(Cross-posted to the Ukraine Study Tour Blog)
During the Ukraine study tour, the British Council arranged a session with Andrei Kurkov, Ukraine’s most famous living novelist. With his impeccable, colloquial English and knowing way of dealing with Westerners, Kurkov maintains a slight diffidence while deftly playing the media game. Kurkov’s early training in Japanese and his slipping the net of Russian intelligence service recruiters to wait out the fall of communism as a prison guard in Odessa hint that this is a writer who will not be pinned down.

He thinks the Orange Revolution changed the mentality of Ukrainians, making them less passive and politically indifferent, but adds; ‘I have no illusions, it was essentially a bourgeois revolution’. He talked to us affably and optimistically about Russian and Ukrainian writing in Ukraine, cultural policy and the national arts scene. He also spoke about censorship, saying “there are no clean politicians in this country, unless they are very young or very unimportant.”
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Class, Flatus, Parties

by Henry Farrell on October 25, 2006

Will Wilkinson “claims”:http://www.cis.org.au/policy/spring_06/polspring06_wilkinson.htm that we can avoid positional conflicts in a world of infinitely proliferating status dimensions. [click to continue…]