Text: Sergey Sdobnov
"Invasion. A Brief History of Russian Hackers"
Even a brief (296 pages, can be mastered over the evening) story of hackers immediately raises many questions. The main thing is how to write about those who hardly want to shine? Quite simply - through interviews and numerous journalistic materials. Of these, the author of the book, journalist Daniil Turovsky, essentially made a non-fiction detective about the life of crackers, for whom access to information turned out to be the criterion of freedom, and hacking became an addiction.
Sometimes the story in this book begins in the forest near Hanover, where they found the body of a 24-year-old burglar who, with colleagues, has been cracking open the systems of the US Department of Defense, NASA, and other U.S. departments for the KGB. Hackers stole credit cards from American retail chains, bank data was trivial due to lack of money: "If in the USA a person with good programming skills could go tens of thousands of dollars without hacking, then in the former USSR, where people often earned several hundred dollars a year, the temptation was too much great. "
The idea of total access to data penetrated into the Hollywood conveyor: Angelina Jolie's acting career began with the film “Hackers”. In the picture, crackers fought with capitalists from transnational corporations. The ability to work and win in the virtual world inspired several generations of teenagers around the world, and in Russia cassettes with “Hackers” appeared at the same time that Lukyanenko’s novel “The Labyrinth of Reflections” about divers - owners of network worlds was released. Turovsky romanticizes these communities with unstable responsibility, but this makes the book even more attractive.
"Letters in the snow"
Edited by Elena Shubina
The author of "The Writer" and "Venus of the Hair", the writer Mikhail Shishkin is rarely in Russia. Instead of a new, always expected novel, he suggests looking at the worlds of three important writers of the 20th century from a geographical and temporal distance. The first, Robert Walser, "always violates the norm with tongue-tied tongue - the elegant syllable is clogged with clericalism, the clerical syllable is ugly. That is the untranslatable tongue-teller that makes Platonov impossible in German space, and Walser in Russian."
The second is James Joyce. Shishkin talks about how they got acquainted with Ulysses in the USSR, among whose first readers was Sergey Eisenstein, about Joyce’s private life, his doubts and worries: “When the book came out, they did not pay attention to it because the war started. Joyce joked sadly: “Do they need to leave Poland alone and engage in Finnegans Wake. Humanity on Earth to read or kill?”
In the third essay, Shishkin conducts a detailed and unrequited dialogue with the recently deceased Vladimir Sharov: “All you need to know about Soviet education is your story about how books were burned at the University of Voronezh. The library did not have enough space for new arrivals - liberated shelves for collected works Brezhnev. The rector ordered that most of the library’s antique collection be burned. Thousands of volumes, mostly in Latin. None of the library’s workers knew Latin. Dozens of incunabula printed in Venetian, Florentine and Padua printing houses. yah. "
Nobody likes when writers write about writers, but Shishkin seems to have succeeded.
"The Lucifer effect. Why good people turn into villains."
"Alpina Publisher "
Translation of Anna Stivki
Reissue of the study of social psychologist Philip Zimbardo on how to quickly lose their human appearance. In 1971, a scientist, along with colleagues on the ad found 24 college students - white, mental, healthy, belonging to the middle class. Zimbardo smashed selected students into jailers and prisoners. Participants in the experiment quickly mastered new roles. The guards began to insult the prisoners physically and psychologically, the opportunity to wash turned into a privilege, the persecution began and the victims got used to their status. The experiment was completed on the sixth day. Subsequently, Zimbardo personally participated in the investigation of abuse and torture in Abu Ghraib, an American military prison in Iraq. The main conclusion of the researcher is "situational factors are stronger than personality traits."
