Goodbye megapolis and hello summer cottage!

This is the usual Friday dilemma of what I love more – the cool air-conditioned rooms of the city with the scent of cappuccino and intellectual conversations, or that kind of universal silence when you are alone in the evening with the stars to the sound of radio waves, and the brilliance of sunny lawns the next morning.

Every Friday evening I think with horror why we need this summer cottage and why go there, but on Sunday evening I am tormented by the question of how to make sure that I do not leave the country house, and I do not believe that some time after arrival I will again adapt to Moscow and I will forget about the dacha as a kind of some nightmare. During my stay at the dacha, I merge in such ecstasy with the inviolability of nature and with the quiet simple rules of life in an old log house that those intervals of time when for some reason I’m not there seem to be some kind of annoying and unforgivable mistake.

From the car window I see all these pictures, imbued with golden sunset light, so reminiscent of all the highways of our our European travels.
Here I am in the country.
As usual every step on the floor, every sound of a slammed door is thundering in all the house.
Unlike the times of my childhood, nowadays in the air you can sometimes hear the bell ringing of the restored old church, which inevitably immerses you in the timeless reality of a Russian village or county town.
Sometimes, through the thickness of air, one can hear the noise of a speeding bullet train in the Riga direction with cute neat white curtains with a blue pattern, which we sometimes watched while standing on the platform waiting for our regional train.

The slow soaring of the elastic brace head of a badminton shuttlecock against a dizzying picture of a bright blue sky with the outlines of pines is the eternal magic of this game. This is no less an eye-catcher picture than, for example, the intense search for mushroom caps hiding against the background of forest soil dotted with needles or covered with moss, search that is still continuing even after you close your eyes for the night.
The presence or absence of wind, with unpredictable frequency creating air currents is an uncontrollable factor, which may be so necessary if you are going to go on a field to start a kite, but at the same time it may create certain difficulties when you are trying on to hit the shuttlecock.

Late at night, the frogs’ croaking from the swamp was heard especially clearly in the quiet air … As a child, I was friends with a girl who knew everything about frogs, since her summer cottage was located near the pond in the outskirts. We built sandy cities together with her, and then we put frogs there, watching how they would try to find their way from these labyrinths to the pond so dear to their hearts, and in the process we were creating more and more new additional obstacles in their path. Preciously decorated dragonflies swirled over the pond, the contemplation of the flight path of which could drive one crazy, and I also opened up the world of water striders jumping on the pond surface …

In the forest, my young mentor told me the secret of the edibility of the friendly looking light green shamrocks of oxalis stricta, and from that time on I used to recognize happily these leaves as my good friends, from time to time checking them to taste to make sure that they were still all the same delightfully sour. And the sour forest strawberry was a degenerated wild brother of the garden strawberry.

I still remember the year when we once went to the forest for mushrooms and practically didn’t find them – our mushroom buddies always protected sacredly the secrets of the forest mycelium location – but as a consolation we managed to gather a lot of forest nuts, covered with a not yet hardened light green shell, which, after lying down for some time on the floor, turned into a hazelnut so familiar to us, which are sold in the vegetable departments of food stores ….. Needless to say, that all the following years, when we went to the forest for nuts, nut bushes disappointed us with their absolute and hopeless futility.

This forest surroundiing our summer cottage became for me a kind of the archetypal concept of “forest” in general and concealed in itself many secrets and even fears, the embodiment of which was, for example, the story “The Pantry of the Sun” by Mikhail Prishvin, in which the boy was almost dragged to the bottom by insidious quagmire of a forest swamp.

And what is the smell of freshly cut grass, invigorating the nostrils! Actually, the whole history of our long-term existence in the country side is a struggle with too quickly growing grass and a struggle for the availability of water.

Feeling touched by all descriptions of the garden, overgrown with weeds, ever read by me – the idiomatic expression “everything was overgrown by the past” was on the tip of my tongue – I found myself following obediently the recently read instruction from Voltaire’s “Candide” – “one need to cultivate his garden” … But then I felt my hands were apparently irrigated with a layer of sweat interspersed with the juice of overgrown weeds, and this, so to speak, “infernal mixture” attracted unkindly buzzing insects.

The habit of walks along the country side with admiration of the views revealed and examining at the plants along the way – this is a good and long-standing tradition of summer holidays. Marcel Proust devoted many pages of his book “Towards Swann” to describing such a pastime, and even this name of the book comes from such kind of walks.

