putin: land of toska and dousha

Russians have always had a thread of excess, showing itself strong and clear against the somber texture of their existence. Extreme activity. Extreme laziness. Extreme appetite. The extremely excessive. The extravagant Slav temperament seems to be traced to all classes of society and is most marked in the nation’s positively abandoned attitude towards suffering. “Toska” , a sort of inner misery, a neuralgia of the soul, a compound of “cafard” and spleen, permeates the Russian nature. “Dousha” the soul, (* a russian soul?) ever a matter for introspective discussion among Russians as portrayed in their literature, was generally held to represent the suffering soul. This occupied a special place, becoming a national attribute. A matter of pride. Something like sex appeal and rudeness to the French.

John Stackhouse ( Globe and Mail , see link at end):…Mr. Putin, a former KGB agent who turns 60 this year, has invited me to the late-night game after a dinner for foreign newspaper editors held at his luxurious dacha west of Moscow. He has slipped into jeans and a turtleneck for the outing, and ordered his stretch limo back to the garage so that he can drive himself. A videographer (Mr. Putin rarely goes anywhere without a videographer) is squeezed into the back seat….

---In 1900 Zinaida finished a grammar school for girls and entered Princess Tenisheva’ art school, where she studied under the outstanding artist Ilya Repin (from 1901) and the well-known portrait painter Osip Braz (in 1903—1905). In 1905 the beginning artist married Boris Serebriakov, a railroad student then. They got acquainted in Neskuchnoe that was neighboring the Serebriakovs’ mansion. The newly-weds spent their honey moon and much time afterwards in Paris, where Zinaida was mastering her painting skills. During the revolution in 1917 the Nesk..---Read More:http://russia-ic.com/people/general/z/179

“I want to help Russia be great again at this sport,” he says as we whiz by scenes from the new Russia.Fields that a generation ago were tilled by peasants are now crowded with suburban mansions. Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana shops adorn the roadside, alongside Maserati and Ferrari dealerships. Just 20 years after the fall of communism, the outer suburbs of Moscow are pure Beverly Hills.

Tonight, though, Mr. Putin is headed to an older version of Russia, the land of determined men – and it’s all men in the Kremlin – who want to restore their nation’s pride of place in the world. It’s a theme that has dominated his election campaign, and a theme that may shape Russia for the decade to come, a decade many now call Putin 3. Read More:http://www.pressdisplay.com/pressdisplay/viewer.aspx

---Her triumph in Soviet Russia in 1956 surpassed the most glorious reminiscences of her youth – Zinaida Serebriakova was ranked among Boticelli and other great masters. The 80 year old artist was already unable to visit her motherland, yet she could finally feel the acknowledgment of her home country.---Read More:http://russia-ic.com/people/general/z/179

Russian peasants, in particular, were partial to songs which dwelt on their sufferings- not the body as might have been expected, but the soul. This was born of their hopeless condition. For the middle-classes it derived from the stultification of their lives, while satiety and egotism bred it even stronger in the aristocracy. But they are all lusty in their grief, savoring it to the full.

Even the wealthy merchants and privileged nobility subscribed to this cult and enjoyed nothing more than to spend whole nights of expensively fostered misery, listening to the gypsy choirs who knew that for every wild drinking chorus, their audiences really craved some melancholic soul song. The gypsies stared straight before them, their black, untamed stare piercing the haze of smoke and the fumes of vodka, singing their haunting airs while their listeners became maddened and intoxicated by misery, transported by the obsessive quality of singers and songs, of sadness and suffering souls alike. While in the West, the panacea was the “good cry” the Slavs went further and are apt to nationalize their grief. Dostoevsky’s Lizaveta Prokofyevna points to Myshkin, saying: “I’ve had a r

“Russian” cry over him.”


But even by his fairly outlandish standards, a recent campaign ad for his 2012 presidential campaign could be deemed “a bit much”.

The 53 second clip, which has become something of a viral hit online, picking up over 200,000 views on YouTube, sees a coy Russian girl visit a mystic who predicts her future using tarot cards.

And who should turn up on one of the cards? Only old Putin himself. In Russia you see, all tarot card sets feature the ex-KGB former president (that’s not technically true).

“Let’s find out, cutie, who is destined for you,” says the mystic.

“You know, I wish it to be for love,” replied the girl. “This is my first time.”

Then the mystic flips the card to reveal Putin, and wait, she wasn’t talking about sex, she was talking about voting.Read More:http://www.tntmagazine.com/news/world/video-vladimir-putins-weird-election-campaign-advert-goes-viral

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