Zimbardo began writing The Lucifer Effect - detailed descriptions of this experiment and other incidents of violence in prison - in 1971, immediately after the experience at Stanford, and ended in 2003. In a sense, all this time the psychologist has been trying to understand the mechanics of violence, how the change in a person’s position on the social ladder affects his attitude to other people dependent on him. Zimbardo does not exclude himself from the study, according to the American non-fiction tradition, describing his growing up in the New York ghetto, where you always had to know who had power. Autobiographical comments, frequent references to the heavy share of the researcher of violence, on the one hand, humanize the work of Zimbardo, and on the other hand, turn this book into a psychotherapeutic diary, the author of which understands that he himself (and therefore all of us) are part of the system.
Yuval Noah Harari
"21 lessons for the twenty-first century"
The main task of the provocative philosopher Harari is to wake the reader who has fallen asleep in his iPhone (oh). In his first book, Nomo Sapiens, Harari already talked about how a person became the main colonizer of the Earth and an indirect killer of other species. In the next book, "Homo Deus," the author embarked on a shaky path of futurology and more and more inclined to fortune telling and populism. Harari has not yet spoken about only one time - the present.
The book "21 lessons for the twenty-first century" is dedicated to the art of awareness, orientation in the era of fakes and self-censorship. The philosopher offers to suspend the movement of the news feed and look around, remember what your life consists of right now. Harari masterfully combines the principles of self-help, sermons and philosophical trends in his books, transforming each of his texts from scientific to artistic, thereby protecting his works from a final defeat in the fight against experts.
"Suddenly they knock on the door"
"Phantom Press "
Translation by Linor Goralik
Keret, the master of short prose, examines human life in every story through glasses of absurdity. His heroes, forever alone and lost, do not lose heart in the reality of the 21st century. One of them, between loneliness at home and in a cafe, chooses a place where people always appear. There he begins to communicate with strangers, playing the role of the one with whom they have an appointment in this cafe. Keret's other hero lives in a dream, even when he drives a car. The third is threatened by intruders, demanding a new story from him, a writer. Keret observes the fears of each of us, builds a short tragicomedy around loneliness and dependence on consumption. Well, in general, this is life.
"Phantom Press "
Translation of Shasha Martynova
One of the main storytellers of the Western world, Stephen Fry, has long reached the ancient subjects. In the previous book Myth, he walked through the gods, and this time it was the turn of the heroes. Initially, the gloomy characters of the Ancient World in Fry's treatment turn out to be the heroes of jokes that can be told in the bar - this is not a furious course in antiquity at the philological faculty.
Translation by Olga Novitskaya
Caesar is the name of one of the many slaves that inhabit America at the end of the 19th century. The Underground Railroad is a secret society that helped slaves escape from south America to north. In the book, the road from the metaphor of freedom turns into a real railway line that runs through the whole country.
For this book, Colson Whitehead received the Pulitzer Prize in 2017. In others, he described the American Stakhanovite, the reasons for the fall of the elevator, racial inequality and even the end of the world in which zombies take part. In The Railroad, Whitehead describes white heroes as miserable and bad as possible, reminds of the historical era of slavery, plot, details (steam locomotives), and the rest in this book can be carefully attributed to the steampunk universe or attributed to the author’s imagination.
"The Naked City. The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Spaces"
Not a new, but well-established method of capitalism is to turn the urban way of life, its authenticity into a commodity valuable to the inhabitants of the metropolis (see New York, Berlin). City markets, ethnic cafes, noble-aging buildings and parks are commonplace for those who consider themselves city dwellers. Sharon Zukin, using the example of six districts of New York, shows how capitalist forces, with the help of gentrification, force out their creators - artists, local residents, immigrants - from the zones of authenticity. Rising housing prices and services turn authenticity into elitism.
The Naked City can be put on a shelf next to Jane Jacobs' book Death and the Life of American Cities. Perhaps, not only city planners will take books from this shelf, but also those who make decisions on turning the center of megacities into a golden and often burnt out zone.
