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Big thanks to Eugene Ostashevsky for introducing me to Vasily Kamensky’s immortal “Constantinople”: “a milestone,” as Ostashevsky observes, “in the history of Russian travel writing about Turkey.”


“Constantinople” originally appeared in Ferro-Concrete Poems (1914),“a work… famous primarily for being made entirely of commercially produced wallpaper.”

As for monuments to the love of Turkish people for Russian literature, check out Sabri Gürses’s photo of The Possessed enjoying some well-deserved R&R at Rusburger, right under The Great Chancellor (an early draft of Master and Margarita, published for the first time in 1992).


Turkey and Russia – BFF!! QED!!!



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3 Responses to “BFFS FOREVER”

  1. Chad Says:

    First, apologies: I never seem to comment on your posts with anything actually related to the post I’m commenting on!

    Second, have you seen the article in The Guardian this week about crime novelist Lindsay Ashford claiming that Jane Austen may have been poisoned to death with arsenic? (http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/nov/14/jane-austen-arsenic-poisoning?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+theguardian%2Fbooks%2Frss+%28Books%29)

    When I saw it, I immediately thought, “Did Jane Austen die of cancer, or was she MURRRRDERRRED?”

  2. Elif Says:

    Oh my God, I just read this now and am completely speechless – did you see in the comments section, Jane Austen could have been killed by her own wallpaper?? Death by interior decoration – just like Ivan Ilyich!!!

    The clue’s in the picture at the top of the article: a popular green dyestuff for wallpaper back then was “Scheele’s Green”, which contained arsenic, and was later implicated in literally hundreds of premature deaths.

  3. Chad Says:

    I had also heard that Austen became pretty cranky in the course of her illness. Just another thing she had in common with Ivan Ilyich, apparently! Chalk it up to that fine line between being possessed by literature and being grouchy about your own prolonged death.

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