Closing my eyelids before falling asleep, I trustfully surrender myself to the welcoming darkness of a room with a window opened to meet the freshness of the night air, shadows of foliage from the garden and echoes of distant trains, with tightly drawn curtains, which, I am sure, will save me from the annoying sunbeams of the coming morning …

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In summer one should dream of the blue sea

Just think how great it sounds: “My father rented a large secluded and delightful white villa on the Mediterranean coast, and we srarted dreaming of it as soon as the first hot days of June came” …

“Hello, sadness!” – this is what young Françoise Sagan says in the title of her novel, written in 1954, meaning that in addition to unbridled fun and flirting, there should still be such moments in life when it would be nice to stop for a while and think about something not too funny.
The events of this novel about sensual pleasures and the fickle nature of love take place in the summer on the French Riviera on the Cote d’Azur.
Perhaps the intonations of this novel, after many decades, still sound bold and psychologically accurate, but over time, it also obrained an attractive retro character and became the part of French literature history.
“And in Paris I had no time to read: after classes my friends dragged me to the cinema – I did not know the names of the actors, and this surprised them – or to the sun-drenched café terraces. I reveled in the joy of mingling with the crowd, sipping wine, being with someone who looks into your eyes, takes your hand, and then leads you away from this very crowd. We roamed the streets, reached my house. There he used to carry me into the entrance and kissed me: the beauty of kissing was revealed to me. It doesn’t matter what these memories were called: Jean, Hubert or Jacques – these names are the same for all young girls. “ It seems that while reading these lines, one immediately recalls many French black-and-white films of that time.

Cecil ponders the phrase of Oscar Wilde: “Sin is the only bright smear that has survived on the canvas of modern life.” It is clear that Oscar Wilde was, so to speak, a “singer” of sin, he loved to talk about human vices and was well aware of what exactly he was talking about. Of course, in the 21st century, traditional family values ​​are no longer as unambiguous and obvious as for Wilde’s contemporaries. But the heroine of the novel by Françoise Sagan, like a child of the middle of the 20th century, is constantly torn by contradictions between her natural desires and the idea that perhaps for someone this type of relationship is rather painful – in fact, she can be convinced of this by the example of the women of her father who suffer from his impermanence. And if Elsa – “something between a corrupt girl and a demimondaine” – is accustomed to changing partners and only her vanity is a little wounded, then the extremely intelligent and reserved “indifferent” woman Anna simply can’t handle her dissapoinment that a fickle man, who firstly obediently declared himself as her future husband, suddenly felt an irresistible desire to assert himself by making love with the other woman.
Perhaps adherents of Freudianism may think Cecil does not want to share her father with any noteworthy woman. Cecil values ​​a lot this comfortable frivolous lifestyle she leads and is ready to fight for it … And if in the end someone suddenly suffers, then Cecil is ready that such not too frequent bouts of sadness will appear in her life.

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How to read “The Goldfinch” and get pleasure

Yesterday, while posting some of my book reviews on the Goodreads, I noticed in the corner of my eye that some readers note they do not enjoy reading “The Goldfinch”, they consider the novel  written “uneven” and is perplexed about the common thrill concerning this book, especially since the protagonist  behavior does not always serve as, so to speak, a role model.

I like the novel, and I’d even say there is something irrational in its influence on me.
But, of course, each of us has our own story of acquaintance with the book, on which our subsequent impressions depend – oh, this is somewhat reminiscent of meeting a new person.
I came across this book in the list of art detectives (detectives about the theft of art works). For the first time I met this title,  in above mentioned art detectives review “The Goldfinch” was called no more and no less a masterpiece, and in this moment an ironic critic awoke in me for a instant.
Then I began listening to this novel as to audiobook … Do not forget that, in addition to the author of the novel, two more persons – the wonderful Russian translator and the voice actor of audiobook – contributed to the book product my ears were enjoying.
In fact, the voice actor reading the book always becomes something like your personal friend, because he seems to be reading the text for you personally in your little cozy world and, undoubtedly, he shares in all your emotions together with you.
“The Goldfinch” audiobook brought me some wonderful night hours in Berlin in January 2019, when, falling asleep, I listened to the cherished reading from my tablet on the bedside table in the hotel room.

