We all know the story: little Elli, a girl living in the steppes of Kanzas with her dog Totoshka, is blown by a hurricane (stirred up by the wicked witch Gingema) all the way to Magic Land, where she meets the Cowardly Lion, the Iron Woodman, and the scarecrow Strashila and has to make her way to the Emerald City to find the magician Gudvin so she can get back home... What, you don't remember it that way? Didn't you read The Wizard of the Emerald City
and its much-loved sequels Urfin Jus and his Wooden Soldiers, The Seven Underground Kings, The Fiery God of the Marrans, The Yellow Fog,
and The Mystery of the Deserted Castle?
Ah, you're not Russian! Listen
] to a five-minute description (on Studio 360
) of Alexander Volkov
's Russified versions of Baum (with illustrations by Leonid Vladimirsky
) and how they captivated children and adults in the Soviet Union (you even get a bit of the famous song Мы в город Изумрудный/ Идем дорогой трудной ["We're going to the Emerald City by a difficult road..."]); visit the Emerald City website (Russian version, where all the links work)
; and see the wonderful illustrations at this site
, which links to the texts of all six novels (click on Читать...)—in Russian, but the images need no explanation. (Fun fact: the word "Oz" doesn't occur anywhere in the Russian versions.) And if you're interested in other alternate versions, go to Oz Outside the Famous Forty
. (Via P. Kerim Friedman.)
posted by languagehat
on Nov 25, 2005 -
At the beginning of the 20th century Hawaii sugar plantation owners began to recruit laborers of European background. Perhaps as many as 2,000 Russians and Ukrainians came to Hawaii. After the February Revolution in Petrograd some of these Russians were repatriated. [more inside]
posted by tellurian
on Sep 13, 2005 -
The Emperor's Bunker. "The Japanese, with sadness and irony, stressed that Hirohito couldn't even speak properly. This was partly to do with the fact that he didn't have to speak - people spoke in his name and he was isolated from real life"
", the third part in Russian director Aleksandr Sokurov
's 'Men of Power' tetralogy
after the gloom of Moloch (1999)
, about Hitler and Eva Braun, and the despairing tones of "Taurus
, focused on the wheelchair-bound Lenin in his death throes, "The Sun" seems almost upbeat. This, after all, is a film about reconciliation. More inside.
posted by matteo
on Sep 13, 2005 -
Our Victory, Day by Day.
Russian news agency RIA Novosti counts down to the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, with songs, posters, photos, and stories. Be sure not to miss the first-person accounts in English (under "Frontline Album").
posted by gimonca
on Apr 9, 2005 -
"Russian Oligarachs Want Immortality"
. Vladimir Bryntsalov has had a course of stem cell injections and feels no older than 20, though his biological age is about 60. Treatment will cost you $10,000-20,000 in Moscow. In many Western countries, such clinics would not even get the opportunity to open their doors. During a recent speech, President Bush denounced stem cell therapy as "godless."
posted by stbalbach
on Mar 19, 2005 -
Black widow pop.
"With tATu, Ivan Shapovalov took the media's
obsession with paedophilia, and spun it into a
chart-topping lesbo-schoolgirl pop act. Now
he's trying to do the same with Islamic
terrorism. On Sept 11 in Moscow, he launched
, a 16-year-old girl who dresses in a
Burqua, much like the Black Widow suicide bombers
who are currently terrorising Russia. With
the Beslan massacre only a week old, Nato's
launch - complete with invitations designed
like plane tickets - was not a huge success...
