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Tipsy Tolstoy: Russian Literature for the Inebriated is a podcast for lovers of Russian literature, those who have heard of Russia and/or literature, and those wondering, “is War and Peace really that good?” Every other Friday, our hosts Matt and Cameron take a deep dive into a different piece of Russian literature, discussing the major themes and relevant cultural features to help you get the most out of each work.
 
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show series
 
Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron sit down with Robert Chandler, a prolific translator of many authors including our own beloved Grossman. Robert Chandler’s translations from Russian, mostly for NYRB Classics and Vintage Classics, include works by Alexander Pushkin and Nikolay Leskov; collections of stories and memoirs by Teffi; and novels and…
 
Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron bring you a shorter one (finally)! They’ll be covering - at long, long last - “The Shot” by Aleksandr Pushkin. Tune in to hear stories of officer intrigue, duels fought and left unfought, and the existential terror of being cornered at a party by the a dude whose main hobby is shooting handguns into his own wa…
 
Shownotes: Matt and Cameron have finished reading Stalingrad, but they aren’t yet done with Grossman. This week, they tackle his short story “The Sistine Madonna.” Written before the publication of Stalingrad and after he began to write Life and Fate, “The Sistine Madonna” is a piece about beauty, desperation, and hope for the future. Oh, and therm…
 
Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron finish up Vasily Grossman’s Stalingrad as we close the story of Rodimtsev’s embattled Guards Regiment in the city of Stalingrad and close out (for now!) the stories of the people we’ve been following for months now. We’ll be talking about Feminist perspectives on the work, de-mythologization of warfare, and sp…
 
Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron close in on the end of Vasily Grossman’s Stalingrad and talk about the actual battle in the city. We jump around from the Soviet reinforcements crossing the Volga to Wehrmacht soldiers celebrating their victory a little too early. As always, the story of war is really the story of the humans there and Grossman…
 
Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron continue on to the Third and Final part of Vasily Grossman’s Stalingrad! After 800 pages, we finally approach…the Battle of Stalingrad. Well, the best things come to those who wait. Grab your wartime moonshine of preference, get a move on toward the city, and don’t forget to tune in! Major themes: Labyrinth of…
 
Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron finish out Part 7 of Stalingrad, learning more about the emotional aftermath of the Shaposhnikov family and friends’ losses - and, naturally, are introduced to an entirely new character. It’s time to learn about coal mining, babey. Grab your helmet-mounted flashlight, a boring tool, and get ready to get deep i…
 
Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron finally arrive to the subject of the book Stalingrad - which is, of course, the actual battle of Stalingrad. It only took us a breezy 500 pages to get here. Oh! But I forgot - we have about 50 more pages of the war from the German perspective first. Grossman doesn’t let you have anything easily. Get your drink…
 
Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron get a little over halfway into Grossman’s Stalingrad, covering more themes from the homefront - spending more time with Pavel Andreyev the factory worker and Marusya Shaposhnikova, organizational investigator. Learn a little more about the place of art in the USSR and how every unhappy family is unlike in thei…
 
Shownotes: This week, Cameron apologizes about the lateness of the episode! Some things came up so he ran a little behind on the edit. He’s gonna duck out to take care of some things for work, but will have a fully updated shownotes ready as soon as possible. Major themes: Cowboy movies and Soviet Literature, x, r/menwritingwomen 14:40 - It is in f…
 
Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron continue on with the set-up to the siege of Stalingrad, following more of Viktor Shtrum as well as Commissar Nikolai Krymov in their respective adventures in Moscow and on the Eastern Front. We’ll be getting into the nitty-gritty on the idea of Grossman as a “soviet Tolstoy” so grab your finest wartime moonshi…
 
Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron continue to dig their trench and get ready for the oncoming siege of Stalingrad in Part 2 of their 10 Part series on Stalingrad. We’ll be learning a little more about Grossman’s life and will follow Grossman’s masterful depiction of the first years of World War 2 on Soviet territory. Get the hidden moonshine o…
 
Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron kick off their biggest podcast series ever with one of the most obscure choices possible for such a venture: Stalingrad by Vasily Grossman. Stalingrad is the first book in a dilogy, followed by the much more famous Life and Fate, which covers the siege of the city of Stalingrad by the German Wehrmacht in World…
 
Shownotes: Follow Dr. Vegara’s twitter here, check out his website, and don’t forget to pick up a copy of his new book, All Future Plunges to the Past: James Joyce in Russian Literature. This week, Matt and Cameron are joined by Dr. José Vergara to talk about - drum roll please - two books: Envy by Yuri Olesha as well as All Future Plunges to the P…
 
Shownotes: Check out our illustrator Caryoln's Instagram, YouTube, and portfolio! This week, Matt and Cameron talk though some updates for the podcast and reflect on the journey that's taken them here. The music used in this episode was “bella ciao,” by Toasted Tomatoes. You can find more of their work on Bandcamp and Youtube. Follow us on Instagra…
 
Shownotes: Kristina's Website, The Orchard This week, Matt and Cameron do something a little unusual - for once, they’re intentionally talking around a work rather than examining it in detail. That’s because - in a Tipsy Tolstoy first - we’re being joined by the author of The Orchard, Kristina Gorcheva-Newberry. We had a wide-ranging conversation t…
 
Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron wrap up part 3 of Eugene Onegin with the help of the Gothic (in research focus) Dr. Katherine Bowers. Not only will we be wrapping up Parts 7 and 8 of this novel in verse, Dr. Bowers will also be covering Tatyana’s dream from our previous episode. The topics will be wide-ranging and the education, constant. Be…
 
Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron dive into one of the greatest duels in all of Russian literature* in Part 2 of Aleksandr Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin. We’ll be examining the particulars of dueling etiquette of the era as well as Pushkin’s relationship to his contemporary poets - it’s always exciting in the 19th Century, babey. Grab your finest wi…
 
Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron kick off a mini-series to get the mood up with Chapters 1 through 3 of Eugene Onegin! In it, we’ll be following…well, some of Eugene’s story as the narrator wanders back and forth between explaining our protagonist’s life and the narrator’s own lost loves (both in terms of people and passions). Get ready for y…
 
Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron are joined by the knowledgeable Dr. Kate Holland to cover the epilogue of Crime and Punishment as well as discuss some of the overarching themes of the book as a whole. After the dark, dark time that is Part 6, we finally get to kick back and spend some time with Raskolnikov in Siberia and his ups, his downs (…
 
TW for this Episode: Child abuse, pedophilia, sexual assault, and suicide. Some ways you can support the people of Ukraine: For Refugees -The International Rescue Committee works to assist refugees all over the globe. This link will support the IRC infrastructure currently on the ground in Poland. -Polish Humanitarian Action provides support to int…
 
Some ways you can support the people of Ukraine: For Refugees -Ukrainian Relief Efforts are fundraisers which GoFundMe has collected in one place after verifying that the money is going where the fund claims that it is. These funds have a variety of purposes, so you can look for an individual organization or purpose. -The International Rescue Commi…
 
Some ways you can support the people of Ukraine: For Refugees -Ukrainian Relief Efforts are fundraisers which GoFundMe has collected in one place after verifying that the money is going where the fund claims that it is. These funds have a variety of purposes, so you can look for an individual organization or purpose. -The International Rescue Commi…
 
Some ways you can support the people of Ukraine: For Refugees -Ukrainian Relief Efforts are fundraisers which GoFundMe has collected in one place after verifying that the money is going where the fund claims that it is. These funds have a variety of purposes, so you can look for an individual organization or purpose. -The International Rescue Commi…
 
ADS: Subscribe to LingoPie here! And you can purchase books on Libro.fm here. Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron continue with Part 2 of our Crime and Punishment series, now with a very heavy emphasis on punishment. Grab some black tea and a beer, then join us as we discuss Raskolnikov’s psychosomatic torture and his attemps to confess all whil…
 
Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron are kicking off our Crime and Punishment series in a bloody fashion! They’ll be speaking with Dr. Katherine Bowers - an associate professor at the University of British Columbia and vice-president of the North American Dostoevsky Society- about Crime and Punishment’s relationship to narrative, to contemporary …
 
Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron are joined by Dr. Ian Garner to cover “The Polykhaevs” by Pavel Nilin, a work that Dr. Garner had originally translated for his upcoming book, Stalingrad Lives. The Polykhaevs follows the story of an elderly couple who are seeing their grandson for the first time in the better part of a decade after he was eva…
 
Shownotes: Cameron goes on a tangent about Spain between 4:32 and 9:02 so…feel free to skip that part if you want, it has no bearing on the episode. This week, Matt and Cameron jump back into Russia’s past with an exploration of one of Tolstoy’s later works, Father Sergius. In this piece, Tolstoy explores his own version of hagiography - or the tel…
 
Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron have a few announcements for you…and then a whole lot of reflecting. Stay tuned for our Father Sergius episode, which will be released when we return on January 7th! Thank you all for listening! And being here for a whole year. Sometimes we can’t believe we’ve made it this far; on the other hand, blowing past …
 
Shownotes: If you’d rather not hear references to sexual assault, skip 19:35 - 20:06; mild mention between 45:15 - 45: 20. This week, Matt and Cameron continue building the factory in the second half of Fyodor Gladkov’s Cement. Following the assault upon the factory, dark clouds loom on the Soviet horizon as committees interfere, the effects of the…
 
Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron kick off a two-part series on Fyodor Gladkov’s Cement, one of the most famous examples of literary Socialist Realism. (Or...is it?) Stay tuned to hear one man’s brave journey to...make a factory work again amidst famine and devastation. No - wait, that’s not a good sell — stay tuned to hear Matt and Cameron ar…
 
Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron explore the effects of addiction with Bulgakov’s “Morphine,” wherein a doctor begins to treat a minor malady with an ultimately fatal cure. Grab your drink of choice - though laudanum would be thematically appropriate, it is not advised - and tune in to hear us talk about the Russian medical profession in the …
 
Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron take up positions as Sergeants of the Guard in Aleksandr Puskin’s historical novella, The Captain’s Daughter. We’ll be talking about the real history of the Pugachev Uprising, the place of violence in Pushkin’s era, and - naturally - about imagined communities. So grab your grapeshot, find your local pretender…
 
Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron take up their surgical tools to dissect Mikhail Bulgakov’s Heart of a Dog, in which a dog is turned into a man, a creation is turned into a proletarian, and a doctor is - maybe - turned into a murderer. Written in 1925, the novella reflects Bulgakov’s reactions to the changing world around him in ways general …
 
Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron celebrate life, death, and cultural identity abroad in The Funeral Party by Lyudmila Ulitskaya. The plot of this book is deceptively simple: in a sweltering New York apartment, a group of Russian emigres take care of a quickly dying artist who is the nucleus of their strange little community; in another way, t…
 
Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron talk about movie night and the novel Laurus! This is a preview of the Bonus Episode that will be coming out on Patreon in a few days (as you can tell...it was one of our drunker ones). Major themes: Rusalka, Audible Sponsorships, and Laurus. The music used in this episode was “bella ciao,” by Toasted Tomatoes.…
 
Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron are joined by Dr. Kaitlin Shirley as they discuss “The Meek One,” sometimes alternately translated as “A Gentle Creature.” In usual Dostoevskian fashion, “The Meek One” explores themes of exploration (or perhaps better called: thoughtful misunderstanding) of one’s self, the place of suffering, and questions of…
 
Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron cover Part 8 of Anna Karenina, the FINAL section of this incredibly dense novel. Although you may expect this story to end with Anna’s death—a belief we would understand given both every movie adaption and the fact that this novel is named after her—life goes on for the other characters. So join us as we cover…
 
Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron reach the penultimate Part 7 of Anna Karenina full of exciting things like Levin awkwardly visiting people he doesn’t know at Kitty’s behest, Levin getting into gambling, and Levin not liking this new-fangled Wagnerian art. Am I missing something? Hm. It can’t be all that important…can it? Apologies for Camero…
 
Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron travel from light love affair to life after marriage (and pseudo-divorce) with Levin and Kitty’s life, paralleled with Anna and Vronsky’s. Of course—we are reading Tolstoy after all—this is not merely their story, but also that of Sergei and Varenka and Vasenka and so many other interesting characters that we …
 
Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron get their teeth into the incredibly action-packed Part 5 of Anna Karenina! Seriously. Even if we weren’t comparing this to two straight parts full of farming and legal procedure, it would still stand out. Throw away your farming equipment, grab your finest wedding attire, and get ready for marriages and domest…
 
Shownotes: (Apologies about the confusing intro, this was originally slated to release alongside our Friday episode where we also announce the format change.) In order to better accommodate our increasingly busy lives combined with the amount of work we try to put into each podcast episode (reading, researching, recording, editing, promoting, etc.)…
 
Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron examine One Soldier’s War by Arkady Babchenko, the biography of a Russian soldier who served in the first and second Russo-Chechen Wars. This is, in all honesty, a pretty tough read; but there is an unfortunately dearth of English-language focus on Russia’s first military conflicts as a post-Soviet state. Don’…
 
Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron keep it rolling with part 4 of Anna Karenina. This section might be alternately titled: Oh, you were tired of farming were you? Let me show you something much less interesting and good for humanity. That is the long way of saying that this section is mostly about Karenin’s committees. Saying that, however, sel…
 
Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron (finally) respond to the request of a Patron and tackle Matryona’s House by Aleksandr Solzhenitzyn. In this loosely autobiographical story, we follow our unnamed narrator’s time living with the eponymous Matryona in the very interesting town of Peat-Produce as he better understands the dynamic of living in thi…
 
Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron keep the summer of Anna Karenina rolling with part 3 of Tolstoy’s legendary novel. After a little over 250 pages of simmering desire and clashing wills, we slow it down with a lengthy inspection of Levin’s life on the farm—a topic which may at first seem to be an overlong digression from the main plot, but may…
 
Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron pull out their soap boxes and get maudlin drunk as they cover The Unwomanly Face of War by Svetlana Alexievich. The Unwomanly Face of War is an oral history of the disparate experiences of Soviet women in World War Two, told in fragmented tales revolving around various themes. Get out your Soviet Union-centere…
 
Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron continue the Summer of Anna Karenina with Part 2 of Leo Tolstoy’s canon-defining work Anna Karenina. Come join us as Anna reveals her affair to her husband, Kitty finds (and then quickly loses) religion, and Levin...thinks about farming. He also chastises his peasants for farming not the way he wants them to. …
 
Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron attempt to unravel Andrei Sinyavsky’s short story Pkhentz, which stars a man in the late USSR who is fundamentally uncomfortable with everything from the concept of food to the idea of sexual attraction. Come to figure out if this is a political allegory, stay for Andrei Kazimirovich’s evaluation of sausage-ma…
 
Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron kick off the Summer of Anna Karenina with Part 1 of Count Tolstoy’s famous novel! Join us as we delve into a tale of “the beauty of light and shadow,” as Matt absolutely does not want you to describe it, and explore one of the most intriguing characters ever put to the page. Oh, and Konstantin Levin is there, …
 
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