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Tagged With: Russia

NOBILITY A Conversation Piece … (No. 36)

How strong is nobility in reality? Well, in monarchies the Blueblooded play still an at least optically dominant role. In true democracies they are relicts of a glorious past. But how many people belong to the nobility in countries with an aristocratic past? The figures are astonishing: In Japan, a country with an emperor and … Weiterlesen »

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LITERATURE Lost & Found (No. 63)

Of course, you know Ernest Hemingway’s novel of the Spanish Civil War „For Whom the Bell Tolls“. You have probably seen the movie with Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman, Hollywood made after the book. Then you have encountered the Russian war correspondent (for the party paper „Pravda“) and Soviet spy Karpov, not a very sympathetic … Weiterlesen »

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TRAVEL The Book To Look … (No. 32)

This guy is good! I have read three of his books: Siberia, Chiba – and this one: „Shadow of the Silk Road“, published 2006. Author Colin Thubron (*1939) is an Englishman and travels on foot, by bus, taxi, train or or whatever moves in his direction. He sleeps where he stops when the night falls, … Weiterlesen »

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ART Lost & Found … (No. 67)

Looking around in the bookstore in the Peter & Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg (Russia), I discovered the volume „Traveling across North America 1812-1813“. A wonderful book with 192 pages and 75 illustrations, mostly watercolors, painted by the Russian diplomat Pavel Svinin (1787-1839) who was accredited to the tzarist consulate in Philadelphia from 1811-13. He … Weiterlesen »

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LITERATURE The Book To Look (No. 31)

I tell you: When I finished the last page of this book (p. 887), I knew that I had indeed read the greatest Russian novel of the 20th century (that’s what „Le Monde“ called it). It’s breathtaking, entertaining, horrible, wonderful. Chapter 50 is the key to all major problems of the first half of the … Weiterlesen »

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TRAVEL In Praise of … Kishi Island (No. 37)

Kizhi or Kishi Island is located on this lake in Karelia (near Finland). There you find two large wooden churches (the 22-dome Transfiguration Church and the 9-dome Intercession Church) and a bell-tower. The island is only 4 m or 12 feet above the water and the buildings are not heated (for a good reason!) and … Weiterlesen »

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ODDITIES Moments You Never Forget … (No. 14)

It’s a miracle: The Tiananmen Square in Beijing is much, much larger. But the Red Square in Moscow looks endlessly bigger. Why is that so? The Red Square measures 70 x 330 m (77 x 360 yards) only, compared to the 500 x 800 m (550 x 880 yards) of Tiananmen. And it is enclosed … Weiterlesen »

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TRAVEL The Book To Look … (No. 23)

… you’ll find in Colin Thubron’s „In Siberia“. A breathtaking book, only an Englishman could have written, I think. Here, a man travelled for thousands of miles through the unknown one fifth of the earth, often being the first westener – after the Gulag prisoners. And on page 270 I found the following episode: „Not … Weiterlesen »

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AGENTS Moments You Never Forget … (No. 7)

Normally when a gentleman encounters you in the streets of Moscow, with this decoration on or under his lapel, you know that you are done. It’s a KGB officer’s identification, a mysterious thing because the black shield seems to be an all seeing eye, made of semiprecious stone, crystal or some plastic material. But I … Weiterlesen »

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