First time we meet the main character Theo, when in Amsterdam he sees in a mirror the reflection of his beloved mother in the otherworldly metaphysical reality “where time did not exist… or where it existed in all directions at once” – I think this reminds the atmosphere in the paintings of de Chirico… And then this moment is lasting a very long time, while we move retrospectively back many years.

… I was overwhelmed immediately by a huge amount of feelings and associations while listening to the text. It happened, for example, due to such themes “flirting” with the reader like describing of the teenager being afraid his petty pranks will be revealed or his obsessive interest to random passers-by.

From the very beginning, I was fascinated by this text, iridescent in shades, details and with ever-changing points of view – the narrator either runs ahead, showing awareness of future events, then retrospectively tells about the affairs of bygone days, then returns to the current point of the plot. I like to look at such kind of text and read it.
I like the literature style of “The Goldfinch” so much that sometimes I simply can’t resist quoting some parts to have pleasure to re-read these words again.
As for the details – well, in general, frankly Donna Tarrt often characterizes her heroes by listing what brands he dresses in, what eau de toilette he uses, what dishes he used to order in a restaurant etc.

I could not remain indifferent when Theo, as if from the sidelines in despair, watched the games that his mind played independently of him. In general, I would call the main character’s stream of consciousness extra powerful. By the way, the main part of the thoughts and assumptions that flashed through his head usually turn out to be dead-end and do not receive further development.

The author often writes about possible forks of events. After returning to New York, Theo walks along one of the paths in Central Park and thinks:
“And if you turn, if you walk along such a lighted path, will it take me to another year, maybe even to another future, where a little disheveled mother, just returning from work, will be waiting for me on a bench (on our bench) by the Pond …”
Then there is a lot of speculation about some alternative picture of events, which secretly lives its own life in Theo’s head (in which his mother is alive, and so on), while he studies in his courses and works with Hobby in the workshop.
“Quite quickly, in the interval between studying and working in the studio, I plunged into some kind of unhindered doping, into a curved version of my past life in which I walked through familiar streets but lived in unfamiliar surroundings among unfamiliar faces.”
The ambiguity of possible future options is evident in the chapter about Theo’s meeting with Boris many years later:
“I used to google Boris a lot … He could be anywhere and do anything: mop the floors in the hospital, wade through some jungle with a gun in his hands, pick up cigarette butts on the streets.”

In addition to the hero’s feelings about current events, I came across several more or less non-trivial thoughts about all the futility of human life and universal fatigue.
From a large paragraph listing what useless things people usually do so persistently throughout their lives, I will quote just a few words:
“When it’s nauseous, it makes you sweat sick from the whole human race, from all human deeds from the very creation of time … and all this is just to forget where we are, who we are … It would be better never to be born – never anything desire, never hope for anything. “
I saw in this powerful passage a mention of the existential fear of death, which a person usually tries not to think about, and the eternal question about the meaning of life 🙂
So the author made a rather elegant statement on the always fashionable topic of the futility and frailty of life and at the same time – an elegant kick towards the modern consumer society.

And, indeed, at the very end of the book, Theo honestly admits to himself that despite the numerous slogans “Be yourself, follow your dreams” he does not feel in the depth of his soul any desire to achieve something and become someone better than he is now. And, frankly, I don’t see anything particularly bad in this contradiction with the ideas of social growth. 🙂

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Russian summer merry war game

The space is lurking somewhere around being imbued with the presence of the enemy, that is with something, that turns into an indefinite, infinitely hostile and dangerous atmosphere, revealing itself only at the moment when, reveling in its observational ingenuity, it opens fire, and takes on a personified appearance from time to time in a form of those faceless camouflage figures which are moving in short runs from one shelter to another or are sticking out the barrel of a rattling rifle from their temporary refuge, trying not to stick their heads out.
With rapture and confidence, as if you have already done this dozens of times, you are inhaling the adrenaline dissolved in the air, when, feeling a keen sense of danger pounding in your temples, you are runnimg up the stairs to the second floor of a wooden building, without receiving a single shot from the enemy, who probably have been waiting for you for a long time, prudently lying in ambush and keeping the place of lifting at gunpoint. And then in such a happy symbiosis between your legs and head, when neither of them slows down the other, you are moving in short runs from one inner corner of the building to another, keeping in your mind the way the perspective is changing and from what points of the suddenly opened space you may unexpectedly meet a stone-cold gunfire directed at you. At the very moment when the player in you is turning the next corner, the space is revealing a kind of mystery of the perspective to you, and while quickly grasping intuitively this secret of each next fragment of topography unfolding in front of you, you are outlining the safest places from the shelling point of view, while the most promising points for observing and setting future targets are the most vulnerable at the same time.
Oh, but why can’t the space at this moment, at your desire, bend and, exactly from your side, get out of control of the laws of physics, sending the enemy’s killing balls somewhere deliberately past the target?
Your ears should remain sensitive enough all the time to pick up the sound of someone else’s creeping steps, since after another careful glancing for the corner you can find there the similar figure as yourself, that will retreat instantly behind the shelter of the previous corner and rattle with his rifle threateningly to you, and then, suppressing in a hurry the overwhelming feeling of superiority since you will read this semblance of your own reflection like an open book, you will do all the same, directing your own killing balls to his arm with a rifle sticked out, bringing you death and disappearance.

