poemless. a slap in the face of public taste.

June 9, 2013

It’s Pretty Fucking Good, Actually.

Behold! In which write a post appealling to my lefty activist, bibliophile and Russophile readers all at once! I don’t even know who the rest of you are or what you want from me.

A while back, before May came trampling through my life like Renfield on meth, Keith Gessen of n+1 (“Uh. Is this Masha’s brother?” I asked friends) contacted me to promote a book he had recently published. Or edited. Or translated. Or something. He wanted to send me a copy of Kirill Medvedev’s It’s No Good. I said OK. For future reference, you don’t need to ask. Just put your brilliant books in the mail addressed to me, ok people? (I’m talking to you Dalkey Archive.) Shit folks do without even asking first, and you want to politely inquire if I would mind a free copy of your Russian activist’s poetry book? What the hell is wrong with people…?

I read it, devoured it, as if it were the sweat off a lover’s neck in the throes of passion. I did not actually eat it. Although I am hungry… (Please contribute to my fundraising page! Before I am forced to eat my own books!) But at some point I realized I’d underlined, starred or scribbled, “Yes!!!” on each of the last five pages. So, mutilated forever if not devoured.

I suppose you’ll want me to tell you something about it, even though I know you can use Google. Author: Russian, male, about my age, about my political sensibilities, intelligent, poet, activist, I think he’s in a rock band. I’d date him. Book: Poems, manifestos, essays of the current state of the Russian intelligentsia and reflections upon ethical and aesthetic responsibility in this crazy world. I’d recommend it.

As a race, but specifically as Americans, and especially as Gen-Xers who went to poetry readings in coffee shops in our Midwestern college towns, we have collectively been exposed to criminal amounts of BAD POETRY. We need support groups. Fortunately, the Russian literary tradition has higher standards for the art form than Cafe Ennui. Comparing the two is like comparing the Mariinsky’s Swan Lake with your niece’s dance recital. The latter is supporting the arts, the former having your life changed by art. Kirill’s poems aren’t the kind you’ll read out of obligation to convince yourselves you are still capable of doing that kind of thing. You won’t think, “Oh my god, TMI. I am not your therapist,” or, “You like the mountains, we get it.” Nothing about these poems will make you think they were written in a workshop in upstate anywhere. I promise. Example:

“BIG RUBBER COCK”

I saw it every day on the way to school.
I know that’s not the best way
to start a poem,
but there’s nothing I can do about my memories,
I can’t take the rubber cock out of my mind and replace it
with, say, a New Year’s tree.
I saw big rubber cocks every day on the way to school—
you could do anything back then—
it was 1991—
and sometimes best friends
buddy-buddy, as the Americans say,
even gave them to each other
as presents
simultaneously
by coincidence,
and it wasn’t even a joke
it was natural
a downpayment on eternity
a symbol of one’s success and prowess
eternal prowess,
the authorities
couldn’t get a grip
on the situation,
they didn’t know what to do
about the rubber cocks,
the fairly large rubber cocks,
they hadn’t learned to concentrate them in one place,
these cocks were everywhere,
they weren’t even manufactured here,
they were imported from America,
which didn’t know their true value,
no one knew their value,
in fact no one knew the value of anything,
we all lived like poets—and a poetic fate smelling of resin
(the Russian resina means rubber, that is, synthetic resin,
but there is also in English rOsin, hard resin, kanifol in Russian,
but in English like a rose
it’s a coincidence—rubber rose amber resin rosin)
so this smelly sticky mixture
connected us through the centuries
everything spoken seen and lived
and you can hear the buzz of every murdered nerve ending
every glass of wine from eight years ago
could end up making you vomit
for a very long time—
the imagination is active,
as if a play is on the stage,
and the wine is poured,
your mind is working,
your cigarettes are burning,
your mind is relaxing,
your eyes are narrowing,
the tension is rising
the authorities are rats
but how many more times
will we say about our homeland
our innocent and gentle
if sometimes cruel but in the end beloved homeland:

THIS FUCKING COUNTRY.

I’m not a fan of shock value poems, which mostly seem admissions of having run out of interesting ideas or being only 14 years old. But this works because it’s the author and his whole country, not the reader, on the receiving end. Most of you kids are smart enough to get the 1991 double-entendre here, no? If not, go read Naomi Klein. After you finish this.

