In my shoes a memoir: A Memoir by Tamara Mellon

A Memoir by Tamara Mellon

How I Came To Read This Book: I received a review copy from the publisher.

The Plot: Tamara Mellon is best known as the face and co-founder of luxury goods brand Jimmy Choo. Despite living the life of a globetrotting socialite, this raw tell all reveals a far darker portrait of a woman fighting severe anxiety and stress brought on by her family, drug-addled husband, uncooperative business partners, and the general strain of being a female executive. While the book touches on Tamara’s youth in Ame

How I Came To Read This Book: I received a review copy from the publisher.

The Plot: Tamara Mellon is best known as the face and co-founder of luxury goods brand Jimmy Choo. Despite living the life of a globetrotting socialite, this raw tell all reveals a far darker portrait of a woman fighting severe anxiety and stress brought on by her family, drug-addled husband, uncooperative business partners, and the general strain of being a female executive. While the book touches on Tamara’s youth in America, the UK and Switzerland (or wherever her finishing school was), it’s all really a frame for the rise of Jimmy Choo and the prices she’s had to pay for climbing up the ladder with it.

The Good & The Bad: I can’t even quite put into words what I thought about this book. For one thing, remind me never to get on Tamara Mellon’s shit list. For another, I can say this: if you are looking for a TRUE tell all, this book is it. Every time I’ve picked up a story that promises to dish tons of juicy gossip, it’s always fallen short or been just as easily accessed on the internet (key exception: Game Change). But this is a book that can really only have been written by Tamara Mellon. Talk about airing your dirty laundry – virtually every ‘character’ in the story gets a pretty visceral tongue-lashing, which leads me to believe that while this was perhaps a therapeutic exercise for Tamara, it wasn’t necessarily the sagest of business moves.

Truth be told, I was only obliquely aware of who she was going into the book. My mom had mentioned to me a Vanity Fair profile or something that spoke to the brand’s crazy back story, but beyond that I went into the story pretty blindly, certainly aware of Jimmy Choo brand but not its creator (real or imagined). The book itself is relatively easy to follow, although the constant use of blatant foreshadowing (with frequent mentions of the ‘worse was yet to come’) becomes quite tired in the early chapters. I appreciated that Tamara’s childhood was really only explored to help explain some of the issues she grapples with as an adult – we don’t need a bio of this woman per se and she recognizes the salient parts of her life generally tie into her notoriety as the face of Jimmy Choo. From there, the book talks about Tamara’s unwitting business partner and brand namesake, coupled with the grind she went through in the early days of the brand. After that, things get a lot more complex and business-focused (and scathing) as Jimmy Choo enters the world of private equity – a match very much not made in heaven. From court cases to buyouts to misplaced shares, it can all be a little heady, but Tamara grounds the technical side of her story with pretty vicious character assassinations.

It’s hard to feel total sympathy for Tamara. Between the name dropping and endless stream of poor little rich girl anecdotes, she can be a little tiresome. Of course, I think she was very shrewd and savvy in releasing this book in advance of any of her nemeses stepping up to the plate – but she’s also the only person in the story that COULD have released a book period, given she’s the ‘name’ associated with the brand.

Although she gives herself a few knocks throughout, they feel almost perfunctory, as if to say “Well we all make our mistakes but clearly THESE people’s mistakes are SO MUCH WORSE THAN MINE.” Alongside these slightly self-deprecating remarks, of course, are plenty of proclamations of Tamara’s personal triumphs and numerous occasions where people simply wouldn’t listen to her brilliant ideas. I do acknowledge that some of the scenarios she paints clearly point to some poisoning in male-dominated business world. But given the overall angry, frustrated tone of the book, it does leave a kernel of suspicion in the readers mind as to how much of the story is skewed by the emotional lens Tamara is writing it through.

Still, I’m hard-pressed to really complain. I found the book surprisingly gripping and interesting, and also relevant to my career (of which I have to consider things like valuations) and personal interests (fashion!) It does teeter on the precipice of being a ‘trashy read’, but credit where it’s due: Tamara (and her ghostwriter) wrangle this circus of a story into something riveting from start to finish. If you go into this with an open mind that this woman is quite literally laying it all out there (and can get past the ego-driven overtones), it’s easily a good read. I really rated it based on the idea of being a true, rather unvarnished and kinda maniacal story. If you’re expecting high journalism, look elsewhere. But for what it was, I enjoyed it.
The Bottom Line: Although hyper-charged with emotion, the book easily hooks you, even during the murkiest business-focused components.

Anything Memorable?: Nothing specific, although I kept on going online afterward to track down the various successes and memorable moments in the Jimmy Choo story (the H&M collaboration, the ad campaigns, the first Sex & the City reference).

60-Book Challenge?: Book #56 in 2013

A Memoir: Mellon, Tamara, Patrick, William: 9781591846161: Books

When Tamara Mellon’s father lent her the seed money to start a high-end shoe company, he cautioned her: “Don’t let the accountants run your business.” Little did he know. Over the next fifteen years, the struggle between “financial” and “creative” would become one of the central themes as Mellon’s business savvy, creative eye, and flair for design built Jimmy Choo into a premier name in the competitive fashion industry.

Over time, Mellon grew Jimmy Choo into a billion dollar brand. She became the British prime minister’s trade envoy and was honored by the Queen with the Order of the British Empire—yet it’s her personal glamour that keeps her an object of global media fascination. Vogue photographed her wedding. Vanity Fair covered her divorce and the criminal trial that followed. Harper’s Bazaar toured her London town house and her New York mansion, right down to the closets. And the Wall Street Journal hinted at the real red meat: the three private equity deals, the relentless battle between “the suits” and “the creatives,” and Mellon’s triumph against a brutally hostile takeover attempt.

But despite her eventual fame and fortune, Mellon didn’t have an easy road to success. Her seemingly glamorous beginnings in the mansions of London and Beverly Hills were marked by a tumultuous and broken family life, battles with anxiety and depression, and a stint in rehab. Determined not to end up unemployed, penniless, and living in her parents’ basement under the control of her alcoholic mother, Mellon honed her natural business sense and invested in what she knew best—fashion.

In creating the shoes that became a fixture on Sex and the City and red carpets around the world, Mellon relied on her own impeccable sense of what the customer wanted—because she was that customer. What she didn’t know at the time was that success would come at a high price—after struggles with an obstinate business partner, a conniving first CEO, a turbulent marriage, and a mother who tried to steal her hard-earned wealth.

Now Mellon shares the whole larger-than-life story, with shocking details that have never been presented before. From her troubled childhood to her time as a young editor at Vogue to her partnership with cobbler Jimmy Choo to her very public relationships, Mellon offers an honest and gripping account of the episodes that have made her who she is today.

As Mellon readies herself for her next entrepreneurial venture, In My Shoes is a definitive book for fashion aficionados, aspiring entrepreneurs, and anyone who loves a juicy true story about sex, drugs, money, power, high heels, and overcoming adversity.

The Review: Tamara Mellon In My Shoes: A Memoir

As luck would have it the review copy of Tamara Mellon’s memoir, In My Shoes, arrived on my doorstep the day after I finished reading The Jimmy Choo Story by Lauren Goldstein Crowe and Sagra Maceira de Rosen. (The latter was released in 2010, when Tamara was still at Jimmy Choo, but I’d only just got around to reading it – incase you were wondering why it took me three years to finish it!).  The Jimmy Choo Story was a great read and documented the ins and outs of the business. But one vital ingredient was missing: Tamara’s perspective. So her memoir couldn’t have come at a better time…

Tamara may not have been the name behind the brand, but she was always the face – giving Jimmy Choo the sparkle and stylish reputation that quickly turned the luxury label into a household name. In My Shoes is a fun, easy read, even if you don’t have a brain for business (I had to tackle certain parts of The Jimmy Choo Story multiple times to fully get the gist of all the deals and acquisitions). The memoir spans from Tamara’s difficult childhood crossing between London and LA, to her exit from Jimmy Choo in 2011 – with the scandalous tales of her rehab stint, relationship with Matthew Mellon and the fall-out with Jimmy Choo himself sliced in-between.

As Tamara says, “The Sunday Times once wrote that I seemed ‘less an actual person than the heroine of some dicey Danielle Steel bonkathon. ’ The basic Danielle Steel conceit is to take a plucky heroine, set her on a quest, and then subject her to every villain and viper and obstacle imaginable. Which, I suppose, is not an entirely bad summary of my life so far.”

Fashion Flashback: Nicole Richie in the Jimmy Choo S/S 2006 campaign [photographed by Brett Ratner]

Along with Net-a-Porter’s Natalie Massenet and Diane von Furstenberg, Tamara Mellon is often quoted as the inspiration for ambitious young women starting out in fashion. So In My Shoes is a must-read, as – beneath the drama, glitz and glamour – there are lots of lessons to be learnt from Tamara’s journey. The most important? “Almost every mistake I’ve made in business has come from not trusting myself,” she writes in the final chapter.

