February 24, 2014

"The great writers were acknowledged in huge banners with portraits of Pushkin — of course — Tolstoy, Chekhov, Dostoyevsky and Solzhenitsyn."

"The surprises were Joseph Brodsky — expelled by the Soviet Union in 1972 — and the poet Anna Akhmatova — brutally repressed by Stalin, her husband shot by Soviet secret police and her son sent off to the gulag. Most Russians never heard of her until perestroika in the late 1980s."

From the WaPo description of the closing ceremony at the Olympics.

From the Wikipedia entry for Anna Akhmatova:
A voice came to me. It called out comfortingly.
It said, "Come here,
Leave your deaf and sinful land,
Leave Russia forever,
I will wash the blood from your hands..."
Here is one of many interesting images of Akhmatova, a painting by the Russian artist Nathan Altman:


David said...

Photo of Brodsky vs. live coverage of Putin.

Those crazy Russians.

MadisonMan said...

I don't understand. How could there not have been a terrorist attack? CNN was giddy with the toothpaste tubes of doom just before the start of the Olympics, all but predicting the time and day of the first terroristic salvo.

CNN must be so disappointed.

Illuninati said...

"The scene was set in a vast library, and suddenly gales of wind blew through, sending manuscript pages into the whirlwind of Soviet persecution."

Russia is struggling back. The damage caused to Russia by the left is so massive it will probably take generations to restore most of what was destroyed. The first step in recovering from Marxism is to recognize that it is not only a false economic system but is a morally bankrupt ideology. Russia is apparently on its way to recovery.

William said...

Even those opposed to Stalin became Stalinist in their methods of opposition. Mendelstam entrusted his poetry to a lover to safeguard in case of his arrest. He was arrested. Under questioning he revealed that he had given his writings to this woman. She was also questioned under duress and gave up his writings. She felt very guilty about this.......It was all a sham. Mendelstam knew that they would ask him where his writings were hidden. He gave them to her as a dummy trove. He gave another collection to a friend whose name he did not reveal. The woman was entrusted only for the purpose of betrayal.

Original Mike said...

I loved the re-enactment of the opening ceremony's stubborn snowflake.

Robert Cook said...

Beautiful painting!

Ann Althouse said...

"Beautiful painting!"

It's the most clavicle-fixated celebration of beauty I've seen in a long time.

Ben Calvin said...

Was no one else surprised by the inclusion of Solzhenitsyn? Given the soft ball coverage of the Soviet era in the opening ceremonies?

Another small way Putin shows himself to be one of the subtler figures on the public stage today.

furious_a said...

In 1923 a volume of his Jewish graphic art, Evrejskaja grafika Natana Al'tmana: Tekst Maksa Osborna [Max Osborn], was published in Berlin.

In 1925, he participated in Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes (Art Deco) in Paris together with Aleksandra Ekster, Vadim Meller, Rudolf Frentz, Sonia Delaunay-Terk and David Shterenberg. His first solo exhibition in Leningrad was in 1926.

Altman moved to Paris in 1928. In 1936, he returned to Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg). He worked mainly for the theatre, as a book illustrator and an author of essays about art.

Published in Germany. Lived abroad. Board member of People's Commissariat of Enlightenment. Jew.

It's remarkable that Altman survived the Purges.

AReasonableMan said...

Ben Calvin said...
Another small way Putin shows himself to be one of the subtler figures on the public stage today.

It is hard to credit anyone writing something like this after Putin just got his ass handed to him on a plate in Ukraine by the West.