Another poem I quite liked for no important reason is about why children don’t fear death:

they think
they’re going to die
as absolutely different people;
I think they think
that by the time they’re old enough
to die
everything about them will have changed,
and so it’s as it this won’t be
them dying

And this, which sounds whiny until the last line that punches a small breath out of you:

here’s what I wanted to say:
sometimes the lack of human interaction can make a person
physically ill
but sometimes human interaction is even worse than that
and since all is not lost yet
since some people still believe in us
and because some still consider us the voice of our generation
(and because we are, in the end, still standing)
I would like once more to emphasize that:
we are lonely
very few people believe in us
we are reluctant to show our poems
to our parents, to our close friends, to our acquaintances
no one believes in us
after a good day at work
no one will go have a beer with us
no one will teach us loneliness

My one quibble with his poems is that many remind one more than a little bit of Ginsberg and Whitman, with his “voice of our generation” and “pleasant evening cities,” and his

COME COME TO ME
BEFORE AN UNSPEAKABLE FORCE
TEARS US FROM OUR WORLDS
AND REFUSES TO PUT US BACK AGAIN
BEFORE WE’VE BEEN PUSHED INTO THE GUTTERS
OF PATHS NO ONE USES

with his combination of brash, raw intensity, playful pornography and angelic posture. But Kirill Medvedev is an astute observer of his fellow humans and a skilled writer, so I won’t protest if he’s claiming his place in this tradition. After all, Ginsberg wrote in homage to Whitman, and no one’s complaining. Still, one wonders if there is anything new under the sun. I don’t know enough about poetry to say K.M. is not innovative, but I have read enough to say it feels familiar. Familiar, yes, but very engaging. There is streak of madness to his method. These are not lyrical verse intended to provoke quiet individual reflection, but often calls to arms, implicit or explicit, to put aside our books and reverie for a minute and go live out there in the messy, insane, unnecessarily horrible world which you and I and he are a part of whether we like it or not. He can protest in front of theaters all he wants (he did that, writes about it… and yes, all writing about activism is ultimately embarrassing) but there are “actions” in his poems, in their will to live.

Which is aesthetically and ideologically consistent with the second part of It’s No Good, a collection of essays on contemporary intellectual life and political responsibility and activism, permeated with palpable frustration, warning against complacency and intellectual traditions that have outlived their usefulness. We’ve all been there, amirite?

His essays read like journal entries, are terribly accessible and the book contains a glossary of names which was helpful even to me. Some of the essays get a bit niche, though should be of interest to those of us who think the inner-workings of the Russian intelligentsia make those of the FSB seem as transparent as cellophane, or who are still obsessed with Eddie Limonov. I will always be obsessed with Limonov. I suspect Eddie Limonov gave me a psychological STD or something. And that you will get it from reading this blog, and that is how insanity perpetuates its existence.

What was I saying? Oh. Psychological STDs aside, Kirill Medvedev’s writings on the contemporary political environment in Russia come complete with a diagnosis of what is killing the liberal reformers, progressives, lefties, etc., how they got sick, and what needs to be done to cure them and restore health to Russia’s avant-garde. And he does so in a really History 101 way that I think even those with little or no familiarity with Russian intellectual history will find comprehensible. Largely because the Cliff’s Notes version of his politics is, “Communism? Socialism? Dissidents? Liberasl? Look, it’s the 21st Century and things have changed and we have to live our own lives in a way that mean something and make sense RIGHT NOW.” There is even a risk that much of it may not be profound news to anyone who has been paying attention to Russia for the past 20+ years. But it will certainly be savoured with great hedonistic gratification by anyone who is bloody fucking sick of writing blog posts on those infuriating, incompetent Russian liberals.

On which he muses:

Please don’t talk to me about your “historical experience” of Soviet oppression: it’s not your experience, it’s the experience of Mayakovsky (a Bolshevik), of Shalamov (a Trotskyist), of Mandelstam (a Socialist Revolutionary), of others.

Aka, not you mewing contemporary neoliberals trying to co-opt the plights of dead leftists. He also argues that the success of far-right intellectuals such as Dugin come from the fact that their ideas feel radical and “alive”,

“… in sharp visceral contrast to the liberal paradigm, where anything dangerous or incomprehensible or even interesting either could not exist at all or could exist only formally, not as itself but rather as an example of the liberalism and tolerance of the liberals.”

