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Victoria Semykina

My Midwestern Soviet Childhood

It may sound incomprehensible—senseless, Constance Garnett would have put it, as she did in her translation of The Brothers Karamazov—but while the rest of the world may dread the return of the prolonged hostile stare-down known in the last half of the last century as the Cold War, in some ways, I welcome the refreeze.

Alexander Griboyedov’s Woe from Wit, at the Crimean Academic Russian Drama Theater, three days before Crimeans voted to break away from Ukraine and join Russia.

The Theater Tsar

Gogol’s play sounds strangely familiar, as if art and life were indistinguishable from each other. Two performances seem to be taking place in parallel: one inside the theater and another one in the streets outside, where soldiers in green balaclavas and no recognizable insignia—incognito, so to speak—have just arrived.

The Father of War Correspondents

War correspondents have never evidenced much interest in their paternity, but at least they have entertained no doubts as to the parent's identity. Sir William Howard Russell, by universal agreement, is accorded the title "Father of War Correspondents." Sir William himself seems to have viewed the relationship with some misgivings, though he made no attempt to deny it. "The miserable parent of a luckless tribe," was his favorite description of the. role which fate cast upon him.