June 08, 2017

Celebrating Russian Language Day with Poets, Filmmakers, Journalists, & Robots


Celebrating Russian Language Day with Poets, Filmmakers, Journalists, & Robots
Masterpieces of Russian Culture

1. June 6th is Pushkin’s birthday, which is also celebrated in Russia as Russian Language Day. On the Russian language, Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev marveled at its being alive and ever-changing, but also stressed the need to preserve its beauty and purity. If you’re more interested in the Pushkin side of the holiday, check out this photo gallery or take this quiz to test your knowledge of Russia’s favorite poet. Want to test your Pushkin smarts in Russian? There’s a quiz for that, too.

2. Renowned Russian filmmaker Alexander Sokurov has been recognized by the European Film Academy with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Some of the most celebrated works in his lifetime of achievements include Russian Ark, which explores Russian history in a one-take journey through the Hermitage Museum, and his trilogy of films about power focusing on Hitler, Lenin, and Emperor Hirohito. The “European Oscar” he has received celebrates his unique contributions to directing, dramaturgy and cinematography.

3. In a feat not so likely to win any awards, NBC journalist Megyn Kelly had a tough time with Russian interviewees this past week. First there was the state-run news executive criticizing allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election – Kelly referred to him a “broadcaster,” perhaps accidentally implying that he had no stake in that particular party line. In her subsequent powwows with Putin, the president deflected, denied, and accused her of hysteria to derail the conversation about hacking. For a first assignment on a new network, Kelly didn’t get a walk in the park. 

In Robotter News
  • For sale: Facebook likes and Instagram followers. All thanks to another robot, also known as a kiosk in a central Moscow mall.
  • If you’ve ever been to a museum in Russia, you’ve likely been hushed, glared at, or told not to take photos by lady in a chair. No, there’s not a robot version yet. But their stories poignantly speak to the power of Russian culture and the museums that display it.
Quote of the Week

"Of course, language is a living organism and it changes, but it is important to preserve its beauty and purity. We have paid serious attention to these issues."
—Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's remarks on the Russian language to mark Russian Language Day.

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.

 

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Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

A book that dares to explore the humanity of priests and pilgrims, saints and sinners, Faith & Humor has been both a runaway bestseller in Russia and the focus of heated controversy – as often happens when a thoughtful writer takes on sacred cows. The stories, aphorisms, anecdotes, dialogues and adventures in this volume comprise an encyclopedia of modern Russian Orthodoxy, and thereby of Russian life.
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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.  
The Samovar Murders

The Samovar Murders

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White Magic

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Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

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The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar

The fables of Ivan Krylov are rich fonts of Russian cultural wisdom and experience – reading and understanding them is vital to grasping the Russian worldview. This new edition of 62 of Krylov’s tales presents them side-by-side in English and Russian. The wonderfully lyrical translations by Lydia Razran Stone are accompanied by original, whimsical color illustrations by Katya Korobkina.
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The Moscow Eccentric

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A Taste of Chekhov

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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.
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The Little Humpbacked Horse

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