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Features of Russian national tourism

Perhaps, I will again change the topic of today’s post a little, and write not about adventure books, but about tourism.
Of course, I love to travel like most of you. But now I’d like rather to dwell on the fact that for me, as well as for many other Russians, tourism is generally something more than just staying in a hotel, swimming in the pool and the evening opportunity to have fun at discos.
In Russian culture, and more percisely – in the Russian verbal space, there is such a well-known phrase (we would nowadays call it something like “meme”): “A poet in Russia is more than a poet”. These words were said by our poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko (who lived and lectured his last years in Tulsa, Oklahoma), who was continuing with this phrase the Russian tradition of reasoning about the proper place of a poet in society – for example, the Russian classical writer Nikolai Nekrasov discussed this in his poem “Citizen and Poet”. And now I will paraphrase this statement of Yevtushenko and say this way: “Tourism in Russia is more than tourism.”
Several months ago, I re-read Orhan Pamuk’s “Black Book”, and while learning the details of the life of Turkish inhabitants of the middle of the 20th century, I discovered a lot in common with the life of the Soviet people of the same period. For many years, we, the Soviet people, lived with the feeling that all the most interesting was happening somewhere out there, behind the border of our tremendous country, and we lived in a kind of backyard of civilization. Judge for yourself: Soviet people understood that the furniture of domestic production was not so fashionable, and the plumbing was not so modern as abroad, and there were much fewer types of sausages in the grocery store, and only those pop stars used to come on tour to Russia whose popularity had long been on the decline, and censorship in our country was raging, meticulously inspecting too bold masterpieces of western cinema and literature.
When, finally, the Iron Curtain was destroyed in 1991, the Russian tourists flooded overseas countries, which we learned before only from books and from films about the “sweet life” of the local bohemia, in which we, for example, might see some offspring of a rich family or a stylish beauty sipping casually some next drink from a fashionable glass on the edge of the pool, with a boring look talking about something very different from the values ​​of the era of developed socialism …

At this very point, I will take this opportunity to post my own photo by the pool, taken in Turkey:)

But still, in order to fully understand the driving force of Russian tourism, you need to take into account another point. In Russia, for example, some architectural styles are missing that are widely represented on the streets of European cities. And, perhaps, even in the most ancient cities of Russia there are no streets associated with such an ancient, and most importantly, with such famous and popular historical facts as there are in Europe.. And well educated Russians are very susceptible to this interest in history.
Here is what one of the heroes of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s “Teenager” novel, published in 1875, says about this (in this case, I will not dwell on the fact that the hero eloquently contrasts Russia, full of spirituality and suffering for the whole world, and frivolous Europe, leaning into atheism):
“For a Russian, Europe is as precious as Russia: every stone in it is dear. Europe was our fatherland just like Russia. Oh, even more! It is impossible to love Russia more than I love her, but I have never reproached myself for the fact that Venice, Rome, Paris, the treasures of their sciences and arts, their whole history is dearer to me than Russia. Oh, these old strange stones, these miracles of the old world of God, these fragments of holy miracles are so dear to the Russians; and this is even dearer to us than to themselves! They now have other thoughts and other feelings, and they stopped cherishing old stones … “

Perhaps, Russian tourists have a special inclination to visiting Italy with its majestic cities filled with history. And all this fascination, this kind of pleasant intoxication may even not be completely understandable to the locals, who are simply parasitizing the tourism … What I suggest you see in this seven-minute fragment of a Russian-Italian film from 1993 …
If you are lucky enough to know Russian or Italian, then you can even make out what exactly the characters are talking about in this fragment. 🙂 Well, otherwise, you can just enjoy the beautiful views of Venice and let your imagination run wild. 🙂

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As they say, hello to everyone!

