IN THE HEADING "BOOKSHELF" we ask the heroines about their literary preferences and publications, which occupy an important place in the bookcase. Today Nastya Lotareva, the editor-in-chief of Takikh Dela, a correspondent, historian, talks about her favorite books.
INTERVIEW: Alisa Taezhnaya
PHOTOS: Katya Starostina
MAKEUP: Lyubov Polyanok
editor-in-chief of Takikh Dela
this is rock and roll, I am drowning for this and will be drowning
I have been reading since I was three. When you live in a communal apartment in the same room with your family and wake up at seven, and your parents want to sleep some more, it is very reasonable to teach your child to read so that he lies quietly until eleven. I never had a feeling of literature as something boring: by the time I entered school I read a lot and understood that books are generally the best that I have.
At first, I wanted to study literature. Since I am not very talented in languages, I was dear to literary criticism. But I stopped at the thought: “Who am I to talk about Dostoevsky? People wrote great - and how can I deal with it? " Therefore, history came to the fore.
Somewhere in the ninth grade, I overshot: what an incredibly interesting world history opens! You will have an example for anything, any situation has analogues. I don’t know how all our teachers and authors manage to make the story boring, we have to try very hard - but they try hard. People who taught history at school have a feeling that all this is conditionally "economic policy and methods of economic management of the Eastern Slavs in the 9th century." Usually, all historians are represented as follows: boring guys who sit in the archives, rummage through dusty documents, everything with them is regrettable and sad, and no one cares what they are doing - passed in the seventh grade and forgot. But history is rock 'n' roll, I am drowning for it and will be drowning.
In general, a historian is the best background for a journalist. For five years we have been learning to work with sources, analyze information, establish causal relationships - and all this is then necessary in journalistic work. You look at what methods your colleagues use, and, naturally, you check with them. The people who made me like a professional are, first of all, my teacher Maxim Kovalsky - unfortunately, the recently deceased former editor-in-chief of Vlast, a man from the old Kommersant, the best editor. The second teacher was Olesya Gerasimenko - she taught me to look at what no one looks at in principle. There are outstanding Svetlana Reuters, Elena Kostyuchenko - we have many glorious names in journalism, and this is very cool. An important text for me "about the profession" was a longread about "Dima Yakovlev's law" that received Pulitzer. It was made by a writer who took an exemplary view of a complex problem in its entirety. And the same Olesya Gerasimenko said in class that the best journalistic work is Chekhov's Sakhalin Island. And yes, she's absolutely right. You can write, of course, that I always learn from Chekhov, but it's like with literary criticism - it's awkward to stand next to the greats.
The main and defining books are now in the reader, and this shelf in the photograph is something new that I manage to buy and store on paper.
"Noise and Fury"
It seems to me that nobody really likes Faulkner. I had a saying that I cannot coexist at all with a person who has not read it. Mom, who read twenty times more books than me, always scolded me for this snobbery. But I did marry a man who has not read it. My husband uploaded the book into the reader and said that this would be the last hope: “If we start to get divorced, I will finally read this“Noise and Fury”of yours, in which you roll your eyes and run across the ceiling with delight, and maybe then you will you won't divorce me."
"The Age of Extremes: The Short Twentieth Century"
My education is historical, and I found this book when I was studying at the university. I was completely fascinated by how comprehensively the West is able to look at large historical periods.For any historian, the 20th century is just a nightmare, decay and death: there is too much information that will obviously be emotionally colored. But you begin to dig into individual events and understand the causes and consequences. After all, we are, in fact, all of humanity that lives now, excuse the pathos and the stool, children of the 20th century. If you do not deduce causality from the 20th century, this is simply bad. And considering what is happening now in the XXI century, I suppose that many of the history of the XX century have not read and do not know.
I love the Hobsbawm concept that everything is interconnected. There is a banal analogy about Bradbury's butterfly wing, and so, the whole XX century is a butterfly's wing. If one did not happen, the other would not begin - we would be completely different now, we would live in different boundaries, in a different sense. I am fascinated by the integrity of Hobsbawm: you understand the road you have come to modernity. As a historian, they always ask me for one, "the very" book on history. I usually hover over this question, but for sure, if I have to pick one, I pick this one. Hobsbawm is truly comprehensive.
"Apology of history"
Blok has a phenomenal biography. An academic historian, a theoretical historian who wrote these great books, which in fact, almost no one except the historians themselves reads. A Frenchman, a hero of the Resistance, slender, with glasses - well, absolutely a humanist intellectual. When he was caught, he was tortured for a long time, but he did not give up any of his comrades. He was shot, he died in 1944. For me, such a heroic biography matters. After reading Mark Blok in ninth grade, I clearly decided that I would be a historian. This is a book about the importance and relevance of history. And it will be especially useful if your child doesn't like history or you don't like history. The story is really cool!
