Dear (Hockey) Diary.

I know I haven’t written in you very often lately, all that philosophy talk and a full-time job of being an asshole are really talking their toll, but today is special. First, my fellow countryman, Evgeni Malkin, having awoken from a deep sleep, proved himself to be worthy of his noble name and scored an important overtime goal. Second, my other countryman, Nikolai Khabibulin, having been forced to add an extra letter to his last name – the letter his French rival/rotation partner so mindlessly disregards – in order to survive in the cruel world of non-Cyrillic alphabet and inferior hockey, showed himself to be a real hero tonight, letting the mighty Hawks win a crucial game.


Хабибулин looking crazy after the fold: Continue reading

Cheering Up (Russian Style)

I’ve been watching an excellent adaption of Pasternak’s Zhivago from 2005, unfortunately, no English subtitles – I think Pasternak’s presentation of the events of the pre- and post-Revolution changes in Russia strangely cheered me up: I cannot imagine living in circumstances such as those of Yuri Zhivago. This and reading the recent biography of Wittenstein family (The House of Witternstein) is really doing it for me, sounds banal and even evil, but the considerable suffering and bravery of others seems to put one’s trouble into a perspective. Here’s some more Russian stuff: Continue reading

Новогодний Подарок: Андрей Синявский, Иван-Дурак

Нашел в сети файл замечательной книги Синявского – Иван-дурак: Очерк русской народной веры – файл по всей видимости сделан на основе оригинала, но без прямого сканирования страниц – читайте, с Новым годом всех русскоязычных читателей.

For the English-speaking readers, this Derrida/Cherif conversation – Islam and the West – can found here.

Facing Tarkovsky…

I recently watched Tarkovsky’s Mirror again after about 6 or 7 years and have to say that it was even better than I remembered (in contrast to Goddard’s Pierrot Le Fou, which was still entertaining, but worse).  I had thought that there was always something rather Levinasian about Mirror, what with notions of the infinite, expression and the central role “the face” plays in both.  And obviously throughout Mirror Tarkovsky constantly forces us to confront faces, whether in that rather long scene in which Natalia  stares into a couple of mirrors, or  by placing Natalia into proximity with Leonardo’s portrait of Ginevra de’ Benci.   Continue reading