Tipsy Tolstoy: Russian Literature for the Inebriated podcast

Tipsy Tolstoy: Russian Literature for the Inebriated

Tipsy Tolstoy

Tipsy Tolstoy: Russian Literature for the Inebriated is a podcast for lovers of Russian literature, those who have heard of Russia and/or literature, and those wondering, “is War and Peace really that good?” Every other Friday, our hosts Matt and Cameron take a deep dive into a different piece of Russian literature, discussing the major themes and relevant cultural features to help you get the most out of each work.

47 Episodes

  • Tipsy Tolstoy: Russian Literature for the Inebriated podcast

    Ep41 - Morphine

    43:27

    Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron explore the effects of addiction with Bulgakov’s “Morphine,” wherein a doctor begins to treat a minor malady with an ultimately fatal cure. Grab your drink of choice - though laudanum would be thematically appropriate, it is not advised - and tune in to hear us talk about the Russian medical profession in the twenties! I promise - it’s a lot more interesting than it sounds. Major themes: Anna Karenina?, Medical Terminology, Story Forms 36:35 - Here’s the article I referenced! The music used in this episode was “soviet march,” by Toasted Tomatoes. You can find more of their work on Bandcamp and Youtube. Follow us on Instagram, check out our website, if you’re so inclined, check out our Patreon!
  • Tipsy Tolstoy: Russian Literature for the Inebriated podcast

    Ep40 - The Captain's Daughter

    57:18

    Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron take up positions as Sergeants of the Guard in Aleksandr Puskin’s historical novella, The Captain’s Daughter. We’ll be talking about the real history of the Pugachev Uprising, the place of violence in Pushkin’s era, and - naturally - about imagined communities. So grab your grapeshot, find your local pretender to the throne, and tune in! Major themes: Is it really fatalist?, My boy Pugachev, Benedict Anderson will never leave us alone 03:45 - It’s “Farmer’s Daughter” by Rodney Atkins, if anyone’s wondering. 34:07 - “Alexandr Pushkin’s The Captain’s Daughter: A Poetics of Violence” by Alexander Groce 38:01 - Plotting History: The Russian Historical Novel in the Imperial Age by Dan Ungurianu 38: 47 - “Between Nation and Empire: Aleksandr Pushkin’s The Captain’s Daughter” by Irina Anisimova 46:38 - Close, but no cigar. It’s The History of Pugachev 53: 45 - “Grinev the Trickster: Reading the Paradoxes of Pushkin’s The Captain’s Daughter” by Polina Rikoun The music used in this episode was “soviet march,” by Toasted Tomatoes. You can find more of their work on Bandcamp and Youtube. Follow us on Instagram, check out our website, if you’re so inclined, check out our Patreon!
  • Tipsy Tolstoy: Russian Literature for the Inebriated podcast

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  • Tipsy Tolstoy: Russian Literature for the Inebriated podcast

    Ep39 - Heart of a Dog

    50:28

    Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron take up their surgical tools to dissect Mikhail Bulgakov’s Heart of a Dog, in which a dog is turned into a man, a creation is turned into a proletarian, and a doctor is - maybe - turned into a murderer. Written in 1925, the novella reflects Bulgakov’s reactions to the changing world around him in ways general and specific - we’ll tease apart what we find interesting and not about this approach. Take a seat and grab your favorite scalpel, it’s time to re-create Frankenstein’s work! Major themes: The Balalaika is stored in the pituitary gland, Novels as forum, Criminal Testes. 02:30 - The sound you hear is me immediately googling “Kentucky’s Best.” 23:40 - Link to “Bad Words Are Not Allowed!”  Language and Transformation in Mikhail Bulgakov’s Heart of a Dog” by Eric Laursen 31:01 - It’s The Russians by Hedgewick Smith 36:10 - “Reflections of Soviet Reality in “Heart of a Dog” As Bulgakov’s Way of Discussion with the Proletarian Writers” by Irina Shilova 42:03 - “Bulgakov's Early Tragedy of the Scientist-Creator: An Interpretation of The Heart of a Dog” by Diana Burgin The music used in this episode was “soviet march,” by Toasted Tomatoes. You can find more of their work on Bandcamp and Youtube. Follow us on Instagram, check out our website, if you’re so inclined, check out our Patreon!
  • Tipsy Tolstoy: Russian Literature for the Inebriated podcast

