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 04 September 2009
First published in 1900, Tolstoy's final large-scale novel has divided critics. A relentless, over-moralistic trudge through misery and squalor, as conscience-stricken Prince Dmitri sets out to rescue Katyusha, whom he once seduced, from the cruelty of Russian justice – and redeem himself? Or a radical, visionary blend of searing critique and soaring idealism?
Saturday 29 August 2009
Wednesday 19 August 2009
Sixty-four people missing after a disaster at Russia's largest hydro-electric dam are probably dead, the owner said yesterday.
Wednesday 19 August 2009
The accident at Russia's largest hydro-electric power station, the Sayano-Shushenskaya plant in Siberia, has so far cost more than 70 lives. The pictures show utter devastation in the cavernous turbine hall. As much as one quarter of the electricity Russia generates by hydro-power has been knocked out. The authorities say repairs will take many months and the expense will run into billions of roubles.
Friday 26 June 2009
Thursday 11 June 2009
Outlook Nobody is going to disagree too much with the four directors appointed yesterday from the Court of the Bank of England to the newly created Financial Stability Committee. Roger Carr, Sir David Lees, Mark Tucker, and Harrison Young all no doubt make worthy guardians of banking stability.
Sunday 12 April 2009
This is Greek composer Karaindrou's latest score for a film by Theo Angelopoulos, for whom she has written for 25 years. The pattern is similar to its predecessors, and no less stately, with slow, almost unbearably intense orchestral themes foregrounded by harp, cello, piano and violin. It's a conception of film scoring that recalls Maurice Jarre, where the steady accretion of atmosphere counts for more than musical "events". Exquisitely doomy, though.
Sunday 15 March 2009
Marcel Theroux conveys in this novel a sense of how precarious and precious our technologically maintained liberal democracies are. Makepeace is the last inhabitant of a failed settlement in northern Siberia, established before war brought the civilised world crashing down. In conversation with a fellow inmate at a slave camp, she remarks that it only takes three days for hunger and desperation to overcome all civilised instinct in a person. Her friend smiles and replies that she has a bleak view of human nature – in his experience, it's closer to four days.
Thursday 12 February 2009
Two big communications satellites collided in the first-ever crash of its kind in orbit, shooting out a pair of massive debris clouds and posing a slight risk to the international space station.
Wednesday 04 February 2009
Friday 09 January 2009
Many new acquaintances of Boris Akunin's dandyish detective may find, after joining him for this sixth adventure, that they have to lock the door against the chill and catch up with the rest. Dapper and droll, Erast Fandorin is a semi-detached sleuth in late-Tsarist Moscow who can charm like Wimsey even as he plots like Bond.
Tuesday 28 October 2008
Tuesday 23 September 2008
Monday 15 September 2008
A Russian airliner has crashed in the Urals, killing all 88 people on board including a general who led the Russian army in Chechnya in 2000.
Monday 01 September 2008
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
In defence of liberal democracy
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
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