Obviously Tamara’s story is far from finished, as her memoir cleverly comes a month before the launch of her much-anticipated lifestyle brand. This time around, however, the name on the label will be her own, so hopefully In My Shoes Part 2 will be slightly less dramatic. Although with Tamara you never know…

Tamara Mellon In My Shoes: A Memoir is released on October 3rd. RRP £20, £13.20 at Amazon.

Also, the book cover jacket is soooo Carrie Bradshaw (it closely resembles Sex and the City: Kiss and Tell) which just makes Tamara even more likeable! As you can tell, it’s not that hard to win me over – a well-placed SATC reference is all it takes.

Are you excited to read Tamara Mellon’s memoir? And are you also looking forward to the launch of her lifestyle brand? | In My Shoes Audiobook

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A candid business narrative and memoir from the founder of Jimmy Choo
Tamara Mellon made a fortune building Jimmy Choo into a billion-dollar fashion brand. She became the prime minister’s trade envoy and was honored by the Queen with the Order of the British Empire—yet it’s her personal glamour that keeps her an object of global media fascination. Vogue photographed her wedding; Vanity Fair covered her divorce and the criminal trial that followed. Harper’s Bazaar toured her London town house and her New York mansion, right down to the closets. And the Wall Street Journal hinted at the real red meat: the three private equity deals, the relentless battle between “the suits” and “the creatives,” and Mellon’s triumph against a brutally hostile takeover attempt.
In this candid memoir she shares the whole larger-than-life story, with genuinely shocking insider detail that has never been presented anywhere. From her troubled childhood to her time as a young editor at Vogue to her partnership with cobbler Jimmy Choo to her very public relationships, Mellon offers a gripping account of the episodes that have made her who she is today.
The result is a must read for entrepreneurs, fashionistas, and anyone who loves a juicy true story about sex, drugs, money, power, high heels, and overcoming adversity.

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Tamara Mellon Celebrates the Launch of Her New Memoir

Mayor Bloomberg is not one of those Choo-wearers. He is, however, a fan. The mayor came out to the Four Seasons Restaurant on Tuesday night to fete the release of In My Shoes, Jimmy Choo cofounder **Tamara Mellon’**s new memoir. Speaking at a podium on the balcony level of the restaurant’s tony Grill Room, Bloomberg admitted to guests, “I’ve never worn her shoes and I’m very unlikely to, and if I do, I’m certainly not going to tell anybody. Some nice young reporter asked me what did I think of her shoes and I said, ‘They’re wonderful.’ How did I know? I asked Diana.

Mellon then took to the microphone and thanked guests warmly for joining her. “The book, for me, was about closing one chapter and starting another. And also, I thought no one would have believed the things that went on behind the scenes at Jimmy Choo.”

And speaking of scenes, the cocktail party was quite a gathering of New York power players. Wendi Murdoch, appropriately heeled in peacock-blue feathered Jimmy Choo stilettos, chatted with Mike Ovitz, Mellon’s boyfriend, and the Kushner brothers, Jared and Joshua, who attended sans their respective more beautiful halves. Mort and Linda Janklow talked to Arne Glimcher about the book, Aby Rosen and restaurateur Julian Niccolini convened near the stairs. Charlie Rose and L.A. and Erica Reid posed for pictures with Mellon. Bronson van Wyck greeted Samantha Boardman and Marjorie Gubelmann, who were marveling at the pair of models wearing items from Mellon’s new namesake lifestyle brand. One of the models wore a pair of leather leggings that extended seamlessly into a leather boot—a leather-booted onesie! Mellon later explained, shifting with ease from gracious hostess to the chicest traveling salesman, the genius of the piece: “It’s like putting a leather legging on, no different. It should be the best basic in any woman’s closet, because you can throw on a big boyfriend sweater or put on a sparkly top and go out in the evening, wear it with a miniskirt, and you don’t have the gap in between. It should be, like, your new leather legging.” Mellon herself was appropriately attired all in her new collection: a leopard-print sheath dress, white patent-leather heels, and a vermilion clutch that matched her lipstick. “It’s all Tamara Mellon!” she smiled, lifting her hands to reveal the shape of the dress.

Alina Cho smiled upon seeing Mellon’s choice of her signature print. “We were actually on the same flight coming back from Paris and we were talking about the collection and leopard, and here she is wearing leopard. John Demsey was there, too, and his response was, ‘Zebra is the new leopard.’ ”

Tamara Mellon In My Shoes Memoir

Courtesy of Tamara Mellon

Photo: Tamara Mellon

“I decided to tell my story first and foremost because I wanted to lift the lid on private equity companies—those who are just flipping businesses without any other care” said Tamara Mellon of her debut book, In My Shoes: A Memoir. “Obviously, my personal life is weaved in and out as well, and it was a very therapeutic experience for me.” In the book, Mellon, a former editor who rose to recognition when she discovered an unknown cobbler by the name of Jimmy Choo, discusses her “juicy true story about sex, drugs, money, power, high heels, and overcoming adversity.”

Here, in the midst of a book tour and debuting her new namesake line of ready to wear, handbags, and shoes, the designer answers our standard ten questions.

What is your favorite smell?

I love the smell of cassis. It’s in a fragrance by Diptyque that I love to wear. It’s fresh and unique, and it’s not too sweet. It’s more of a green smell.

What do you consider to be the epitome of happiness?

I’d have to say the epitome of happiness, to me, is love. When I see my daughter, and I see the love in her eyes, it brings me such joy. The same goes for my boyfriend.

How do you define luxury?

Time. I also tell people that you need to have space in between your meetings–you can’t go back-to-back as it doesn’t allow you any time to think. For me, the best ideas come when you have space. All my best ideas come at those times.

What is the last dream you remember?

The last dream I had was jumping off a cliff and going parasailing, and as I jumped, I realized I wasn’t properly snapped in. Maybe it had something to do with the book coming out. I usually remember flashes of my dreams but rarely the whole story.

What’s your favorite childhood memory?

This would have to be getting hugs from my father. He was such a warm man, and you could always feel his love and care from his hugs. He was the rock of my life. He taught me so many things but most importantly, he always taught me to think outside the box.

What’s the last book you read and loved?

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg. It addresses so many issues that are coming up right now for women. It was such an incredible read, and I think men should read it, as well. Then, they might understand a woman’s point of view in the workplace.

Describe your home’s aesthetic.

I recently renovated, and my place is minimal and sensual. I’ve got white walls with dark wood floorboards and art covering the walls so that’s the minimal part. But then the sofas are done in velvet with feather cushions. I love it.

What are your vices?

Nicorette. I quit smoking two years ago, and I’m still eating Nicorette. Now when I smell smoke on the street it turns me off.

Describe yourself in five words or less.

Wow. Okay. Let me see. This is a hard one. I would say I’m compassionate, ambitious, entrepreneurial, tenacious, and passionate.

What possession will you never throw away?

A photograph of my father. There’s a certain one of him sitting in his office in the early ’80s that I love. It just represents him in such an amazing way and you can really see his silver-gray hair. He looks amazing in his bespoke suit; he looks both handsome and strong. But you can see he is also smiling and there’s a certain softness to him.

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9780241001240: In My Shoes. A Memoir

Resea del editor:

When Tamara Mellon’s father lent her the money to start a high-end shoe company, he cautioned her: ‘Don’t let the accountants run your business.’ Little did he know. Over the next fifteen years the struggle between ‘the suits’ and ‘the creatives’ would dominate, as Tamara Mellon’s business savvy and design flair built Jimmy Choo into a premier name in the ultra-competitive fashion world.

Jimmy Choo’s success came at a high price – including struggles with a conniving CEO, a turbulent marriage, a brutal takeover attempt, and a mother who tried to steal her hard-earned wealth.

Now, as she builds her next fashion venture, Tamara Mellon finally shares her whole larger-than-life story. In My Shoes is a must-read for fashion aficionados, aspiring entrepreneurs, and anyone who loves a juicy true story about sex, drugs, money, power, overcoming adversity… and high heels.

Biografa del autor:

Tamara Mellon OBE is the cofounder and the former CEO and chief creative officer of Jimmy Choo, which she led for fifteen years. Since selling her share of the company, she has focused on creating a new eponymous lifestyle brand. She divides her time between London and New York.

William Patrick has cowritten numerous memoirs, including Sidney Poitier’s number-one bestseller The Measure of a Man.

ber diesen Titel kann sich auf eine andere Ausgabe dieses Titels beziehen.

Michelle Faber “Stay in my shoes”

At first I liked the atmosphere of solitude against the backdrop of foggy landscapes and empty highways. I liked the idea of ​​dialogues between the hunter and the victim (as it turned out later, these are the most interesting moments in the book), and the idea itself, though not new, is still intriguing.