So, today I’m starting my blog in English for my future English-speaking readers …
Oh, I really can’t help imagining now I’m pronouncing these very words into the microphone, like a radio host on the air of some kind of radio program – well, actually what I’m going to do in my blog is the kind of text podcast.
Of course, readers are always eager to learn more about the author of the book they interested them … True, one of my favorite authors, the Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk, in his essay collection “Other colors” said he did not trust the work of the living authors too much, since he was more comfortable feeling like a fan of the long-dead classics of world literature whose work has already been tested by time, and besides he need not to envy their literary success.:) ….
In general, I am going to talk a lot about literature. This is quite logical – I am fond of reading  books, and besides I am fond of listening to audio books – for example, I do this during my evening walks in the vicinity of my house in Moscow. And, moreover, I like to re-read books  I have already read – I would say  some books have taken some firm place in my soul.
As for my literary preferences, usually it’s either intellectual detectives or prose in an elegant style. How can this be? The fact is that I am not indifferent to both the exquisite literary style with the analysis of the smallest sensations, and, at the same time,  to the gripping plot too – oh, I really like to empathize with the hero who “is skating on the knife’s edge” – as our Russian classic writer,  “sun of Russian poetry” Alexander Pushkin said, I like to anticipate that now I’ll “shed my tears over the fiction”…  By the way, in my head  a huge number of quotes lives, mainly from Russian and Soviet literature and from Russian rock poetry – perhaps someone of you will even feel it while reading the text of my book “I Am Becoming a Woman” which will be released on Amazon on August 14, but which is already available now on pre-order at a special price $2.99 USD.

No, you may not be afraid  there is some  overabundance of quotes in my text. I think that the author needs to be carefull enough with citation . For example, I did not even dare to read Ulysses by Joyce with an overabundance of allusions, which are, most likely, are little known namely for me . And while reading “Don’t Point That Thing At Me” by Kyril Bonfiglioli, I had the thought that without literary quotes and without diligent descriptions of culinary preferences of protagonist, there will be almost nothing left in the text of the novel.
Well, as for Pushkin – our Russian children absorb Pushkin’s poems literally with their mother’s milk. I’m not sure that one can translate Pushkin into English without losing anything at all. Even in one of my favorite books, The Goldfinch by Donna Tarrt, the difficulties of translating Pushkin are discussed – closer to the end of the novel, Theo tells Boris, whom he considers Russian:
“You know what I did in college? … I took Conversational Russian for a year. Totally because of you. I did really shitty in it, actually. Never got good enough to read it, you know, to sit down with Eugene Onegin —you have to read it in Russian, they say, it doesn’t come through in translation.
And Boris answers him:
“All that fucking school,” said Boris, plainly unimpressed. “If you want to speak Russian, come to Moscow with me. You will speak it in two months. ”

in short, I love action-adventure books, too.
In my next post, I just plan to dwell a little that it is quite possible to love both the high and low genres at the same time.

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Для влюбленных в совок и в Москву

На всю жизнь запомнилось мне сочетание «Лазарь Карелин» (настоящая фамилия писателя — Кац), и вот, наконец, после долгого перерыва мне удалось перечитать роман «Змеелов».
Будто бы послушала я приправленный житейской хитрецой рассказ какого-то бывалого косноязычного человека той поры, не лишенного, впрочем, известной наблюдательности — собственно говоря, наблюдательность — это и есть основное достоинство рассказчика, – который попутно делится своими недалекими представлениями об устройстве жизни, а в иные — нечастые, впрочем, – моменты проявляется в нем даже нечто похожее на лирическую мечтательность.

Это аутентичный текст 1980-1981 годов, отразивший многие подробности жизни Москвы тех времен… Времен спелого такого развитого социализма текст, когда в иных домах уже совершенно определенно появлялось изобилие.
В самом деле — посмотрите только, какая прелесть:

“Павел подошел к инкрустированному серванту, за стеклами которого в большой тесноте жили принцы и принцессы хрустальных, фарфоровых, серебряных королевств. В другом бы доме и один такой бокал был бы украшением всей комнаты, предметом особой гордости хозяев, а тут таких предметов было навалом”.

В чем-то это время было переломным моментом.
Судите сами:

“Появилось нынче племя младое, незнакомое. Все про все знают, иностранцы по облику и архипатриоты в душе”.

