Booknik on October 22–28

Last week, Booknik studied the guide through mystic cities, yet he traveled to Odessa; he also defended the honor of Jewish representatives, covertly read a sensual novel, participated in yet another “Jewish conspiracy,” occupied Wall St., entered a fist fight with a streetcar conductor, experienced the Jerusalem Syndrome, dieted, and was caught plagiarizing. Meanwhile, Booknik Jr. learned how to read thoughts in the head of a 3rd form girl-student, and how to bake buns.

Urbi et Orbi, Sprouts in the Cybersoil
Mystic Cities, an Anthology
The most ancient city of all known to science is in Israel. It is called Jericho, and it is ten thousand years old. The Book of Joshua tells how the Israelites managed to take it. Ever since that time, the stories of cities and city life have been a fixture in literature. While reading the anthology Mystic Cities, Booknik reviewer Yevgenia Ritz found out that in the 21st centure, the “urban stories” became richer. Now they have cyberpunk, hypertextuality, and urban fantasies about conquering the deep space in them.

A Lion, a Goat, and the Problems of Historiography
Rachel’s Sons. Jewish Representatives in the Russian Empire, 1772–1825, by Olga Minkina
In the fable by the well-known educationist, and the fierce enemy of Hasidism Avrom Ber Gotlober, the Russian emperor is the lion, a maskil is a smart fox cub, Kagal members are a donkey, a bear, and a bull, and the chief of the Jewish deputation is a long-bearded goat. If you are eager to know why Jewish representative’s depiction is so harsh, you will have to read the book by Olga Minkina, or, if you do not have to read the entire work, you will have to bear with the review by our contributor Ilya Barkussky, for he has already read the book for you.

The Baghdad Court
Victoria, by Sami Michael
Victoria is the novel about love, but not only this. It is also a family saga, if you want to see it this way, a narrative about Baghdad Jews, a treatise on the women’s harsh destiny in a traditional society, and a very poetic real-life story with some ethnographic elements that we know from Marquez or Iskander. Moreover, it is also a historical book, very sensual at that. Booknik reviewer Lesya Bobrova believes that the best test for author’s virtuosity is descriptions of sexual scenes, and Sami Michael has brilliantly passed it.

…and many other testosterone tests in the Books & Reviews section.


On-Line Passions
Radio needed eight years to reach the audience of fifty million. Television needed thirteen. Internet reached the same number of people in only four. The Facebook added its one hundred millionth user in less than nine months, without even thinking of it. As usual, the Jews are at the core of things here. They are the majority of the largest projects founders and leaders, including Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn. Booknik contributor Yosi Dor has revealed the “Jewish conspiracy” of internet.

…and many other relevant revelations in the Articles & Interviews section.


For Everything Good
For a month and a half, in New York there has been conducted the protest action “Occupy Wall Street.” It reminds one of Fight Club, and its characters’ revolt against the consumerist society. However, the present protesters do not destroy anything, following their inventive actions; they keep their camps tidy and ordered. Booknik's contributing editors Mila Dubrovina and Dina Suvorova think out loud about the action’s reasons and possible consequences, and ask some leading Russian intellectuals, business people, and even one anarchist on the lam.

…and many protean protests in the Events & Reports section.


The Clean Soil of Anxiety
Booknik contributor Mikhail Korol suggests our readers stepping out of the Jerusalem streetcar (alas, no longer free), and make a trip to the boondocks, the village of Almon (Anatot).

Got Any Moonshine?
The Birmingham Ornament, directed by Andrey Silvestrov and Yury Leyderman
There is a beautiful story in this film, told by Alexander Leyderman, the director’s father who survived the Holocaust, about his family that saved in the war by miracle. Mr. Leyderman Sr. did not see his son’s movie. Booknik’s film critic Yulia Melamed believes it is for the best. The old man would better off not knowing how dumbly his son treated his testimony.

The Fifth Stone
After stumbling on a proverbial stone and passing the Biblical rock of offence, our far-flung contributor, the prose-writer Alexander Ilichevsky intrepidly carries on his journey through the Promised Land. Let the Jerusalem Syndrome pass him!

…and many other stepping-stones in the Columns & Columns section.


Germany, 1978
Following the Lechaim Magazine publication, Booknik presents an excerpt from the book of essays by the Canadian author Mordecai Richler to be published in Russian by the Knizhniki Publishers.

…and many other exquisite extracts in the Stories & Essays section.


Don’t Grudge the Brew Lite 91: Caviar
The triumphal return of the legendary chef Roman Gershuni, renewed, and upgraded. Want to lose weight? Ask him how.

Plagiarism in Soviet Songs 5: An Yiddish Motive
The overtones of Yiddish melodies can be heard in musical works of different genres, including cavalry marches, and love songs. Sometimes, in order to discern the melody, one should have a very keen ear indeed, however there were times when authors did not trouble themselves with arranging an original melody, and copied it note by note. Mind, both soviet composers and foreign ones were culpable. However, you have never heard something our all-hearing Mark Freydkin offers you, the duos of Yves Montand and Nonna Mordyukova, or Vladimir Troshin and Paul McCartney.

Hebrarium, the Lexicon of Jewish Whatnots: Tz-1
Why do they wear tzitzit? What of a bird is there in Moses’ wife? Can our video genius Kirill Chichayev be considered a tzadik? Watch our Tz-Hebrarium and remember.

…and many other disquieting discoveries in the Video Blog section.


The Face of the Fire
A Girl in Front of a Door, by Maryana Kozyreva
Stalin’s repressions era seems to have been already described a lot, and nevertheless, this book is special. It was written for children. This means it is narrated by a child for people of the same age, who can bravely delve into the soviet reality unknown to them, without having to ask for explanations, for they are offered. Not especially grown-up readers can accompany the girl named Vika who loses and finds her parents, who cries and laughs, and may be afraid or can be in love.

Magic Buns
…are something we learn to cook with Yelizaveta Guller.

Girls are Human Also
What My Head Thinks Of. The Stories of Lyusya Lisitsyna, the 3rd Form Student, by Irina Pivovarova
There are much more realistic books for boys than for girls. Alena Smiryagin has checked and confirmed it. They write more about princes and princesses for girls, for some reason, and boys usually receive stories about heroes and general common life, including friendship. So, now we have one more book about friendship between usual girls who go school together, play in the yard, and write letters to each other. Enjoy!

Walking in Odessa
If you have not yet decided where you want to go for your fall vacation, Booknik Jr. recommends Odessa. It is already cold-ish here in late October, yet the sunny days are still more numerous than in some other cities. This is why we strongly recommend walking along the local beaches. Also, there are museums, cooking schools, the Jewish cultural center with lots of activities there, a house with only one wall (it was meaningless to have less), a zoo, and a very old circus.

…and many other traveling tips at Booknik Jr., also known as Family Booknik, our own web site for kids and their parents.


Oh, well, this would be one of those circumstances that people unfamiliar with the law of large numbers would call a coincidence. Booknik and Family Booknik are supported by the AVI CHAI Foundation.









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