From Russia With Love

Leo Tolstoy Russia“Love,” Leo Tolstoy once said, “is life.” And love, like life, is multifaceted – it can be both beautiful and tragic in its complexity and mysteriousness.

As we approach this Valentine’s Day, with New England buried in Siberia-like snow, we can’t help but turn to Russia – a country whose complexity and mystery is just as vast and profound as the intricacy of love.

Winston Churchill, in a 1939 radio address, described it best when he said: “I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma…”

And Fyodor Tyutcheve (1803-1873), one of Russia’s greatest 19th century poets, said: “Russia cannot be understood with the mind alone…”

History of Russia and loveIs not love more often than not a riddle? A mystery? An enigma? Is love not as vast as the Russian landscape and imagination, and as complex as human nature, which is so beautifully captured and depicted by the great Russian writers?

In fact, some of the greatest pieces of literature on love came out of Russia – from Ivan Turgenev’s story “First Love” (a “small but perfect jewel of a story,” writes Charles Van Doren in his book Joy of Reading) to Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, considered to be one of the greatest pieces of literature of all time.

And so, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we celebrate “all things Russia.” From books to recipes with a bit of history along the way, we hope to unravel a little bit of the mystery and enigma that is so inherent in the Russian land and its people.

To begin, please visit:
Around the Table: “Nostrovia!”
Realms of Gold: “I Can See Russia From Here!”
Armour of Light: “Peace, Love and War

2 thoughts on “From Russia With Love

  • February 15, 2015 at 1:08 am

    How nice to hear the virtues of Russia touted and described here rather than another contribution to the perpetual denigration of their culture. There is always something worthwhile to discuss, glad to see it is happening here.

  • February 10, 2015 at 11:38 pm

    Another excellent piece!!

    “From books, to recipes….” and perhaps their world famous vodka! : )


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