“Imaginary communities. Reflections on the origins and spread of nationalism"
This book is about nationalism and how people construct their identity. It must be understood that nationalism in the West and nationalism in Russia in the scientific sense are completely different things, there this word does not have such a vivid negative meaning. In Baudolino, Umberto Eco has a plot that people made a fake head of John the Baptist - and because they believed in it very much, it became real. It's the same with identity. People invent nationalism for themselves, and because they believe in it, it becomes real. Because in reality, objectively, national identity does not mean anything. We have a mixture of blood, peoples wander back and forth across borders, interethnic marriages have existed for centuries. Purebred does not exist in principle. But then what is national feeling? Anderson talks about this quite easily. We can invent for ourselves not only a national identity, but anything in general, and it will become real.
Another great book about the history of an excellent author - although we all read 900 pages of "The Empire Must Die" by Mikhail Zygar and are greatly tormented. For those who are not ready for this feat, there is a science fiction writer and writer Chyna Mieville. The dude is amazing. Firstly, he is a punk: he has a pierced lip, ears with tunnels and looks completely rock and roll. Throughout his life, he writes incredibly hardcore science fiction, plays in a group, but at the same time he is also a famous and important historian - you all live like him.
All in all, he wrote a delightful nonfiction about what happened in October 1917, a little before and a little after. At the same time, the book is historically flawless. It is difficult for us in Russia to take a step back and look at our past. How can you objectively look at the history of where your great-grandfather and great-grandmother lived in 1917, and you know who they are and what they did? And in "October" there is the detachment necessary for historical objectivity. Well, it's super easy to write.
"The Medieval World: The Culture of the Silent Majority"
This is an important phenomenon - like in Soviet times, without special access to world science, without the opportunity to participate in seminars and, in the end, the opportunity to see with your own eyes what you are studying, a whole galaxy of great scientists was born. They loved their job more than anyone else in the world, and published completely competitive monographs. Gurevich was a scientist, completely integrated into the world scientific community, he simply could not physically travel anywhere. First of all, I was amazed at how easily this book was written. After all, there are no problems to write academically difficult: you always know these formulations - "From the point of view", "According to estimates", the entire official scientific language. But it is difficult to write a scientific monograph so that it could be given to a person on the street and he read it. And Aron Yakovlevich turned out to be a blockbuster.
I have a Scandinavian tattoo with the inscription "Circle of the Earth" - this is a collection of Icelandic royal sagas, which I learned about from Gurevich. This is a very important book for me about the isolation of the world. That the world begins but does not end. The world is a ring; death is there, but it is not. And all these thoughts you get not thanks to reflection, but sitting in the Historical Library, from a book that you read while preparing for a seminar.
"A stuffy night in the Carolina"
I have an inexplicable love for southern American literature - for me it is primarily the one where the issues of segregation are discussed. As a child, segregation seemed to me something unimaginable: in the USSR, a person flew into space, and their people still traveled separately in buses. A sense of equality is usually inherent in a child, and this is how I was raised in my family. Naturally, I burst into tears over "Uncle Tom's Cabin" - and more than once. All these "fragrant bunches" of the American South! I really want to see Alabama, Texas and all the places from which great humanistic literature was born.
“Stuffy Night in Carolina” is a detective story, and I generally read detective stories in any incomprehensible situation. In the book, there is an African American detective who investigates a murder, and, accordingly, a white classic police officer - not only a redneck, but with all the delusions of his time. In parallel with the detective line, the author shows how a person changes his attitude towards another, despite his prejudices. My teacher Maksim Kovalsky once said: “Do not tell me in an article with words where I should cry. Tell me so that I cry. " All people are people regardless of skin color, but you can write this twenty-five times throughout the book, and it will not work. But Ball's book will.
This is an amazing book that can only be found on the web, because it was published for a long time. But this is the best thing that can be advised on the history of the first twenty years of Soviet power, moreover, it is artistic. It was written by the granddaughter of the composer Rimsky-Korsakov, who managed to emigrate, but rather late. This is the story of a huge family of the former nobility that exists in the new revolutionary and then Soviet Petrograd. It can be advised instead of any non-fiction - as Solzhenitsyn and Shalamova advise about the camps. "The Vanquished" - about what happened before the camps, and among the characters are not only former nobles. There are communist party members there - very different and complex. There is a working intelligentsia that did not sympathize with either the former aristocracy or the new order. There is both a love line and a family line. The book is absolutely amazing, it shows our tortured, wounded history in full.
"It's us, Lord!"
Something terrible has happened with the theme of the Great Patriotic War in recent years. The tragedy is multiplied by bad crafts in the form of TV series, unpleasant rhetoric, St. George's ribbons in schools and kindergartens, where no one puts in the slightest effort to explain to themselves and their children why they are doing this.This book is a simple, artless, mundane and incredibly painful story about our ancestors. About how a huge country was going to war, with what feelings and thoughts. "It's us, Lord!" written by a man who escaped from a concentration camp twice. This story was published only in 1986, although Vorobyov had the status of an official Soviet writer - because this is a book about a man in a concentration camp. As a child, the topic of concentration camps was very exciting for me: family history is connected with this. And you always think about what you would do if you were a hero. Thinking reading Slaughterhouse Five, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. "It's us, Lord!" - this is the Soviet version of Vonnegut: the book is short, simple, terrible and important - about how to remain human in inhuman conditions.