So, before us is the alien Isserli. She went through a bunch of operations, from the consequences of which the entire book suffers, in order to look like vaudels (that is, people), then to catch them and send them to a kebab. It sounds interesting, intriguing. But what do we get in the end?

The book is saturated with several things that are visible to the naked eye. First, misandry. The main character experiences a feeling bordering on hatred for all her fellows on the farm, although they in no way provoked this in the heroine. On the contrary, they try to take care of her, but when they meet the wall of alienation, they simply wave their hand. This attitude is not very clear. On an alien planet, far from home, it would be more logical and natural to reach out to “friends”, and not hide from them in a cluttered house.People are social beings. And everything could be justified by the alien psychology of the aliens, but since the author constantly draws parallels between aliens and us, bewilderment arises (at least for me). Someone can explain this by the unwillingness of the main character to appear in front of people and demonstrate her ugliness and thereby cause pity. Perhaps it is so, but for some reason I did not really feel it behind the veil of aggression.

The second is the promotion of vegetarianism. I have nothing against vegetarians.Everyone eats what he wants, the main thing is that they don’t climb on my plate 🙂 But in this work I experienced something so unpleasant that it’s even disgusting to remember. I’m talking about those moments when the author literally takes the reader by the scruff of his neck and pokes his nose at the notion that killing animals is bad.

Spoiler (plot disclosure) (click on it to see)

In those moments when we are shown stalls with vodsel, an operation painted in all bloody details, and so on, which causes only disgust and strained pity.

Perhaps for someone this is a real revelation, but for me these are just unpleasant moments that could be safely thrown out of the plot, because in the middle the work sags very much.

And we got to one of the main drawbacks of this book – protractedness. While reading, I often caught myself thinking to just scroll further, because there were too many elements that did not affect the plot.

Spoiler (plot disclosure) (click on it to see)

Suffice it to recall Amlis (whose fur was praised in such detail and with admiration for us – and this, by the way, also does not work because people cannot be impressed by foxes), which, logically I should have sowed doubt in the heroine about people: “What if they are smarter than they seem?” etc.But that doesn’t happen. The heroine, as she was at one point, remained at it, which leads to the conclusion that Amlis was superfluous.

And there is a whole sea of ​​details that the reader rereads over and over again, realizing that this will not affect the course of events in any way, and this starts to get bored. Also in the book there are many lapses of a purely technical nature, but I will not describe them.

And one more problem – Isserli. Any story should have an idea that we perceive through the main character, through his metamorphosis.Isserli does not change. In this case, we see only her suffering from loneliness, hatred of everything except sheep, and other negativity, which is not replaced by anything and does not develop in any way. Before reading, I assumed that this story is about an alien who, unlike her fellows, will be able to look at her victims from a different point of view, and against this background the main idea will come out. But the main character’s gaze does not change. She is completely focused on herself and does not care about the vaudels. This is disappointing…

In fact, if the author limited himself to a story, consisting of several dialogues with hitchhikers and some kind of trick at the end, it would read much more effectively and would not raise so many questions about the plot.

Book Stay in My Skin read online Michelle Faber

Michelle Faber. Stay in my shoes

Thanks to Jeff and Faggo, and especially to my wife Eva for bringing me back to earth.


Seeing a hitchhiker, Isserli always drove by first in order to see him. She was only interested in specimens with well-developed muscles, with fleshy legs. There is little good from the frail and puny.

I must say that it is sometimes almost impossible to determine at a glance who you are dealing with. It may seem that a lonely hitchhiker on a rural road is visible from a mile away, that he stands motionless, like a monument or a granary, which means that it will not be difficult to slowly drive past him, evaluate his parameters on the go, so that then, mentally undressing him in your imagination , consider from all sides.But for some reason, Isserli never came out of it.

Driving on the roads of the Highlands of Scotland in itself requires a lot of effort – the traffic on them is much busier than you can imagine from tourist postcards. Even in the mother-of-pearl silence of a winter morning, when fog still lies in the fields on the sides of the road, the A-9 highway rarely remains deserted for a long time. The shaggy carcasses of unknown forest creatures dot the asphalt in the morning, and each of them is a moment frozen in eternity when another animal confused the highway with its natural habitat.

Isserli sometimes set off early, when prehistoric calm still reigned around and her car could easily be mistaken for the first representative of this iron tribe. The world at these hours seemed to have just been created: perhaps the mountains will still be subjected to additional polishing, and the wooded valleys will later become the seabed.

Nevertheless, as soon as Isserli was on a deserted highway, over which barely noticeable vapors swirled, and within a few minutes the tail of cars heading south lined up behind it.And their owners clearly did not expect that Isserli would set the pace for them, like a sheep trudging along a narrow path in the head of the flock; she should either speed up, or turn to the side of a narrow two-lane highway to allow traffic.

In addition, on the highway, she had to constantly monitor all capillary inflows that poured into it. Only a few of the intersections were clearly marked with road signs, as if they had distinguished themselves in the evolutionary struggle; the rest, hidden by the forest, appeared unexpectedly under the very nose.It was possible to pretend that these side roads simply did not exist – moving along the main road, Isserli had the advantage – but each of them could turn into the barrel of a gun loaded with an impatiently trembling tractor. The tractor, if it stands in the way of Isserli, will hardly have to pay dearly for its mistake, while it will undoubtedly be scrubbed from the asphalt for a long time.

But in the main, it was not so much possible dangers that acted on her nerves, but the beauty of nature.A moat filled with brilliant rainwater, a flock of gulls circling over a seeder crawling across a clay field, gray streams of rain in the distance beyond the nearest mountain range and even a lone oystercatcher soaring high in the sky – because of all this, Isserli often forgot about the purpose of her trip … She rode and rode until the sun appeared in the sky, flooding distant farms with golden light, and then what seemed to be a branch of a tree shrouded in a dirty gray shadow, or a bunch of windbreaks, suddenly turned before her eyes into a fleshy two-legged a creature standing on the side of the road with an outstretched hand.

And then she remembered why she was here, but often only at that moment when she was already rushing past the hitchhiker, almost touching the tips of his outstretched fingers, which, undoubtedly, would have broken like twigs if they were a couple of centimeters longer.

But it was impossible to slow down – in no case. Instead, she calmly continued to press on the accelerator with the same force, maintaining a distance in the lane, and limited herself to mentally photographing the section of the road on which she met the hitchhiker.

Memoirs of a rave – Weekend – Kommersant

We are already used to the fact that the life of 42-year-old artist Richard Melville Hall, nicknamed Moby, is clearly divided into periods, and almost every album of his is a new life. The past period was associated with rock. The album “Hotel” (2005) and the concert program based on it became an electronic musician’s breakthrough on the field of stadium song with electric guitars.”Hotel” – these are things, for the most part, built on the most obvious and common rock stereotypes. On his last visit to Moscow, Moby was running around the stage with a guitar at the ready and interspersed the rock arrangements of his own hits with riffs from Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love and Metallica’s Enter Sandman. As a result, both rock fans were satisfied, and those who later moved to the DJ-set Moby in the “Gaudi Arena”, and those who know him only as the author of tenacious radio hits. The last ones in the hall were probably the most. And what they should do with Moby’s new disc “Last Night” is completely incomprehensible.

“Last Night” is a return to early rave, to music that appeared in the late 1980s and before branching into dull commercial house, armor-piercing techno and a thousand other directions, lived underground and symbolized an uncluttered celebration of the body … There is a song on “Last Night”, the title of which may well be the motto of the entire album “Everyday It`s 1989”. Over the past 20 years, the very construction of the average radio hit or hit for MTV has changed, and prominent hitmaker Moby has a very real risk that his retro rave will not fit into commercial formats.However, the existence in the underground is nothing new to him, in the 1980s he quite comfortably existed in the shoes of a musician of an underground punk band and a DJ at the first house parties. He will earn his next millions and so – the tracks from the previous hit albums are still going with a bang from the creators of commercials. Moby today seems to be attracted not by creating a universal formula for a hit, but by things like the opportunity to work in the studio with a hip-hop pioneer named Grandmaster Kaz, whose tracks reigned in the charts back in the late 1970s.Other guests on the album include singer Sylvia Gordon of the excellent New York electro-pop group Kudu, as well as rappers Aynzil and 419 Squad.

The most pleasant thing that happened on this album is the feeling of spontaneity of the music. Moby has it to a much lesser extent than on “Hotel”, it looks like it was made by a robot operating according to a predetermined program. This is house music in its original meaning – music that different guests brought to a house party, and the DJ combined it into a single eclectic canvas, not subject to any laws.