Читая этот роман, я часто вспоминала про кинодетективы советских времен, в которых не слишком улыбчивые и обаятельные, но зато чертовски дотошные следователи изящно разоблачали недобросовестных работников торговли.
Да, в общем, вот и цитатка подходящая встретилась:

“Вдруг возник тост. Слова смешались, затолкали друг друга, но одно слово из общего гама вынырнуло, утвердилось, это слово было чужеродно, слово-уродец, Это слово было – дефицит. Пили за его величество дефицит!
Зазвенел хрусталь, дождался своего мига.

Дефицит – это наша последняя зацепка. Красть? У государства нашего? Да боже упаси! Но… если чего-то нет, а ты сумел, достал, уважил человека, так почему же не?.. – Тут Митрич пощелкал пальцами в поисках нужного слова, но так и не нашел его. – Короче говоря, хрусталь нас понял.”

Что касается злоупотреблений в торговле, то, в общем, порочной объявляется сама система:

“- А где эта черта проходила, Анатолий Семенович?

– Черты, собственно говоря, такой нет. Особенно в торговле. Нарушений не избежать, каким бы умным ты ни был. Или осторожным, если хотите, трусливым. Все равно нарушения будут. Много бестолковщины в самом своде правил, установлений, предписаний… слишком много у нас запретов в торговле. Эти запреты и плодят махинаторов, как это ни парадоксально.”

В отзывах на одноименный фильм 1985 года зрители сетуют по поводу атмосферы, поначалу вроде бы обещающей остросюжетность, а потом вроде бы эти ожидания обманывающей.
Ну, други мои… Так “жизнь — это вам не кино”!

“Детектив начинался. Не верилось, что он становится участником детектива, начинает жить по законам кинофильмов, над которыми частенько подшучивал. Жизнь – это вам не кино. В жизни все попроще, поскучнее, хотя убивают, и грабят, и воруют… Павел не мог свести, сравнить свою жизнь с какой-то киношной историей.”

Но самое главное — мы видим в романе просто гимн московским улочкам в треугольнике между Красными воротами, Курской и Бауманской.

“От Курского вокзала было недалеко до той тихой тополиной улицы… Уцелели еще в Москве переулочки, которые как бы от имени всей России с тобой разговаривают, от былого даря твоей душе покой.”

Я хотела было повнимательней приглядеться к топографии улиц, но это оказалось не так-то просто.
К примеру, читаем:

“…где теперь белоснежно красовался в глубине кинотеатр “Новороссийск”… Двор не очень-то и обыкновенный, если знать историю этих мест. Тут когда-то было архимандритское кладбище, тут, на этой когда-то московской окраине, на пятачке, приткнувшемся к Земляному валу, с незапамятных времен хоронили лиц духовного звания.”

Для 1980 года кинотеатр “Новороссийск”, построенный в 1977 году, был новинкой, ну а теперь после всех видов лихих времен его в этом здании давно уже нет.

Или вот еще адресок — на сей раз такой, который, видимо, советским людям положено было знать наизусть:

“- На улицу Пушкинскую, дом пятнадцать, – сказал Павел, втискиваясь в машину.

Что, с повинной поехал? – спросил таксист. – Припекла Москва змеелова?
Приехали, Павел расплатился. Отъезжая, таксист посигналил ему для ободрения. Возле Прокуратуры СССР решился посигналить, пошел на риск. “

Пушкинская улица переименована теперь в Большую Дмитровку.

Вот бережное упоминание о постройке досоветских еще времен:

“Их школа находилась в желтом доме с колоннами, где когда-то, рассказывали, была гимназия. Узенькая улица, где стояла школа, вытекала на широкое Садовое кольцо, на улицу Чкалова. Узенькой улице было присвоено громкое имя писателя Гайдара”.

Судя по всему, речь идет вот о таком здании Елизаветинской гимназии по адресу Большой Казенный переулок, 9:

Ни улицы Чкалова, ни переулка Аркадия Гайдара в том месте на карте уже нет.

Про Елоховский собор и грот Бельведер в Саду Баумана:

“В сумеречном небе строго и близко стояли  золоченые купола церкви на Старой Басманной. Та церковь была видна и из окна его дома, он помнил эти купола с самого детства. Тогда они были темными, церковь была заброшена.

– Смотри-ка, позолотили купола! – обрадовался Павел.

