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Keywords: Tolstoy

  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Tolstoy’s war

    • Philip Harvey
    • 03 March 2022
    12 Comments

      One of the most memorable scenes in Russian literature relates the thoughts of a man lying on the ground staring at the sky in the middle of a major European battle. Prince Andrei Bolkonsky is wounded. He is placed in a situation where, instead of running, fighting, and thinking every moment might be his last, he is suddenly met with silence, grandeur, tranquillity.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Franzen and faith at the crossroads

    • Paul Mitchell
    • 10 February 2022
    2 Comments

    American novelist Jonathan Franzen has in his last three fictional works taken words that loom large in the collective consciousness and built worlds around them. First, it was Freedom (2010), then Purity (2015), and now Crossroads (2021). The latter title, of course, refers to a literal and figurative decision-making moment, but also the mythic locale where blues singers, notably Robert Johnson, made their pacts with the devil. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Bogan Jesus

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 29 August 2014
    5 Comments

    Casting Christ as a bogan will rub theological feathers awry; a larger linguistic burden for many readers, however, is the unrelenting Strine and hoary cultural references. High art? No. Engaging? Highly. Jesse Adams is on about peace; an inclusive peace that includes social outcasts.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The baleful life of Stalin's favourite actress

    • Brian Matthews
    • 31 January 2014
    7 Comments

    When her husband was arrested and imprisoned indefinitely as an outspoken opponent of Stalin, she became depressed and alcoholic. Film director Grigori Aleksandrov rescued her by choosing her to star in Moscow Laughs. She became his mistress, later his wife, a screen star and, perhaps most important of all, she attracted Stalin's benign attention.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Pilgrims in the landscape of lament

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 19 April 2013
    7 Comments

    He was the same age as me and had the same name. But he looked old. He'd left Nigeria and walked to Macedonia; four years of walking. His feet were covered in callouses, dried and thickened. In the course of these wanderings he had been kidnapped, beaten and starved. The irregular migrants in Macedonia have come to the end of the road.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    My life as a Florence tour guide

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 22 August 2012
    6 Comments

    All is not quite lost. There's still Michelangelo's David in the Academia — that's 'famous' and always makes for a good Facebook album cover. But after queuing for two hours, you feel rather underwhelmed — David isn't the 20m high statue of a ripped male you had been expecting, and there isn't a secret passageway leading from his gluteus maximus to a torture chamber beneath the Vatican.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The good journalist and the assassins

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 12 December 2011
    17 Comments

    In Australia free speech is understood as freedom from legal constraint. In the Bolt case, it was defended for commercial reasons. A better understanding of the cost of free speech can be seen in Russian journalist Alexander Minkin's description of an attempt to kill him.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Renewed acquaintances: Australia and Russia

    • Luke Fraser
    • 09 September 2009

    The relationship between Australia and Russia is over 200 years old. It began with great promise, but relations cooled following the Russian Revolution. The financial crisis presents an opportunity for both countries to look to each other with optimism once again.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Train story

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 26 November 2008
    6 Comments

    We know it's a suffering world. Many of us plod through a vale of tears, often forgetting to count our blessings. Yet once in a while we are stopped dead in our tracks. By the human, which occasionally turns out to be the miraculous as well.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Giving up on unreadable muck

    • Brian Doyle
    • 09 July 2008
    9 Comments

    As a reader, it's satisfying to reach that moment when you realise you don't have to finish the book you've been ploughing through. A book's unfinishability reflects less on the reader than on the writer. Even great writers flop sometimes.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Young and full of juice

    • Rochelle Siemienowicz
    • 13 December 2007

    The bright eyes of youth often see clearly the things that are wrong with society. 22-year-old Christopher McCandless donates his life savings to Oxfam and sets off on a two-year journey concluding in the isolated wilds of tooth-and-claw Alaska.

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  • RELIGION

    Happiness and the Inner Self

    • Clive Hamilton
    • 13 June 2007
    10 Comments

    We all want to live a happy life. But what do we think of when we ponder our own happiness? In today’s society, dominated by the techniques of marketing and the culture of consumption, we are being persuaded to think of our happiness in a quite different way — as the gratification of our desires.

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