In “Last Night” Moby is looking not for a song formula, but rather for a formula for the perfect embodiment of the spirit of clubbing New York. On his website, he claims that the new disc is an eight-hour party waste packed in 65 minutes of sound. The recording is the result of active DJ work, which seems to have taken more of Moby’s time than anything else lately. Of course, the nostalgic receptors of matured ravers are fully connected, every now and then you catch yourself on how Utah Saints, Guru Josh, K-Klass, Robin C, Felix, D: Ream and many more names that have mostly sunk into oblivion come to mind. from cassettes from the very beginning of the 1990s.As befits a stormy club weekend, the album “Last Night” ends with a grandiose ballad with female vocals (“Last Night”) and the traditional hidden unnamed track for Moby’s albums – a jazz-ambient piece with notes of sadness for a bygone night and a bygone era.

Moby “Last Night” (Mute)

The Black Keys “Attack & Release” (Nonesuch)

The Black Keys from Ohio was born at the same time when duets were in vogue in rock and roll.The Black Keys followed The White Stripes, The Mars Volta, Death From Above 1979. Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney are perhaps the least of the group who tend to shake the basics. The first sings and plays the guitar heavy blues interspersed with stoner rock, clearly demonstrating the fragility of the line between them. The second is drumming. A major boost for their career was Richard Linklater’s “School of Rock”, in which the song “Set You Free” was presented as one of the favorite compositions of the protagonist, caricatured by Jack Black.The Black Keys’ music turned out to be a very convenient example for any creative person who wants to create a rock mood in two seconds. The band’s tracks can be heard in commercials for Sony Ericsson and Victoria’s Secret, among the fans of the group are Robert Plant, Kirk Hammett (Metallica), Thom Yorke, Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top). It seems that the music of The Black Keys really has something completely rooted, which makes it relevant for those who created rock, and for those who use it only as paint or as a valve that regulates the flow of simple and crude energy.

The legendary Ike Turner was supposed to take part in the recording of The Black Keys’ fifth studio album “Attack & Release” last year. Gorillaz. Mr. Turner didn’t live to see the recording, but Danger Mouse remained the producer of Attack & Release without interrupting work on the second disc of his main project Gnarls Barkley. Another star name has appeared on the list of recording participants – Marc Ribot, an avant-garde guitarist who has collaborated with Tom Waits and John Zorn, and now plays with Robert Plant and Alison Krauss.”Attack & Release” is a balanced rock record, seemingly devoid of catchy individual features, but at the same time unmistakably tuned to the most sensitive receptors of serious adult men. Well, or, if you like, you can imagine it as a fantasy about a joint concert of The Doors, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Queens Of The Stone Age.

Inna Zhelannaya “Winter” (Inna Zhelannaya)

The best Russian folk singer released under the same cover audio and video of her concert held at the Moscow Art Theater.M. Gorky June 3, 2007. Together with the performer, her young colleague Pelageya participated in this program, but this release captures only a part of Inna Zhelannaya, Pelageya’s voice appears only on two tracks: “Who are we …” and “Ivan”. Like the entire album, the live versions of these songs sound almost in perfect, almost studio quality, they also inspire confidence that Pelageya will someday be able to completely get rid of the image of a young girl in a sundress. If at this stage Pelageya experimented with her group with might and main, then Inna Zhelannaya had a complete vision of the sound of her band – progressive folk with elements of electronics.Pelageya was able to accept someone else’s story and pacify youthful spontaneity. The disc “Winter” has become one of the best live releases of recent years, while Inna Zhelannaya is mastering new performing formulas. In a duet with Sergei Kalachev, she masters the sampling technologies familiar to music lovers from the performances of KT Tunstell or Final Fantasy.

Van Der Graaf Generator “Trisector” (Virgin / EMI)

The reunion of Van Der Graaf Generator in 2005 was not limited to the release of the excellent double “Present” and the subsequent tour.The age of all three musicians is somewhere between the sixties and the seventies, but judging by the new recording, in terms of performing and writing form, they can easily plug any “youth” into their belts, supplemented by music with the prefix “progressive”. “Trisector” is a very songful album, in how competently the songs are verified in composition, the same old school shines through, which no one has managed to surpass. If we are looking for a row for “Trisector”, then it is, rather, last year’s disc by Robert Wyatt “Comicopera” and Kate Bush’s double album “Aerial” (2005).Songs from “Trisector” sometimes seem even too aggressive for these gray-haired Mankunians. There are big doubts that, say, rock and roll “Drop Dead” at future Russian concerts of Van Der Graaf Generator will be able to reproduce with the same power with which it was recorded in the studio, but even its album version, which gives off solo discs of Robert Planta of the 1980s is enough to be truly admired.

Border Studies> Alexander Zholkovsky> USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Border sketches


For the first twenty years of my life (including five more or less conscious ones) I did not think of going abroad, knowing that the border was locked.Then visiting foreigners began to cross it, and I got to know some of them. Then I myself began to travel, however, exclusively to Poland by private invitation, feeling like a Zoshchenko Minka, able to bite off only an apple on the lower branch.

But gradually I got bold and one day I brought the layout of someone else’s article to Polish publishers. Applying the setting with sabotage ingenuity, I shoved the print into the wall-mounted library of propaganda brochures. In Brest, the border guards dived under the lower shelves in a formal manner, having squeezed out, flew up to the upper ones, carefully examined my luggage, but the corridor was apparently not covered by instructions.The wall, but rotten, surfaced in the memory of something underground.

On my second visit to Poland, my Warsaw friends took me to the Tatras, and there, overlooking Lake Morskie Oko, we defiantly crossed the Czech border, which, incidentally, was not guarded in any way. And two weeks later, the united troops of the Warsaw Pact invaded Czechoslovakia in earnest, and at the yacht camping in Gizycko the young French asked me: “Why did you do this?”

I drove back with fear, as if to another country.In a half-empty train, a young soldier, who was returning from Czechoslovakia in a roundabout way, having finally found someone to share his pride that filled him, told me how, barely getting ahead of the West Germans, they defended Prague. I objected that the FRG was a disarmed, occupied country, but I came across complete conviction and was careful not to continue the discussion.


Having received a visa to visit fictitious relatives in Israel and taking my laundry from the laundry for the last time, I began to solemnly say goodbye to the aunts there.But they refused to believe in irrevocable departure, allowing a maximum of a business trip for three years. “No, that’s it, we won’t see you any more.” – “What do you! After all, you are a Soviet person. ”

However, this congenital defect was already successfully lost by me, and on August 24, 1979 I left the USSR, once and for all putting an end to both the general headache of living on its territory and the very specific migraines that were exhausting me. Isn’t that where the word “emigration” comes from?

The relationship of a departure Jew with the Soviet customs is a special story, which I omit here.In my case, her pointe was the appearance of an expert specially summoned by the border guards (a proverbial art critic in civilian clothes), who did not allow to take out the layout of an article about Pushkin that was published in Sweden and contained small diagrams. (When in 1988 I flew to Moscow for the first time during perestroika, a specialist was called in again, this time without a squeak who skipped a mountain of handwritten and printed materials.)


In Europe, everything went like clockwork, only once did the French slightly screw up (about them below).Already in Vienna, the Israeli Sokhnut easily unclenched its supposedly forced embrace (reminding only that they remain open) and released Tanya and me into the care of Austrian friends and the International Rescue Committee, represented by its local representative, Doctor Faust. On the same day, Melchuk called from Paris to suggest the main thing: from now on, no decision is fatal, because it can be replayed at any time.

True, the relocation to Amsterdam, where I had an invitation to work from Toin Van Dyck (I’m not inventing these names), was still postponed, because Toyn was lost somewhere in Australia and did not send the required letter on stamped paper.But then he returned, and a visa, of some very final analysis (titre de passage), was issued. At the Amsterdam airport, we got into a long queue, but were rescued from it by Van Dyck, who freely crossed the symbolic, but usually strictly observed customs border and quickly ferried us across it.

“Thanks to you,” he explained, “I have become my man in our diplomatic and police circles. Yes, sorry for the stupid delay in Australia. I met a beauty there… You’re not too late – the semester is just beginning.


A semester semester, but I taught only on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and the rest of the time I indulged in an orgy of dreamed trips across Europe, and in a couple of months I was lecturing in as many as seven countries. Therefore, when one fine Thursday Dorothea Frank and I (the then wife of Van Dyck; the marriage, however, was open – love partners in a gentlemanly way were excluded only in Amsterdam) ran into the corridor dividing our offices, she introduced with deliberate theatricality:

– Aa-lik? Still in the coun-try? !! (“… Still in the kingdom? “)

Holland, indeed, is small, wherever you like. I finally experienced that European buzz of widespread reach, which I had only read about before – in Not a Day Without a Line, where Olesha admires the cozy diminutiveness of Napoleonic transitions between the conquered capitals. And recently I read about Lola Montes’ answer to the German Elector (I think, to Ludwig of Bavaria himself), who demanded to leave his country: “Well, this is not a long matter!”