Can I get an Amen? It’s No Good is a breath of fresh air for those of us who have been blogging about Russian politics and culture in response to the too oft neoconish newsmedia in America and Britain whose Cold War framing of events prompt us to wonder if they would not in fact be happier if gulags were brought back, as their world does not seem to make sense without them. WaPo or BBC experts routinely take generic, meaningless topics like “clash of civilizations” or “liberal opposition” and speak of them as if only through their specialized analysis may we ever hope to glean what It All Means, turning vague ideas into a niche specialization for which they may be handsomely rewarded. Kirill Medvedev dumps all that nonsense on its head, does the opposite, taking niche interests, the Russian intellectual infighting or something, and with a bit of common fucking sense (this, from a poet!), shows them to be symptomatic of the global system affecting us all.

Are we not all living under neoliberal economic systems? Are we not all struggling to square our own ethics and need for meaning with the system we rely on for food and shelter and basic security? Are we not all looking at our elections thinking, this is no longer working, at our commercials thinking, what on earth is this shit?

Why aren’t more people writing like this?

And I think this is precisely why I think my American leftist friends can appreciate this book as much (perhaps more than, I suspect) as those kids out in Bolotnaya Square. There is, in I suppose the true left tradition, a universal/international perspective to his writing, focusing on individuals and systems rather than nationalities.

“… it seems to me that no matter how the world looked in 1989 or 1991 – and I know it looked different from how it looks today – we can all now admit that the notion of post-industrial capitalism as the best of all possible worlds is hardly the most progressive notion available.

… Should we stop writing poems? Go crazy from guilt? No. No. We just need to transform our picture of the world a little, and we can begin by ceasing to talk nonsense about the clash of civilizations.

Because otherwise you become an appendage of a system that allows you to take up whatever you want, develop whatever styles, discourses, and poetics you want, on the condition that you do not interfere with politics, with real life. And your “grown-up” credo (and, clearly, a reasonable and obedient member of the contemporary neoliberal system is first and foremost a GROWN-UP, as opposed to all those idealists, pseudo-rebels, and dreamers, who aren’t) will go like this: I am a humble man, my business is putting together words. As for everyone else, I think they should do what they want. And my ability to think this way is based in part on a gigantic military, and low electricity prices, and plenty of oil.

And this does not strike me as an idea befitting the glory of liberalism, which was once a progressive and salvational force in human history; and it does not strike me as an argument for individuation. This is society as an armed camp, as colonizer, as exploiter. It is an indication that liberal concepts have entered a period of exhaustion, when their proponents often find themselves trampling their own norms in the most cynical and vicious ways possible.

Because there are no private people, and there are no two (or three, or four) clashing civilizations. There is a united space in which people exist. And between those people, as between poetics, are the most varied connections, be they hidden or obvious.”

Or,

“You cannot criticize the Putin regime without assessing your own place in it, whether as critic or artist. You cannot criticize an authoritarian Russian democracy without also assessing the role of the United States and its allies, without mentioning the worldwide division of labor, without recognizing the extent to which the situation here is a continuation of a worldwide process. It’s necessary to understand the extent to which your own consciousness determines your social existence, forces you to accept as obvious one or another set of perspectives. “There is no freedom from politics”: this is the banal truth that one must now grasp anew. Political passivity also participates in history; it too is responsible.”

It seems rare that we should have the opportunity to read such words from a Russian, in English, outside collections of pre-Stalin communist manifestos. How refreshing. I don’t even see enough Americans writing like this, let alone people in horrible Putinist Russia where there is no freedom of speech, ahem. Our choices, regardless what shitty regime we’re managing to survive under, are too often limited to mind-numbing apathy or hysterical fear-mongering. For all K.M.’S antics, his views are impressively thoughtful and constructive.

So, well, that’s the book.

I’m not done. Remember this? Lost in Translation. I have devoted no small amount of my already negligible energy to bitching about the lack of contemporary Russian literature in translation published in America. And in the meantime Writings From an Unbound Europe has shut its doors. So a round of applause for n+1 and Ugly Duckling Press for even making books like this available to the public. Now it is on us to show that an audience exists for such endeavors. And if there isn’t one, I’m mad enough to believe that it’s on me to create one. Nobody ever got any stupider for reading Russian poetry. Let me re-post this:

“Because there are no private people, and there are no two (or three, or four) clashing civilizations. There is a united space in which people exist. And between those people, as between poetics, are the most varied connections, be they hidden or obvious.”

