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Episode 37 Connecting Finland and Canada via Russian Literature — Tea Toast & Trivia

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My first encounter with Russian literature came when I was about 17 years old. I think it was Dostoevsky’s Poor Folk, but it may also have been one of Gogol’s Petersburg tales. Either way, I never stopped reading. I have never even visited St Petersburg, yet I can see it now; it’s snowing and Pushkin is stepping out in a thick winter coat. Somewhere in a fancy salon Anna Karenina is rushing to see her son. In a less good neighbourhood Raskolnikov is planning a murder… 

Or Moscow, where Boris Pasternak meets Olga by Pushkin’s statue for a date; an event that became a historical moment in Russian literature. Olga became Lara, one of the great literary heroines. But in real life Olga was an even greater heroine, getting arrested and sent to work in the Gulag not once, but twice, all because she loved a writer who was writing a controversial novel.

Russian literature is there to remind us what life is really about. That no matter how bad things get, we can overcome the obstacles and grow stronger, and be happy again.

“Literature is the art of discovering something extraordinary about ordinary people, and saying with ordinary words something extraordinary.” 

I was delighted, honoured and excited (and a little bit nervous!) when my blogging friend Rebecca Budd invited me to talk about Russian literature on her podcast Tea, Toast & Trivia. Let’s join her now:

 

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Welcome to Tea, Toast and Trivia. Thank you for listening in. Russian literature has captured my heart ever since I read the opening paragraphs of Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak. A funeral and a mother’s grave – profound, moving, unforgettable. I was 15 years old. Boris Pasternak may have opened the door to Russian […]

via Episode 37 Connecting Finland and Canada via Russian Literature — Tea Toast & Trivia

35 thoughts on “Episode 37 Connecting Finland and Canada via Russian Literature — Tea Toast & Trivia

  1. Rusian language is not easy to learn. From my experience when you read books in language they’ve been written you can understand and feel the story better. The translation depends of translator very much. I’ve met situations when even meaning sometimes is different in some parts of translation compare with original version.
    However, when I read your Russian books analysis it seems to me you’ve read them in Russian.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello from Vancouver! Elisabeth – Russian literature comes alive in your voice, words, laughter. You give us a glimpse of real people encountering complexities that resonate in our age, decades after the stories were told. We need to go back to these narratives and see how they reflect upon our personal experiences. Literature, art, poetry, music, dance, language – we must celebrate and embrace these art forms for they are what define us. I look forward to make podcasting adventures with you. I am practicing on how to say Turgenev. With warmest appreciation for your generosity and friendship. I love our conversations.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Dear Elisabeth. It’s so wonderful to hear that you found something that fulfills you so much and that live somewhere so deep in your heart. That is precious. That is a gift. Enjoy all the wonderful moment while reading, wishing and in day dreams that you had and will have by Russian literature. Enjoy!
    cheers, Markus

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  4. I look forward to listening to the podcast, Elizabeth.

    On Mon, Nov 11, 2019 at 3:28 AM A Russian Affair wrote:

    > elisabethm posted: ” My first encounter with Russian literature came when > I was about 17 years old. I think it was Dostoevsky’s Poor Folk, but it may > also have been one of Gogol’s Petersburg tales. Either way, I never stopped > reading. I have never even visited St Petersburg” >

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Markus. Thank you for these super kind words! I think that we understand each other in sharing a passion for Russian culture. It’s great that we can use our blogs to share that passion with other people ☺️😊 Пока!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Despite you your blog is hobby it is really useful and interesting for people who wold like to know a little bit about Russian writers and literature in general. I like to read your posts. They refresh my memory about books I’ve read long time ago. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. How you hijack my 🧠 I from india v fond of Russian literature I red Tolstoy (when I was 17) n Boris pasternak my fev author. Good luck 🤓🤓🤝🤝🙏

    Like

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