Sweetness and light among shame and confusion. The greatest of all novels is Leo Tolstoy's final novel, Resurrection. Its effect upon a reader is immense and immediate. Even after eight readings of various translations, I continue to feel its spell and admire its complexity.
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Friday 14 May 2010
Inspired by the gift of a Lappish antler bracelet, "more a bangle as the two ends didn't meet", Wheeler decided to make an icy, circular journey: "Siberia to Alaska to Canada to Greenland to Spitsbergen to Lapland and back."
Friday 14 May 2010
Books: I'm reading slowly and with great pleasure 'The Hare with Amber Eyes' by the ceramicist, Edmund de Waal – part family memoir, part Proustian confession, subtle, spare and elegant, like his pots. The one I most want to read is Candia McWilliam's new book, another memoir, still not quite finished, but I heard her talk about it so brilliantly that I've been on tenterhooks ever since.
Monday 10 May 2010
The death toll from two explosions in Russia's largest underground coal mine rose today to 30, with about 60 people still trapped, state media reported, citing the government official heading the rescue operation.
Monday 10 May 2010
Two methane explosions tore through Russia's largest underground coal mine, killing at least 12 workers and injuring 41 others, an emergency services official said.
Friday 30 April 2010
Vladimir Putin managed to combine his macho image with a environmental message yesterday, when he helped Russian scientists put an electronic tag on a 231kg polar bear.
Last Night's Television - The Genius of Omar Khayyam, BBC4; True Stories: A Long Weekend with the Son of God, More4
Wednesday 31 March 2010
Thursday 25 March 2010
Monday 08 March 2010
Given the severity of the weather this winter it's perhaps only to be expected that snow boots – at all different price points and ranging in appearance from the very ungainly to the more ungainly still – are high on any retailer/fashion PR/person with cold feet's agenda.
Thursday 25 February 2010
Thursday 11 February 2010
He had brown eyes, non-white skin, "shovel-shaped" front teeth and was at high risk of going bald and suffering ear infections. Oh, and he lived 4,000 years ago and nothing remains except a clump of his thick, dark hair.
Saturday 06 February 2010
There's a flock of noisy kakas on my front lawn, quarrelling over some croissants left over from breakfast. A few hours ago, I saw baby carpet sharks bobbing offshore, and a blue penguin gliding through the emerald waters. Tonight, who knows, I might spot a kiwi.
Wednesday 06 January 2010
You might think the current weather conditions are almost Siberian – and you'd be right. Britain's most prolonged spell of freezing weather since 1981 is being caused by a huge mass of intensely cold air over north-east Russia, with easterly winds sweeping its glacial temperatures across northern Europe to the UK.
Tuesday 05 January 2010
A "dramatic" shift in the UK weather pattern this winter has brought an unusually prolonged freezing spell, according to forecasters.
Sunday 03 January 2010
Freezing air from the Arctic and Siberia trapped over the UK will bring snow and sub-zero temperatures this week, experts warned yesterday.
Friday 16 October 2009
The Russian poet Joseph Brodsky once described prison as a place where there was not enough Space and far too much Time. Although the hours in a day remain as constant as the turning of the Earth, the pace of time varies according to the biology of every living creature, and changes with age even within our own species. This is an experience puzzled over by philosophers, calculated by mathematicians, and analysed by psychologists. Eva Hoffman, one of our most lucid thinkers, explores cosmology and physiology, neuro-science and the deepest reaches of the unconscious in order to probe the nature of this mysterious dimension.
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