Author Topic: ECHOES OF A NATIVE LAND by Serge Schmenmann  (Read 5170 times)

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Offline Belochka

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ECHOES OF A NATIVE LAND by Serge Schmenmann
« on: October 31, 2004, 08:46:00 PM »
I would like to highly recommend another book, which I believe is a supurb read: Echoes of a Native Land - Two centuries of a Russian Village by Serge Schmemann published by Alfred Knopf, N. Y. 1997

This is a personal account of an American Pulitzer Prize winning correspondent who began filing stories in Moscow during the 1980's. The proximity to a village which belonged to his forebears was fortuitous, but remained out of reach until the Soviet Union began to fall apart, and its few residents began to loose their fears.

The reader is drawn to the author's vivid descriptions of his visits to the village of Sergiyevskoye - which belonged to his family.

He traces what became of the estate and surrounding buildings after the revolution, what happened when the soviets reclaimed the land, following the German occupation of that region. The village transformed into an impoverished collective farm.

This is wonderful social-historic profile which the author successfully constructed for this tiny part of Russia, a land which belonged to his grandfather when he was a boy. It is also a story about the Osorgin family.

But to be offered to buy this special pocket of Russia was unexpected and a fitting end to his personal journey. To give away the ending would in my opinion spoil the book. :D
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Belochka »


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Offline tea_rose

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Re: ECHOES OF A NATIVE LAND by Serge Schmenmann
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2004, 06:40:06 PM »
 Here I am on "your" post seconding your recommendation on this one. I bought it when it first came out after spotting it in the bookstore and I agree that it is really superb! I have read it at least twice since then. I love books with a double focus like this-the present situation combined with the emerging family history from the 19th century.

The end result was a very complete history of a place-pre and post Revolution. I often wonder if the author has returned again and if there are any updates.

(BTW-another book that I have read numerous times is "Russian Album" by Michael Ignatieff.  I am sure that someone here has raved about this one in the past. I have lost myself in this one many times since I purchased it. The writing style is stellar here, also)  
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by tea_rose »

Offline Belochka

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Re: ECHOES OF A NATIVE LAND by Serge Schmenmann
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2004, 07:56:13 PM »
I am surprised that few other posters seem to be aware of this book.

The well known Russian historian Richard Pipes reviewed this book in the New York Times:

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F04E0DF1F38F93AA25752C1A961958260

BTW tea_rose,

Russian Album has its own thread. Michael Ignatieff writes very well across many genres. ;)


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Offline AGRBear

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Re: ECHOES OF A NATIVE LAND by Serge Schmenmann
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2004, 11:04:49 AM »
Quote
Another quote from Serge Schmemann's book ECHOES OF A NATIVE LAND, Two Centureis of a Russian Village p.24:

"However obsolete, inequitable, or impractical that old world may have been, whatever we may think of the monarchy and the society that supported it, it's abrupt collapse tragically severed Russians from their roots and culturess and denied Russa whatever chance it might have had for a normal development. It was not only an elite or an economic system that the Communists dismantled and replaced; an entire world was laid waste. Industry and initiative were shackled, religion was crushed; art was perverted; the land was raped."

AGRBear


A good book that takes the  reader and  author back to his family estate, which was burned down, and the village [90 milies south of Moscow] once attached to his family.

The history covers two centuries.

Schmenmann has written for the Assocated Press and the New York Times.

AGRBear
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by AGRBear »
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Offline Belochka

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Re: ECHOES OF A NATIVE LAND by Serge Schmenmann
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2004, 06:58:59 PM »


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Offline Belochka

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Re: ECHOES OF A NATIVE LAND by Serge Schmenmann
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2004, 08:14:09 PM »
Elizaveta,

I am unfamiliar with the "Golovalev Family". Could you please provide a few more details? Thanks.

Belochka  :D


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Offline Превед

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Re: ECHOES OF A NATIVE LAND by Serge Schmenmann
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2016, 05:32:15 PM »
This book is amazing, moving, instructive and much better than many fluffy, superfiscial "Romanov books" with a very narrow focus. Heartily recommended.

The estate he chronicles is called Sergievskoye, also known as Karovo. The village at the centre of it is today known as Koltsovo. It lies by the river Oka in the Ferzikovo rayon of Kaluga oblast, for those who, like me, want to go there after reading the book!
« Last Edit: April 08, 2016, 05:48:06 PM by Превед »
Берёзы севера мне милы,
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: Ивы и берёзы, 1843 / 1856)