Russia

The Mysterious Tunguska Event

The Mysterious Tunguska Event

On June 30, 1908, seismic stations all across Europe registered an enormously powerful shock wave, which originated from a location near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in what is now Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia. The so-called Tunguska event ever since has challenged the fantasy of scientists, who related it to the impact of a meteor or comet fragment, or even have developed theories that speak of black holes, anti matter or less exotic geothermical…
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Sergei Eisenstein and the Art of Montage

Sergei Eisenstein and the Art of Montage

On January 22, 1898, Soviet film director and film theorist Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein was born. Eisenstein is considered a pioneer in the theory and practice of montage. He is noted in particular for his silent films Strike (1925), Battleship Potemkin (1925) and October (1928), as well as the historical epics Alexander Nevsky (1938) and Ivan the Terrible (1944, 1958). “American capitalism finds its sharpest and most expressive reflection in the American cinema.”…
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Wassily Kandinsky – the First Expressionist

Wassily Kandinsky – the First Expressionist

On December 16, 1866, Russian painter and art theorist Wassily Kandinsky was born. With Franz Marc he was co-founder of the editorial association Der Blaue Reiter. Kandinsky was an artist of Expressionism and one of the pioneers of abstract art. He is often named as the creator of the world’s first abstract painting according to his own statements, which may, however, have been predated by the year 1910 instead of 1913. “The first…
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If the world could write by itself, it would write like Tolstoy

If the world could write by itself, it would write like Tolstoy

On September 9, 1828, Russian writer Count Lyov (also Lev) Nikolayevich Tolstoy, usually referred to in English as Leo Tolstoy, was born. Tolstoy is considered one of the greatest authors of all times. His main works War and Peace and Anna Karenina are classics of the realistic novel. “All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” — Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina (1875-1877), first sentence Family…
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Anton Chekov and the Birth of early Modernism in the Theatre

Anton Chekov and the Birth of early Modernism in the Theatre

On July 15, 1904, Russian playwright and short-story writer Anton Chekov passed away. Chekov is considered to be among the greatest writers of short fiction in history. His career as a playwright produced four classics, and his best short stories are held in high esteem by writers and critics. Chekhov was working as a medical doctor throughout most of his literary career: “Medicine is my lawful wife“, he once said, “and literature…
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Alexander Pushkin and the Cultural Identity of Modern Russia

Alexander Pushkin and the Cultural Identity of Modern Russia

On June 6, 1799, Russian poet, playwright, and novelist of the Romantic era Alexander Pushkin was born. Pushkin is considered by many to be the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature. “The illusion which exalts us is dearer to us than ten thousand truths.” – Alexander Pushkin, The Hero ll.  Alexander Pushkin’s Family Background Alexander Pushkin was born  in Moscow, Russia, as the second of five children of former guard…
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Mikhail Bakunin – the Father of Anarchism

Mikhail Bakunin – the Father of Anarchism

On May 30, 1814 (julian calendar May 18), Russian revolutionary and philosopher Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin was born. Although many scholars argue if he is the founder of anarchist theory in general, he was the leading theorist of collectivist anarchism. “To revolt is a natural tendency of life. Even a worm turns against the foot that crushes it. In general, the vitality and relative dignity of an animal can be measured by the…
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Modest Mussorgsky – Innovator of Russian Music

Modest Mussorgsky – Innovator of Russian Music

On March 21, 1831, Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky was born. Mussorgsky was an innovator of Russian music in the romantic period. He strove to achieve a uniquely Russian musical identity, often in deliberate defiance of the established conventions of Western music. “My music must be an artistic reproduction of human speech in all its finest shades. That is, the sounds of human speech, as the external manifestations of thought and feeling must,…
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Fyodor Dostoyevsky – Crime and Punishment

Fyodor Dostoyevsky – Crime and Punishment

On February 9, 1881, famous Russian novelist, short story writer, and essayist Fyodor Dostoyevsky passed away in St. Petersburg, Russia. Dostoyevsky‘s literary works explore human psychology in the troubled political, social and spiritual context of 19th-century Russia and is considered to be one of the greatest and most prominent psychologists in world literature. The Grand Inquisitor The very first piece of literature I read from Dostoyevsky was the short parable ‘The Grand…
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The Celestial Mechanics of Anders Johan Lexell

The Celestial Mechanics of Anders Johan Lexell

On December 24, 1740, Finnish-Swedish astronomer, mathematician, and physicist Anders Johan Lexell was born. Lexell made important discoveries in polygonometry and celestial mechanics; the latter led to a comet named in his honour. La Grande Encyclopédie states that he was the prominent mathematician of his time who contributed to spherical trigonometry with new and interesting solutions, which he took as a basis for his research of comet and planet motion. His name…
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