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Interesting Terrible cover. What Every Russian Knows contains essays about movies that were made and the books that were written in Russia during the Soviet era, when this vast country of immense talent and artistic ferment was shut off from the West The result is a sort of insider s guide to contemporary Russian culture, written by a journalist who came of age in Moscow when the Soviet Union was on the verge of collapse.I bought the book when I was hired by The Wall Street Journal to write an article What Every Russian Knows contains essays about movies that were made and the books that were written in Russia during the Soviet era, when this vast country of immense talent and artistic ferment was shut off from the West The result is a sort of insider s guide to contemporary Russian culture, written by a journalist who came of age in Moscow when the Soviet Union was on the verge of collapse.I bought the book when I was hired by The Wall Street Journal to write an article about plans to stage a new adaptation of Mikhail Bulgakov s Master and Margarita, a book little known here that s wildly popular in Russia and the former Soviet Bloc countries The chapter on Bulgakov in What Every Russian Knows not only explains that popularity, it presents a pithy analysis of the book and two of Bulgakov s other great works, Heart of a Dog and The White Guard Manuscripts don t burn, a character, the Devil himself, says in The Master and Margarita Read What Every Russian Knows and you ll understand what makes that quote meaningful The Soviet era writers and readers who nurtured great literature even as it was being brutally suppressed In her book, Fedina chooses 12 artists or works of art that are extremely popular in Russia For each chapter, she provides a summary without spoiling anything and a succinct overview of historical events that relate to the topic For someone like me who is not a history buff, I found the historical background very helpful.Butimportantly, she explains how events in Russia impact a Russian person s interpretation of the piece and why it is important to Russian people She gives the reade In her book, Fedina chooses 12 artists or works of art that are extremely popular in Russia For each chapter, she provides a summary without spoiling anything and a succinct overview of historical events that relate to the topic For someone like me who is not a history buff, I found the historical background very helpful.Butimportantly, she explains how events in Russia impact a Russian person s interpretation of the piece and why it is important to Russian people She gives the reader a sense of what it was like to be Russian during the times she talks about.I really enjoyed this book The topics ranged from pieces I had never heard of The Prostokvashino Three , to artists I was somewhat familiar with Vladimir Vysotsky , to movies I have seen several times Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears Even for the movies I had seen several times, she provides muchinsight than I d gathered on my own And I will now need to re watch On top of the 12 main works that are covered in detail, Fedina references many other topics, essentially giving me a to do list that will keep me busy for months.In addition to the excellent content and insight, I loved the Language Notes section that ended each chapter, providing the most noteworthy quotes from each work in both Russian and English As a language student, knowing lines like these, and where they come from really helps take your fluency to the next level.Overall this is a quick, enjoyable read with a lot of information A great reference for anyone who enjoys Russian culture Intermediate or advanced Russian students will especially enjoy the language references I also recommend the book s website, WhatEveryRussianKnows.com, where you can purchase the book or individual chapters, and get links to related material.Thank you to Olga Fedina for writing this I look forward to exploring these topics further with your book as my guide, and hope you write another one soon.Karyn Dubravetzwww.PassionForRussian.com It s very difficult to know how to rate this book On the one hand, I really enjoyed learning about a few of the pop culture touchstones in Russian culture, and I wish I d had this book three or four years ago, when I started writing fic about a Russian character On the other hand, this book doesn t really, um, work as a book So, nice safe middle of the road three stars I don t know whether this was a blog to book project I get the sense that it was not but it reads exactly like one, an It s very difficult to know how to rate this book On the one hand, I really enjoyed learning about a few of the pop culture touchstones in Russian culture, and I wish I d had this book three or four years ago, when I started writing fic about a Russian character On the other hand, this book doesn t really, um, work as a book So, nice safe middle of the road three stars I don t know whether this was a blog to book project I get the sense that it was not but it reads exactly like one, and it would have worked so much better as a blog You can sense the gaps where videos and pictures should have gone, and tell which words should have been links As it is, reading it anywhere but on my iPad was pointless I needed to be able to go back and forth between google and the book constantly So the book doesn t really stand alone.Also, the chapters don t interconnect She does occasionally say foron this, go check out the chapter on X, but she doesn t build from chapter to chapter on the knowledge she s already conveyed Basically, what you ve got here are a dozen unconnected, rather