It was nice to be involved in a long-established topos.


In Germany, where I went with several lectures, there were two strong points.

The first – when, already there, I received an invitation to speak at another university and decided to add an extra date to it with an easy-going Danish entry everywhere, Judy. Hearing about the bizarre complication of the route, a colleague who received me in Regensburg figured out that when changing tickets I was entitled to a very few people know a discount, went with me to the station and knocked it out.

The second – when on the evening before departure I had to remind him of the fee.

– Wird alles organisiert. Wir sind in Deutschland .. (“Everything will be organized. We are in Germany.”)

– When?

– When is the train?

– At 9:20 am.

– At 9:00 we arrive at the department. The secretary types the letter and at 9:03 am I sign it. At 9:05 am, the accounting department writes a check. At 9:07 am we take it to the cashier, where they give you money. At 9:10 we get into the car, at 9:15 we are at the station, and at 9:18 you get into the carriage, and I go to the lecture – long goodbyes on the platform are not my style.

This is what happened, and I went to the Hanseatic city of Lubeck, closer to Denmark – and to Holland.


An opportunity to check Melchuk’s assertion that everything is always fixable presented itself one day on the way from Italy to France. Several trains were indicated on the station board in Milan, and I chose the closest one. It was only when he entered a long alpine tunnel to emerge in Switzerland that I realized my mistake: I had to go across the Italo-French border.True, I had a Swiss visa, but a one-time visa, obtained for my trip to Zurich in two weeks. Its redemption would mean a new round of hassle at the Swiss consulate. But what was to be done? The train was already moving through Switzerland, and the border guards were expected any minute.

Apart from me, there was only one elderly woman in the carriage. We got to talking, I shared my fears with her. She reassured me, saying that she travels here often, and the border guards do not always go. Then she set off on memories of the times of World War II, when Switzerland was surrounded on all sides by the Nazis, but for smuggling, and just for household purposes, she calmly led people across the border.

I listened to her, nervously glancing at the carriage doors. The border guards didn’t go, and I already believed that maybe they really won’t come when they did appear. They examined my podorozhnaya with interest, listened sympathetically to my story and, politely inquiring about the topic of the Zurich lecture, wished me success. They did not touch the visa.


A depressingly bureaucratic note was brought to this European idyll by the French. We were to obtain an entry visa to the United States in Paris, where the nearest branch of the International Rescue Committee was located.There were two French ladies working on my dossier, I remember only one last name, Madame Martin, but they always spoke on behalf of some authoritative “we,” meaning either the two of them, or the committee as a whole. I called them back from Amsterdam. Every time there was a bureaucratic complication, I heard the edifying:

– Parce qu’il faut lire attentivement nos lettres, monsieur Jolkovski (“Because we must carefully read our letters, Monsieur Zholkovsky”). In their nos (“ours”), the exemplary closed French “o” was well remembered, my surname correctly began with the “w”, which was hardly accessible to other foreigners, but in general, with an emphasis on “and”, it sounded repulsive.

The very entry into France turned out to be a problem. At the French consulate in Amsterdam, the secretary, who neglected my presence for a long time, and then demonstratively retired to another room with a cup of coffee, finally condescended to me and announced that a visa was out of the question, since my titre de passage would soon expire, yes and from the very beginning it lasted only four months, and no self-respecting consulate would stamp its seal on a document issued for less than six months.My appeals to the visas of other countries that were dotted with this screech letter were unsuccessful; she just left and never came back.

The appeal to Madame Martin did not help either – it turned out that in one of their letters Monsieur Zholkovsky was informed about these consular subtleties.

Feeling the effect of the famous French statism on my own skin, I went to cry to Van Dyck, secretly hoping for diplomatic acquaintances he had made. Without further ado, he called the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the problem was resolved: they agreed to issue us a six-month residence permit, but not by mail, but into our own hands.

“Look at The Hague at the same time,” Van Dyck said. – At the Ministry, contact Mr. Van Boten.

Mr. Van Boten (“Korablev”) turned out to be a sweet young man of about twenty-five. He willingly wrote out a new residence permit, laughed with me that he was giving it out so that we could leave, and took from me an honest professorship that when I arrived in the States, I would return it by mail.

In Paris, I finally got to know both stern ladies personally. They again started poking me with some kind of formalities, when their boss appeared, an American, Mrs. Harrison or Harrington, in general, something on Ha.She was a middle-aged, awkward, tall, plump woman, with a simple, but very benevolent manner. She was happy to chat in English with the newly-made compatriots and, having ordered us to write out all the necessary papers, including some fantastic daily allowances, she took us to her office.

From that moment on, I began to look at Madame Martin and her partner, and at French affairs in general, so to speak, from America, from a beautiful far away. As Pushkin says: And far in the north – in Paris – Perhaps the sky is covered with clouds, Cold rain is coming and the wind is blowing.- And what do we care? ..


In America, a funny episode occurred during the first trip from Ithaca, New York, to friends (Melchuk and Shcheglov) in Montreal. It was in winter, a blizzard was blowing, and halfway to the border we stopped to refuel. We had a huge cheap old car (“Dodge Dart Swinger”), with a long flat hood and the same trunk, which was eating up a lot of gasoline. Tanya drove her, I still didn’t know how, but I coped with the refueling hose. We entered Canada through some peripheral checkpoint, there were no problems (we did not have green cards allowing free entry to Canada, but we took care of visas in advance), the customs officer even came out to wave after us, but suddenly something became screaming and making desperate hand signs.We stopped, I got out and saw that on the left fender of the trunk, next to the filling hole, was its lid. I forgot to screw it on, and it drove safely through all the bumps, snowfalls and the state border.

On the way back, the Canadian border guards still saw some kind of disorder in our visas, and I had to indulge in loud speculations that this was the first time I faced such harassment on this side of the Iron Curtain. As far as I remember, our paper was really flawed, so the border guards were right, but the vulgar dissident rhetoric was apparently new to them – and it worked.


I went to Europe again only after a year and a half. I was invited to teach a course at the Summer School in Semiotics in Urbino, and my Cornell head of the department, George Gibian, said that I had to go to return to Ithaca as soon as home.

An acquaintance of mine, Ann, was among my fellow teachers at Urbino. She came from England by car, and one weekend we went to Rome. There I was robbed for the only time in my life – the Italian thieves did not disgrace their reputation.We left the car for about ten minutes to quickly get around the Villa Borghese, and when we returned, we found a broken window and missing bags. My material losses were reduced to a pair of jeans, but more important was the loss of already dubious documents.

The next three days I spent at the police station, where a paper was sent to me stating that I had indeed been robbed, and at the American consulate on the luxurious Via Veneto, where, on the basis of this paper and an exchange of telexes with the Immigration Center in Buffalo, New York, I had to renew the lost ID.I began to go to the consulate as to work, now with an application, now with photographs, now for a certificate, the issuance of which was still delayed due to weekends and an eight-hour time difference.

When I went to the consulate for the last time, I already knew every nook and cranny there. Running up to the second floor and heading to the visa department past entire emigrant families, who had settled down on the floor for many days, I heard an envious whisper behind me:

– Sari, behold, they are so tall, confident…


In 1984, during the Pasternak conference in Jerusalem, one evening Igor Smirnov and Renata and I went to the city, warning (as we were severely punished by the organizers) the guards when we would return and through which gate. The campus of the Hebrew University at Mount Scopus was fenced on all sides, tightly locked and was like an impregnable fortress.

At two o’clock in the morning we in the most cheerful mood drove up by taxi to the agreed entrance, but it turned out to be closed.We rang the agreed call, waited, called again, to no avail. The situation was unpleasant. Mobile phones had not yet been invented, there were no external telephones, and everything around was empty and dark.

All of a sudden, headlights flashed in the distance, and a jeep drove up to us with soldiers, fortunately, not Palestinians, but as if not Israelis. They were Druze, barely speaking English. They carried out some kind of special patrol service. Take us somewhere to the headquarters so that we could call the campus from there, they refused and, out of harm’s way, left.

There was clearly no hope for outside help. Igor and Renata went along the wall to look for another entrance, and I, getting angry in earnest, climbed the wall drunk, climbed over it, found, already on the other side, an unlocked door, went down to the guardhouse and made a demonstrative scandal to the guards, who were sleeping peacefully, forgetting that they promised to wait for us. They stirred, opened the gates, let Igor and Renata in. The bosses appeared, and there was a serious showdown. The wall turned out to be rotten here too.

In the morning I was pleased with the message that all my expenses for my stay in Israel will be paid in full.


