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There once was a man from Sverdlovsk...
January 30, 2014 9:37 AM   Subscribe


 
Wow! The comments are like a highly literate Reddit thread.
posted by grumpybear69 at 9:47 AM on January 30


The killing came four months after an argument over the theories of the 18th-century German philosopher Immanuel Kant ended in a man being shot in a grocery store in southern Russia.

Indeed, here in London we are well known to settle road rage arguments by resorting to philosophy. Just the other day a cockney fellow carved me up. I called him a Kant. He called me a Berkeley.

But killing people over poetry? Such an odeous crime.
posted by MuffinMan at 9:48 AM on January 30 [14 favorites]


I've always said poets are a shifty lot, prone to violence. And it's clear that Kant inflames the violent passions and should be available only via a prescription.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:48 AM on January 30 [3 favorites]


Killing someone over poetry while drunk is the most Russian literary thing ever.
posted by gohabsgo at 9:57 AM on January 30 [72 favorites]


The idiot! Didn't he realize how crime and punishment is meted out to poor folk? Whatever his demons might be, now he shall merely be another prisoner of the Caucasus.
posted by clockzero at 9:57 AM on January 30 [11 favorites]


See what happens when you have a few too many glasses of Marlowe
posted by JamesMytton at 9:57 AM on January 30 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: a bunch of cockney Kants.
posted by k5.user at 10:02 AM on January 30 [1 favorite]


Regardless of how I actually meet my maker, I want my obituary to say I was killed during an argument over poetry v. prose. It's much more romantic than the likely truth of "fell down stairs with arms full of laundry".
posted by dotgirl at 10:03 AM on January 30 [36 favorites]


I've always said poets are a shifty lot, prone to violence. And it's clear that Kant inflames the violent passions and should be available only via a prescription.

As a teenager, I once found direct access to the noumenal realm in my parents medicine cabinet. The experience was terrifying and ineffable.

Although preventing experiences like these is important, refrain from flushing unused philosophical truths in the toilet. They have begun to pollute the watershed and affect wildlife. Just the other day I saw a frog blathering about Being and Nothingness. It was tragic.
posted by vorpal bunny at 10:04 AM on January 30 [7 favorites]


I am so impressed by the comments on the article. Loved it. Thanks for pointing them out, Janey.
posted by staccato signals of constant information at 10:04 AM on January 30


from the article:

"The literary dispute soon grew into a banal conflict, on the basis of which the 53-year-old admirer of poetry killed his opponent with the help of a knife," the regional branch of the federal investigative committee said in a statement.

the use of banal seems strange, or maybe they just got the line breaks wrong ...

The literary dispute soon grew into a banal
conflict, on the basis of which the 53-year-old
admirer of
poetry
killed his opponent with the help of a
knife," the regional branch
of
the federal investigative committee said in a
statement.

posted by philip-random at 10:07 AM on January 30 [1 favorite]


"I hope he gets a long sentence."

From the comments. That is great.
posted by painquale at 10:09 AM on January 30 [38 favorites]


In Capitalist America, poetry kills you.
posted by The Riker Who Mounts the World at 10:15 AM on January 30


Prose? Don't worry, it could always be verse.....
posted by lalochezia at 10:21 AM on January 30 [4 favorites]


Surprised the poetry guy won the fight, actually. They're usually so... asthenic.
posted by Naberius at 10:23 AM on January 30


This reminds me of an episode of the George Carlin Show where a couple of George's drinking buddies get turned on to literature and later on almost broken bottle-murder each other over whether Faulkner or Steinbeck (I think...?) was the better writer. That show was pretty funny sometimes.

(And re: all these grotesque murder puns: well, carrion.)
posted by cog_nate at 10:27 AM on January 30 [1 favorite]


Surprised the poetry guy won the fight, actually.

Hey, there's a reason the saying goes "You ain't the smartest to be tusslin' with an artist."
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:29 AM on January 30


Vodka's a hell of a drug.
posted by humboldt32 at 10:29 AM on January 30


This is one of the things that seems improbable until you find out Russians are involved.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:30 AM on January 30 [5 favorites]


When prose is very well written, sweeping in scope and musical to the ear, it's called poetry.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:32 AM on January 30 [1 favorite]


That's not actually improbable, and something like it has probably happened before. Fights start over various subjects all the time. They turn into homicides pretty frequently. That's just how these things go.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 10:39 AM on January 30


The idiot! Didn't he realize how crime and punishment is meted out to poor folk? Whatever his demons might be, now he shall merely be another prisoner of the Caucasus.

That's what my bothers said while living underground.
posted by goethean at 10:42 AM on January 30


Ample proof if ever it were needed that the pen is not always mightier than the sword?

Why can't my newspaper have commenters more like these?
posted by TedW at 10:45 AM on January 30 [1 favorite]


Killing someone over poetry while drunk is the most Russian literary thing ever.

My Irish pride is so confused over how to react to this assertion.
posted by Zed at 10:47 AM on January 30 [14 favorites]


As a fellow Irishman, I'd the say the appropriate response is a donnybrook.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:48 AM on January 30 [1 favorite]


Surprised the poetry guy won the fight, actually.

Every literary streetfighter knows that you bring prose for a beat-down but poetry if you're gonna cut somebody.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:52 AM on January 30 [6 favorites]


I saw a frog blathering about Being and Nothingness. It was tragic.

This has even been caught on video as early as the 1970s.
posted by weston at 10:52 AM on January 30 [3 favorites]


Meanwhile in America, Man Killed During Argument Over Texting at Movie Theater.

