Arzamas Photo Editor Nastya Indrikova About Favorite Books

A life 2023

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Arzamas Photo Editor Nastya Indrikova About Favorite Books
Arzamas Photo Editor Nastya Indrikova About Favorite Books

Video: Arzamas Photo Editor Nastya Indrikova About Favorite Books

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Video: Insect book introducing 2023, January

IN THE HEADING "BOOKSHELF" we ask the heroines about their literary preferences and publications, which occupy an important place in the bookcase. Today, Nastya Indrikova, the author of the murmolka telegram channel, talks about her favorite books.

INTERVIEW: Alisa Taezhnaya

PHOTOS: Katya Starostina

MAKEUP: Lyubov Polyanok


Nastya Indrikova

photo editor, researcher

I wrote an essay on "War and Peace" with a grade of two, and years later

on the philological, I found out that my reading of the novel was not at all so radical


For a long time it seemed to me ashamed that I had not read before school, that I had not read poetry, that my reading in high school consisted of the golden trinity of a teenager (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and Catcher in the Rye "Salinger), as well as some series of science fiction novels and memoirs of generals of tank forces. I was also ashamed that after school I went not to study, but to work in a comic and vinyl toy store. The institute felt ashamed that there was no oak professorial cabinet in our panel, or that I did not know by heart something from Pasternak and Rilke.

In high school, for a long time, until there was a scandal with the threat of expulsion, I left the house "to school", went up to the fifth floor, waited for my mother to leave, returned home and read. I read everything, from editions that came out in the "orange series" (a series of books "Alternative") to "The Elder Edda" and the Irish sagas with Homer. In general, there is nothing to surprise here, except that I am proud that I was the only person in the class who completely mastered War and Peace and really wanted to discuss this text. The lesson discussion ended with wild shouts from our teacher that all communication was stopped, and instead we were writing an essay. And my classmates should thank me for this. I wrote the essay with a grade of two, and years later, at the Faculty of Philology, I found out that my reading of the novel was not at all so scandalous and radical.

I got some idea of ​​the structure of literature at the philological faculty, where I got four years after leaving school. For all the ambiguous attitude towards the faculty, it greatly changed my relationship with books. At the institute, I began to read what I ignored at school, considering it a terrible melancholy. And I discovered that these are all powerful texts. Hans Robert Jauss writes in his article “Literary History as a Challenge to Literary Theory” how difficult it is to read anything from the golden fund of fiction: “What is red in them and their 'eternal meaning' make masterpieces, from the point of view of aesthetics of reception, dangerous closeness to 'easy reading', and it takes a special effort to read them again, so that their artistic nature is rediscovered for perception. " The Faculty of Philology not only revealed to me the authors, whose portraits hang in every class of literature, but also introduced me to completely unknown ones. To everyone who hides in their shadows.

After two years of English philology, I transferred to German, wrote a diploma based on Doeblin's novel "Mountains, Seas and Giants", and then, although I did not want to return to the Russian State University for the Humanities, I entered the magistracy of the Center for Typology and Semiotics of Folklore. All the years at the philological faculty they said to me: "You have it on folklore studies." And in folklore, I was told: "You have there in German studies." As a result, I never decided where I was better, and sat comfortably in both of these chairs.

Any list of loved ones, important and the like, limited to ten (twenty, one hundred, and so on) items is always a headache. On the one hand, there are a dozen books that were plowed up in my youth. On the other hand, there are a couple dozen more of those that are incredibly important to you today. Among them, those who are loved with all their hearts, but even without me, the famous can fight those that everyone needs to know about.In general, if Gaiman's American Gods ends up staying here, and the list looks like a show-off, this is only because they are well read here without me.

The Faculty of Philology not only revealed to me the authors, whose portraits hang in each class of literature, but also introduced

with completely unknown. To everyone who is hiding

in their shadow


Elias Canetti


Most emotionally, physically challenging reading experience I've ever had. "Blinding" is a series of immersions into the inner worlds of abusive characters: each of them is sure that a world inhabited by flawed, immoral, evil, stupid people stands on the way to his happiness. The hermit philologist lives with the idea that unworthy people (that is, about everything) want to steal his useless books. His servant - that in the silence of the armchair (this is too suspicious) for years dismembered women, while she is deprived of her worthy luxury. The hunchback pimp considers the philologist a madman, a swindler and a rich man, which means that it is fair to steal his money in order to go to America and beat Capablanca at chess. Each person-to-person contact generates violence, each rapist tells himself that "they brought it", "they deserve it."

