Questions tagged [russian-language]

Questions about works of literature that were originally written in the Russian language, regardless of whether they were written or published in Russia or elsewhere.

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Narrator in The Idiot

I'm struggling to understand the narrator in The Idiot. He seems like an omniscient narrator, talking of characters in third person. But, in Chapter I of Part One, while describing know-it-alls, the ...
Kandrax's user avatar
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8 votes
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How culturally mixed were the Earth ambassadors in Hard to Be a God?

Anton, aka "Don Rumata of Estor", is Russian. Pashka, aka "Don Hug, first groom of the chamber of his lordship the Duke of Irukan", is Russian. Alexander Vassilevitch, aka "Don Kondor, Supreme Judge ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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Was Pyotr Stepanovich in "Demons" really connected to the international?

In the noval Demons (by Dostoyevsky), there was a character, named Pyotr Stepanovich Verkhovensky, who claimed that he was connected to the international. Did Dostoyevsky mention anywhere in the book ...
Navid777's user avatar
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7 votes
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Are positive, parable-like vibes a noted pattern in Russian literature (at least for short stories and anecdotes)?

WARNING! The following post contains minor spoilers about the following books: Mikhail Bulgakov - A Country Doctor's Notebook Bonnie Jo Campbell - American Salvage D. W. Wilson - Once your Break a ...
Andrew Cheong's user avatar
7 votes
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372 views

What is the significance of the Grand Inquisitor in The Brothers Karamazov?

In The Brothers Karamazov, Ivan tells a long story to Alyosha about the Grand Inquisitor. I have been trying to grasp its meaning for some time, but what is the significance of that story?
Soumil's user avatar
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5 votes
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Does Countess Natalia Rostova let Prince Andrei die so Nikolai could inherit all of Marya's wealth?

Natasha's mother, Countess Natalia Rostova, seems to dislike her daughter's affections for Prince Andrei when they meet again at his (eventual) deathbed. At this point in the story, she's also been ...
Tolstoyan's user avatar
5 votes
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Indeed, why doesn't the City have any great artists?

The city is an interesting place - an ensemble of people from all around the world, and even from different times (though the 20th century seems to be prevalent). Their occupations, genders, beliefs, ...
Gallifreyan's user avatar
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5 votes
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Are "the meaning of life", art, and in particular "the life of an artist" themes in Chekhov's drama "The Seagull"?

Are "the meaning of life", art, and in particular "the life of an artist" themes in Chekhov's drama "The Seagull"?
I_am_feminist's user avatar
4 votes
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302 views

What kind of censorship was Dostoevsky avoiding by obscuring place names?

In the opening paragraph of "Crime and Punishment", two locations, S-- Lane and K--n Bridge, are identified only by their first and final letters. My translation has a footnote which says ...
Daniel Walker's user avatar
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Solzhenitsyn's Red Wheel

I've heard that all of Solzhenitsyn's work is to be in English by the centennial of his birth, which is this year. I'm trying to understand just what new English translations we can expect this year, ...
Henry's user avatar
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What's the difference between a Higher One and a Great One?

In Sergei Lukyanenko's Watch series, there are several different "grades" of magical power, from seventh-grade all the way up to first-grade and then beyond. As I understand it, everyone above first-...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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4 votes
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What is the symbolism of the statues and the meeting at the Pantheon in "The Doomed City"?

In part 5 of Strugastkys' The Doomed City, when Andrei and his group find the central square, there are countless empty places where statues used to be, and all of them have strange writings. Later ...
Gallifreyan's user avatar
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4 votes
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How did Sheymov manage to convince KGB that he and the family were dead?

Closer to the end of the book, Sheymov's contact from CIA refused to go with his plan to fake their family death when defecting. In Chapter 11, "Misha" refuses to help with the plan: Victor nodded, ...
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What exactly happened with the glasses?

