Download e-book for iPad: A Russian course by Alexander Lipson

By Alexander Lipson

ISBN-10: 0893570400

ISBN-13: 9780893570408

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Additional resources for A Russian course

Example text

Here, the Nart myth and its Greek counterpart – bound Prometheus having his liver pecked out for all eternity – are almost indistinguishable. Scholars today argue over which came first, even suggesting that the earliest Greeks may have first travelled from the North Caucasus to the Balkans. In another version of the Nart’s punishment, the chained anti-hero cries out in rage, setting off a storm of hail and thunder. Lightening rods shoot out when he beats his chains, and huge stones tumble down the mountainside.

All our lives, we work for a few kopeks, yet Caucasians live better than we do. Chechens, Armenians, Georgians, they’re all the same. They take from us and make nothing themselves. You should have seen in the old days how we lived in Russia, under the Communists. There was nothing on the shelves. You know why? p65 6 6/12/2000, 11:04 am The Jigsaw 7 On the surface, the North Caucasus looks like many other non-ethnicRussian regions which have undergone decades of Russification. The major towns are off the Soviet production line – wide, treelined avenues, sombre blocks of flats around courtyards, desolate main squares named after Lenin and monstrous concrete administration headquarters.

The North Caucasus was not just another Russian region, it was the troubled remains of an empire. p65 3 6/12/2000, 11:03 am 4 Allah’s Mountains ethnic groups everywhere struggling for cultural, even physical survival – had not. I was left with a final question: would the conflict ever end, would the North Caucasus and Russia meet on common ground? Today, minarets of newly built mosques poke above the low roofs where the Soviets once thought they had eradicated religion. On calm summer evenings, the muezzin’s sad voice calls in Arabic for the faithful to come to prayers.

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A Russian course by Alexander Lipson


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