formless essays on some aspect of Russian but mostly Soviet popular culture.And she provides very little information about her own context I have a really hard believing that every single person in Russia, regardless of age or place of residence or gender or race or whatever, has exactly the same response to these pieces it would make the book a lotmeaningful if I knew where Fedina was coming from But, although she does make an occasional personal aside, she mostly keeps herself out of this, which makes the book harder to relate to, and also harder to use as research.I did enjoy reading it, and I m glad I read about this stuff But this book could have been, and needed to be, a lotthan it was [ FREE DOWNLOAD ] ⚖ What Every Russian Knows (and You Don't) ☪ This book is a collection ofessays 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 Olga Fedina grew up in Moscow in the turbulent late Soviet and immediately post Soviet years, graduating from the Department of Journalism of Moscow State University She subsequently lived for a decade in London and is currently based in Valencia, Spain She sometimes misses her homeland, and this book expresses some of the unique aspects of Russia and the Russians that she always carries with her Delightful It should be supplementary reading for any student of Russian language, literature, or culture and standard issue for all university classes teaching the above Not only does it explain the tenacity of some of Russia s favorite cultural icons, it introduces the reader to some that may have flown under the radar It also helps to decipher some of the inside jokes Russians always seem to have with one anotherand, if taken to heart, will enable the reader to impress Russian frien Delightful It should be supplementary reading for any student of Russian language, literature, or culture and standard issue for all university classes teaching the above Not only does it explain the tenacity of some of Russia s favorite cultural icons, it introduces the reader to some that may have flown under the radar It also helps to decipher some of the inside jokes Russians always seem to have with one anotherand, if taken to heart, will enable the reader to impress Russian friends with knowledge that they expect outsiders to be ignorant of Fedina homes in on issues that might be confusing for Westerners and lovingly explains some of Russia s most beloved films, books, and comedic personalities A slender, readable, and witty volume, it would also make an excellent gift I was already very familiar with about half of the subjects covered in this book and quite familiar with another quarter, but the author did an excellent job bringing out details that had not occurred to me I did feel, however, that the coverage was a little uneven It seemed to me that she didn t say enough about some of the topics a lotcould be said about Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears , and a there were a few gaps for example, in my opinion one Gaidai film would have been a good ad I was already very familiar with about half of the subjects covered in this book and quite familiar with another quarter, but the author did an excellent job bringing out details that had not occurred to me I did feel, however, that the coverage was a little uneven It seemed to me that she didn t say enough about some of the topics a lotcould be said about Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears , and a there were a few gaps for example, in my opinion one Gaidai film would have been a good addition But that is a matter of taste The writing was clear and at times funny and or poignant Her Russian to English translations were excellent, and I really liked the important quotes included at the end of each chapter I hope she writes a second book that covers other important names in Russian culture This is a charming book about Russian popular culture as opposed to the high culture that American students encounter in their Russian literature classes There are discussions of popular Soviet films, such as The Irony of Fate and Moscow Doesn t Believe in Tears, that continue to attract a following into the post Soviet era The author also discusses cult novels such as The Twelve Chairs and The Master and Margarita and why they had their initial popularity and why they continue to be This is a charming book about Russian popular culture as opposed to the high culture that American students encounter in their Russian literature classes There are discussions of popular Soviet films, such as The Irony of Fate and Moscow Doesn t Believe in Tears, that continue to attract a following into the post Soviet era The author also discusses cult novels such as The Twelve Chairs and The Master and Margarita and why they had their initial popularity and why they continue to be popular She also discusses Russian fairy tales and children s TV programs, as well as stand up comedians or the Russian equivalent The result is a thoughtful book that the reader wishes were actually longer It is like having a discussion with a thoughtful friend.Highly recommended to those interested in Russian life The coveris terrible But the contents inside are really interesting Don t let the cover keep you from reading this excellent collection of short essays on pieces of Russian pop culture books, movies, television shows and what they meant to Russians before and after communism A fascinating read with great insight for anyone who is interested in Russian cultural life. Not what I thought it would be, but I liked it Fun insight into the Russian movies actors books that are probably pretty obscure to people who aren t closely associated with the culture And now I have some movies I want to see.