The man who wrote the diary displays a very strange reaction to what (for me) appears to be a negligible accident - having his and his friend's (with whom he was kissing) glasses entangle and fall on ...
Gallifreyan's user avatar
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4 votes
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Please help identify a fanfic-y apocryphal story based on Noon Universe

I've been trying to find this one for several years but somehow Google-fu was weak. Pretty old - I think I read it in early/mid 90s. Internet-published. Apocryphal mishmash of entire Noon universe ...
DVK's user avatar
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1 answer
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Why did Smerdyakov kill himself in the Brothers Karamazov?

It is being said that he committed suicide out of desperation. the Defense lawyer, Fetyukovich, actually stated Smerdyakov did not kill himself out of guilt and remorse, but because he knew there was ...
Jane's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
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Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin, the “lost” chapter 10 in German

Is there a German translation of chapter 10 of Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin? The English one is available in ISBN 9780691019048." Pushkin destroyed chapter X of Eugene Onegin, leaving only the ...
Pavel Schriber's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
195 views

What is the English title of Tolstoy's memoirs "Without love, It's easier to live"?

I am trying to find the English name of the memoirs by Leo Tostoy titled Without love, It's easier to live (original Russian title Без любви жить легче). I could not find any mention of it neither in ...
Glory to Russia's user avatar
3 votes
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Dostoevsky's attitude towards Sonya Marmeladova

Note: The question concerns a somewhat touchy topic - prostitution. I am not a native English speaker, therefore, I cannot be sure which terms are suitable for a discussion. I am using words of the ...
Zhiltsoff Igor's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
162 views

Understanding the usage of "Philosophy" in Uncle Vanya

In "Uncle Vanya" by Chekhov, I noticed a usage of the word "philosophy" that seemed out of place. ASTROFF. A woman can only become a man's friend after having first been his acquaintance and then ...
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3 votes
0 answers
76 views

What is the creative device naming used for text generation in Pelevin's S.N.U.F.F.?

What is the proper, published, translation in the only AFAIK existing English version of the book S.N.U.F.F. by Victor Pelevin? Grim uploaded the germ of his perplexity and sadness in the creative ...
J. Doe's user avatar
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What explains Maxim Kammerer's superhuman physical condition in "Prisoners of Power" (aka "The Inhabited Island")?

Throughout the novel, Maxim is shown to have an almost superhuman physical condition, easily performing unthinkable feats, which include, but aren't limited to Being able to run for a very long time ...
Gallifreyan's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
105 views

War and Peace: Vassily Kuragin's plot to remove Pierre from the will

My question concerns Vassily Kuragin's plot to remove Pierre from the Old Count Bezukhov's will. I'm using the Rosemary Edmonds translation. The primary chapters are 18, 20, and 21 in part 1 of book 1....
user3600107's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
35 views

Was "Fyodor in Crime" a reference to Dostoevsky?

In Death and the Penguin, the newspaper editor told Viktor to contact Fyodor from Crime for some information to help him with his writing. Is this a subtle reference to Crime and Punishment by Fyodor ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
1 vote
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27 views

Why would a government official boast to a reporter about illegal trips to Chernobyl?

Related: What is a State Duma Deputy? In Death and the Penguin, Viktor interviewed a politician who, among other things, boasted about his trips to Chernobyl (even knowing that he was a reporter). ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
35 views

Viktor Erofeyev "The Akimuds": Animal motif

In the SF/Fantasy/political satire "The Akimuds" by Viktor Erofeyev, selfsame Akimuds (sort of a stand-in for God, Jesus and the angels) claim they are ducks. Now, "doves" would ...
Hauke Reddmann's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
183 views

What are the arguments against atheism in Crime and Punishment?

I'm trying to figure out exactly what arguments Dostoevsky tries to make in Crime and Punishment against atheism. I'm talking about the kind of conclusion he wants you to make for yourself when ...
Chris Fraser's user avatar
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What is the main idea and the main problem of Dostoyevsky's Demons?

What is the main idea and the main problem of Dostoyevsky's novel Demons? I have tried to identify one main idea and the main problem of the novel, but in the end nothing came out.
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