Tags » 1860s

Promissory notes

The вексель ‘(promissory) note’ comes up in at least three contexts in Russian books, one of which might be distinctively Russian:

1. Russians traveling to Western Europe would hold векселя, or have them sent from Russia, instead of carrying large amounts of cash. 889 more words

Russian Literature

Poetry where you least expect it

Guess where this is from:

Иль, может быть, она оттуда видит и читает?
Иль, может быть, не сны одни мне снятся,
а в самом деле, для нее не нужны двери, 711 more words

Russian Literature

Words new to me: тальма

François-Joseph Talma (1763-1826) was a French actor who, Wikipedia tells me, knew Napoleon, Jacques-Louis David, and Joseph Chénier, inspired Alexandre Dumas, and was credited by Nietzsche with formulating the idea that “what is meant to have the effect of truth must not be true.” 227 more words


Leskov and the lady question

In part 1, chapter 8 of The Bypassed (Обойденные, 1865), Dora, one of the women involved with the sewing cooperative, has a one-sided argument against two nihilist men.  930 more words


“Let the reader not expect to meet any heroes of Russian progress here...”

Remember how Leskov rewrote the sewing cooperative from What Is to Be Done? (Что делать?, 1863)? Here’s how eager he was that his readers would pick up on the Chernyshevskii references: 592 more words

Russian Literature

Words new to me: кнель

Кнель is a culinary term that comes from the French quenelle (English and Spanish have also borrowed it in that spelling), which in turn comes from the German  170 more words

Russian Literature

“For heaven’s sake, what she's sacrificing is other people's lives...”

The second bead on Lev Anninskii’s “Leskovian necklace” is a chapter on “Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk” (Леди Макбет Мценского уезда, 1865), mostly about films, theater productions, constructivist poetry, visual art, and one very famous opera (73-80) inspired by Leskov’s “sketch.” There are interesting stories on the side about the internal politics of early Soviet cinema (81-83) and the battle between… 603 more words