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Zdenka Pregelj
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Unhappy Endings - Carson McCullers
We’re in the closing moments of Carson McCullers’s 1946 novel “The Member of the Wedding.” The setting: a well-worn kitchen in a small Southern town during the Second World War. There’s little in the room: a chair, a stove. Everything else has been packed u...

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Rasputin: full of ecstasy and fire
As we immerse ourselves in this year’s commemoration of 1917, we should not forget the recently passed centenary of the man who was more responsible than any other for bringing down the Romanovs. Such a grand claim for Grigory Rasputin’s significance may in...

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The untold story: Why Stalin created a cult of Alexander Pushkin
In 1937, the year of the Great Terror, Stalin decided to celebrate Pushkin as a socialist god in order to build popular support for his regime. While the poet was revered as a literary genius before the Russian Revolution, the Soviets took his reputation to...

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Shipwrecked: looking for God in The Ancient Mariner
Charles Lamb once told a story about having Thomas De Quincey to supper. Lamb was Samuel Coleridge’s oldest friend and De Quincey was Coleridge’s greatest fan, so their talk naturally centred on the poet. While De Quincey badgered his host for information a...

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Why are ‘doomed’ poets considered the only good ones?
In  Deaths of the Poets  two living examples of the species, Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts, retail the closing moments of close on 30 poetical lives, ranging from Thomas Chatterton to Robert Frost, Lord Byron to Rosemary Tonks, John Clare to Thom ...

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Voice from the Asylum - Ezra Pound
Among the bombings that marked the beginning of 2017, one took place on New Year’s Day at the CasaPound bookshop in Florence, an outpost of the Italian neo-fascist or ‘alt-right’ CasaPound movement, which takes its name and inspiration from the American poe...

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Nicholas Roerich - Biography
Nicholas Roerich, also known as Nikolay Konstantinovich Rerikh, was a Russian artist, writer, archaeologist, philosopher and traveller. He was the father of orientologist George Roerich (Yury Roerich) and artist Svyatoslav Roerich. Nicholas Roerich and his ...

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John Ruskin Taught Victorian Readers and Travelers the Art of Cultivation
N ear   the dawn of the twentieth century, a young Englishwoman named Lucy is visiting an ancient church in Florence,  unsure of what she is looking at, or  how ,  exactly, to see it. She doesn’t have her Baedeker, a popular travel guide,  and is feeling lo...

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Andrei Gelasimov's new novel shows all shades of cold
Into the Thickening Fog often feels like a quintessential Russian novel: it starts with a bout of heavy drinking, is set in a frozen northern city, and features dogs, demons and existential angst. Andrei Gelasimov’s novels have earned him numerous awards, a...
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