There are 7 billion people on this planet having valuable experiences and insights, and many are writing about them, and many of those people are not writing in English, and you don’t know *all* the languages. It is not simply geography, religion, socio-economic position that inform our experience, and create barriers between us, but language. Translation may be less than ideal solution to crossing that barrier and opening communication; it’s a precarious bridge, but a bridge nonetheless. Rarely do we cross such a bridge when our lives don’t become richer with nuance and possibility.

Do you not want a life richer with nuance and possibility? Are you already dead? Ok, then. Support you local publisher of books in translation!

Kirill Medvedev: It’s No Good: poems / essays / actions
Translator: Keith Gessen
Translator: Mark Krotov
Translator: Cory Merrill
Translator: Bela Shayevich
Co-published with Ugly Duckling Presse
Eastern European Poets Series #30
ISBN 978-1-933254-94-4

December 3, 2009

Who Are Russia’s “Top Thinkers” Today? [UPDATED]

… And why don’t we hear more from them?

These are not rhetorical questions!

Top 100 Global Thinkers

Foreign Policy magazine has recently released its list of the Top 100 Global Thinkers. It’s a fascinating list of public figures who “had the big ideas that shaped our world in 2009,” FP’s nomination of “the 100 minds that mattered most in the year that was.” Fascinating not for the big ideas so much as for the magazine’s curious selection process.

To give you a taste of what matters most to the editors of FP, Ben Bernanke comes in at #1, Barack Obama places 2nd, Bill & Hillary Clinton tie for #6, David Petraeus makes #8, Dick Cheney is #13 and Thomas Friedman barely misses the top 20 at #21. So many economists appear on the list that one is left to wonder if the editors don’t take their phrase “the marketplace of ideas” a bit too literally. There are also the usual suspects: political prisoners, pop philosophers, Fareed Zakaria. The magazine itself acknowledges that “the United States and Britain are clearly overrepresented.”

From my perspective, it is a curious and problematic exercise to conflate “throwing around one’s power” or “saying stuff people listen to no matter how bloody inane it is” with “thinking” and even more curious to award the honor of “Top Thinkers” those whose stunning absence of forethought sent the whole world reeling into a global crisis. And surely any actually thinking person would find curious the assumption that big ideas carry much weight in the application of policy, compared to things like necessity or greed, particularly within one year of their being thought. Also curious: the complete absence of any Russian on the list. I mean, it clearly wasn’t a terribly exclusive list. Cheney’s up there near the top. Why, in the opinion of Foreign Policy magazine, are there no Russian minds as a great as the former U.S. Vice President’s? It wasn’t lost on FP:

Where Are The Russians?

FP: The Missing: Where have all the Sakharovs gone?

Psst. Check Moscow’s cemeteries.

A generation ago, dissidents from inside the Soviet Union such as Andrei Sakharov and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn drew an enormous global following for their ideas on how to resist the totalitarian state. Today, Russian thinkers are absent from our list. That the Russians are missing may reflect the world’s ambivalence about post-Soviet Russia. If the global marketplace of ideas truly does prioritize those thinkers who come from either very successful or very threatening countries, then the international disinterest in what Russian thinkers have to say is likely because Russia is neither perceived as a miracle economy nor a global threat. Sadly, it’s also true that while the demand for Russian thinkers may be weak, the supply is also far from booming. These days Russia is simply not a major producer of the kind of ideas the world wants to hear. There are no modern Sakharovs or Solzhenitsyns. If there were, we’d put them on the list.

So many questions… Why does Foreign Policy magazine get to decide what kind of ideas the world wants to hear? Who publishes the dictionary in which the entry for “World” says, “see: Wall Street?” When will NATO get the memo that FPeratti no longer consider Russia a global threat?

