Sunday, May 07, 2017

Hope, Tragedy, Myths

I went to the Russian Revolution exhibition at the British Library yesterday. Reflecting on the printed captions under many of the items on display describing the country as backwards at the end of the nineteenth century, I found myself wondering if there is something about the British English that makes it impossible to write about Russians without patronising them. Between about 1860 and the 1900 you couldn't have thrown a rock there without a good chance of hitting a literary genius. Also the emancipation of the serfs was pretty much contemporaneous with the freeing of the slaves in the good ole USA.

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