Voices from Russia

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Huxley Is Much Scarier

________________________

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

Advertisements

Sunday, 15 April 2018

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

________________________

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

Saturday, 2 December 2017

2 December 2017. “Russian” ISN’T a Label On Your Jeans… Nor Does It Have Anything to Do With “Whiteness”

A Portrait of the Author L N Tolstoy

Ivan Kramskoi

1873

________________________

Being Russian doesn’t mean that one has a certain skin-colour, certain ethnic roots, or a certain hair-colour. Someone Russian in spirit is a person that won’t sleep peacefully if they know that injustice is being done somewhere. To be Russian means that a person will seek the truth until the end, always, and in every circumstance. Russians evaluate all that goes on in accord with their conscience; each has their own opinion on every matter that concerns them.

Graf L N Tolstoy

Sunday, 12 November 2017

12 November 2017. 196th Anniversary of the Birth of F M Dostoyevsky

________________________

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.