Alexander Pushkin

Crimea in the Russian Empire: A Cultural History

This is an excerpt from a significantly longer piece published more than a year ago, in the midst of Russia’s intervention in Crimea following the Euromaidan and the ousting of Viktor Yanukovych as President of Ukraine. At the time, Russian troops had taken control of Crimea, and the region was days away from referendum. The piece incorporated a cultural history of Crimea…

Pyotr F. Sokolov: Watercolour Portraits in the Age of Pushkin

Following my piece ‘On the Fugitive and French and Russian Poetry’ – which considered fugitive poetry in eighteenth-century France, and its influence upon the Golden Age of Russian poets including Alexander Pushkin, Konstantin Batyushkov, and Prince Pyotr Vyazemsky – I thought I would take a look at a Russian painter who encapsulated the Pushkin era. Active from the middle of…

On the Fugitive and French and Russian Poetry

When we hear or read the word ‘fugitive’ today, we perhaps tend to think of someone fleeing from something: most often in a legal frame, from justice; but also potentially from persecution, or simply from the uncomfortable circumstances of their lives. Supporting the first relation is the FBI’s list of the ‘Ten Most Wanted Fugitives’. This was conceived by J. Edgar Hoover,…

Crimea: A Literary Perspective

Crimea: A Literary Perspective

The situation in Crimea continues to develop agallop. Following events in Kiev, unidentified Russian troops have taken control of Crimea’s airports, public buildings, military installations, and ports. Amid claim and counterclaim – the apparent defection of the chief of the Ukrainian Navy, the claimed defection of thousands of Ukrainian armed forces, and allegations that the human rights of UN envoys…