I set a kind of personal border crossing record during one of my first European rallies as an American driving a rental car. After staying with friends in Genoa, Olga and I went to Barcelona, ​​where we had to stay with a re-emigrant from the USSR, a descendant of the Spanish communists, with whom Melchuk introduced us in absentia.(He turned out to be the nephew of Ramon Mercader, Trotsky’s assassin, a fan of Franco, and a handsome guy.)

Olga, who grew up driving in California, in general, has already come to terms with my irrepressible desire of a novice motorist to finally fulfill a fragile childhood dream, but when she heard that I wanted to get to Barcelona in one shot, she tried to resist. But we left at 9 am and arrived at 9 pm without ever stepping on the land of France (there are cappuccino buffets and toilets at service stations, gigantic bridges towering over the motorway).Unfortunately, I saw Barcelona as in a fog, through a sudden attack of the flu. But then, after a week of rest on the Costa Brava, we waved off to Granada, also on a march, and at night. The snob-Englishman on the beach in Tamariu told us that traveling like this is uncivilized, but without reading The Golden Calf, what could he understand in motor rallies ?!


I’ll end on a modern note. After two semesters at our university on a Fulbright scholarship, Lada should have been absent from the States for two years, according to American rules.(Cruel, sir, manners in our city!) Then we decided that she would come to Mexico, closer to the California border, in the Tijuana region. In a Moscow travel agency, she bought a Mexican visa and a ticket, but not to Tijuana, but to Mexico City – they explained to her that a ticket to Tijuana would be cheaper there. Near Tijuana, in the beach town of Puerto Nuevo, chosen by the Americans, we rented a pretty house on the Internet and by phone in a fenced and guarded territory.

Everything went according to plan until Lada was arrested at the Tijuana airport.It turned out that the effect of her visa does not apply to the border zone with the United States – the town of Puerto Nuevo is cheaper than the city) due to a special clause concerning citizens (and even more so, citizens) of undignified countries. The travel agency, of course, knew why and sold the ticket only to Mexico City.

The problem was resolved fairly quickly. On the advice of the owner who rented out the house to us, Lada, who knew Spanish, explained to the officials with a laptop in her hands that she was a científica (“scientist”) writing a book about Mexico (and not, it was implied, a representative of an older profession), and she was released to the city on bail to our master.And the next morning he put us in touch with a certain owner of a translation company, who for 300 dollars undertook to establish a case with the police. The police allowed him to stay near Tijuana, but refused to issue any official paper.

I went to Puerto Nuevo for long weekends. Entry to Mexico from the US is free, and the only thing that worried me was the hour-long drive from the border to the site. But it turned out that everything was thought out long ago: there is a special insurance for the car, valid within a hundred miles, mastered by the Americans, and a special toll highway has been laid along this territory, spacious, clean and safe.

It was important not to go off the highway so as not to end up in Mexico as such. Without allowing myself to forget about it for a moment, I appreciated the image of the Trail, from which in the famous story of Bradbury a dinosaur hunter who went into the past must not descend … (Bradbury, by the way, is alive and appears at the annual book fairs in our City of Angels.)

The way back was different only in that it was necessary to wait at the border – when 15 minutes, and when a dinosaur hunter who had been in the past… from the border to. They let it in with analysis – there were too many people willing. (“Like all Greeks, the king wanted to go to America,” the young Hemingway concludes his interview with the king of Greece.)

Memoirs of criminals. – soullaway – LiveJournal

Our modern world is arranged paradoxically. No kidding. I read a few days ago a book by Alexei Sherstobitov “Liquidator”. Then I came across the book “Immured” by Ivan Mironov. Now in the process of reading the book “Restruct” by Maxim Martsenkevich. All three of these are convicted.All three of these books are autobiographical. I read it with interest, but a strange thought crept into my head. Our modern society is not organized correctly. Something is going wrong. Why are there no opera memoirs? After all, real correct men worked for all the groups from the 90s. And they worked on the same Sherstobitov, and on the Orekhovsky, and the Uralmashevsky, and the Tambovsky. Really, those who wear shoulder straps have nothing to tell? There is, after all, a story to tell. That would be correct propaganda. Otherwise, it turns out that criminals are writing their memoirs, drug addicts are writing, and those who really should be silent.

It turns out, after all, some kind of nonsense. Let’s take the same Sherstobitov. A man with a very variegated destiny. Hollywood smile, actor’s appearance and at the same time he is a professional killer. And you read his book, and he evokes sympathy. I caught myself with this terrible thought. A criminal shouldn’t be sympathetic. Okay, I’m a grown boy. I have already made my choice in this life. But his book will be read by those who are young. And what choice can they make? Would they be thrilled by the final in the form of imprisonment for two decades? Of course not.Man is so constructed that he believes in his own invincibility. This will not happen to him. This can happen to someone else, but not to me. Especially when a person is 18-20 years old. He is young. He has not yet tasted life. He does not know how to enjoy its shades and different tastes. And one wrong step can cross out your whole life. There are such people among my acquaintances. Someone started using drugs, someone has about five trips to date. We are of the same age, we went to the same school, but our destinies were different. It’s very scary.And I sometimes think that all this is due to the fact that there are still no real heroes. Gleb Zheglov and Volodya Sharapov are not on the TV screen. And the modern world is so arranged that fictional characters are not believed. They believe exclusively in those people who have experienced something on their own skin.

I’d like to read the memoirs of operatives. Those guys who worked on murders. Those who worked on drugs. Those who worked for organized crime groups, maniacs, worked in prisons and “on the ground.” Maybe you can suggest something? Maybe I was just inattentively looking? Surely there are legends not only from the underworld.

Memories and memoirs: 847 books

Memories and Memoirs

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A childhood scorched by war. Memories of juvenile prisoners

Oksana Tarabanovskaya



The publication is a memoir of juvenile prisoners of fascism, recorded by employees of the Central Library of the city of Krasnoarmeisk, Moscow Region.Children and war, it would seem, are not compatible. But, honoring the veterans of the Great Patriotic War, remembering with gratitude their military and …

Notes of an itinerant writer on diving and ancient civilizations

Sergei Arno

Travel Books

The Adventures of Writers

The famous St. Petersburg writer, author of twelve books of prose, tells in a new book about filming a documentary film and his travel adventures.Filming took place in France, Monaco, Egypt, Costa Rica, Sudan. The author writes about amazing meetings in Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor; oh …

Small Treasure Box

Reseda Kafidova

Contemporary Russian literature


Collection of prose. Collection of childhood memories. Reflections on loss of illusion. Declaration of love for a man who does not exist. A story about the city in which I live.Little treasures of my memory …

A quarter of a century in America. In Washington from Clinton to Trump. Notes of a TASS


Andrey Shitov

Biographies and Memoirs

Culture shock!

Andrei Shitov headed the TASS office in Washington from Bill Clinton to Donald Trump and for a total of more than a quarter of a century worked overseas for the main Russian news agency. Hardly any other modern Russian journalist has such experience.In the book he deeds …

Notes of a controversial film producer

Konstantin Filimonov

Biographies and Memoirs


Memoirs of screenwriter and film producer Konstantin Filimonov is a biting, like a resounding slap in the face, the TRUTH about the backstage of modern Russian cinema. There are no fictional characters or made up facts: all the events and names of the star actors and directors are real. In his memoirs, the author recalls …

Clear well

Anatoly Komaristov

Biographies and Memoirs


The collection includes the author’s memoirs and miniatures.A special place in the book is occupied by the “Teacher’s Notes” written by A. Kosilova – the author’s aunt, as well as the memoirs of the Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor, military historian V. Kulish about the Victory Parade on June 24, 1945. …

My trips-travels, or Svetik-medik was here

Svetlana Demidenko

Travel Books


This is a summary of my travels around the world. Trips to Europe, Asia … Contains obscene language….

The Story of the Experienced

Boris Khristenko

Contemporary Russian literature


The Tale of the Experienced by Boris Nikolaevich Khristenko (1919–1998) was conceived as a book of memoirs: about parents, childhood, school years, friends, work, family … The author spent his childhood and youth with his family in Harbin, where his father got a job at CER. In 1935 he, together with his parents and brother …

Lyubov, Lyubasha, Lyubochka

Anatoly Komaristov

Biographies and Memoirs


The collection includes memories of school years, loved ones, pets, as well as stories and ironic prose of different years….

