Sunday Morning! “Kaili Blues”

Rufus F.

Rufus is a likeable curmudgeon. He has a PhD in History, sang for a decade in a punk band, and recently moved to NYC after nearly two decades in Canada. He wrote the book "The Paris Bureau" from Dio Press (2021).

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5 Responses

  1. Not just Dada and Lenin; James Joyce lived in Zurich at the same time. Tom Stoppard wrote a play about this called Travesties, which is sidesplittingly funny.Report

    • Oh of course! I knew Joyce was there because I remembered that he liked to pretend to have no idea what people were talking about when the subject of the war came up. Again, there seem to be times and places where giants walk the earth and hang out together.Report

  2. Jaybird says:

    Lenin lived across the street from the Cabaret Voltaire. One wonders what he made of all the racket.

    I thought that, surely, Lenin wrote something about art. Like maybe something about how tragedies were superior to comedies or how all art needed to be uplifting or something like that. My quick research tells me that he walked out of a stage play of one of Dickens’s Cricket on the Hearth (the sentimentality bored him) but he managed to sit through Oliver Twist (probably because it was expected of him).

    He has a quote that Cinema was the most important of all of the arts, but that was a take on its Revolutionary Utility rather than something (anything!) about content. (I honestly expected to find something about how satirists need to be put to the sword, as well. Nope. If the guy had taste, musings on his taste didn’t make it to the front page of the Google search.)

    Which, quite honestly, surprises me. I guess I kinda thought that Lenin would have been a bit more Romantic.

    Huh. Learn something new every day.Report

    • Rufus F. in reply to Jaybird says:

      I’m not well read in that area. My mother, who watches a lot of Fox News, is very well read in Soviet era history and primary texts, I think because she’s keeping an eye for parallels with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. My image of Lenin isn’t as Romantic.

      I would say we owe a lot to Eisenstein for how movies look today- Potemkin still plays like a modern movie- just without CGI. It’s pretty stunning.Report

  3. LeeEsq says:

    From what I remember Lenin had some very conservative ideas on what is art. There is an apocryphal story that Lenin had a very negative reaction to an abstract sculpture that was supposed to represent Kropotkin. The early Soviet Union could be a very daring place for the arts but this wasn’t to the taste of most of the Communist leaders except maybe Trotsky and Kollotai.Report