Voices from Russia

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Huxley Is Much Scarier

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What Orwell feared were those who’d ban books. What Huxley feared was that there’d be no reason to ban a book… for no one would want to read one. Orwell feared those who’d deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who’d give us so much that it’d reduce us to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared we’d become a captive audience. Huxley feared a sea of irrelevance would drown the truth. Orwell feared that we’d become a captive culture. Huxley feared we’d become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny “failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions”. In Brave New World, they control by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate would ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love would ruin us.

Neil Postman

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

1985

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Saturday, 16 June 2018

16 June 2018. A Friend Inspired Me

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Thank you for getting the creative juices flowing. You know who you are… take my hand, the times aren’t good, but friendship is still powerful…

BMD

Sunday, 15 April 2018

15 April 2018. N S Gumilyov on Peace and the World

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N S Gumilyov isn’t well-known in English… poetry is notoriously hard to translate. Nikolai Stepanovich loved wordplay, and that’s almost impossible to render in another language. In the above quote, he played on the fact that мир means both “peace” and “world” in Russian… you can only trick out the meaning from the context. There’s much of that sort of thing in Gumilyov’s works… it’s why so many Russian-speakers love his poetry and writing.

BMD

Sunday, 17 December 2017

From the Russian Web… РУССКАЯ ЦИТАТА ДНЯ “Сделайте сегодня разгрузочный день. Не грузите себя!” RUSSIAN QUOTE OF THE DAY “Make Today an Unloading Day. Don’t Stuff Yourself!”

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An “unloading day”* is a day when we rest and do nothing. It’s also when we don’t eat heavy and greasy food, such as fat meat, candies, pies, and cakes.

  • Literal translation of разгрузочный день… no equivalent in formal or colloquial English

Rina Zenyuk is an architect in Minsk who has the avocation of doing “blue cat” pictures…

BMD

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