder at the Dacha, in which a serial killer is on the loose in Khrushchev’s Moscow...
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.  

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

Latest Posts

Our Contacts

Russian Life
73 Main Street, Suite 402
Montpelier VT 05602

802-223-4955