As for our dearly departed Sakharovs or Solzhenitsyns, based on the curious criteria FP used to choose who does make the list, we should not be shocked at their curious criteria for choosing who doesn’t. But that the criteria appear to be completely OPPOSITE for Russians and Americans is … well, let’s just say I am brimming with curiosity today! I hate to belabor the “double standards” complaint made by leading Russian, er, uhm, eh… thinkers. But by their own admission, FP only accepts politically persecuted dissidents for consideration as top Russian thinkers, while being a sycophant to the American ruling elite seems to get you top honors. Maybe they should change their name to American Policy magazine? These are astonishingly unfair hurdles placed on Russian contenders, and not simply because real suffering and persecution is demanded of them! (WTF?) The fact that there are no modern Sakharovs or Solzhenitsyns may have something to do with the fact that there is NO SOVIET UNION. Writers aren’t deported or kept from leaving the country to accept awards, drawing international attention to their plight. Relations between the West and Russia, while strained, are nothing like the Cold War conditions which turned artists and physicists into unwitting pawns in a global chess game. It’s perhaps not that Russia suffers a dearth of thinkers, but America suffers a dearth of reasons to care about them. What’s in it for us to listen to some mewing poet today? Ne-che-vo. There are still those who oppose the policies of the ruling elite in Russia. However, to qualify for FP’s list, you must “matter,” and because there is NO SOVIET UNION, Russian “dissidents” carry about as much influence at home as, oh, say, American “dissidents.” Someone want to tell me who really has one foot -hell, both feet- stuck in the past, trapped in a sadistic Cold War mindset? If you guessed Foreign Policy magazine, give yourself a pony.

All that said -it had to be said- I did not set out to write about how irrational the editors of Foreign Policy magazine appear, or to take too seriously a quickly forgettable year-end list. For all its faults, the FP list did get me thinking about the marketplace of ideas as it relates to Russia. Someone asked me what Russian thinker I would include on the list. …Uhm… Well, it’s a valid question.

Who Are Russia’s Top Thinkers?

Or two questions, to be precise. What Russians could be on a list using FP’s bizarro criteria? The other, far more interesting question, who are Russia’s leading intellectuals? The answers are not obvious to me; I rely on journalists like those at Foreign Policy to tell me these things! Also, being an American, living in America, I can’t pretend to have any special insight about the intellectual movers and shakers in a far away land. Although I suppose the fact gives me a clearer grasp of their global influence than their compatriots might have. I’ll give it is a go.

Sergei Lavrov/Dmitri Rogozin/Vitaly Churkin: When people say, “Russia demands a seat at the table,” these are the guys at that table. They are fierce and unapologetic, yet surprisingly reasonable. Respectively, they have a household name, an Internet phenom and serious Charlie Rose credentials.

Alexander Dugin: I don’t know if his terrifying and crazy nationalist philosophy is a reflection of or an influence on the current Russian Zeitgeist that has the rest of the world worried, but it appears indicative of it.

Mikhail Gorbachev: He’s the only person I know of who can effectively address US-Russian relations without being dismissed as being in the pockets of either the Kremlin or D.C. And sharp as tacs, I tell ya.

Mikhail Khodorkovsky: Well, c’mon FP, here’s your persecuted dissident. He’s arguably the one of the most influential individuals when it comes to Russian foreign relations, since a meeting can’t be held without an obligatory mention of his imprisonment. All he has to do is sit in a cell. Instead, he’s writing manifestos about social democracy.

Andrey Kurkov: Brilliant Ukrainian-Russian novelist with a cult following in the West. He’s a thinker, and one of the few who have successfully broken the barrier between contemporary Russian lit and the West.

Dmitry Medvedev: Not just because he’s a leader or cerebral. Because of things like this. If his big ideas don’t bring about real change, it’s only because the rest of the world is stuck in a rut. Influence is questionable.

Nikita Mikhalkov: He’s not just a film-maker. He’s an propagandist/psychoanalyst/nationalist historian filmmaker who has a working relationship with the Kremlin and an Oscar. After the Island and Tsar, Pavel Lungine may also qualify.

Oleg Orlov: Head of Memorial, the organization devoted to documenting the atrocities in the USSR and in Chechnya, championing human rights and democracy, despite the very real danger it places them in. Memorial was this year’s winner of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

Other Russia/Solidarnost (Kapsarov, Limonov, Kasyanov, Nemtsov…take yer pick): Does your political rabblerouser fringy write-in candidate and organizer of political protests have a column in the WSJ? Does the outcome of your local mayoral election cause international outrage? Is a person’s interest in your political career inversely proportionate to their proximity to your country, and hence possibility of being represented by you? These guys are the Russian political David Hasselhoffs.

Lilia Shevtsova: A critic of Putin and senior associate at the Carnegie Moscow Center, people in the West seem to actually listen to her. If her ideas, like that a relationship between the US and Russia based on “common interests and common threats” would constitute objectionable realpolitik (here), are not big enough to be influential, she’s only herself to blame.