Notes of a taxi driver

Kuzma Varaba

Contemporary Russian literature


Memories of working in a taxi in the Far East. Meetings and conversations with a wide variety of people. The nuances of work, everyday life. Uzbeks, sailors, prostitutes … Doctors, Chinese, cops … Drug couriers, poachers, cool “FSB agents” … Cancer patients, oil producers, doctors of sciences … Intelligence officers, heroes of Donbass, lumberjacks … …

Terra Incognita.Book 3

Valery Kovalev

Biographies and Memoirs


Service in the Prosecutor’s Office of the USSR and the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation. At the turn of the eras. People, business, meetings. …

Stories of NON-success

Dmitry Danshov

Biographies and Memoirs


NON-Success Stories is a collection of failures collected over a long and successful career.Victory has many fathers, defeat is always an orphan. The sex story genre is quite popular. But failure analysis is more important and informative. How did you do it – you yourself then tell. And that’s why it doesn’t work out – well …

Great-grandmother’s diary

Galina Shiryaeva

Biographies and Memoirs


An old notebook found in the attic turned out to be the diary of a lady who was born in St. Petersburg at the end of the 19th century and who, by the will of fate, ended up in Tashkent.Her memories resonate with the author’s personal memories and the history of her family. After reading the diary, the author realizes that there is an encrypted message to the pot …

Captain Bruno’s voice

Alexandra Vasilevskaya

Contemporary Russian literature


A trip to the spring Eternal City is an exciting event in itself. But when strong impressions begin at the airport and intensify with every minute of the flight, the journey becomes truly unforgettable … Photos and drawings by the author….

Encyclopedia of Our Lives. Family saga. Our daughter is Stella. Volume 4. Restructuring

Iraida Dudko

Political detectives


In volume 4: for Luda’s granddaughter and Ilya’s great-grandson – the pedigree of Ye.M.’s grandmother and Luda’s father, Yuri, army letters in ’75, his childhood and youth. The dashing 90s: collapse and hunger in the country, survival, work and part-time jobs. Construction of the entertainment complex “KARUSEL”, debts, murder of a security guard and theft of a safe …

Russo Tourist CollectionEurope

Konstantin Renzhin

Travel Books


Collection of tourist tales and tips from the author of the novel “Instructor of Youth”. Stories for 30 years of wandering around Europe: starting with the dashing 1990s, when all the borders were opened, and ending with the coronavirus pandemic, when the borders were closed. …


Gloria Mu

Biographies and Memoirs


Memoir about life in the USSR in the early 80s.And about the girl, her mother and the cat “with a dowry.” The story was first published in the collection “March cats”, compiled by Marta Ketro in 2008. …

“DIXI ET ANIMAM LEVAVI”. V. A. Ignatiev and his memoirs. Part III. Perm Theological Seminary n

Vasily Ignatiev

Biographies and Memoirs


Memoirs of the Ural teacher and painter of everyday life Vasily Alekseevich Ignatiev (1887-1971) in 10 parts.In the third part, the author tells about the Perm Theological Seminary of the beginning of the 20th century, the educational process and teachers, the leisure and everyday life of students. …

Notes on the Russo-Japanese War

Alexey Kuropatkin

Biographies and Memoirs

War memoirs (Veche)

In the course of preparing a personal puzzle … In his book “Notes on the Russo-Japanese War”, the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Armed Forces in the Far East, Adjutant General A.N. Kuropatkin (1848-1925) tells about the events of that tragic war. These are not just memories of the wartime, but also an attempt by the former …

Iranians: personal experience

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Biographies and Memoirs


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Urban Fantasy


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Biographies and Memoirs


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Contemporary Russian literature


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Foreign journalism


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Contemporary Russian literature


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Contemporary Russian literature


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Biographies and Memoirs


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Biographies and Memoirs


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Biographies and Memoirs

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Biographies and Memoirs


Boris Vladimirovich Gerua, Major General of the General Staff, a hereditary military man from a noble family of French origin, left behind the most interesting memories.They were first published in Paris in 1970. This edition presents the second volume of “Memories of my life”, …

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Biographies and Memoirs


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Philip Golikov

Biographies and Memoirs

War memoirs (Veche)

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Alexey Kurlaev



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Contemporary romance novels


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Contemporary Russian literature

Library of the magazine “Russian bell”

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Biographies and Memoirs


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Alina Grushina

Contemporary romance novels


Six random people by the will of fate find themselves in an old abandoned mansion. It looks nothing special … Old walls, creaky floorboards … But is this strange house really harmless? Did they happen to be here by chance? And will they be able to save themselves, each other, and maybe someone else? …

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Biographies and Memoirs

Great sixties

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Alina Vishnyakova

Biographies and Memoirs


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Ivan Azanov

Historical Adventures


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Sonali Deranyagala

Biographies and Memoirs

MYTH Culture

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Alla Valko

Biographies and Memoirs


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Gennady Denisov

Biographies and Memoirs


The work of a surveyor geologist combines both science and industry. Here you need the ability to think clearly, have a good spatial imagination, know the subject of study widely – the geological structure of the work area, have deep basic knowledge, and all this with quite significant physical loads …

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Yuri Martynov

Biographies and Memoirs

Our Everything

This book is about the original Soviet composer and singer, the most popular Soviet stage artist in the recent past, Yevgeny Grigorievich Martynov (1948-1990). The most interesting factual material reveals the life and creative path of the brightest representative of professional singing art …


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Contemporary Russian literature


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Modern foreign literature

War memoirs (Veche)

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Yuri Orlik

Biographies and Memoirs


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Sergey Padalkin

Contemporary Russian literature


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Biographies and Memoirs


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Biographies and Memoirs


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Biographies and Memoirs

USSR: How they lived, how they loved, how they believed in themselves

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Biographies and Memoirs


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Biographies and Memoirs

Cursed Days (Veche)

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Nikolay Litvinov

Biographies and Memoirs

Russian officers

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Fantasy novels


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Anatoly Komaristov

Biographies and Memoirs


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Andrey Ostalsky

Biographies and Memoirs

Our century

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Alexander Henrici

Literature of the 19th century


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Alexander Zhuravlev

Biographies and Memoirs


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Vladimir Faleev

Books about war


The first part of the book tells about the childhood and school years of the author in the pre-war and war years.The modern reader will be interested to learn about the bombing of Moscow, life in the evacuation and in Moscow during wartime .. In one of the chapters, the author describes his studies, rest and adventure …

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Alexander Gorodnitsky

Biographies and Memoirs

Alexander Gorodnitsky

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Charles Chaplin

Foreign journalism

Legend! Actors Who Changed Cinematography

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Vladimir Malyshev

Biographies and Memoirs

Petersburg: secrets, myths, legends

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Iraida Dudko

Biographies and Memoirs


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Boris Engelhardt

Biographies and Memoirs


The author of the memoirs, Boris Alexandrovich Engelhardt, was at the epicenter of the events of the 20th century.With luscious strokes, he paints unforgettable pictures of three wars – Russian-Japanese, World War I and Civil, and two revolutions. The memoirs are written like a novel, only the characters in it are not fictional characters and …

90,000 Chapter 4 Youth and marriage. Personal memoirs of H.P. Blavatsky

Chapter 4

Youth and marriage

Very little is known about Elena von Hahn’s youth, perhaps because this youth was very short: she got married when she was not yet seventeen years old.EF Pisareva (the author of the famous biography of H. P. Blavatsky) wrote: “One of her qualities, which attracted friends to her, but at the same time, and very much harmed her, was her well-aimed, brilliant humor, most often benevolent, but often very much offended small ambitious people. Those who knew her in her youth recall with pleasure her cheerful, open, clean, intelligent, full of humor speech. She loved to joke, excite, cheer people. ” [23, January, 1913]

A girl riding a bareback Cossack horse, not bowing to anyone’s authority, retained these character traits in her youth.She herself said: “I hated the so-called” high society “, as I hated hypocrisy in any of its manifestations, and always rushed against this society with its standards of decency.” “I hate dress, jewelry and civilized society; I despise balls, halls. How much I despised them is shown by the following incident. When I turned 16, I was once forced to go to a big ball at the tsar’s governor of the Caucasus. Nobody wanted to listen to my protests, and they told me that they were ordering the servants to forcefully clothe me, or rather undress me, in accordance with fashion.Then I deliberately put my foot into a boiling cauldron and then had to sit at home for 6 months. As I told you, there is no femininity in me. If in my youth some young man had dared to speak to me about love, I would have shot him like a dog trying to bite me. Until the age of 9, the only “nannies” whom I recognized were artillery soldiers and Kalmyk Buddhists. ” [8, XXII, p.32]

Her early marriage and hasty flight from her husband caused a general misunderstanding.EF Pisareva makes the following assumptions: “Her marriage at the age of 17 with an old unloved person with whom she could have nothing in common can only be explained by her passionate desire to achieve greater freedom. If you imagine the life of a woman from “high society” in the provinces, with all the prejudices of this society and boring etiquette, you can easily understand how all this suppressed such an impressionable, unrestrained, freedom-loving young creature. ” [22, January, 1913]

