What Every Russian Knows (and You Don't)
May 16, 2013
From the Publisher:
"This book is a collection of 12 essays looking at touchstones of Russian popular culture, mostly from the Soviet period, that continue to resonate through language, images, and ways of seeing the world in Russia today. These include films: The Irony of Fate, Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears, White Sun of the Desert, Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson; a novel: The Twelve Chairs; animated cartoons: Hedgehog in the Mist and The Prostokvashino Three; the writer Mikhail Bulgakov; the singer-songwriter Vladimir Vysotsky; stand-up comedians Mikhail Zhvanestky and Mikhail Zadornov; and a character from a fairy tale, Yemelya the Simpleton. The subjects of the chapters were selected for their influence on Russian language and thinking, and also because they reflect Russian attitudes and perceptions. The author brings them to life through her own experiences of, and responses to, these modern icons. This book, though invaluable for students of Russian, is for everyone interested in Russian language and culture, and explains why certain references and attitudes continue to permeate everyday life. "
What La Generalista has to say:
What a lovely book! Anyone studying or interested in learning more about modern Russian society must read “What Every Russian Knows (and You Don’t)”. Olga Fedina does a wonderful job bringing Russian pop culture to life and putting it into every day context. This book is made only better in finding each and every reference in between chapters, viewing or listening to what Fedina has just described.
Each chapter also includes a list of Russian phrases made popular by the movies, songs or performances mentioned, complete with English translations. This really helps deepen the reader’s understanding and appreciation of the pop culture references.
La Generalista is the online identity of Alicia Wanless – a researcher and practitioner of strategic communications for social change in a Digital Age.
Alicia researches how we shape — and are shaped — by a changing information space. As the Director of Strategic Communications at The SecDev Foundation, Alicia develops campaigns and strategies for engaging beneficiaries in outreach and behavioural change. Her work includes developing a training program that deals with verifying information and the spread of content online, and has supported projects in the Middle East, Vietnam and the post-Soviet space.