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The Russian Lesbian Club

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[insert cyrillic here] [Oct. 10th, 2006|02:55 pm]
The Russian Lesbian Club

[music |"My Favourite Game" - The Cardigans]

Met another Croatian lesbian today. We discussed the possibility of going to the Croatian Festival in San Francisco later this month.

I don't have anything terribly important to report. The next meeting of the Russian Lesbian Club will be held at my house this Friday at 5pm. Be there or don't be a Russian lesbian. You will also be missing out on cucumber sandwiches, tea, home-made scones, and possibly vodka.

Oh! Also, I changed the membership to this community to moderated instead of by-invitation-only because there have been some problems with that.
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A Century of Shostakovich [Sep. 26th, 2006|12:20 am]
The Russian Lesbian Club

[music |"The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" - Johnny Cash]

from the BBC World News

The world is marking the centenary of the birth of Dmitri Shostakovich, the Russian composer described by many critics as the greatest of the 20th Century.

Dmitri Shostakovich died in 1975

Born in St Petersburg, Shostakovich lived all his adult life under Soviet communism, and argument over his precise relationship to political authority - whether he was an enthusiastic communist or a subtle dissident - has sometimes overshadowed his musical achievement.

In the mid-1930s, Shostakovich scored a great success with his opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk.

Then one day in early 1936 it was viciously attacked in the newspaper Pravda in an review entitled "Muddle not Music" attributed to Stalin himself.

People who want to interpret his true meanings are only speculating at best
Mohamad, Chicago

At a time when artists who displeased authority were liable to simply disappear, Shostakovich was in great danger.

But he survived, possibly because of his popular work for Soviet films and propaganda.

Radical reinterpretation

By the time of his death in 1975 he was seen as a solid Soviet artist but a few years later his reputation was turned on its head by the publication of a highly controversial account of his life called Testimony.

This claimed Shostakovich secretly hated Stalin and the Soviet system, and that his works held hidden dissident meanings.

Critics in the West seized on this new image of an anti-communist Shostakovich but others pointed out how hard it is to interpret private motives under a climate of fear.

Certainly Shostakovich was lucky to work in a wordless abstract medium, where interpretation is strongly subjective.

It does appear at least some of his original audience did find oppositional power in his work but, as a member of the party and the Supreme Soviet, Shostakovich also allowed his name to be put on denunciations of dissidents.

Certainly no composer has undergone so radical a re-evaluation.

But what cannot be argued is that his 15 symphonies and smaller-scale chamber music make him a musical giant of his time, whatever the political meanings we find in them.
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Russian Lesbian Reading List [Sep. 23rd, 2006|01:26 am]
The Russian Lesbian Club

The Classics

The Brothers Karamazov - Dostoevsky
The Dead Souls - Gogol
Anna Karenina - Tolstoy
Crime and Punishment - Dostoevsky
War and Peace - Tolstoy
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich - Solzhenitsyn
Doctor Zhivago - Pasternak (also see his poetry)
The Fables of Isaak Babel - Babel

20th Century - Present

Lolita - Nabokov
Pale Fire - Nabokov
Invitation to a Beheading - Nabokov
On the Golden Porch - Tatyana Tolstaya
The poetry of Anna Akhmatova


Lectures on Russian Literature - Nabokov
Speak, Memory - Nabokov
Stalingrad - Antony Beevor
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Russian Lesbians [Sep. 22nd, 2006|10:59 pm]
The Russian Lesbian Club

As of today, the members of this club are as follows:

-Alyosha (Elliot)
-Kitty/Ekaterina (Anna-Lisa)
-Olga (Sarah)
-Marushka/Marya (Mercedes)
-Boris (the cricket who lives on my porch)

I am expecting a hiatus from Ekaterina Scherbatsky, as her internet situation is... well, a situation.

I created this community so that those of us who have been separated by vast distances can still participate in the club.

The following positions need to be filled:

Tsar/Tsarina - Kitty
Vice Tsar/Tsarina
Historian/Archivist - Olga

I've taken the position of chairman, Boris has expressed interest in the position of translator, but I am willing to entertain any appeals. (ahem, Alyosha.)

Anna Pavlova:

Post Script:

I think there should be a reading list. I will compile something. If any of you have any suggestions, let me know.
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