Minor Writers and the Major Leagues, Part II



Another reason to study minor writers is that they help us to understand historical eras. They are part of the thick description of a given time. For the major-centric among us, minor writers can be seen as important for what they can tell us about major writers, although the relationship is not always cristalline. Even major writers had to read something, after all, although they might not tell you what it was or how it influenced them. Just as Pushkin would not have told you that he’d devoured the novels of Sophie Cottin (as Hilde Hoogenboom has explored), so did Tolstoy play down Mariia Zhukova (as discussed in Part I), while both Turgenev and Dostoevsky borrowed plot motifs from authoress Evgenii Tur (Jane Costlow, Svetlana Grenier).

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Workers Against the Workers’ State, Part II



“Dear Comrades!” won a special jury prize at the Venice film festival in September 2020. A one-hour promotional video follows Konchalovsky and Vysotskaya as they cavort through luxury locations in Venice between interviews. At one point, Vysotskaya goes down on her knees before Konchalovsky and bows to him as a “master.” These scenes are surreal when juxtaposed with the grim lives of the Russian workers who are the pretext of the film.

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Workers Against the Workers’ State, Part I



The artistic qualities of “Dear Comrades!”, along with its superficial willingness to confront a tragic chapter of Russian history, have attracted glowing reviews from some Western critics and may win director Andrei Konchalovsky his coveted Oscar. But the film leaves a lot to be desired as a piece of historical analysis, and in its implications for state-society relations in Russia today.

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Representations of Race in Russian Art of the “Long” Nineteenth Century



The past three decades have witnessed the steady rise of scholarly interest in depictions of ethnically and racially diverse subjects in European art. Lavishly illustrated, multi-volume publications, such as the “Image of the Black in Western Art,” “L’Art et La Race,” and “The Orient in Western Art,” have yielded invaluable insights into the politics and poetics of Western visualizations of race from antiquity to the present day. Typically, Russia is left out of these accounts.

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19v So Far



As we approach the one-year mark of 19v’s inception, I’ve been polling some of our participants to learn which of our activities have proven valuable so far and what we might want to undertake in the future.

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Navalny’s Back. What Will Putin Do Next?



Shortly before Alexei Navalny’s arrival at Vnukovo Airport, riot police dispersed several hundred supporters and arrested dozens before closing the airport altogether and forcing the last-minute diversion of incoming flights. At Sheremetyevo Airport, Navalny was arrested for “failing to appear at a parole hearing” while abroad. Hours later, he was sentenced to 30 days imprisonment in an ad hoc trial featured in multiple TikTok parodies. In conjunction with his arrest, the Navalny team released a corruption exposé, Putin’s Palace, and called for demonstrations. Approximately 100,000 protesters from 196 cities nationwide spilled into the streets.

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