Canetti wrote this novel in 1935 and is often compared to Kafka - but Canetti's world is much, much more terrifying. With Kafka, the reader is protected from the absurd by the point of view - he is always with the hero. With Canetti, it’s impossible to get hooked on anyone in the novel. As if you hit the head of a neighbor who beats a child behind the wall, then the head of the mother who humiliates her daughter, then the head of a special forces officer who dreams of smearing someone else's liver on the asphalt, and in the head of a philologist professor is no better. And so on - from one distorted perception of reality to another.

Winfried Georg Maximilian Sebald

"Natural History of Destruction"

Sebald came across to me after graduation - and I still do not understand how it happened that one of the most important German-speaking authors did not pass German students. This literary historian and writer was born a year before the end of World War II and at some point decided to comprehend and talk about what is still a very slippery topic in Germany.

"Air War and Literature" (this is how the original title of the collection "Luftkrieg und Literatur" is translated) is a recording of his Zurich lectures. They are built around one of the most important symbols of German culture of the second half of the 20th century - the ruins. The importance can be judged by the fact that the most prominent movement of German post-war literature was literally called "literature of ruins" (Trümmerliteratur). At the same time, Sebald believes that even in her there was no full-fledged conversation about the state of the inhabitants of Germany by the end of the war. The well-known example of Dresden, which burned already in 1945, is described by the survivor Vonnegut in Slaughterhouse Five. But Dresden was not unique - during the war years, British aircraft wiped out many cities, large and small.

Carpet bombing aimed at civilians (this was justified by the need to demoralize the German rear) raised questions even in Great Britain, but their comprehension in Germany itself turned out to be completely impossible. And Zebald wonders how the complete taboo of this topic arose. A very important book for understanding how difficult it is to go beyond the opposition "obvious evil versus obvious good" in order to see something at the same time large-scale, painful and not analyzed by anyone.

Anna Loewenhaupt Jing

"The Mushroom at the End of the World"

First, I read a long article by Jing, which came out several years before the book and is its summary. We analyzed the article at a seminar on Science and Technology Studies at Humboldt University, where I had a six-month internship. By that time, many questions had already accumulated about how and what they taught me at home, and the text became the last nail in the coffin of my students in Moscow.

Jing studied the matsutake mushroom collecting communities for several years. The mushroom is highly prized in Japan, but it is not easy to harvest and the demand greatly exceeds the supply. As a result, people living in various countries where this mushroom can be found enter into economic and social relations around it: from Japan and China to the USA, Canada and Finland. Jing describes this relationship as "third nature." In this construction, the first nature is what we usually call the environment, including humans. The second is the capitalist transformation of the first. The third is an alternative to the second: people scattered around the world pick mushrooms, forming a mobile, elusive network. Moreover, the very work on this book is an experiment in collaboration. Matsutake Jing did not study alone, but in constant contact and exchange of data with other scientists in different countries. Together they formed the Matsutake Worlds Exploration Society, an ever-growing network of researchers.

Mathieu Asselin

Monsanto: A Photographic Investigation

Mathieu Asselin filmed the outskirts of the small town of Anniston in Alabama for five years. The soil and water there are poisoned by polychlorinated biphenyls and their derivatives. The reason is the several decades (from the 30s to the 70s) of the Monsanto chemical plants. Their chemicals (the most famous - "agent orange") were used by the US military in Vietnam to destroy crops and forest vegetation, which led to massive famine and subsequent genetic diseases among residents and the military themselves. At the same time, today Monsanto is already known as an aggressive player in agriculture. Genetically modified soybeans, corn, and cotton are grown from their grain.