Makes the Russians look refined as hell.
posted by Lutoslawski at 11:02 AM on January 30 [6 favorites]


Also yeah, the comments are incredible:

The killing came four months after an argument over the theories of the 18th-century German philosopher Immanuel Kant ended in a man being shot in a grocery store

Maybe he didn't like his Critique of Pure Raisins...

posted by Lutoslawski at 11:03 AM on January 30 [2 favorites]


My Irish pride is so confused over how to react to this assertion.

Well...killing yourself over poetry while drunk by storming out of the pub and accidentally falling over a sheep is probably the most Irish thing ever.
posted by gohabsgo at 11:06 AM on January 30 [3 favorites]


Were Vogons involved at any point?
posted by kmz at 11:07 AM on January 30 [1 favorite]


The sheep was fine, but mentally scarred by the incident.
posted by gohabsgo at 11:11 AM on January 30 [1 favorite]


Take that, Dead Poet's Society!
posted by b1tr0t at 11:13 AM on January 30


This Is Just to Say

I knifed you
at home
when you said
prose beat poetry

when you probably
just wanted
to sit and
drink vodka

Forgive me
poetry is superior
so neat
and so cold.
posted by onlyconnect at 11:21 AM on January 30 [4 favorites]


Just like a Russian to bring a knife to a poetry slam.
posted by Behemoth at 11:22 AM on January 30 [1 favorite]


The comments lead me to discover the existence of this book, which is IMMEDIATELY going to the top of my to-read list.
posted by WidgetAlley at 11:32 AM on January 30


killed his opponent with the help of a knife

I realize that's probably just a cumbersome translation, but I can't help but imagine an enchanted talking knife that says "I'm helping!" right before getting thrust into the victim's stomach.
posted by ckape at 11:32 AM on January 30 [1 favorite]


Is this the knife you are picturing?
posted by Behemoth at 11:38 AM on January 30


Were Vogons involved at any point?

No, because then both men would be dead, having either succumbed to sweet sweet oblivion, or killed each other trying to get away.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:41 AM on January 30 [1 favorite]



Well...killing yourself over poetry while drunk by storming out of the pub and accidentally falling over a sheep is probably the most Irish thing ever.



I'm afraid this court transcript of the attempted prosecution of Brendan Behan for public drunkeness is the most Irish thing ever. For one, it takes place in Irish.
posted by Diablevert at 11:43 AM on January 30 [7 favorites]


Prose before bros.
posted by lordaych at 11:47 AM on January 30 [2 favorites]


I realize that's probably just a cumbersome translation, but I can't help but imagine an enchanted talking knife that says "I'm helping!" right before getting thrust into the victim's stomach.

If it doesn't say it in verse though, it will get its blade snapped afterwards.
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:47 AM on January 30


Ah, the tyranny of bourgeois poetry over the prosetariat again.
Prosetry is the only way, comrades!
posted by islander at 11:50 AM on January 30


Kill over poetry
I'd rather sow a tree
Grow a tree know a tree and smoke a tree
We can disagree in harmony
Just shut up and hit this farm with me
posted by lordaych at 11:50 AM on January 30 [1 favorite]


Russian intelligentsia.

It makes no more sense to fight with someone who enjoys pain than it does to argue with people who love drama.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:54 AM on January 30 [5 favorites]



I'm afraid this court transcript of the attempted prosecution of Brendan Behan for public drunkeness is the most Irish thing ever. For one, it takes place in Irish.



I lost it at the part where he kicked the holding cell door for three hours.

Spectacular.
posted by gohabsgo at 12:00 PM on January 30 [2 favorites]


…Those being the three hours between 1:30AM and 4:30AM, of course.

What a cell-mate!</Yakov_Smirnov>
posted by wenestvedt at 12:58 PM on January 30


> I'm afraid this court transcript of the attempted prosecution of Brendan Behan for public drunkeness is the most Irish thing ever. For one, it takes place in Irish.

"Mr. Behan ... admitted that he was drunk and apologised for his language."

Did they get an ID? Because that doesn't sound like the real Brendan Behan.
posted by languagehat at 1:00 PM on January 30 [1 favorite]


Did they get an ID? Because that doesn't sound like the real Brendan Behan.

Sure and wasn't his picture in The Bray People the day before?

FYI, for my own edification I looked it up and Fogra Tora is apparently Irish for "wanted poster / mug book".
posted by Diablevert at 1:11 PM on January 30 [1 favorite]


Similar stories? I don't want
to hear them. Ours belongs to me.
Some other drunk would kill for Kant;
I killed for Russian poetry.
What's done is done, but I suppose
you prosers want to gloat for prose.
Don't struggle for a stupid pun
and tell me, grinning, Chekhov's gun
would have served better my last act.
Don't visit me where I will die,
your hunger gleaming in your eye,
and ask, with journalistic tact,
whether all Russians are well read.
Leave me alone. My friend is dead.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:35 PM on January 30 [7 favorites]


lol someone got killed
posted by threeants at 2:35 PM on January 30 [3 favorites]


What's this talk of guns and prose?
Rustic Etruscan, I suppose
It's too much to RFA
Before your verse is underway

The posey-lover used a blade
To drive home the points he made
In his efforts to ensure
A victory for his literature.

While Russian nights are long and cold,
If your goal is to grow old
The moral's clear (at least I think):
It's better not to read and drink.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:58 PM on January 30


I read the links. I eat my greens.
Genji, you know what "would have" means.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:03 PM on January 30 [1 favorite]


Sverdlovsk, you say? This is indeed a mystery as the city does not exist anymore.
posted by JJ86 at 5:45 PM on January 30


And he's down again, and I don't think he's going to get up this time... No, so Jack Bodel has defeated Sir Kenneth Clark in the very first round here tonight and so this big Lincolnshire heavyweight becomes the new Oxford Professor of Fine Art.
posted by charlie don't surf at 7:24 PM on January 30 [2 favorites]


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