    Ep38 - The Funeral Party

    47:59

    Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron celebrate life, death, and cultural identity abroad in The Funeral Party by Lyudmila Ulitskaya. The plot of this book is deceptively simple: in a sweltering New York apartment, a group of Russian emigres take care of a quickly dying artist who is the nucleus of their strange little community; in another way, the book is about everything other than that. A ranging, almost ethnographic, and incisively written look into a split section of emigre life, this is a novel you don’t want to skip. Major themes: Alcohol, The August Coup, the Labyrinth of Plots returns. 03:52 - Yes, my mind does work on free-associations like this on a regular basis. Some call it a talent, doctors call it ADHD. 07:53 - The Weight of Words by Masha Gessen 12:45 - Take a shot every time I say “interplay” on this episode. 18:46 - Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the English version of “Paradoxes of Space Time Model Transformation: Specificity of Literary Time and Space Presentation in Lyudmila Ulitskaya’s Prose,” so here’s a link to the Russian version. For what it’s worth, it reads as “The Character (or specific character) of the Creation of Artistic Time and Space in Lyudmila Ulitskaya’s Prose,” to my eye. 21:37 - 0 for 2 on those pronunciations there, bud. 24:39 - I would perhaps go even further and say the implicit and over biases that we categorize as racism are behaviors and attitudes that we see in all societies. The music used in this episode was “soviet march,” by Toasted Tomatoes. You can find more of their work on Bandcamp and Youtube. Follow us on Instagram, check out our website, if you’re so inclined, check out our Patreon!
  • Tipsy Tolstoy: Russian Literature for the Inebriated podcast

    Bonus Episode 7 Preview - Movie Night!

    8:09

    Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron talk about movie night and the novel Laurus! This is a preview of the Bonus Episode that will be coming out on Patreon in a few days (as you can tell...it was one of our drunker ones). Major themes: Rusalka, Audible Sponsorships, and Laurus. The music used in this episode was “bella ciao,” by Toasted Tomatoes. You can find more of their work on Bandcamp and Youtube. Follow us on Instagram, check out our website, if you’re so inclined, check out our Patreon!
  • Tipsy Tolstoy: Russian Literature for the Inebriated podcast

    Ep37 - The Meek One with Dr. Kaitlin Shirley

    55:30

    Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron are joined by Dr. Kaitlin Shirley as they discuss “The Meek One,” sometimes alternately translated as “A Gentle Creature.” In usual Dostoevskian fashion, “The Meek One” explores themes of exploration (or perhaps better called: thoughtful misunderstanding) of one’s self, the place of suffering, and questions of domination. Introspection, suffering, and attempts to control, oh my! It’s Dostoevsky hour, everybody. You can also find Dr. Kaitlin Shirley as Dostoevsky or Doesn’t She in the following places: dostoevskyordoesntshe.com Twitter @doestoevsky_txt Instagram @dostoevskyordoesntshe Tumblr The link to the Dostoevsky Book Club can be found here! Major themes: Domination, Child Marriage, Uncritical Introspection. The music used in this episode was “soviet march,” by Toasted Tomatoes. You can find more of their work on Bandcamp and Youtube. Follow us on Instagram, check out our website, if you’re so inclined, check out our Patreon!
  • Tipsy Tolstoy: Russian Literature for the Inebriated podcast

