Tag Archives: Russia

Children’s Books

Reading about this classic children’s books exhibit at the British Library has made me want to share some of my favorites. So here’s the first one:  Nikolai Nosov’s Neznayka — the story of light-headed Dunno/Neznayka and his group of friends, Gunky, Swifty, Bendum, Twistum and many others, who build a hot air balloon and go off on an adventure. Like most children’s books, it does have clear didactic purposes (in this case, Communist-sanctioned goals since it was written in Soviet Russia), but I can’t remember understanding it that way when I first read it as a child. It was just a very enjoyable read.

The drawings below are by A. Laptev from the Romanian edition (Aventurile lui Habarnam și ale prietenilor săi). The English translation, The Adventures of Dunno and His Friends, is available here.

Russia on the Internet

Thought-provoking piece from The Calvert Journal on why Russia has become the internet’s go-to provider of memes and viral videos:

“It is no coincidence, then, that in the past few years Russia has become a rich hunting ground for easily consumable visual content (This special relationship took on an official character when market leader Buzzfeed chose the Guardian’s Russia correspondent Miriam Elder as its new foreign editor). The Russian-language internet has all the characteristics necessary to be the perfect fail-farm for those in search of a photo-fix: it is huge and active (with 70m users in 2011, it’s Europe’s biggest internet market) and, in contrast to inaccessible behemoths China and India, the dweebs and doofuses starring in Russian photobombs and facepalms don’t look so very different from English-language users. Bluntly put, they’re white.”