The BackShop Journal

A Gallery of Thoughts on Arts, Culture and Orthodox Christian Spirituality

  • Three Hundred Years of Murderous Desire

    Should a 484-page book about the history of St. Petersburg without a single mention of St. John of Kronstadt, one of the greatest spiritual leaders of Russia, be immediately dismissed? No. Despite its cynicism, proclivity for sex scandal and political intrigue, Jonathan Miles's St Petersburg: Three...
  • Red Star Over Russia

    In the past ten months or so, I wrote and translated about two dozen articles dealing with the Russian Revolution. In need of illustrations, I turned, naturally, to the internet. There is not that many good photos of the event, though, and, as I found out soon, most other articles about the same top...
  • Proust in the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower

    One hundred years ago, the second volume of In Search of Lost Time, one of the greatest novels of all time, came out of print. It won Marcel Proust the Goncourt Prize the following year. For the next three years, until his untimely death at the age of 51, Proust feverishly worked on t...
  • A Testament to the Variety of Cultures and a Carnival of Playful, Clever Irony

    "At long last! I can't believe my eyes - and in more than one way! I've stopped hoping a long time ago that I would once hold in my hand an artistic artifact which works for me on all major fronts. One with a powerful structure and crazy content that is both art and pop without being either art or p...
  • Let the Children Play!

    Erika Christakis, The Importance of Being Little. New York: Viking, 2016. 400 pages.
Featured Article
Do We Live in a Dystopia?
The literary genre "utopia" acquired its name from the novel by the same title, published by Thomas Moore in 1516. Various authors have tried to imagine a perfect society and describe it in the form of a project, tale, or novel. Plato's Republic is probably the first known utopia, describing th...
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