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Andrei Navrozov

Andrei Navrozov

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Wednesday’s Child: Locusts and Wild Honey

I hate to sound like the sort of monomaniacal bore at a cocktail party who will only talk to you about the regrettable slump in hedgehog hospital funding, but really, this is important.  The other week, in a post entitled “Anti-Homestead Acts,” I touched on the news that the ogres in the Kremlin are using tax law to alienate an already starving populace from the tiny kitchen garden plots of land on which the subsistence of millions of Russians, particularly the elderly, had been depending since the 1990’s.  Now, as if such a thing were possible, there comes yet more...

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Wednesday’s Child: Plus ça change

A hundred years from now historians will doubtless scratch their heads over the news that the West’s only audible rebuttal to Moscow’s mendacity in Osaka has come from a notorious invert.  Sir Elton John has found Vladimir Putin’s argument against Western “liberalism” unconvincing, because to him the word means, above all, open practice of homosexuality. Most other people, however – those, as it were, without an axe to grind – cheered the father of Slavic nations from Oslo to Timbuktu, which was understandable in that it was them, rather than Sir Elton and his niche audience of degenerates, that his...

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Wednesday’s Child:A Musical Offering

We are just over midsummer’s day and now well into what British journalists, before they dumbed down, used to call the silly season.  So I am nostalgically drawn to make a lighthearted offering of a post, one wherein I essentially propose to the gentle reader a fun yet civilized way to dispose of a lazy afternoon.  Odd being proposed that by a curmudgeon, but there you are. In 1930 a Neapolitan by the name of Rodolfo Falvo wrote the music to the words of another Neapolitan, Enzo Fusco, and the indubitably Neapolitan song that came of the collaboration is called...

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Wednesday’s Child: Anti-Homestead Acts

The rationale behind “collectivization,” which the great liar is known to have admitted in a private conversation with the British ambassador to Moscow as having caused ten million deaths, was simple.  Stalin wanted every man in his country to be dependent on the state, and a man with even a kerchief-sized plot of land is independent of the state insofar as he can keep himself and his family alive by growing potatoes and cabbages on it

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Wednesday’s Child: Letter from London

A friend staked me of a drunken night at one of my erstwhile gambling haunts here, with the happy outcome that I leave London tomorrow with the guinea equivalent of half a year’s Wednesday’s Child remuneration in my pocket. Everything suddenly looks rosy, including the overhead lights in the political casino that is England at the moment. Burke wrote of John Law’s reforms that they had turned France into one giant gaming table, and looking at the morning’s newspapers an observer can hardly hide from the analogy even if he is not a casino habitué. Here are the latest odds...

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Wednesday’s Child:The Quietist Manifesto

I had insomnia the other night, and it so happened that my son, who leads what I suspect is a dissolutely sleepless life in London, engaged me in correspondence about a Russian poem we both knew.  He wrote that he had tried to translate it into English, but “it kept coming out as a string of banalities.”  So I spent the remaining small hours of the night trying to prove my son wrong, to succeed where, in my view, Vladimir Nabokov failed in his translation: Speak not, lie hidden, and conceal the way you dream, the things you feel. Deep...

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Wednesday’s Child: Of Means and Motives

In at least one respect the gentle reader must give Wednesday’s Child his due.  In nearly 200 posts in this space, no mention has ever been made of “Mueller” or “Mueller’s investigation.”  That is because I seek to protect the gentle reader from inconsequential twaddle, political banality, and useless names as I myself dream of being protected by some supernatural entity from all such unwelcome intrusion. However, grand jury indictments resulting from the investigation so incautiously mentioned above are unlike the investigation itself, in that they are not, as the Russians say, just “grinding water in a mortar.”  Some world-class...

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Wednesday’s Child:Jacques and the Beanstalk

That Jacques the peasant, whom I had occasion to recall the other week as the emblem of all spontaneous popular unrest, is indeed in fine fettle is further corroborated by news stories from the city of Yekaterinburg, the capital of the Urals region, infamous for the cellar in which the Russian royal family was executed.  It occurred to the spawn of the Antichrist who now control the Moscow Patriarchate that coming to terms with the city’s ignominious past in time for its tercentenary would make a good pretext for building a new cathedral, meanwhile keeping under wraps the news that...

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Wednesday’s Child:Remembering Laurence Olivier

The subject of Shakespeare films was mooted  in the comments to last week’s post, with one reader skeptical, and as it so happens that the subject is a vital part of my autobiography, I thought I’d put in my ha’penny’s worth.  The fact is, Olivier’s Hamlet was how, at the age of eight, I began to learn English, thanks to some friends who had sent us a recording of excerpts from the 1948 film.  My father had not given me the text of the play.  The point was to piece it together by listening to the record – I listened...

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Wednesday’s Child:Une Petite Jacquerie

There is a pop singer in Russia, a young woman who goes by the name of Alsu…  But no, I beg the gentle reader’s pardon, regret the intrusion, and retract the introduction.  Why should his brain be burdened with yet another useless fact?  Alsu, indeed!  When I was a young man, still living in America, I read somewhere of an alleged poet who called himself Imamu Amiri Baraka.  Forty years on, I still can’t get that ridiculous moniker out of my head and would gladly offer $100 to any hypnotist who promised to cleanse my consciousness of it.  Ideally, of...