The latest issue of Chtenia Journalis themed “Dacha Life” – second home, rural living for city dwellers (something southern Michigan city dwellers refer to as “going up north” or “to the cabin” – usually near water). Editor Tamara Eidelman writes in her introduction, “Autonomy, Solitude and Peace”:
“Of supreme importance at the dacha is that life there be absolutely unlike life in the city. For a landowner in the second half of the nineteenth century, it meant there was no need to follow the conventions of high society. For a city person, it meant resting from the burdens of one’s labors, breathing fresh air free of the smoke and soot of a large city, and socializing with friends without any excessive formality . . . For over a century, Russian city dwellers have bee attracted to dacha life for the autonomy, solitude and peace it has to offer. So it is no accident that so many works of Russian literature take place in dachas – this is where people feel freer, where they open up more quickly.”
And this issue of Chtenia continues this tradition with contemporary authors prose and poetry in English (Alexei Bayer, Irina Borisova, Marina Arsenievna Tarkovskaya) as well as translations of past Russian writers: Leonid Nikolayevich Andreyev, Alexander Blok, Aton Chekhov, Bavrila Romanovich Derzhavin, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and Vladimir Mayakovsky.