Head Of Yandex.Transport Liza Semyanovskaya About Her Favorite Books

A life 2022

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Head Of Yandex.Transport Liza Semyanovskaya About Her Favorite Books
Head Of Yandex.Transport Liza Semyanovskaya About Her Favorite Books

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INTERVIEW: Alisa Taezhnaya

PHOTOS: Alexander Karnyukhin

IN THE HEADING "BOOKSHELF" we ask journalists, writers, scientists, curators and other heroines about their literary preferences and publications, which occupy an important place in their bookcase. Today Liza Semyanovskaya, the head of the Yandex.Transport service, shares her stories about her favorite books.

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Liza Semyanovskaya

Head of Yandex.Transport service

I like to treat a list of books like a photo album

My mother read all the time, so her reading habit should be the first to be thanked. For example, we always dined together, but as soon as we sat down at the table, we immediately put our books in front of us. Years later, I have already learned that reading lying down is harmful, reading while eating is bad from the point of view of awareness, and in general it is better to read only sitting at a table and in good lighting. The only thing I feel about this is that this is some kind of nonsense, and you can and should read anytime and anywhere.

When I was very young, my mother read a lot to me aloud: Milna, Lindgren, "Alice in Wonderland". I demanded reading all the time, so at some point she got very tired of doing it and gave me a book with the words “learn for yourself”. I learned and began to read everything I could find. In the cool biographies of great people, young geniuses find Aristotle, Horace and Kant in such a situation, and I avidly read the Children's Detective series and was ready to kill for each new book. Then I switched to the deposits of the "Female Detective" series, and it started: Tatiana Polyakova, Victoria Platova, I even read twenty of Daria Dontsova's books. Probably, if I had come across Aristotle, I would have tried it too, because I was omnivorous. Sydney Sheldon, "Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece", Tolkien, "Mary Poppins", "Pippi Longstocking", Conan Doyle, "Gone with the Wind", children's encyclopedias "Avanta +", Kir Bulychev, "One Hundred Years of Solitude", "Master and Margarita "," The Catcher in the Rye "," To Kill a Mockingbird "- I read all this mixed up without any particular order. I remember that I also constantly read on the sly: for example, in the sixth grade I put a physics textbook on top of the book and read, gradually moving the book under the textbook - line by line. If my mother entered the room, I could quickly return the textbook to its place.

The set of books I read as a teenager is very similar to what my friends were reading at the time. When I was 15-16 years old, the first consciously chosen authors were Murakami, Pelevin, Nabokov, Kundera and Pavich. It started when I bought Murakami's The Clockwork Bird Chronicle before going to sea: it was fat and had a cool cover. I seemed to myself a terrible intellectual and tried to lie down on the reserved seat so that the maximum number of fellow travelers could see the cover of the book. I still love Murakami terribly, because I read him on long boring trips, in the hospital, during unrequited falls in love - and it always became easier for me. I swallowed everything that he had: both at home and in class, putting the book on my knees and covering myself from the teacher with a bang, pretending to write, bending over a notebook. Oh, and, of course, sometime at the same time I began to read Brodsky - these were the first poems that I fell in love with. I knew a lot by heart, bought up all the collections that I found, and even wrote my graduation essay at the external school based on his Christmas poems.

Then, from the age of 15 to 19, I began to read more consciously and read as much as I never did later. All the warmest memories of books I have from this period of my life. Back then, books fascinated me much more than they do now, and I really yearn for that feeling, which for some reason has now disappeared. In my final years, I started to work a lot, so there was little time left for reading.I began to choose books more carefully so that I could avoid passing through. Then I fell in love with southern gothic - the first time I read Faulkner's "Noise and Fury" and then for several months I could not come to my senses. Probably, this is still the main art book for me. There was only one person who greatly influenced what I read, and part of the books on my list are his recommendations. In our master's program, we had an incredible teacher, Pyotr Ryabov, who taught us a course on philosophical anarchism and existentialism. I do not remember a single person from the university with such fondness as him.

Since I became interested in feminism, my relationship with world literature in general has deteriorated greatly, and this is very difficult and sad. 9 out of 10 books are in principle riddled with patriarchy, and there is nothing to be done about it, so I get frustrated all the time. It is especially difficult to return to the books that I loved as a teenager, and understand that all of them, with rare exceptions, were written by men about men and for men.

