Central European literary life

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Literary roundup: 1960s Soviet Union finally opening up
On the Russian Secret Service’s release of the manuscript + typescript of Vasily Grossman’s (pictured) epic novel Life and Fate as well as a translator’s explanation of changing a book’s title and a Dostoevsky walk through St. Petersburg with a William T. Vollmann anecdote from my own Dostoevsky walk.
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Literary roundup: 1960s Soviet Union finally opening up

On the Russian Secret Service’s release of the manuscript + typescript of Vasily Grossman’s (pictured) epic novel Life and Fate as well as a translator’s explanation of changing a book’s title and a Dostoevsky walk through St. Petersburg with a William T. Vollmann anecdote from my own Dostoevsky walk.

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Literary roundup: Dostoevsky’s warning from the other world and the Usedom Prize
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Photo - Świnoujście by Night, by Alan Zomerfeld

Literary roundup: Dostoevsky’s warning from the other world and the Usedom Prize

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Photo - Świnoujście by Night, by Alan Zomerfeld

The usefulness of Russian literature
Tolstoy for doctors, Dostoevsky for political scientists …
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The usefulness of Russian literature

Tolstoy for doctors, Dostoevsky for political scientists …

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Dostoevsky’s The Gambler: Modern and loosely based
In the 1974 film The Gambler, James Caan plays a Jewish college professor in New York named Axel Freed with an addiction to risk that causes him to fall into major gambling debt to some heavy-handed loan sharks. In the first classroom scene we see him in Freed waxes poetic about the issues in Dostoevsky’s work.
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Dostoevsky’s The Gambler: Modern and loosely based

In the 1974 film The Gambler, James Caan plays a Jewish college professor in New York named Axel Freed with an addiction to risk that causes him to fall into major gambling debt to some heavy-handed loan sharks. In the first classroom scene we see him in Freed waxes poetic about the issues in Dostoevsky’s work.

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Births and deaths in Russian literature
February 10 was the date of possibly the worst of the tragic and premature deaths that have haunted Russian literary greats over the past two centuries.
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Births and deaths in Russian literature

February 10 was the date of possibly the worst of the tragic and premature deaths that have haunted Russian literary greats over the past two centuries.

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Books on Film: Dostoevsky’s The Gambler
A look at three adaptations of the novella and how Dostoevsky is one of the most filmed novelist of all times (after Dickens).
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Photo - Dostoevsky being interrogated by the police in a too beautifully-lit office in The Demons of St. Petersburg.

Books on Film: Dostoevsky’s The Gambler

A look at three adaptations of the novella and how Dostoevsky is one of the most filmed novelist of all times (after Dickens).

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Photo - Dostoevsky being interrogated by the police in a too beautifully-lit office in The Demons of St. Petersburg.

A mythical meeting of literary titans

The story of Dickens baring his soul Russian-style to a visiting Dostoevsky looks to be as invented as any of their respective novels

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Photo -  Pot Belly, Harmony Kingdom Crushed Marble Great People Historical Collectables of the two writers concerned

Russian autocrat + Russian novelist = ? 
The story begins with a vain, preening, autocratic ruler of Russia willing to manipulate the forces of law and order to strike out against even the slightest traces of disloyalty. For him no charade of justice is too cruel or too absurd if it helps prevent dissension.
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Photo - Reader of Dostoevsky by Emil Filla, 1907

Russian autocrat + Russian novelist = ?

The story begins with a vain, preening, autocratic ruler of Russia willing to manipulate the forces of law and order to strike out against even the slightest traces of disloyalty. For him no charade of justice is too cruel or too absurd if it helps prevent dissension.

Continue Reading

Photo - Reader of Dostoevsky by Emil Filla, 1907

John Banville on the The Book of Evidence:
“The prevailing presence in this book is Dostoevsky. This book owes a great deal to Dostoevsky’s Notes From the Underground.
I have no idea what attracts me to any kind of character. I write, as I imagine, and I have no, or very little, control over my imagination. So I can’t account for where they come from, any more than we can account for where our dreams come from.”
- speaking at The Franz Kafka Society after having received the 2011 Franz Kafka Prize

John Banville on the The Book of Evidence:

“The prevailing presence in this book is Dostoevsky. This book owes a great deal to Dostoevsky’s Notes From the Underground.

I have no idea what attracts me to any kind of character. I write, as I imagine, and I have no, or very little, control over my imagination. So I can’t account for where they come from, any more than we can account for where our dreams come from.”

- speaking at The Franz Kafka Society after having received the 2011 Franz Kafka Prize