short story

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Photo by Erik Tanghe on Pixabay

He was the last yeti.

And no one would ever know.

He knew three-thousand songs. His mother, his uncle, his aunt, had taught him everything they knew. Made sure of it. Pressed his forehead to their foreheads. Rabuzir, these songs contain your people. When you say their words, they are alive. When you forget and are stupid, they go away. You must remember, Rabuzir. One day we will not be here to remember them. You will not make the words die.

He remembered everything. He remembered the story of Biruye the First, who had walked across the stars and put…


A Turkish fairytale

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Ashiq Qarib. Wikimedia Commons.

I translated this short story by the Russian poet Mikhail Lermontov. It is based on a Caucasian folktale. The title of the story translates to ‘the wandering bard’. The figure of Khaderiliaz is Al-Khidr, who was associated with St. George.

A long time ago, a certain rich Turk lived in the town of Tifliz; Allah gave him much gold, but more precious than gold was his only daughter Magul-Megeri: the stars in the heavens are good, but angels live beyond the stars and they are even better; in the same way, Magul-Megeri was better than all the girls of Tifliz…


Rural legend or reality?

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Image by Elinor Puttick on Pixabay

Dartmoor’s greatest legendary beast is still the Hound of the Baskervilles, closely followed by the rather less romantic Hairy Hand, which drives unsuspecting drivers off the road. But there is a third legend about creatures on the vast tract of wilderness, and this one could be rooted in reality — a hidden population of ‘big cats’.

There have been a number of reported sightings, as well as reports of missing or mauled livestock or sheep carcasses seen high up in the trees (not just in Dartmoor but also nearby Bodmin Moor in Cornwall and throughout the country). …


Generational misunderstanding

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Image by congerdesign on Pixabay

I only recently learned that there was tension between the ‘you’re welcomers’ of the world and the ‘no problemers’. But apparently, it’s a matter of debate — certain people (generally older) tend to find ‘no problem!’ rude, while others (generally younger) find ‘you’re welcome’ presumptuous.

I’m quite firmly in the latter camp. I don’t think of ‘you’re welcome’ as rude — it’s the formal response taught to children; it’s the standard. But it’s something I rarely feel comfortable saying. And when I receive a message or email reading ‘you’re welcome’, I feel a little negative prick. …


poem

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image by Pexels on Pixabay

catch on silk clock-hands, banisters, summer plans droop on the landing, coming down the stairs how many picnics? how many realized? how many girl stares through seeding grass to the other side such beautiful dusty linens, were they hers? no, once shed the soul of clinking glass all ready to the port that knew moonlight slanting, mulberry shivers catches on teardrops, coming down the stairs fine memorial to so many dead oysters, don’t you think love not near so precious as all your curls if once, then never again in the garden why stain glass? why drown in your eyes…


Keeping your Sashas and Shuras straight

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Photo by azazelok on Pixabay

Maybe it’s happened to you: you decided to finally crack into one of the great Russian novels — Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Pasternak — and you’re suddenly flooded by an array of long, almost unpronouncable names that seem to change from page to page. Now, these great novels are hard enough to track without being confused about who’s who. Having a working understanding of Russian names is going to make the process quite a bit smoother. If you’re learning Russian or travelling to a Russian-speaking place, this is also an imperative.

Overview

A Russian name is made up of three parts: the given…


And would it matter?

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Photo by S. Hermann and F. Richter on Pixabay

Note: this article isn’t intended to help you decide if you are on the autism spectrum. I am not a doctor or even a casual life expert. This just represents my personal experience, what I learned through my own research, and my conclusions (which, at the risk of spoilers, are ambiguous and I am not writing this article as an autistic person, just someone trying to monetize the thing I’ve been researching…) Please forgive me if I use offensive language; I tried to be careful and any mistakes were made in ignorance.

Like, I assume, a good number of people…


What does ‘canceling’ mean?

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Vladimir Baranov-Rossine, Adam and Eve (from Wikimedia Commons)

Ruth Benedict was the first to write about ‘guilt’ and ‘shame’ cultures in The Chrysanthemum and the Sword (1946), a study of Japanese society. She claimed that while Western, Christian societies tend to regulate behavior through guilt (an internal sense of wrongdoing), Japan tends to regulate behavior through shame (external sense of wrongdoing). Sin versus losing face. Benedict writes:

In anthropological studies of different cultures the distinction between those which rely heavily on shame and those that rely heavily on guilt is an important one. A society that inculcates absolute standards of morality and relies on men’s developing a conscience…

Cecily Lawless

je suis souvent victime des colibris et je voudrais bien qu’on me considère en tant que tel

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