The biggest over-praised author for me is Ayn Rand. I am terribly sad that everything seems to be crazy about her. I honestly read "Atlas Shrugged": the characters there speak in lines that take several pages, so that the feeling that you are reading the manifesto does not leave. And I don't like this manifesto, because, on the whole, I am not close to the idea that a person is the master of the world, and the smarter, stronger and more talented he is, the more authoritarian he can afford to be. For my outlook, I owe most of all, probably, to all the main children-existentialists: Camus, Sartre, Kierkegaard. It's funny that my head is very sick for poststructuralism and postmodernism, but my heart is completely devoted to existentialism.

Before, I adored fiction and sincerely did not understand people who do not read it. Now I began to pay much more attention to non-fiction. I remember that several years ago I was not for long in love with a man who did not read fiction at all - he said that life was much more interesting for him. It seems that I am quietly moving somewhere in the same direction. But I make a special effort not to abandon the artist.

Now I read disastrously little. But, if I come across something very exciting, then I do it all the time and everywhere: on the go, at work (I can hide in an inconspicuous corner between meetings and read there for fifteen minutes), before going to bed, while eating. The main thing is that I've been keeping a list of all the books I've read for five years now - it's very cool and convenient. Firstly, I can return to it if I want to advise someone something, and secondly, I use it as a diary. Books are associated with a lot of memories, and I like to view this list as a photo album.

My heart is completely devoted to existentialism

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Karen Horney

The neurotic personality of our time

I really love psychotherapy and believe in it. For three years now I have been going to my wonderful psychotherapist once a week, and this has a very cool effect on how I feel. When I started reading this book, I was in a very difficult relationship, and the book quickly made me worse. Nevertheless, I have regularly remembered her for several years now: it seems that in general she helped me a lot. In one phrase, it’s a book about anxiety. It has become another small contribution to the fact that I become less and less immersed in anxiety when it comes, and I can better observe it from the outside. In addition, Karen Horney is one of those who invented neo-Freudianism. For example, she refutes Freud's nightmarish sexism - his idea that women are jealous of men because they have a penis. Horney says that social and parenting differences are much more important for personality formation than biology - including differences between the sexes. And her idea that men are jealous of women because they have a womb and they can give birth to children seems to me to be great trolling.

Lao Tzu

Tao Te Ching

I am very sorry that most people think that philosophy is some kind of boring far from life. There are tons of books from the list of books for the basic course of philosophy that are very cool. For example, this one. This is the main treatise on Taoism, it is many thousands of years old, and, as usual, no one knows who actually wrote it. It is also written in some strange version of the Chinese language, so there are a lot of translations, and it's great to read them all in parallel. The first time I took her for the exam and remembered that I would need to return. A couple of years ago I found several translations and read everything. The Tao Te Ching is a collection of aphorisms as it should be. Well, in general, Taoism is very cool. It's about kindness, acceptance, non-resistance and love.

Irwin Yalom

Existential psychotherapy

Irwin Yalom is commonly known for his popular psychology books with magazine titles, such as Schopenhauer as Medicine or When Nietzsche Wept. Firstly, these books are interesting and cool. Secondly, it is very important to popularize the work of psychologists, and Yalom makes a lot of efforts for this. In addition, he has a great academic work - just "Existential psychotherapy". With my love for existentialism and psychotherapy, there is no better book. I found it in the bibliography of a course at the Gestalt Institute and read it along with other books on this list. There are four large parts in it: about death, freedom, loneliness and the meaninglessness of life. Yalom believes that all the reasons for suffering are that a person has to constantly live with the feeling that he, firstly, is mortal, secondly, one is responsible for himself, and thirdly, he will never understand how it is to be different man, and, fourthly, has no task "from above". On every page I wanted to shout "yes!" and hug the author.

Pyotr Kropotkin

Notes of a Revolutionary

This book is just from the list of literature on philosophical anarchism. Kropotkin is very kind and cheerful: in addition to being a revolutionary, he is also a geologist, geographer and biologist. I love his autobiography for everything, but especially for one story. He went on an expedition to Manchuria with guides. At some point, an official stopped them at the border and asked to see their documents. They showed their passports, but this was not enough for the official - these pieces of paper did not make any impression on him. Then Kropotkin in the tent found the newspaper Moskovskie vedomosti with the coat of arms of the Russian Empire on the front page and said that it was his passport. They were reverently passed. Besides the fact that this book is really funny, it is very kind and human - I want everyone to read it.

