A Russian Affair is Three Years Old!

A Russian Affair is three years old!

When I started this blog three years ago I had no idea what to expect. All I knew is that I had plenty of ideas for blog posts. I imagined my reader as someone curious, but not knowledgeable about Russian literature, and Dutch. I only wrote the English version for the sake of my Finnish boyfriend. As it turned out the vast majority of my readers is now American and the rest is literally from all over the world, from Somalia and Iraq to Palestina and Kirghizia.


I have my regular readers, but most people find my blog through a search engine. Most of them want to know if there really is an incestuous relationship in War and Peace, although some of the search terms (Russian can make sex with sibling; sex brother and sister on Russian) used suggested something else! There was one search question that I can definitely try to answer in 2018: Should Sonya have married Dolokhov?

Tolstoy or Dostoevsky?

My Tolstoy or Dostoevsky post sparked the most discussion. It is fantastic to see that both writers, although they have been dead for ages, are indeed immortal and continue to inspire people to think about life. Many of you expressed your horror after reading about Lermontov's Fatal Duel, a writer that most of you weren't even too familiar with. “My goodness what a life that went to waste because of one bad decision” (@GlamourPrin); “Who doesn't want to know all the delicious details of an author's life?” (@walkcheerfullyblog); “I guess we need to understand the importance it used to have when it came to Honour and Pride” (@Aquileana); “… such a senseless way to leave this world” (@CarrieRubin).


After three years of blog writing I'm coming to the conclusion that Russian literature may be an inexhaustible source of inspiration, but that the readers of this blog are the main inspiration. Your kind comments give me new ideas and tell me that I'm on the right track with this blog. I would like to especially thank @RogerW.Smith for his loyal following, kind comments, sending me interesting articles and pointing out any mistakes I made in English; Markus from @pointblank, who sent me a wonderful annotated copy of Pushkin's Onegin; and dear Amalia from @aquileana for sharing my posts on her huge social media network.

A huge thanks and a super happy and inspired 2018 to all of you!!! Do let me know if there is anything, related to Russian literature that you'd like to know more about, and I'll see what I can do. I'm looking forward to hearing from you and to reading your blog posts as well.

Love, Elisabeth

β€œAll the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow.” – Lev Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

Β© Elisabeth van der Meer – text and photo

Thanks to:













68 thoughts on “A Russian Affair is Three Years Old!

  1. Congratulations Elisabeth! Greatly enjoy your blog. I am in the middle of War and Peace now and loving it! Just read a review of A Hero of Our Time by Mikhail Lermontov in the Atlantic (June 2005) written by Christopher Hitchens you might find interesting. Cheers, Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Benn! Thank you, I shall look up that article by Christopher Hitchens. I’m so glad to hear you’re loving my favourite novel!
    Enjoy and Happy New Year to you too!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Haha, great! Yes, as the quote goes:
    ‘Dostoevsky’s dead,’ said the citizeness, but somehow not very confidently.
    ‘I protest!’ Behemoth exclaimed hotly. ‘Dostoevsky is immortal!”
    Here’s to a wonderful year of Russian literature , с Новым Π“ΠΎΠ΄ΠΎΠΌ, Karen!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A wonderful way to begin 2018! Looking forward to the many conversations that will occur in the next 12 months. β€œThere is no greatness where there is no simplicity, goodness and truth.” Leo Tolstoy

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Congratulation Elisabeth just like you said Russian lit is really immortal and transcends both time Geography race and religion,
    I have recommended dostoyevsky novel notes from the underground to a friend who never read Russian literature and he called me in the end of the night just to tell me how marvellous his reading and if i quote him rightly he said
    ” reading Russian novels is a like relationship which has beginning but no end”
    Happy new year Elisabeth, and best wishes from Somalia

