Guest Blog: Five Fascinating Facts about Alexander Pushkin

Interesting Information on Alexander Pushkin.

Interesting Literature

By Karen Langley

His matrilineal great grandfather was a black African page brought over to Russia as a slave. Abram Petrovich Gannibal (1696–1781) was kidnapped and taken to Russia as a gift for Peter the Great. Gannibal was educated in France to the profession of a military engineer, later progressing to become governor of Reval and finally Général en Chef (which was the 3rd most senior army rank) – in charge of the building of sea forts and canals in Russia.

2. Pushkin met Gogol!  By 1831 Pushkin’s literary influence had grown and at that time he met Nikolai Gogol, who was then in the early stages of his career. Gogol had published his first volumes of Ukrainian tales and Pushkin supported him, publishing some of his most famous short stories in the The Contemporary, a magazine he founded in 1836. After Pushkin’s death, Gogol went on…

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The Fear of Writing

Well, my dear readers, I find myself suffering from a case of scriptophobia.  Scriptophobia is defined as the fear of writing for the public.  The Wikipedia article says: “Scriptophobes tend to be very cautious in writing, while suffering symptoms including nausea, trembling, raised heart rate, and even losing consciousness.  Sufferers should be treated with the help of therapists.”  Be at ease: I only suffer from excessive caution and diffidence.  The thought of needing a therapist caused me to burst out laughing!  Though, I pity persons who fear criticism and become anxious over people knowing their inmost thoughts so much that they need a therapist to overcome this fear.

Hemingway is famous for a writer's block which lasted ten years and ended with what might be considered his masterpiece: The Old Man and the Sea.

Hemingway is famous for a writer’s block which lasted ten years and ended with what might be considered his masterpiece: The Old Man and the Sea.

In a sense, however, I am writing this very article as therapy.  My case might be compared to stage fright, which I know no way of overcoming save by stepping into the spotlight.  (Admittedly, this is a smaller theater than I have at Medieval Otaku, but a theater all the same.)  Curiously, this case stems from me having submitted a novel to a writing contest.  You might say that I have finished a performance, but have experienced neither the approbation nor opprobrium of the spectators.  I feel like Beethoven with his back toward the audience at the end of his Ninth Symphony.  May my story have as happy an ending!


I sympathize heartily with Beethoven.  All my learning and creativity was poured into that novel, which I am not sure will be loved or hated.  This uncertainty has paralyzed my motivation to write.  As I write this article, I feel like a bed-ridden patient needing to re-accustom his limbs to exercise–even though my present case has lasted only four days.  I fear whether what I write will contain anything of value.

I'm reading a book on Joseph Conrad's life.  He did not have a very happy beginning, but I hope that it gets better.

I’m reading a book on Joseph Conrad’s life. He did not have a very happy beginning, but I hope that it gets better.

Yet, I have in the past described my posts as much mediocrity with a few gems.  A coal mine may have a few diamonds hidden among its depths, but one will never uncover the diamonds without shoveling tons of coal.  And it must be remembered that coal, though neither as beautiful nor as prized as diamonds, has much usefulness.

And so, it is time for me to start mining again.  Look for my article on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight soon and expect more articles to come after it!

I hate to recommend the Brussels Journal, but when they write about Barfield, I’ll hold my nose and recommend them

Gaikokumaniakku links to an excellent article on a facet of the romantic movement. Be sure to read it.


You should read the whole thing.

Here’s a short sample:

Significantly, the first sentence of the last chapter of History in English Words is: “Early Christianity, with its delighted recognition of the soul’s reality [and] its awful consciousness of inner depths unplumbed, had produced, as we saw, many words describing human emotions by their effects, and especially their effects on the soul’s relation to the Divine.” Earlier in the History, Barfield had devoted his Chapter VII, called “Devotion,” to Medieval Catholicism. Romanticism, in reaction against the self-lauding Enlightenment, revives a type of religious view, partly Christian but partly also Pagan, reinvesting as it does the external world and all of its phenomena with élan vital, metaphoric personification, and with the quality of pointing beyond itself to a transcendent realm. The Romantics see nature as creation. Firstly they see it as evidence of a supernal intelligence at work and secondly…

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How Something Slightly Vexatious to Me May Turn to Your Advantage

Medieval Otaku

Those of you who’ve read my twitter feed know that I have submitted an entry to Athanatos Christian Ministries 2015 Novel Contest.  With the deadline at 12 PM today, I ardently burned the midnight oil in finishing off my novel and submitted it with around an hour to spare.  I might have used that time to make more adjustments, but my brain felt and still feels rather fuzzy after only two hours of sleep.  And so, after returning from a half-day at work, I was speaking to a friend of mine who made the comment that I had until the 20th to make improvements to my novel.  At first, I did not understand him; but, checking out the website again, it now indicates that the deadline has been extended to October 20, 2014!  I could have had another fortnight to write the book!

Shippou on Inuyasha's Head

In a way, it affords…

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