According to her aunt, N.A. Fadeeva, she did not have such serious considerations. Moreover, it is difficult to understand how marriage with a person of a higher position could free her “from a civilized society, dresses and jewelry.” According to Fadeeva, the reason for the marriage was her frivolous nature. “It’s just that the governess provoked her to this, saying that given her character and temperament, there is hardly a man who would agree to marry her. To further strengthen her words, the governess added that even that old man, whom she so laughed at and called “the plucked crow,” even he would not want to have her as his wife! This was enough for three days later she proposed to him and then, frightened, tried to evade her promise, but it was already too late. “[20, p. 39]

You can ask: “Why is it late?” After all, in Russia the betrothal was terminated earlier, why couldn’t it be terminated in this case? Blavatsky in 1885, when Sinnett was trying with great difficulty to get some data from her for his memoirs, wrote to him: “If you were in my shoes, when all winter my family bombarded me with letters, instructing me not to take one step or another, not to violate one or another family custom, not to scold one or another of their merits, etc.and so on, then you would understand how much these memories get on my nerves. The matter was that if I recalled at least one phrase about my numerous requests not to marry me off to old Blavatsky, then this would provoke a protest from my relatives, who were trying to prove that it was not my aunt and other relatives, but my father and I myself am guilty of this ridiculous marriage. ” [14, p.214]

In another letter, she wrote: “My aunt, Mrs. Witte, swore that she would curse me at her hour of death if I allowed to publish my memoirs while my relatives were still alive”.[14, p.217]

“More detailed information about my marriage? Look, now they say that I myself wanted to marry this old scarecrow. So be it. My father was four thousand miles from me, my grandmother was too sick; it was as I already told you. I got engaged to get revenge on my governess, not thinking that I could not end the engagement, well, and karma followed my mistake. There is no way to tell the truth without offending people, and I would never want to condemn them now that they have died long ago.Let it remain on my conscience. There was a dispute between my sister and my aunt, when the first one, who always condemned me, said that I had dishonored my deceased relatives by my marriage. So be it”. [14, p.157]

Seeing that asking family members is in vain, the exhausted girl tried to convince her fiance to free her from the word given to him, but this did not lead to a result. Her sister, Zhelikhovskaya, once wrote: “Seventeen-year-old Elena married a man three times her age.She thought that he was closer to 70 years than to 60, but he himself did not want to admit it and told me about 50 years. Her husband, the vice-governor of the Erivan province in Transcaucasia, was in all respects a very good man, with only one drawback – he married a young girl who treated him without the slightest respect and who frankly told him that the only reason for her choice was that she was less sad to make him unhappy than anyone else.

“You are making a big mistake by marrying me,” she said to the groom before the crown. “You know very well that you are old enough to be my grandfather.You will make someone unhappy, but it will not be me. As for me, I am not afraid of you, but I warn you that you will get nothing from this marriage. ” He really could have said that he didn’t get what he expected. ” [15, November, 1894]

“Forced to rush to marriage, she seemed reassured, thinking that she, as a married woman, would have a lot of freedom of action. Father in this matter did not take any part, he was far from her with his regiment. The wedding took place in Jalalogli on July 7, 1848 ”.[20, p.41] And on July 30-31 according to the old calendar or on August 12 according to the new – she turned 17 years old.

Her aunt says further: “That is why this fatal step was taken. When it was too late, she realized that now she was forced to admit herself under the rule of this old man, who was completely indifferent to her, whom she despised, but that, according to the laws of the country, she was now bound hand and foot. She was seized with terror, as she later explained, her whole being was seized by one irresistible desire, which ordered her to break with him, acting instinctively, as if saving her life from mortal danger.

When during the wedding the priest said the words: “You will have to honor your husband and obey him”, hearing this hated word – “you must”, blushed, then turned deadly pale and muttered through her teeth: “Of course not.” From that moment on, she decided to take everything into her own hands and leave her “husband” forever, not giving him the opportunity to even think of her as a wife. So Blavatsky at the age of 17 left her homeland and spent 10 long years in foreign, hard-to-reach places – in Central Asia, India, South America, Africa and Eastern Europe. “[2] [15, November, 1894] [20, p.40]

Sinnett continues to tell this story as follows: “Of course, the views of General Blavatsky and his bride on family life were completely opposite and they led to conflict, starting from the day weddings: unusual frankness, unrestrained indignation, regrets about the irreparable filled this day … A day after the wedding, the general took her to Darechichag, his Erivan summer residence. Already during this journey, Elena tried to escape across the Persian border, but the Cossack, who first promised to be her guide, brought her back to the general.This forced the general to further strengthen the security, and they arrived at the governor’s summer house without incident to spend their “honeymoon” there. [20, p. 41-45]

Many years later, we received an unexpected reminder of this “honeymoon”.

In 1874, Blavatsky traveled to Chittenden, Vermont, USA, to meet Colonel Olcott, then a reporter for the New York Daily Graphic, who at the time was investigating the spiritual phenomena taking place at Eddie’s farm.At one seance, the spirit of Safar Ali-Bek appeared. In a newspaper article entitled “Amazing Manifestations of the Spirit,” Blavatskaya wrote, among other things: “Safar Ali-Bek, the young leader of the Kurdish ‘nukers’, always accompanied me on my horseback rides near Mount Ararat in Armenia. On one of these trips, he saved my life. ”

Colonel Olcott describes the incident as follows: “The last spirit that appeared to us that evening was the most impressive of all 400 that we saw.In 1851 [3] Mrs. Blavatsky spent the summer in Darechichag (this is a summer cottage in Armenia, in the Ararat valley. The word “Darechichag” means “valley of flowers”). Her husband, the deputy governor of Erivan, had Kurdish bodyguards, about 50 people. The most daring of them was Safar Ali-Bek Ibrahim Bek-oglu (which means – the son of Ibrahim). He always accompanied her on all her rides, and he enjoyed showing her his prowess and remarkable skill in horseback riding. And so, the spirit of this man, materialized, left the office of William Eddie, dressed to the last detail as Madame Blavatsky saw him for the last time in Asia.That evening she played the piano in the living room and, since the back of the instrument was placed close to the stage, she was 3-4 steps away from the office door, from which the spirits came out. She couldn’t be wrong. He went out empty-handed, but at the very moment when it seemed to me that he was already leaving, he leaned forward, as if picking up a handful of sand from the ground, sprinkled it in front of him and pressed his hand to his chest – a gesture peculiar only to the inhabitants of Kurdistan. Suddenly, in his right hand was the most wonderful weapon I have ever seen.It was a spear about 12 feet long (maybe more, as it looked like the end was outside the office door). Its tip was of a special shape, and its base was decorated with a ring of ostrich feathers. Madame Blavatsky told me later that such spears are carried by Kurdish riders and are very dexterous in wielding them. In a moment before that, his hand was empty, in a moment a shining spear was in his hands. Where did he come from? From Chittenden gentlemen-skeptics? ” [17, p.320]

Sinnett continues: “For three months the newlyweds lived under the same roof, each fighting for their rights, until in the end, after a very heated dispute, the young lady jumped on her horse and went to Tiflis.At the family council held, it was decided that the frivolous lady should be sent to her father, who would meet her in Odessa. The old servant was instructed to escort her to Poti, so that from there she could reach her destination by steamer … allowed the dissolution of the marriage, and he did not succeed. ” [20, p.42, 44]

In 1875, in the issue of the New York Mercury on January 18, an article was published entitled “Heroic Women”.It said that Blavatsky, 17 years old, married a Russian landowner, who was 73 years old, that they lived together in Odessa for many years, until a decree on divorce was issued. Her husband recently died 97 years old, and his widow lives in New York. ”

Blavatsky replied to this article: “Even if I married a Russian landowner, I still did not live with him, because three weeks after the wedding I left him for reasons sufficient for me, as well as for the worldly eyes of the“ Puritans ” …I do not know if he died at the age of 97, for this patriarch, after my separation from him, completely disappeared from my field of vision and from my memory. ” [23, May, 1923]

In her letter “My Confession” she wrote: “… in 1848, I, hating my husband, N.V. Blavatsky (it may be unfair, but such is my nature, given by God), left him, left him – virgin (I will give documents and a letter proving this, and he himself is not such a pig to refuse it). ” [4, p.214; 21, p.85]

In an interview that was published on July 14, 1878 in the New York newspaper Star, she said: “I am a widow, a happy widow, and I thank God. I would not want to be a slave of the Almighty himself, let alone a slave to man. ”

So she ran away from the marriage she hated and disappeared for ten years. Her sister Vera wrote: “No one knew where she was, and we considered her dead.” [4]

Why was she forced to marry? Was it a family honor, or in marriage did the relatives have a happy opportunity to get rid of such a difficult, hot-tempered, impetuous girl? Whatever the motive of her family, it was ruthless towards poor Elena von Hahn.She summarizes her bitter marriage as follows: “A woman finds her happiness in acquiring supernatural powers. And love is only a bad dream, delirium. ”[5]

This text is an introductory fragment.

Continuation for liters


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