Andrei Navrozov

Andrei Navrozov

16

Wednesday’s Child: Hail Schism!

On the last day of August a momentous event took place, a historic meeting of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople with his Moscow counterpart.  Prompted by that encounter was yesterday’s convening of the Holy Synod, which will conclude its deliberations and publish its resolutions tomorrow.  A great new schism is in the offing, undoubtedly good news for all true Orthodox believers.

9

Wednesday’s Child: Blind Faith

I’m writing this while sporting dark sunglasses in the style of Ray Charles, or maybe even of Milton, raised from the dead to headline an Armani eyewear advertising campaign.  The trouble with my eyes, apparently, is caused by age – Dr. Jeffrey Heier, a famous Harvard Medical School ophthalmologist, apparently, has published a treatise entitled The Aging Eye – but I confess I attach far greater symbolic significance to this, one hopes transitory, malady.  Indeed, why stop at Milton, when one up the stakes and can go for Homer? Technically the thing that’s been happening to my eyes is called...

10

Wednesday’s Child: Rotten to the Core

A good case can be made for the futility of all arguments, starting with the domestic kind and ascending to the theological, but if one finds oneself debating the color of the sunset – which one’s opponent sees as mauve while it’s obviously purple – I suppose that’s life and no harm done.  It’s different when the subject is politics, something I haven’t argued about since university.  To be sure, I’ve made my views known in writing and in conversation, but a proper argument depends less on exposition than on rebuttals, which are used to corner the opponent and, if...

2

Wednesday’s Child: Letter from London

“I’ll have an espresso. No garlic, please.” What, does the gentle reader think that this is a foolish thing to add?  That it’s absurd and unnecessary?  Not in London it isn’t, because here anything’s possible.  I mean, the people here have invented something called a “double espresso,” which has no greater right to existence than a double car, a double umbrella or a double wife.  In Italy, if you want another coffee, you may ask for it, but the whole existential machinery of the thing is set up in such a way that a “double espresso” is patently a nonsense...

12

Wednesday’s Child: Letter from Livorno

 The more I travel in Italy, the more often I think that my original choice of cloister – Palermo – may have been the outcome of a rushed decision, like getting married to the girl next door with whose father you liked going fishing.  The Sicilian capital has nearly a million inhabitants, and the fact is that cities all over the world do not get better when they get bigger. Admittedly, Italian social organization provides an antidote to urban sprawl which is not found elsewhere, in that within every city, even one as large as Rome, there are dozens, sometimes...

2

Wednesday’s Child: The Errant Way

While invoking Conrad or Nabokov would be a bit of overkill, the fact is that passing for a native in a language other than one’s mother tongue – in my own case, moreover, a native whose literary persona is distinctly curmudgeonly – invites comment.  In particular, it is often said that learning a foreign language any time after puberty, as was Stalin’s case with Russian, condemns the learner to a lifetime of subtle humiliations. Stefano, a friend from London who has been almost absurdly kind to me over the years, has now got it into his head that he wants...