It is this transition from the production of chemical and biological weapons to the "fight against hunger" that Asselin's book in the genre of investigative photography is dedicated to. This is not just a collection of photos with comments, but an ingeniously constructed narrative. Asselin tells the story of Monsanto, interspersed with her own photographs, reprints of newspaper pages with messages about the infection of cities, texts about how over the years the company hid the facts of the danger of its own products, advertising videos from different years. There is also a copy of the onerous contract that the company forces farmers to sign. Behind the author's eco-activism, you can see the story not about how Monsanto will destroy us all with GMO products, but about how a corporation with a very bad history aggressively captures important for life on the entire planet into the market, simultaneously changing the biosphere.

Pavel Berkov (Compiled by)

"Verses: Syllabic Poetry of the 17th-18th Centuries"

The word "verse" sounds somehow not very attractive: either it is about graphomania, or about clumsy, archaic and interesting only to philologists poems written before Pushkin created real poetry and the Russian literary language. Even the “teacher of Pushkin” - Derzhavin - was considered archaic already in the second half of the 19th century, and then it was rediscovered by the poets of Serebryany, that is, already in the 20th century. But if Derzhavin sounds like familiar classical poetry, open these very "verses" from even earlier poets of the 17th-18th centuries. You will quickly find that they sound very modern. Try to read aloud some verse by Antiochus Cantemir or Feofan Prokopovich as if they were playing on a rap battle. The rhythmic breakdown of short remarks, the transfer of the endings of the chopped phrases to the next line - all this is ideally combined with the texts, which most often represent not the sublime searches of the artist, but statements on topical socio-political topics and targeted attacks towards the opponent.

If someone interferes with the cards, different wines taste


Dancing, playing three songs on the pipe, Thinks of cleverly tidying up in your dress

flowers, To that even in the youngest years

Any higher degree, the reward is already small;

The face of the seven wise men thinks itself worthy.

There is no truth in people, the brainless one screams


I'm not a bishop yet, but I know a watchmaker, I can fluently honor the Psalter and the Epistles, In Zlatoust I will not stumble, although I do not understand.

Antioch Cantemir.

From “To my mind. On blasphemous doctrine"

Matthew Desmond

Evicted: Poverty and Wealth in an American City

Thousands of reviews on say something like this: "This study reads like a novel and is the most important book of the year." Indeed, the first three hundred pages of Evicted is a heartbreaking documentary about people in desperate distress. What unites them is the constant threat of eviction. Time after time it becomes a reality: a landlord, a sheriff with a warrant, a team of loaders. And the choice: things are sent either to the sidewalk or to a special storage facility, from where they can be redeemed for $ 350. The scene is Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The rent for an often uninhabitable housing is from $ 400 to $ 600 without utility bills, and one of the heroines' unemployment benefit is 628.

But this is not a novel about life at the bottom. Desmond is a scientist who combined two not always combined methods in the study of poverty. The first is the included observation: settled in a trailer park, where those who are called "white trash" live; four months later, when his heroes were evicted from there, he found a room in a "dysfunctional" area (mostly African American - an exemplary ghetto). So he lived with the heroes of the book for more than a year and a half. The second method is quantitative - the collection and processing of a huge array of statistical data. And in parallel with this - treatment for depression, to which he was driven by exemplary humanitarian research. Exemplary because in-depth analysis did not prevent Desmond from writing a bestseller, establishing a connection between those he writes about and those for whom, that is, readers outside the academic circle.

Ivan Goncharov

"An Ordinary History", "Oblomov", "Break"

On the one hand, Goncharov cannot be called a forgotten writer. On the other hand, he was not very lucky. After the success of Ordinary History, he almost turned out to be the new main writer of Russian literature (the previous one was Gogol), but Turgenev soon appeared - and the unconditional leadership immediately disappeared. The second novel "Oblomov" also became a hit, but Goncharov wrote slowly and painfully, lived a life far from being a star, suspected Turgenev of plagiarism. And by the time The Break came out, Goncharov's point of view on changes in Russia had gone from being innovative in the eyes of critics to being reactionary. The novel was destroyed. Today, the perception of Goncharov is also difficult: against the background of great thinkers from the literature of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, he again fades into the background. Not forgotten, but, it seems, lives in the form of the images of Tabakov and Bogatyrev from the film by Mikhalkov. "What you have there? "Soup … with meat."