Vladimir Sorokin: Sorokin is the kind of bad boy the next fellow on this list wishes he were. Another Russian literary author who has broken through in translation, he is postmodern, dark, depraved, grotesque (for those who watched it at my urging, he wrote the script to “4”), he’s pretty talented too. He’s been targeted by the authorities in the way any dangerous intellectual should be. Every society needs a Sorokin.

Vladislav Surkov: Managed democracy. Sovereign democracy. Tandemocracy. This man has come up with at least 3 new political systems in less than a decade and no one is convinced he’s finished. And you say there are no big ideas in Russia! As the Kremlin’s “grey cardinal” and creator of Nashi, he also wields crazy influence. In his spare time, he writes. Thoughts, ideas, influence. I think he has his bases covered.

I am aware that FP’s list is for the Top Thinkers of 2009, and that some of the figures mentioned above may be more notable for, say, what they did in 2008. For 2009, FP lists Vaclav Havel at #23 for the reason that he “remains fiercely engaged in political debates.” (Impressive. By that standard I should be on the list.) So I’m not terribly worried about it.

What do you think?

I’d love to hear your nominations, for both the global heavyweight-type thinkers and the regional intelligentsiia. The latter of which I know positively nothing about. Enlighten me.

Who should we be listening to? Who is shaping the world? What is the state of the intelligentsiia today? Who are the Sakharovs or Solzhenitsyns? Or more interestingly, the Mayakovskys and Trotskys? Is is that they exist, but are kept from our eyes bye nefarious powers-that-be (you know, Putin), or are they just too boring to compete for attention in capitalist Russia? Or are the Russian people just rather sick of all the big ideas and the suffering each new one seems to invite?

What’s the real reason there are no Russians on FP’s list? And which Russian “thinkers” would you put in it?

[Update] Burreid in the comments, Scowspi has left a link to an article at OpenDemocracy: “Who is Russia’s top intellectual?” Excerpt:

Culture portal Openspace.ru has recently concluded an internet poll, grandly titled “Russia’s most influential intellectual”. For a project of its kind, the public interest was high. Some 42,000 votes were cast and the site recorded some 120,000 new page impressions.

The top ten according to the voting results was as follows:

Viktor Pelevin, writer — 2133 votes

Daniil Shepovalov, blogger — 1908 votes

Leonid Parfyonov, journalist and broadcaster — 1296 votes (83)

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, ex-businessman and publicist — 1274 votes

Konstantin Krylov, journalist and writer — 1267 votes

Patriarch Kirill — 1208 votes

Sergei Kapitsa, physicist and broadcaster — 1048 votes

Alexander Gordon, writer and broadcaster — 1042 votes

Boris Strugatsky, writer — 1023 votes

Eduard Limonov, writer and politician — 917 votes

Pelevin, Khodorkovsky & Limonov made our list, with you contributing the former.

I know nothing about Daniil Shepovalov, Konstantin Krylov, Sergei Kapitsa or Alexander Gordon and will now go educate myself.

Patriarch Kirill is an intellectual? YMMV.

Boris Strugatsky, I suppose, falls into our debate about relevance.

The poll conducted on Openspace.ru invites a couple of interesting observations. First, there are no women in the top 10. Did the cache of the female Russian intellectual die with Communism? Secondly, this is at the very least the 3rd such inquiry within as many months, including mine and FP’s. Is it some meme riding the waves of our interwebs, or is there something about this question that demands to be asked right now? Anyway, all very interesting… And now this post feels more legitimate, having the opinions of actual Russians taken into account! 🙂 [End of Update]

Nominations from the comments:
Boris Akunin, Alexei Arbatov, Dmitry Bykov, Igor Chubais, Viktor Erofeev, Boris Grebenshchikov, Boris Kagarlitsky, Sergei Kara-Murza, Sergei Karaganov,Oleg Khlevniuk,Andrei Korotayev, Olga Kryshtanovskaya, Yulia Latynina, Eddie Limonov, Roy Medvedev,Sergei Nefedov, (cliodynamics guy), Dmitry Orlov, Elena Osokina, Serguei Alex Oushakine, Gleb Pavlovsky, Viktor Pelevin, Aleksandr Prokhanov, Arseny Roginsky (Memorial), Valery Tishkov, Tatyana Tolstaya, Peter Turchin, Mikhail Veller, Alexei Yurchak, Igor Yurgens

Blog at WordPress.com.