Mindful of the dire consequences of being a
dissenting voice in Putin's Russia these days,
Shapovalov is planning to launch nATo properly
in London later this year, and get a
recording contract here." stolen from popbitch
posted by mr.marx
on Sep 24, 2004 -
The Bodhisattvas of Babylon
is a fan page of the Russian rock group Akvarium (or Aquarium, if you prefer). I usually stay away from fan pages of any sort as if they were the plague, but this one . . . well, I think it's a little special. Read the review of Acoustics
. Download a song or two
(never mind that the written content, of which there is a lot, is in Russian, as are the songs). Now visit the band's website
posted by ashbury
on Jan 2, 2004 -
A neato collection of Russian eBooks
translated into English mostly for propaganda purposes, which while not in the public domain are available for non-commercial use after the fall of the Soviet Union and certain copyright peculiarities, as described here
. The archivist says: The main aim of this collection is to preserve the work of translators and give some information to historians. But whatever the reason, there's some good reading here to be had.
posted by chrisgregory
on Sep 3, 2003 -
is a retro look at Russia through engaging and often playful snapshots - it has all the feel of rummaging through a box of photos in an attic. Communist Store Windows
offers another, more recent glimpse behind the iron curtain. Both galleries are like shots of peppered vodka.
posted by madamjujujive
on Aug 31, 2003 -
Truth, Justice, and the Soviet Way
What if baby Kal-El's spaceship had crashed on Earth 12 hours earlier, in the Ukraine instead of middle America? The new 3-issue comic book series Superman: Red Son
envisions the Man of Steel as a good-hearted citizen of the USSR, helping to spread communism across the world. Wonder Woman is his girlfriend; Batman is an anti-Soviet terrorist; Lex Luthor becomes U.S. president. This alternate-universe jaunt is not just for fun: writer Mark Millar says
it's a timely exploration of what happens when one all-powerful country anoints itself leader of the world.
posted by Artifice_Eternity
on Jun 9, 2003 -
Have Mortar, Will Travel.
An apparently evil figure from old Russian folklore, Baba Yaga
seems to pop up where I least expect her. From appearing in the sixth Sandman collection
to her role in the Sierra classic Hero's Quest
, she (like any good mythic figure) is never quite described the same way twice, and has all kinds of neat gear - like a hut that stands on chicken's legs, and can chase victims at will. Still, her tale
seems fairly under-repeated these days. Is anyone else fascinated by this or other increasingly obscure bits of folklore?
posted by Monster_Zero
on May 14, 2003 -
Happy birthday, Kasimir Malevich!
The Guggenheim has curated an exhibition (currently in Berlin
and coming to New York in May) to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the birth of this Russian avant-garde painter who, among other things, was a major influence on El Lissitzky and worked alongside Liubov Popova
. The story of how the show itself came to be -- featuring many works never before seen in the West -- makes for rather dramatic reading
, to boot. (NYTimes link; reg. req.)
posted by scody
on Mar 31, 2003 -
Give It Up for MC Zhirinovsky
Flamboyant Russian ultra-nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky, renowned for his controversial views on Iraq, has had his words turned into an anti-war rap song. The song, titled "Don't you dare go shooting at Baghdad", is being launched on the internet, according to the Russian television station TVS.
posted by turbanhead
on Feb 26, 2003 -
The Russian Avant-Garde Book
is an online version of the MoMA exhibit, featuring 112 books originally published in Russia during the intensely creative period between 1910 and 1934, before Stalin outlawed any style but social realism. The site is separated into three chronological themes and includes examples of futurist works, constructivist graphic design, children's books, propaganda, photography and photomontage, revolutionary imagery, architecture and industry, war themes, folk art and judaica...
posted by taz
on Oct 8, 2002 -
so which "officials" do we believe?
is this a final salvo from the "now disbanded" office of military misinformation?
i don't know which is spookier the thought of the threat, or the folks in charge getting their "credible" info from some clown in las vegas??
posted by specialk420
on Mar 7, 2002 -
asks the question: if Stalin and Hitler were both powerful wizards and battled each other, who'd win? I wish I could read enough Russian to tell whether or not this is a put-on.
posted by MrBaliHai
on Jan 1, 2002 -
Capitalism to the extreme in Russia.
A Russian Grandma was caught trying to sell her grandson for $90,000. No she wasn't selling him to some adoption agency so he could go to a 'caring family' somewhere in the west. She was selling him for his organs
. She even rips off her other son (the boy's uncle). His excuse, "I wanted to buy a house and a new car and some clothes. It was my dream
." I'm sure it was his nephew's dream as well to be sold for his organs.
posted by jay
on Nov 28, 2000 -