or leaving me aside. Leaving me aside – my excitement when experiencing Russian history n a nutshell, really compressed in a short paragraph, a long sentence if you want: Compressed to the imagination of walking along the Nevsky Prospect on the pavement of which once Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin walked …., a Zeitgeist that drove Fjodor Michajlovitsj Dostojevski to gambling; allowing me now to think in similarly eccentric ways as Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy did, when he may have visited this city that has now the name Saint Petersburg; thinking about the greatness of Peter and the likes who, when time matured had been dwarfs standing in the way of the largess of a new society which chased them away, following the call coming from the Aurora and standing at the beginning of conquering the Winter Palace – the storm that later still required The Mother taking rigorous steps, standing up when she had been called.

Details are often forgotten while looking at the large picture. Or is it more that we are blinded by some grandeur?
There are surely the great politicians, the large lines and also the large crimes. And even if one should be careful with premature joys or anger, one should not take the required circumspection as an excuse for holding back with political judgement. And this is a matter of current governments here (yes: HERE) and there (for instance the ridiculous sentence for Berlusconi and the reduction of even this modest conviction. Nevertheless, leaving this major lines aside, looking at something that is more hidden it is sometimes the really small things that make huge differences.
When I went  he other day by train with Viacheslav to Petersburg – and while we had been comfortably sitting in the fast train, we had been chatting with Natasha (who is Natasha  – It could be a long story now like the many stories usually told from the transsib, even if the train trip took definitely much less time than one of those famous (or infamous?) trips in the “old times”. At some some stage we talked, of course, also about politics – Natasha recalled pre-Perestroika-times (“What are you talking about? When was that?” Viachselav intervened, half jokingly). The woman continued undeterred, though with a little smile:

You know, those times, before Gorbachev. We had been … – we. You,

she pointed on me, as on somebody coming from another world, the world of old capitalism

you start you sentence with I. And you write it with a capital letter, even in the middle of the sentence. it had been different here. It had been about us, about we …

Viacheslav intervened:

Peter knows. He studied also in

Looking at me I helped:

Leipzig – when it still had been in the GDR, although the Campus had been near Berlin.

Yes, the times and the circumstances had been different. But there seems to be more to it. One could speculate about this “it” constituting the we and the I … – and as much as times and circumstances matter, something seems to be still alive here where pure capitalism is on the advance to complete final victory. I thought about this “we” the evening when visiting with Viacheslav and Olesya the Mariinsky theatre, enjoying Glinka’s Ruslan and Lyudmila … – in the program brochure so many details had been listed, the soli in the orchestra even if they seemed to play a minor role. It seems to be a paradox: but here, where it is still about a “we-society”, the I becomes much more important than in societies that pretend individuality and can only do so by limiting it to a sole mate, who has lost the soul.
And in actual fact, the detail gains grandeur when being really part of the we. – And history is a little bit like a love story – a love story being felt like the “story line of history” …


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