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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Russian Allegedly Stabs Friend to Death Over a Dispute About Poetry Versus Prose

Posted by on Wed, Jan 29, 2014 at 5:49 PM

I'm all for literary feuds. Any sort of excitement in the literary realm, anything that makes someone's blood quicken, I'll take. But leave it to Russia to really take it to the next level. This is no Theodore Dreiser hitting Sinclair Lewis in the face. This is no Norman Mailer and Gore Vidal insulting each other on the Dick Cavett Show. No, this is an unnamed 53-year-old Russian allegedly stabbing his "friend" to death because the friend believed "the only real literature is prose." The alleged assailant "favored poetry."

Is this story real? Is Russia real? I can't believe the Olympics are going to be in Russia, land of "it's illegal to think gay people are okay and yet par for the course to allegedly stab someone to death because of how much you love poetry." I say "par for the course" because:

This is not the first time high-brow disputes have led to bloodshed in Russia. In September, a man was shot in a line for beer in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don after enraging a fellow beer drinker with his views about the work of Enlightenment philosopher Immanuel Kant.

Russia, ladies and gentlemen.

But while we're at it:


Comments (22) RSS

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1 Comment Pulled (Trolling) Comment Policy
I would kill both of them.
Posted by Faber on January 29, 2014 at 6:12 PM · Report this
It was Citizen Kane!

It was Citizen Kane!…
Posted by I Got Nuthin' on January 29, 2014 at 7:08 PM · Report this
very bad homo 4
Poets are so damn sensitive.
Posted by very bad homo on January 29, 2014 at 7:13 PM · Report this
Dr. Z 5
What the fuck does this have to do with Russia apart from the fact that the crime took place there? Would you want America summed up as a Timothy McVeigh or a Jeffrey Dahmer?
Posted by Dr. Z on January 29, 2014 at 7:18 PM · Report this
Damnit, not another drunken bard fight.
Posted by Pen felled by sword...mightier mystery solved on January 29, 2014 at 7:21 PM · Report this
@6 FTW
Posted by Machiavelli was framed on January 29, 2014 at 7:54 PM · Report this
The obvious solution is to restrict access to knives and stabbing weapons and make sure only Vogon poetry is permitted in our safe state.…
Honestly, it's hard to tell a difference between a Mudede post and the example poem.
Posted by ChefJoe on January 29, 2014 at 8:22 PM · Report this
long-time reader 9
Methinks this is pretty well skewed by being posted on a news blog. Crosspost it on Lineout at least?
Posted by long-time reader on January 29, 2014 at 8:24 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 10
Without even clicking the link, I already know it's my all time favorite Kids in the Hall sketch!

(The Exhibition Shirling sketch is a close second).
Posted by Urgutha Forka on January 29, 2014 at 9:04 PM · Report this
LEE. 11
Am I alone in just being happy that they're passionate about something deserving it? Incidents that mirror this one in the States are always about a karaoke song or a sports team.
Posted by LEE. on January 29, 2014 at 9:21 PM · Report this
@11, you're not alone.
Posted by sarah70 on January 29, 2014 at 9:50 PM · Report this
schmacky 13
This is possibly the funniest post I've ever read on Slog, despite the inherent tragedy.
Posted by schmacky on January 29, 2014 at 10:16 PM · Report this
treacle 14
@5 - Well, Dr. Z, neither Dahmer nor McVeigh hurt anyone because of their viewpoint on art, now did they? Perhaps that alone is saying something.

When "Society of the Spectacle" was screened in France in '68 it caused fights and riots.

I can't think of any parallels in the US.
Posted by treacle on January 29, 2014 at 10:35 PM · Report this
seatackled 15
First, does poetry or prose look better in a swimsuit?
Posted by seatackled on January 29, 2014 at 11:26 PM · Report this
Dr. Z 16
@14: during the Soviet era, the composer Dimitri Shostakovich got in trouble with Stalin by composing symphonies that were said to have dissenting political messages encoded into his music in the form of musical quotes, images, etc. He had been friends with a Red Army marshal who was murdered by Stalin during the great purge of 1937, so this was no idle threat. Shostakovich subtitled his Fifth Symphony "An artist's creative response to justified criticism." It probably saved his life to toe the line like this, since Shostakovich's musical images of suffering had been seen as a pointed dissent to Stalin's massacres, and were at odds with the official party line that music should conform to "socialist realism."

Then there was also the Nazi display of "degenerate art" and banning the works of Jewish composers, and you can begin to see how art can be an expression of a political idea. Rather like Jesse Helms and his war on the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Posted by Dr. Z on January 30, 2014 at 5:50 AM · Report this
I'm a little miffed there wasn't a graphic novels option!
Posted by lucyboots on January 30, 2014 at 6:16 AM · Report this
Yeah, what a pinnacle in assholery this article is:
All Russians are Idiots cause they don't love teh gays, but will fight to the death over dumb literature. Vodka swilling morons.
Posted by MadasHellNodakamnotGonnatakeitNoMore on January 30, 2014 at 8:53 AM · Report this
venomlash 19
If you wanna make the big leagues, you gotta play like the prose.
Posted by venomlash on January 30, 2014 at 9:12 AM · Report this
wingedkat 20
Although I have never really managed to develop an appreciation for poetry, I think it is a bit sad that poetry is valued so little in modern society.
Posted by wingedkat on January 30, 2014 at 9:38 AM · Report this
Pope Urbane 21
No country takes poetry and mushrooms more seriously than Russia. Seriously. Your average Russian can identify several dozen mushrooms and thousands of them show up at some poetry readings.

And I'm petty certain this isn't the first, fiftieth or last time someone's gone ballistic over verse and prose.
Posted by Pope Urbane on January 30, 2014 at 9:40 AM · Report this
bitch, please. this is not unique to russia. nice nation-baiting, you douche.
Posted by fu on January 30, 2014 at 10:34 AM · Report this

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