Posts Tagged ‘Moscow’

DC-Moscow Letters

17 Feb


Transcontinental Bear


Originally published on February 17, 1998


Sorry about that last truncated line. Somehow in the typo editing process the line was chopped off, but is rather irrelevant at this time. Thanks for your offer to clue me in to your Muscovian mysteries. Over here I read about gangs of organized crime taking over the Russian economy which has improved little in recent years as the transition to capitalism is proving much more difficult than the populations are willing to tolerate. What is your opinion on this matter? Is my news source a distortion of the facts? Or is the typical conservatism of the old in desiring the status quo and the old ways while the radical youth and professional criminals embracing the chaos of change as part and parcel of their own power grab simply "expected in these transitional years" by the Russian people as a whole, however begrudingly or exuborantly, dependent upon one's own demographic?

Other than cross-cultural chitchat of a very superficial nature, my knowledge of Russian culture is decidedly very shallow, Anni. In my ignorance, or perhaps in my enthusiasm to wish peace and tolerance among the people of the world wherever conflict reigns among classes and races and political intent, I don't view the Russian people any different than any other European-derived culture. Here in America, the racial problems inherited from several hundred years of slavery, have divided the populations in political polarities quite unnatural and observedly bogus, exploited by unsavory types for reasons of treasure and treason, collective usurpation and individual flaw alike, but they exist and thrive nevertheless. It's very sad. Language is subverted in these politically-motivated causes, and while I would like to think this is simply an American or a class warfare phenomenon, something that ideology could cure, I know better. Human greed, envy, corruption and frailty; these are the culprits, and the clock keeps ticking away as mankind destroys itself, its homelands, and its authority to proclaim itself a truly rational creature.

Great literature sums it up for us. But false saviors devour us in our beds, in our workplaces, polluting our minds and enslaving our bodies. We are never satisfied but consistently look over our shoulders to exploit our neighbors in the name of love, and if that doesn't work, in the name of fear. There seems to be no peace. Our finest writers are either arrogant and ruthless or they are timid all-seeing inversions of the truths they discover. Thus, even literature is part of the problem with its hero-worship and cold formulas of perfection, yet those of us who have rejected all else, savor literature as the last vestiges of sanity in a world gone mad with desire and deadly with gratuitous delusions of rationality.

Oh silly me, why am I tottering on the brink of my own blather? Anni, thanks for writing. I am glad to have helped you perhaps sell your Russian language books. Now that I think about it, maybe I can buy a small collection from you. A Nabakov, a Tolstoy, a Dostoevsky, one other? That would be fun. Four books I would like to buy from you. Even though I don't read the language. You suggest a fair price. If I can afford the price, we then need to create a formula and map the logistics for transferring funds and books. Please think about this. Who knows what might develop? But do follow up on the Kamkins address. It is a very large warehouse, and is a true business opportunity for you. I am a very small unimportant Internet author, a lover of books, but of no great consequence to your business ambitions.

But I do look forward to your next reply. Best wishes,

Gabriel Thy
Creative Director
Graphic Solutions Ink Systems

Moscow Calling, Literature On The Move

13 Feb


Moscow Calling


At 4:14 PM +0300 2/13/98, Anni wrote:

Hello, dear Gabriel, thanks a lot for your reply. Yes, you have understood me correctly, I am going to sell these books. Besides these editions of Nabokov's books I could also offer quite a number of newly published Russian language titles, which might pose interest for those who care for the Russian literature, history or art. I also carry out a search for out-of-print and rare books upon requests of book-collectors and readers.

Thank you very much for your assistance, any contact address of the warehouse you have mentioned will be much helpful.

Are you in Washington, DC. or the State of Washington? Could I be of any help to your bookstore, (I am located in Moscow, Russia, which has some pleasant advantages.)?

Hi again Anni,

First of all, I am in Washington, DC. Secondly, a few minutes of research turned up some very helpful information. I telephoned the local Russian Language Bookstore, which is really a large warehouse as I recall from my only visit there, explained myself on your behalf, and was greeted with enthusiasm by a thickly-accented (Russian of course) elderly woman who welcomed your contact. The details are:

Viktor Kamkins Bookstore
4956 Bolingbrook Parkway
Rockville, MD 20852

Local telephone: 301-881-5973

I am a fledgling web designer and webmaster for several corporate clients. Since bookselling is not really my principle business, and my web sites and are barely off the ground and therefore do not generate a lot of traffic at this time, I am afraid I am at a loss to know how else I can be of service to you.

I am pleased however that you discovered my interest in a few Russian authors and their literature via my online bookstore, and felt confident enough to contact me. I have enjoyed our short communications. While I have two or three local acquaintances who have traveled to Russia and Moscow in particular several times, I cannot write.

Best regards,

Gabriel Thy
Creative Director
Graphic Solutions Ink Systems


"Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""