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06 December 2009 @ 11:22 pm
Hi guys,

This gentleman was one of the russian generals fighting French army during Borodino battle. I highly suspect that I am just not doing the search correctly, but I just cannot hit on his detailed biography no matter how hard I try. There are plenty of russian and french sources about Borodino, but this guy is not the most famous one apparently and I just want to do a head desk.

Okay, I at least figured out that he died next year (boy I hope not in captivity, will not do any good for what I am writing at all), but that is about it. UGH.

Any internet wizards or deeply knowledgeable people about russian generals during Napoleonic campaing in Russia help please?

http://www.philatelia.net/bonapart/plots/?id=306

Pretty said that even the dates I could only find on postal stamps site.
 
 
08 November 2009 @ 09:46 pm

So last few months it feels as if I did not go to as many shows as I usually would, but today I actually went to one.

http://theater.nytimes.com/show/24142/Penang/overview

Great play about vietnam war, well it is really very antiwar and what it does to the soldiers, so I enjoyed it a lot. I am always very impressed with the acting of  the actors who play off off broadway, often more than with the acting of celebrities actors and today was no exception.

I thought the lead actor was superb. Granted doctor did not impress me much, but everybody else did.
 
 
01 September 2009 @ 10:46 pm
I would like to recommend these urban fantasy series  for those who love the genre.

There are three books in the series so far, I started reading with the third, read second today,  and then will do the first one. I know, I know, it was backwards. Hey, I started Dresden files with book 6 :)

I am in love with these series. I mean, I love Kate, she kicks ass (which is not new for the genre, but she is also so so funny), but what I also love is the tension between her and potential love interest, I do applaud the writer (or writers as in this case, the books are done by husband and wife under wife's name) for maintaining the tension so so so succesfully and in such hilarious way too without making them jump to bed right away and making it so believable IMO.

Oooooooo and she had russian adopted father, which to me is of course a very nice touch  of course :)


http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Strikes-Kate-Daniels-Book/dp/0441017029/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1251859956&sr=8-1
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10 August 2009 @ 07:55 am
OMG, I only watched few episodes so far, but all glowing reviews and recommendations I had read so far are **right**. This show so rocks!
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17 June 2009 @ 09:56 pm
I watched the first episode yesterday and yes, British tv dramas are yet to dissapoint me, it was so so good.
 
 
 
22 May 2009 @ 09:46 pm
1. Finally saw Startrek today. Just as everybody who saw it on my list I loved it. I mean, for me it was not a cultural history of my past or present as for some of you guys, I however watched enough original series to at least like Spock and Kirk very much if not to be obsessive fan.

Loved, loved to watch how their friendship was born, thought it was highly amusing sometimes and touching too. Yes, casting was excellent.

Chechov was adorable, but badly overdoing russian accent LOL.

I will watch it again for sure.


2. Saw Avatar photos today as well - run away screaming
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09 May 2009 @ 09:41 pm

Since I learned the fine art of making a cut, I figured I will post an answers under the cut and if anybody will want to play one day, they still may :)

So here we go and yes, Jen you have good memory the two books that you mentioned you got spot on.


 

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So I had mentioned this book recently on the group we all know :) and I figured may as well recommend it here.

Try it, really it is short and easy read, no War and Peace, but it is so well done. Am not promising any satisfaction for the ending of the character arc though, but boy I think you will enjoy the character, who as they say lives and breathes on the pages.

http://www.ibiblio.org/eldritch/myl/hero.htm
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23 April 2009 @ 09:52 pm
RULES:

Ok, so I am not sure how to screen the comments, so we are going to do it this way. The goal here is to guess the gender of the writer. Please feel free to post to the list whether in your opinion man or woman wrote the following ten quotes. If you do NOT know the name of the book, then feel free to explain why you guessed one way or another (you do not have to). If you DO know the name of the book, please do NOT post it to the list, but feel free to e-mail it to me. My flist is short and I am pretty sure most of you have my e-mail, if you do not have it, please send me a message and I will send it to you.

I will count the names of the books as bonus points if guessed correctly and several people will have guessed the same numbers.

Forgive me if rules are confusing or ineffective, never done it before :)

I have plenty of good books to share, so if several of you guess correctly, do not worry you will all get the prises.

I will leave it open say for a week? I can do it for longer too, or if for some reason all of you decide to answer and I will see it, it will be done earlier.


HERE WE GO. Please remember just say man or woman, not the name of the book and author. Oh, vast majority of these quotes is from fiction, however feel free to not limit yourself to fiction when you are guessing:

1. “I’d have lost it without her. Pillar of strength and calm,” Billy said. He glanced back toward the waiting room and a smile touched the corners of his eyes. “She’s good at setting things aside until there’s time to deal with them. Once things have settled out, she’ll be a wreck, and it’ll be my turn to hold her up.”


2. “It has been some time since that I conceived of any event in this Life, which could call forth, feelings of mutual sympathy. But I know how closely entwined around a parents heart, are those chords which bind the filial to the parental Bosom, and when shaped asunder, how agonizing the pangs of separation”

3. “Men, I understand that you don’t like lice. Well, I don’t like ‘em neither. But this is an urgent business we have in hand: there is no time to ship wash-tubs and boil everything, and to get into Grimsholm you have to look like sloppy-joes, not like man-of-war’s men. I am sorry for it, but there is nothing I can do: it is all in the line of duty. And you need not fear for your hair, so long as you do not put on their hats. A very learned gentleman has told me that these are innocent lice: they go only for your body, never for your pigtails.”

4.

