Tags » 1860s

“...that promised land of the Great Russian serf”

Near the beginning of The Bypassed (Обойденные, 1865), Leskov writes a chapter exposing the horrors of now-abolished slavery. This isn’t unique for early Leskov —  639 more words

Russian Literature


All of us are the children, and the victims, of the society that has molded our thinking; and even our originality tends to express itself within the conventional patterns of thought and action that each society creates for its individualists.

678 more words
Russian Literature

Leskov on the Old Believers and the radicals

In the early 1860s, Russian radicals thought the Old Believers might be their allies in a coming revolution, on the logic of “my enemy’s enemy is my friend.” This was argued about in the press, and it bled into literature, with Pisemskii in… 657 more words

Russian Literature

Leskov rewrites the What Is to Be Done? sewing co-operative

The main points of J. G. K. Russell’s “Leskov and His Quarrel with the Men of the Sixties” (1970) are now familiar. Russell looks at “The Musk-Ox” ( 742 more words

Russian Literature

Words new to me: игра в жгуты

The игра в жгуты is apparently a game equivalent to the French jeu de la main chaude or the English “hot cockles.” One player bent forward, hands stretched backward; one of the other players hit the first player’s hands with something (a switch, a thin piece of cord; the Russian name of the game comes from жгут ‘braided cord’); and the first player had to guess who it was. 174 more words

Russian Literature

Literature and politics on Russian radio

In the 1990s I would have given everything I owned for a machine that let me listen to live radio broadcasts from foreign countries (not just a few shortwave broadcasts at night); now there are a bunch of appliances in my house that let me do this for free, which I forget for weeks at a time because there’s so much else on the internet. 483 more words


“Why didn't he marry her? That isn't even explained.”

Characters in 1860s Russian fiction like to discuss George Sand. Here it’s a married couple and the husband’s soon-to-be lover arguing about the morality of her  727 more words

Russian Literature