Magazine article Russian Life

All A-Twitter

Magazine article Russian Life

All A-Twitter

Article excerpt

Twitter is alive with tweets by the greats of Russian literature and history, who sometimes report on their lives as if in the past and at others offer biting commentary on current events. Among the more interesting tweets from the past are:

TSAR NICHOLAS An account that posts real diary entries by Russia's last tsar, who was known for his brevity and lack of existential reflection. The person keeping the blog posts items on the same month and day as Nicholas' original entries. Apparently, what the monarch loved most was walking outside, reading, and drinking tea.


ALEXANDER PUSHKIN: Although this blogger has gone on an unfortunate hiatus of several months, Pushkin's tweets mimic the humor and wit of Russia's beloved poet, using iambic tetrameter to reflect on modern Russian politics and news.


VLADIMIR LENIN: A rather dark blog frequently calling for a Bolshevik-style hard line that became popular after the posting of Leninesque, but completely made up, quotes. Now it mostly consists of politically incorrect political commentary.


LEO TOLSTOY: Actual diary entries tweeted with a hundred-year-plus delay. There are multiple Twitter accounts blogging on behalf of the author of War and Peace, who was a prolific diarist (he kept at least two diaries, one of which was read by his wife while another "small" diary was kept hidden in his boot). This blog posts the entries that adhere to Twitter's 140 character limit.


FYODOR DOSTOYEVSKY: A Twitter feed mostly dedicated to the writer's spleen and constant health problems. Meticulous observation of appetite, sleep, and weather conditions, as well as misanthropic rants by the famous novelist.


"Today, the best sex education is Russian literature, and literature in general. Children should read more, literature has everything--love, relations between the sexes. Schools must foster chastity in children and an understanding of family values."

Pavel Astakhov, the children's rights ombudsman who supported the Russthn adoption bin and the law banning dissemination of information about homosexuality to minors in Russia

Whether or not Astakhov has read all the classic works of Russian literature, his remark immediately had bloggers suggesng additions to the required reading list of novels considered "classic" but less than chaste:

ANNA KARENINA -- one of Lev Tolstoy's most famous works, centered on a woman who leaves her husband and son for an extramarital lover and ends her life by throwing herself under a train. …

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