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TOPICS: bakhtin + father-russia + 3 sisters + dostoevsky + gogol + chekhov + eisenstein + tarkovsky + russian cinema + theatre theory + ussr + taganka theatre +
Rudnitsky, Konstantin. Russian and Soviet Theatre. New York, 2000. A documentry on the Russian theatre's response to the revolutions from 1905-17.


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Homo Sovieticus

Strangely enough, I never was Russian. I left USSR and, when I came back after 1991, I didn't find Russia, only the ruins of the Soviet Union. (See "Father Russia") I gave up on this idea to be Russian. More I live in America, more I recognize the familiar fearures of the Soviet life. I write about it in American and Post-American books.

My childhood and my youth are in the country which doesn't exist any. As a true American (or Soviet) I betrayed my motherland; I wrote many pages against it.

My Russian Page: Exile (gone) is for the dreams. I need a place for facts.

This is the pro-Soviet page. Some place where I don't have to hide my low nature, my desires I am ashame of... Maybe with time you'll see why I equal "American" and "Comminist"...

So, what are those facts?

Oh, they are the old well known sins. That's why the System tried so hard to suppres my natural desires. It failed.

POST-SOVIET Theatre -- today, 2005. Moscow is the theatre capital of the world!

At least, one of them. The Trouble Times are good for staging and stage.

In short, without "Soviet Theatre" the today's Russian stage is unthinkable.

Future of Russian Theatre... well, Russia is late, they do not know that "theatre is no more." Don't tell them, please. They will discover it, the Iron Curtain is more, too.

Read about the Politics to understand the future... ONE DAY NEWS:




Paul Goble

Efforts to write new national histories in the post-Soviet states are exacerbating ethnic tensions across the region, undermining national unity in several countries, and increasing cynicism about the value of history itself.
Each of these three developments threatens not only the possibilities for intellectual understanding of the states' complicated pasts but also the countries' prospects for evolving into stable, open, and democratic societies. Consequently at a time when most historians in the region assumed they could focus on correcting the distortions of the Soviet-era history, many are being forced to address post-Soviet challenges that may prove equally fateful.

These were the unexpected and unsettling conclusions of a remarkable conference of young historians from seven of the post-Soviet states that took place in Moscow earlier this fall but was reported in a supplement to the Moscow newspaper "Nezavisimaya gazeta" last week. The meeting was unprecedented in one way and unusual in a number of others. It was unprecedented in that it attracted scholars from so many of those countries to discuss their current common problems. And it was unusual in that it was sponsored by private groups rather than state institutions, attracted junior researchers rather than senior scholars, and focused on the ideological problems facing historians in the post-Soviet period. While there were significant differences in emphasis among the participants, all agreed that efforts by national leaders to use history to bolster their authority and that of their country pose an extremely serious threat.

First, efforts to create new national histories are exacerbating tensions among the countries of the region and in some cases among the peoples within those countries. That happens in several ways: Sometimes these historian-recruits to the national cause simply put a minus sign in front of Soviet views. Sometimes that approach seems reasonable. Many North Caucasians, for example, no longer celebrate the actions of the Russian generals who conquered them. But sometimes it is questionable. One speaker noted that some Georgians refuse to commemorate Hitler's defeat because a few historians there had suggested that the Georgian soldiers involved had fought in a foreign--that is, Soviet--army. In every case, such an approach offends many people even as it affirms the views of others. But this "change of signs" from plus to minus and from minus to plus is by no means the worst aspect of the new national histories. According to Tamara Guzenkova of the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies, new national history textbooks devote little attention to anything except military history and enemies within and without. That, in turn, has the effect of creating an explosive cycle, one that not only builds up the image of the enemy, which all the participants said was an integral part of nationalism, but also infuriates the nation whose heroes are denigrated. Not surprisingly, several participants blamed this new slant on history for the recent wave of ethnic violence. In the words of one, "many contemporary ethnopolitical conflicts have their roots in the pages of history texts."
Second, in some cases, attempts to foster national unity are turning out to be counterproductive, destroying the very social cohesion that the political sponsors of such histories hope to achieve. Efforts to create national histories, several conference participants said, often prove self-defeating. Many of the post-Soviet states are divided along ethnic and regional lines. And what some groups approve, others find offensive. In every case, there is a generational problem. Older people tend to hold on to the heroes and enemies of the past, even the Soviet past, while younger people tend to fasten on new post-Soviet ones. And because national histories can be either ethnic or political, historians and political figures who seek to make use of them have to make a choice. In Kazakhstan, for example, the new national histories emphasize ethnicity. In Russia, the latest histories stress politics. Both approaches create problems at home and abroad.
Third, because many of these post-Soviet efforts are so blatant, they are discrediting history in the minds of many and thus limiting its utility as a means of overcoming the problems of the past and building a better future. While the conference devoted relatively little attention to this problem beyond reporting a poll showing that fewer than one Russian student in three can now name the other former Soviet republics, this may prove the most serious obstacle of all. But the meeting ended on a remarkably optimistic note--precisely because these young historians are now focusing on this problem and talking to one another, something they could not have done in the past.

Dec. 3, 1998

Russia's population will shrink by one half by the middle of the 21st century according to the State Committee for Statistics. Regions likely to witness the largest population drops are the Far East, Western Siberia, and Central Russia, "Kommersant-Daily" reported on 3 December. Residents of Eastern and Western Siberia have the shortest life span, 64 years. Meanwhile, Russia's birth rate dropped by 6 percent from 1989 to 1997, Interfax reported on 2 December. During the same period, the death rate jumped 3.5 percent and is reportedly as high as that of a country engaged in war. "Kommersant-Daily" noted that Russian men live 13 years fewer than women, a larger difference than in any other country. JAC
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DUMA PUTS DZERZHINSKII ON PEDESTAL... The Duma on 2 December gave its preliminary approval to a draft resolution calling for the return of the statue of the Cheka's first chairman, Felix Dzerzhinskii, to Lubyanka Square in Moscow on 2 December. The bill now goes to the Culture Committee, which will finalize it before presentation at the Duma's next plenary session, ITAR-TASS reported. The monument, which had been torn down by crowds on the nights of 22-23 August 1991, would symbolize anti-crime efforts in Russia, "Segodnya" reported on 3 December. JAC
"Nezavisimaya gazeta" on 2 December argued that the Communist party is close to seizing power in the country because it has a "controlling interest in at least every second region of the country," with 43 governors backing the Communist party. According to the newspaper, the Communist Party has "the majority in regional legislatures" if one excludes the national republics, which "are rather indifferent to the political colors dominating the capital." And with elections approaching in a number of regions, such as Karachaevo-Cherkassia, Udmurtia, Komi, Kemerovo, the Communists are likely to further cement their power. "Nezavisimaya gazeta" receives financial support from Berezovskii's LogoVAZ group. JAC

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