But if you read Goncharov not within the framework of the school curriculum (she kills almost everything) and not even at the institute, then you can reconsider the attitude. To see that the Great Questions of Being ("is the highest world harmony worth a child's tears?") Are greatly overrated. But the heroes of Goncharov and their problems are underestimated. I don't even want to start a conversation about female characters in the same Tolstoy. The ideal woman for the latter is Natasha Rostova, when she did away with nonsense in order to give birth to children and devote herself to her family and husband. To hell with her, with Lev Nikolaevich's misogyny, but somehow it's a shame that philosophers eclipsed in the eyes of readers much less pretentious authors who wrote about what and about whom it is much more interesting (and more important) to read here and today.

Anton Chekhov

“At dusk. Essays and stories"

It is difficult to say something new about Chekhov. Moreover, unlike Goncharov, he did not seem to fall into any shadow. His plays are still staged all over the world almost more often than Shakespeare. But this is exactly the problem for me. Again, something big and heavy won. Although it seems that the stories from the collection "At Dusk" are deeper than the well-known "The Cherry Orchard" and "The Seagull".

At the time of the publication of the collection, Chekhov was already regularly published, but he was known primarily as the author of short satirical (and very evil) stories. "In the twilight" is a small collection by the author, in which the writer himself included those texts that he considered the most significant. That is, this is the line after which Chekhov begins both as a playwright and as the author of his most important texts. Therefore, criticism and the reaction (painful) to it are very interesting. Especially on the first article by Mikhailovsky. It was far from a defeat; on the contrary, Mikhailovsky called Chekhov a very talented author, but made claims that sound amusing today. He considered it a flaw that the stories boil down to observing moments snatched from the lives of the heroes and cut off before the reader learns what happened to the heroes next. And the fact that in the description of the heroes themselves there is no certainty, clear contours, a clear assessment: "Questions without answers, answers without questions, stories without beginning and end, plots without a denouement." That is, Mikhailovsky quite accurately describes the structure and nature of these stories - so much so that I want to answer: "You say so as if this is something bad."

Anna Grimshaw

"The Ethnographer's Eye"

I am a very cowardly person, and I like it when smart people, who are much higher in status, explain an idea that is important to me. This gives me a comfortable opportunity to refer to authority. So it happened with Grimshaw, who draws attention to two problems of social anthropology. The first is that a discipline for which vision plays a central role (method - participatory, or, more accurately, participatory observation), in fact, does not know how to look. The second, related to the first, is the text-centric nature of anthropology and the humanities in general.

This text is not new, but programmatic for visual anthropology. In it, Grimshaw asks still open questions about the relationship between vision and knowledge, about the image as a document. For example, do photography and documentary photography represent real life, and what do we mean by real knowledge in general? How was anthropology defined in 1922 by the film Nanook from the North and the book The Argonauts of the Western Pacific? How was the intention to show people not in the optics of a civilized researcher, but their own point of view, which the "innocent eye" of the camera should reproduce, was problematized over time? How is Italian neorealism, cinéma vérité, direct cinema related to visual anthropology?

“The Tlingits. Catalog of the Kunstkamera collections »

This album is a catalog of the collection of the St. Petersburg Kunstkamera, more than two hundred and fifty pages with images of shamanic masks and knives, pipes, war capes, similar to wooden body armor, helmets and other things that belonged to the Tlingits.

The Tlingits are one of the peoples living along the coast of the Gulf of Alaska. I have a rather ambiguous attitude towards this publication. On the one hand, I am a huge fan of North American indigenous art. On the other hand, it is difficult to say something good about the ethnographic collections of world museums. Now all over the world, representatives of indigenous peoples demand objects from museums back, and in the scientific and pseudo-scientific communities, questions are raised about the ethics of preserving such funds (there is no longer any dispute about the ethics of their formation). In our catalog, without any reflection, they write that the items could have belonged to the Indians, whose settlement was burned by the first governor of Russian America, Alexander Andreevich Baranov. In general, the desire to see such things with my own eyes and the unwillingness to go to museums, knowing how these things ended up in them, are constantly fighting in me.

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