Monday, July 16, 2012

Gogol, Kafka, and Virtual Tours

A picture of Napoleon I guess at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg.

Gee, in my virtual travels on YouTube, I discovered a 2 hour HD tour of St. Petersburg. Beautiful! Stunning!

Hoosier Tim's Travel Videos. My gosh, what a beautiful city and what awesome (in the tried and true sense) churches! The Jesus's have Nureyev eyes.  I read all the Russian novels in my 20's but didn't remember the Dostoevsky was born in that city.

I even took a Russian course in Jr. College. All I can remember to say is "I am going to buy meat in Red Square" and "I don't have any money." OOO MENYA NYET DENGUEE.

By the end of the year I got so I could read Turgenev a bit, but not Dostoevsky, whose prose style is more complicated. I remember going to the Russian Bookstore in Montreal and buying a copy of Dr. Zhivago (one of my favourite all time novels)  in Russian. It was so thin compared to the English translation and especially the French translation. Russian novels aren't long, the Russian language is short!

Anyway, this Hoosier Tim guy has a whole bunch of travel videos on his 'channel'. I also took a look at Patagonia (the Andes) and Iceland and yes, even Niagara-on-the-Lake, where he appears to have ventured last month.

I've been thinking about heading there to see Ragtime the musical at the Shaw Festival. I wrote about that in an earlier blog. I can see that Niagara on the Lake is a flower choked tourist village.

Then a day or two later, while looking something up on a certain website, I retrieved an advert for Ragtime at Niagara. Quelle Coincidence! Usually the ads on that website are for, ahem, Russian beauties.

Two hours of HD is a lot of download so I checked my usage this morning and sure enough, it is adding up. I used three GB yesterday. I must up my usage limit if I am going to live vicariously off of this guy's videos.

Nevsky Prospect... Wasn't there a movie with that name? Let me check..Yes, but it was made this year! That can't be what I'm thinking of.

Wait, I double checked. Nevsky Prospect is a short story by Gogol, one of my favorite writers, too. I recommended Diary of a Madman to my book club and one of the members HATED it. She thought it made fun of mental illness.  I thought it showed how bureaucracy makes up mental. Alas. And on that subject, I also took a tour with someone else of the Czech capital, Prague, the Jewish Quarter where Franz Kafka lived.

Oh, I looked up Hoosier. It means a person from Indiana.