“And the waiting was almost as bad as the heat. Instead of being ready for a fight, with the normal anticipation of victory in battle against half-civilized enemy, the men were quiet, almost nervous, preparing to meet their ends. And Scolville could say nothing to contradict that expectation without insulting his men’s good sense and making himself look like a fool. How was an officer supposed to put heart into his men when every scrap of intelligence numbered at least ten Afghan tribesmen to every British soldier? No amount of pride and patriotism could overcome those odds”


5.

‘He had always respected her for her courage and integrity but now he found himself enjoying her company, partly as fellow traveler but also as a smart and attractive woman, who had faced her troubles and side-stepped self pity. Everything about her indicated a cheerful ability to get up and try again, and again after if need be”

6.

‘I reached the corner, but a swift glance revealed that it was only a blind drive to the back of another building. I was half-turned in anticipation; I had to hurriedly correct and dash across the narrow drive, back to the sidewalk. The street ended at the next corner, where there was a stop sign. I concentrated on the faint footsteps behind me, deciding whether or not to run. They sounded farther back, though and I knew they could outrun me in any case”


7.
“I am not accustomed at this point in my career to having to solicit commissions, but I did tell you that I was between engagements. You might spare my pride and regard that as a hint”


8.

"All that time after you left it was so easy to be pissed at you, to wrap myself in this mantle of betrayed friend and lover, act like you'd done me so horribly wrong, but the truth is... it was all a big fricking cover. Being angry and venting my hurt and frustration at you, was easier than having to admit that it was my fault. I know I'm the one who run you off.


9.

"It amused and touched her to discover this childish streak of vanity in him. But she knew that he would see through her at once if she tried to pander to it by saying anything more flattering than the truth"


Alla:

Okay, I think it is enough for now, was thinking of doing more, but too much typing.

Have fun guessing, if you want to of course :)
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12 February 2009 @ 10:41 pm
So Ralph Fiennes as it turns out is a confessed fan of Alexander Pushkin and his most famous novel in verse “Eugene Onegin”. Who knew…

He apparently wanted to play Onegin so much that he basically asked his sister to be a director for this movie.

http://www.amazon.com/Onegin-Ralph-Fiennes/dp/6305906947/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1234493466&sr=8-1

For those who do not know this novel and basically all Pushkin’s works are very very very important in order to understand the foundation of modern Russian literature.

In fact they had been called a foundation of modern Russian literature and as far as I am concerned for a very good reason.

http://www.amazon.com/Eugene-Onegin-Oxford-Worlds-Classics/review/product/0192838997/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

I cannot express how highly I recommend this novel. I mean, I cannot vouch for any of the translation, I know many tried, I do not know if any comes close to show off the beauty of this work. But I am sure as any translation it reflects the original at least somewhat, so yes I do recommend.

So, back to the movie. My hat definitely goes off to Ralph and his sister, no question about it for the extreme faithfulness to the original. I shudder to think what Hollywood would have done here. I am sure it would have a happy ending, most definitely. So, I am glad they adhered faithfully to a story.

Story itself is very simple really. Young nobleman who is extremely bored with Petersburg’s society and does not feel as if he belongs there, arrives in the countryside to manage his uncle (dead) estate. He meets provincial nobles, befriends young poet Lenskiy and meets Larins family with two daughters. Lenskiy loves younger one, Olga. Tatiana falls in love with Onegin, you know, naïve provincial girl, her first love, etc. Tatiana is portrayed as a passionate, sincere soul, so being sincere and all, she writes Onegin a letter and tells him everything and he rejects her, bored with everything, you know?

Being bored and all, one evening Onegin flirts with Olga, Lenskiy calls him out and Onegin, instead of apologizing and all, accepts the challenge and kills Lenskiy. Not because he wanted to kill him mind you, just did not want to challenge tradition and apologize to a kid.

So he goes to travel and then comes back to St. Petersburg. Tatiana married well, became the star in the society and when Onegin sees her, he falls in love, only Tatiana rejects him.

Well, it is pretty much the end of the plot per se. And the movie follows it very very faithfully, and again I give them major kudos for that.

Fiennes IS too old for Evgeniy, Evgeniy is supposed to be in his mid twenties, I think. However, I still think that he hits all the right notes and portrays him very well. Tatiana on the other hand, deep sigh. I mean I disagree with the reviewers on Amazon, who think that Liv Tyler is visually miscast for the part. I thought visually she is perfect. I am sorry, Tatiana is NOT plain, she is not refined, but she is beautiful, young girl coming into her beauty.

But oh dear God, I am sorry for possible offense to Liv Tyler fans I may have on the list, but I think she just cannot act, like at all. Let’s forget all the things she does or not does during the movie, but Tatiana at the end manages to be cold and sad, full of dignity and at the same time revealing her heart all over again and showing that she really did not change much. I am sorry, if Liv would have cried some more, I would not been able to bear seeing it.

So, that I find problematic, her acting I mean. I do have some problems with directing though as well. I mean, as I said, they follow the plot very faithfully, but at the same time I could not shrug the impression that they missed something major. And then I realized – they missed Pushkin. Oh, they follow main plot, but author in the novel, is well, you have to read it to understand, VERY present. His beautiful verse talks about our characters and then he just wonders off to talk say about beauty of the woman’s feet or about the nature or about something else. All those asides are extremely musical, they are fun, for the lack of other word. I do not know how one can present them in the movie, but without them, well the mood is rather melancholic and even grim.

It is a beautiful movie too, they filmed in English countryside AND in St. Petersburg. I definitely recommend it but I recommend the novel more.