– К Олимпиаде, – сказала Лена. – Большая вышла польза для Москвы от Олимпиады. 

– В Бауманском саду есть старинный грот. Сохранился?

– Кажется. Я там всего раз один и побывала.”

Или вот про милое сердцу ВДНХ, к примеру.

“Это был город в городе, и это был город, где всегда жил праздник. Золотые фигуры главного фонтана, наново золотые, подновленные, все же были из прошлого, из недавней старины, из его молодости. Сюда приезжали институтскими компаниями, чаще всего после стипендии, чтобы побыть в этом празднике, в этих павильонах Грузии и Армении, где и зимой висели на ветках громадные лимоны, где пахло мускатным виноградом, где и зимой было тепло, как летом, еще теплее даже, чем в метро. Приезжали, отогревались, нанюхивались ароматами из “Тысячи и одной ночи”, складывали рублишки, шли в шашлычную, а мало было денег, так в пельменную. “

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У каждого свой “Queen”

Удивительно все же устроены человеческие мозги: стоило мне давеча услышать любопытную незамусоленную композицию группы Квин ”Back chat”, которую я раньше не слышала или не слишком отчетливо идентифицировала как творение Квинов, и попасть под чарующее обаяние фанка, как немедля мысль моя понеслась переслушивать -переоценивать хрестоматийные композиции.

Я отношусь к тем фанатам, которые заценили альбом «A kind of magic» -ну, в моем случае это немудрено, ведь именно под звуки заглавной композиции с этого альбома много лет назад я, словно завороженная, не могла оторвать взгляда от неведомого мне доселе чуда техники – вращающихся частей аудиокассеты… Впрочем, часть песен с этого диска -к примеру, Don’t Lose Your Head – все же специфически “саундтрековая”.

Что касается композиции ‘Back chat”, то, интернет пишет, что альбом “Hot Space” (1982) оказался не слишком удачен, потому что совпал по выходу с чреезвычайно модным Thriller’ом Майкла Джексона…
Мне и вовсе почудилось, что Меркьюри из кожи вон лезет, чтобы имитировать Джексоновскую манеру петь в плане импульсивных взвизгиваний, а также довольно неуклюже пытается копировать танцевальные движения и уникальную походку Джексона. Если в ранних видеоклипах Фредди обычно сидит за роялем в профиль ко зрителю или передвигается по сцене или какой-то площадке под камерой, но принимает лишь некоторые статичные позы, прогибается назад и т. д., то на клипах после этого альбома он начал двигаться без остановки, прыгать, как обезьяна, показывать всевозможные монотонные довольно непристойно-зажигательные жесты, изображать нечто типа стриптиза вокруг шеста и так далее. Чем черт ни шутит -может, эти изменения в манере передвижения начались у Фредди как раз под влиянием танцующей походки Майкла Джексона?.. Но вот только у Фредди не было необходимых физических данных для надлежащего исполнения.

…О невероятном факте смерти Майкла Джексона я узнала, сидя утром на берегу моря греческого курорта от разговорчивой эмоциональной немки, без умолку болтавшей обо всем подряд, и поначалу приняла эту новость за что-то подобное погрешности в переводе – а, собственно, об одном ли и том же человеке мы говорим? -я давно уже не являлась его фанаткой и не следила за подробностями его жизни, но все же мир не имел права так неожиданно осиротеть. Это было такое же сарафанное радио, как то, которое много раньше, в доинтернетную еще эпоху. известило меня о смерти Фредди.
Последний прижизненный для Фредди альбом Innuendo сделан в довольно близких мне аранжировках, но все же то, что предстает в композициях, при общем сохранении идей Квин выглядит как-то недостаточно по- квиновски аутентично, чтобы нравиться.
Вообще почему-то большинство тех, с кем я общаюсь, как бы не слишком жалуют последние альбомы Квинов и остаются верными периоду их расцвета.

Для забавы я озаботились своим топ-5 песен Квин.
При выборе песен приходилось избегать своеобразных “визитных карточек” группы, потому что хотя я и отдаю должное уникальному стилю Квин, но именно наиболее выразительные и программные песни этой группы типа Bohemian Rhapsody я как раз не готова переслушивать по многу раз. Поэтому в своем топе я указала более привычные, более “гладкие”, более мейнстримные песни, которые, честно говоря, как раз более драйвовые для меня.
Don’t stop me now
Friends will be friends
Kind of magic
crazy little thing called love

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