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Davai! The Russians and Their Vodka [Anglais] [Broché]

Edwin Trommelen , David Stephenson , Nora Seligman Favorov

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Description de l'ouvrage

1 novembre 2012
You cannot separate Russians from their vodka or vodka from Russia. For over 600 years, this proud Slavic culture has – for good or ill – been inextricably bound up with their national drink. This has been expressed in literature, song, politics, history and every aspect of popular culture. In this comprehensive, quixotic and addictive book, Edwin Trommelen explores all facets of the Russian obsession with vodka. Peering chiefly through the lenses of history and literature, Trommelen offers up an appropriately complex and rich portrait. In addition, most all of the hundreds of wonderful quotes from literature, theater and poetry are presented in both their Russian original and English translation, making this also a useful guide to improving one’s Russian through the lens of this ancient drink.

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After high school, Edwin Trommelen began studying Russian language and literature, first at the University of Utrecht and later at the University of Amsterdam. In 1986, he spent a half a year in Moscow as part of his studies, before completing his studies in Amsterdam, with minors in Czech and Film Studies. After college, he worked at various jobs: as an intpreter and translator, as a tour guide, and as an editor for the Dutch television company AVRO. In 1989, he translated the novella Street of Freedom and poems by Nizametdin Akhmetov into Dutch. Russia is a common thread in most all of Trommelen’s work. In the late 1990s, he decided to concentrate on documentaries, with a good part of his work focused on Russia or the former Soviet Union. He worked on John Appel’s "Ilya Repin, Painter of the Russian Soul," Marjoleine Boonstra’s "Bela Bela – What Keeps Mankind Alive," and Jan Bosdriesz’s "Black Eyes." As director, his credits include "Back to the Camp" (about an Amsterdam woman who was imprisoned in Russia) and "Behind the Black Mountains" (about the Amsterdam Jewish boy Anton Devier, who traveled to Russia with Peter the Great and became the first Police Chief of St. Petersburg).

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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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Amazon.com: 5.0 étoiles sur 5  1 commentaire
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 A good gift 7 juin 2013
Par I. Darren - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
To many people vodka is just vodka, a clear alcoholic drink, yet such a blanket determination will be offensive to many nationalities, particularly Russians, who can hold such ferocious loyalties to their favourite drink that would put many Scots to shame.

This (translated) book is a comprehensive treatise about vodka, much more than "just" an A to Z run through. It is thorough, complex, involved and dedicated to just vodka, yet the book manages to be accessible to the average interested reader even though it is written to an academic-plus level. The best of both worlds in fact. First impressions can and are deceiving and the more one became drawn into this book the less awareness one had as to time passing by. It is one of those books where the cliché "so good, it was hard to put down" was surely invented for.

There is probably far much more information about vodka than you'd ever need or want to know, yet that is no bad thing. Whether you are interested in the historic or sociological side of vodka, you're covered. Interested more in culinary matters? Yes, this book is here for you too and you have the benefit of direct access to the original Russian language sources for greater authentic impact (albeit, of course, translated for the reader into English). There are also large extracts given in Russian as well as, befitting such a book, an extensive series of notes and bibliographic references at the end.

This reviewer is not sure whether he will benefit from the reproduction of "what to do before, during and after a drinking bout" (of Vodka), for example, but it remained an interesting reflective read in the broader context of this fascinating book. Just beware: you could soon "bore" for your country about the diversity of vodka.

Clearly this book won't be for everybody, but it would not be hyperbole to suggest that this could be a good gift for the "information curious" who might not even drink alcohol. The more culinary inspired will love this just for its broad background benefits and the fan of vodka will just think they've died and gone to heaven, so to speak, such is the wealth of material at their reading disposal.
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