Fedor Svarovsky

Time Travelers

Swarovsky is my favorite contemporary poet. He writes insane poems about robots, space travel and the future, from which you constantly want to cry, because they are very touching, warm and human. I love all of his poems, and it so happened that I have two collections of Time Travelers. I bought one myself, and the second one was brought to me by a friend to the hospital, when I was lying with sick kidneys and a fever somewhere on the outskirts of Moscow. In addition to poems, this book contains many photographs of our everyday life - companies at barbecues, families in parks, friends swimming in a pond - and all these photographs have signatures from the chronicles of the future, something like “Pilot of Spaceship No. 3645-2 Igor after the end of the war, 2436 ".

Didier Eribon

Michel Foucault (ZhZL series)

For Michel Foucault, I wrote a diploma, and then began to write a dissertation in graduate school, which, thank God, I dropped out. Foucault is a true rock star among philosophers. Eribon's biography is great because one can be read in order to generally understand why Foucault is outstanding and why everyone has been crazy about him for several decades. It was after this book that I really fell in love with Foucault - he finally became alive and convex for me.Foucault is one of my main role models, because he combined a lot of cool as a professional and as, God forgive me, a person. He worked on the rights of prisoners, psychiatric patients and homosexuals, worked 12 hours every day (lectured and wrote), once bought a Cadillac and crashed it drunk on the way from a party, lived with his partner for many years and left with him to Tunisia, missing the whole revolutionary movement of 1968 in France, he wore a corduroy suit and turtlenecks under his throat. If it did not exist, then LGBT studies, perhaps, would not exist either.

Hannah arendt

Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil

When Israeli intelligence tracked down Adolf Eichmann and began to judge in Jerusalem in 1961, Hannah Arendt attended the hearing - she was reporting for The New Yorker. Then the book “The Banality of Evil. Eichmann in Jerusalem ". Not the latest version has been translated into Russian, but the main title and subtitle are completely mixed up, so it's better to read in English. This book is about the fact that you don't need to be a super villain to create super evil - a system that normalizes villainy and a high position in it is enough. Eichmann, who organized the massacres, was not a psychopath or a sadist, he just did his job well. Hannah Arendt is generally very important, she perfectly explains totalitarianism.

Erich Fromm

Anatomy of Human Destructiveness

We were asked to read this book in political science in the third year, I could not take it for a long time, and then finally I started and could not tear myself away. I think that was all I read from that bibliography. We usually know fromm's "To have or to be", "A man for himself" and "Escape from freedom." “Anatomy of human destructiveness” is not like them - it is such a weighty brick about human aggression. First, Fromm examines (in a rather pejorative tone) his predecessors (Lorenz and Skinner) and then methodically examines all aspects of human aggression - with a steep excursion into anthropology and history. Well, he ends up with a detailed analysis of Hitler's personality.

Charles Bukowski

What Matters Most is How Well You Walk Through the Fire

A few years ago, I started reading a lot of blogs on Tumblr and constantly came across quotes from Bukowski's poems. For some reason, Bukowski translates into Russian only prose, although as a poet I like him much more. Well, after the quotes in the tumbler, I bought one collection in the Kindle on Amazon. But reading poetry from an iPad is wrong, so during a trip to the States I went to a bookstore and bought three paper books at once. She gave one to a friend, two she kept for herself. In one of them, I already at home found a note "I think you have beautiful hands <3", for which I adore it even more. Bukowski's poems are terribly, terribly, terribly sad - about loneliness and love. Basically, you can take any of his collection and start reading from anywhere - most likely, it will be cool. This is also the case when I can't be angry with him at all for his outrageous sexism, because the poetry is too good.

Ursula Le Guin

Left Hand of Darkness

Ursula Le Guin, however, with another book, was on the list for the anarchism exam (I love the way it sounds). I read The Disadvantaged, and then all the other books from the Hain Cycle followed. Each planet in the books of this cycle has its own peculiar social structure. In "Disadvantaged" all opposition-minded citizens are sent to a separate planet (main satellite), and they build cool anarchism there. In the "Left Hand of Darkness" people have neither a certain gender, nor a gender. For the time when it is necessary to look for a partner for the birth of children, the inhabitants of the planet find themselves a mate, and then already in a pair, each acquires temporary signs of the required sex. Children are all brought up together, so after the birth of a child, partners again become gender neutral. In general, Ursula Le Guin wrote about floating identity before it was cool. This book (and the rest of the Hain Cycle) I always recommend to everyone, because I believe that Le Guin is insanely underestimated.

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