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Thank you, bookaholic (did you notice that I mentioned you?). What a beautiful way to put it: Russian literature transcends time, geography, race, and religion. So true! I wonder if Tolstoy and Dostoevsky could ever have dreamed that they would still be read and appreciated now all over the world.
    Reading Russian literature is like a relationship, and that is why my blog is called A Russian Affair.
    A very happy New Year to you and best wishes from Holland to Somalia!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks a lot for mentioning me am really flattered by it
    Too bad those two titans did not meet am really sure that meeting would be recorded in the history since even after a Century their writings still affects souls in many ways
    Forgive my poor English and thanks for sparking the desire for reading more Russian literature.
    Sorry for my long response but i just wanted to tell you Columbia University Press has published several great Russian novels and this novels are published in the same when tolstoy and dostoyevsky lived.
    I hope you discover this hidden gems and am pretty sure you eill enjoy them.
    Thanks alot for your work and best wishes for you

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Congratulations, Elisabeth! I’ve really been enjoying your posts. They’ve given me more than a few ideas about where to go next as I explore Russian literature!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Happy blogoversary! I love your posts, whether you are revisiting something I read a while ago, or tempting me to try something I haven’t come across before, there’s always something good to read here.
    Happy new year for 2018!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Congrats dear Elisabeth. Your blog stands out and I have learnt a lot due to your high quality posts. Thank you… And I appreciate to have my blog mentioned on the list above… Love and best wishes. Happy 2018 πŸ’Œβ£

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you, dear Amalia! One of the best things about blogging is that you meet super nice people from all over the world, like you! 😘 Hugs and a happy and inspirational 2018 ❣️

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Congratulations on your blogoversory! And warm thanks for mentioning my site.
    Your theme is fascinating, and I am so glad to hear you have readers all over the world. Keep up the excellent work!
    Hugs ❀ ❀ ❀

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Thank you Markus! I hope you’re having a great time over there in the Caucasus!
    I wish you and Victoria all the best in 2018 ✨πŸ₯‚πŸ€πŸ˜ŠπŸŒ·πŸ’₯


  14. LΓ€mmin kiitos, Johanna, it has been a wonderful three years and I’m looking forward to the next three and to following you on your travels through your blog 😊
    Hugs πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ Elisabeth

    Liked by 1 person

  15. congratulations Elizabeth !! I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog, its truly interesting and fun to read. I’m so happy to be able to call you my blogger friend and its great we share the same interests especially when it comes to poetry ❀

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Thank you so much, Elisabeth. It was great there… …I will tell. πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘πŸΌ

    All the best for you and Mikko. Enjoy 2018 πŸ˜βœ¨πŸ’«πŸΎπŸ₯‚πŸ’πŸ”₯β„οΈπŸŽŠπŸ‘‹


  17. Thanks, looking forward to hearing your stories and for you: πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜†πŸ€£πŸ’πŸ’žπŸŽ‰πŸ“ΈπŸŽžπŸ–ΌβœˆοΈπŸ₯‚πŸ»πŸΉ


  18. Congratulations, Elisabeth, on your blog’s third anniversary! It is a WONDERFUL blog, and I’ve learned so much from it about Russian literature. Thank you for writing it.

    Liked by 3 people

  19. Happy anniversary for your blog! It’s been wonderful to discover the lives and perspectives of various Russian authors as well as Russian history through the stories and books you’ve featured. I’m looking forward to learning about even more varied writers from you: young, old, current, classical, women, those who were Russian born but had careers in other countries as well as non-Russian writers influenced by the country. Happy blogging!

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Thank you so much for your kind reaction, Bespoke Traveler. My specialty is 19th century Russian literature, but I can definitely try to write about modern writers (perhaps how they were influenced by the oldies).
    Take care and happy reading and blogging!

    Liked by 2 people

  21. I am sorry I am commenting late. Happy Blogiversary, Elisabeth! This is so wonderful! I love your infectious enthusiasm for Russian literature and enjoy reading your posts! Looking forward to reading more in the coming weeks and months! Thank you for making us happy with your beautiful posts!

    Liked by 3 people

  22. Hello Vishy, no need to apologise. Thank you very much for your interest and encouragement! I really enjoy this interaction with readers and other bloggers, and it makes me happy to hear from you. I wish you success with you blog too. Take care, Elisabeth

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Elisabeth: Wow! I am very surprised to find myself included in your “Thanks To!” I really didn’t expect that! I wish to return the honor and thank you for liking several of my little posts, which don’t require nearly the personal commitment and analysis that you apply to yours! Congrats on three years!

    Liked by 2 people

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