    Ep36 - Anna Karenina p.8

    52:01

    Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron cover Part 8 of Anna Karenina, the FINAL section of this incredibly dense novel. Although you may expect this story to end with Anna’s death—a belief we would understand given both every movie adaption and the fact that this novel is named after her—life goes on for the other characters. So join us as we cover the final journey of the most important character of part ll: Levin’s brother, Sergei. Oh, and I guess we find out what happens to the other characters, too. Major themes: 03:10 - If I was more cultured, I would have recognized the label as the painting “Busy Time For the Mowers,” by Grigoriy Myasoyedov. 04:03 - I actually did not have a chance to break this one out for this episode, but keep an eye out for it in future episodes! 06:34 - The Serbo-Turkish Wars 12:26 - Depending upon how you look at it - and by “at it,” I mean any definition of materialist philosophy - none of the philosophers that Levin mentions are materialists. I studied political philosophy, sue me. 29:50 - You can tell I’ve read a lot of Camus in my time. The music used in this episode was “soviet march,” by Toasted Tomatoes. You can find more of their work on Bandcamp and Youtube. Follow us on Instagram, check out our website, if you’re so inclined, check out our Patreon!
  • Tipsy Tolstoy: Russian Literature for the Inebriated podcast

    Ep35 - Anna Karenina p.7

    50:23

    Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron reach the penultimate Part 7 of Anna Karenina full of exciting things like Levin awkwardly visiting people he doesn’t know at Kitty’s behest, Levin getting into gambling, and Levin not liking this new-fangled Wagnerian art. Am I missing something? Hm. It can’t be all that important…can it? Apologies for Cameron’s audio in this episode—he was recording away from his usual set-up so the quality is a little lower than usual. The appropriate punishment shall be meted out with extreme prejudice. Major themes: Red Flags, City Livin’, Hangin’ With Your Buds (and also father-in-law) at the Club. The music used in this episode was “soviet march,” by Toasted Tomatoes. You can find more of their work on Bandcamp and Youtube. Follow us on Instagram, check out our website, if you’re so inclined, check out our Patreon!
  • Tipsy Tolstoy: Russian Literature for the Inebriated podcast

    Ep34 - Anna Karenina p.6

    55:03

    Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron travel from light love affair to life after marriage (and pseudo-divorce) with Levin and Kitty’s life, paralleled with Anna and Vronsky’s. Of course—we are reading Tolstoy after all—this is not merely their story, but also that of Sergei and Varenka and Vasenka and so many other interesting characters that we run into in this part. Grab your gun, get up early for snipe hunting, and don’t forget to bring along this podcast to keep you entertained!  Major themes: Snipe hunting, The Labyrinth of Plots, Ambiguous Morality.  15:00 - “It really is. Why is it we spend our time riding, drinking, shooting, doing nothing, while they are forever at work?” said Vasenka Veslovsly, obviously for the first time in his life reflecting on the question and consequently considering it with perfect sincerity. (P.667, trans. Garnett; Kent & Berberova)  24:15 - “Won’t” be Vronsky’s. Is what I meant to say.  The music used in this episode was “soviet march,” by Toasted Tomatoes. You can find more of their work on Bandcamp and Youtube. Follow us on Instagram, check out our website, if you’re so inclined, check out our Patreon!
  • Tipsy Tolstoy: Russian Literature for the Inebriated podcast

    Ep33 - Anna Karenina p.5

    52:51

    Shownotes: This week, Matt and Cameron get their teeth into the incredibly action-packed Part 5 of Anna Karenina! Seriously. Even if we weren’t comparing this to two straight parts full of farming and legal procedure, it would still stand out. Throw away your farming equipment, grab your finest wedding attire, and get ready for marriages and domestic unrest and familial drama, oh my! Major themes: Death, Honeymoonin’, Born Again Christianity. 08:57 - 1967, is the year the Soviet version was released. 43:03 - For quick reference, Anna Karenina was published in 1878; What Is To Be Done? was published in 1887; and the Kreutzer Sonata was published in 1889. 50:23 - Now, belatedly, you get the joke from the Format Change episode. 51:14 - Whomp whomp. The music used in this episode was “soviet march,” by Toasted Tomatoes. You can find more of their work on Bandcamp and Youtube. Follow us on Instagram, check out our website, if you’re so inclined, check out our Patreon!

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