"Death and the right hand"
Translation by Ivan Kulikov
Today, one of the main problems of prosperous countries is the aging of the population. Around the world, many retirement support programs are being developed. People’s attitude towards the last period in their life is changing most slowly. Talking about death or aging is first of all an attempt to understand how we are experiencing loss, to talk about the boundaries of our attachments. The pioneer of the sociology of death, Robert Hertz, wrote this book back in 1907. The 26-year-old scientist showed what meanings and statuses the right and left hand have in culture. Hertz devoted his doctoral dissertation to the study of sin and impurity.
It was important for the scientist in all his works to show that the human body leaves the world of the living after death, but remains in society. Hertz explores the social life of our dead, relying on field studies of funeral rites and symbols of the dead body in culture.
ANNA SOKOLOVA - "about talking about death "
Karl Uwe Knausgor
"My struggle. Book one. Farewell."
Translation of Inna Streblova
The manifesto of routine life from the famous Norwegian writer begins with a reflection on death: recollections of how Knausgor saw on television the news of the death of a fishing vessel and saw a huge face on the screen. But the narrative in this book is not based on such flashbacks. The main event in the novel is the author’s life, as detailed as possible according to the “I read Proust and I can” method, thoughtless, sometimes uninteresting, imposed on the reader to the end, to the strangest details.
Knausgor writes the anthem of one, his individual life, but it turned out that the book turned out about a general non-heroic experience, which he is trying to declare interesting. It’s difficult for perception, so we have to either trust the titled book (this is the European bestseller), fall in love with a routine, or wait for the continuation, because this book is the first in Knausgor’s autobiographical cycle.
"Running out of time. Accelerating life under digital capitalism"
Publishing House "Case"
Translation by Nikolay Adelman
Gadgets should save our time, but in fact, with the development and spread of technology, residents of large cities began to live faster - and were always busy. Judi Weisman, a sociology professor at the London School of Economics, explores the cult of speed. His adherents are all those who are connected to the digital world of success, observing each other and illusions.
The researcher understands what a slow past, instant time is and why the ubiquitous distribution of washers and microwaves has so little effect on the liberation of mankind from domestic work. A significant part of the book is devoted to the collapse of techno-myths, for example, on the dependence of efficiency on speed and the need for a permanent connection to the Network. In the fight against acceleration, the author talks about the possibilities of a slow life, rethinking success and personal time, drawing readers' attention to inconsistencies in the speeches of techno-evangelists.
The new book by film critic Andrei Plakhov was written based on several exhibitions in which Tarkovsky’s unstable reality collides with the worlds of contemporary artists. In 2016, in the Stanislavsky Electrotheatre, within the framework of the Foresight project, shots were taken from Andrei Tarkovsky's film Stalker, and nearby were the alarming canvases of the panic realist Pyotr Belenk. The following year, the Tarkovsky & Plavinsky exhibition was held at the Theater of Nations: shots from Andrei Rublev and paintings by Dmitry Plavinsky, a contemporary of the great director. In 2018, on the ground floor of the baroque mansion of the Franco Zeffirrelli Foundation, a spaceship was located - the project “Flight to Solaris”. The exposition has the same principle: shots from the Tarkovsky film are combined with the works of Zverev, Infante and other artists of that time.
In his essay book, Plakhov talks about how Tarkovsky’s films are connected with world culture of the second half of the 20th century (because of this connection Tarkovsky apparently became an international phenomenon), which his, mystical reality created by the director and contemporary artists. Another theme of “Free Flight” is the relativity of time: how the image of Tarkovsky and artists from an unofficial culture - from hushing up to a cult - in the Soviet and post-Soviet world changed.
"1947. The year in which it all began"
Translation by Nina Fedorova
The Swedish writer and journalist Elisabeth Osbrink talks about how Europe has changed after the Second World War, using the events of one year as an example. How the Nuremberg trials of fascists influenced world politics, why the anti-Jewish unrest occurred in England in 1947, and how it turned out that after the war everyone began to look for watches ("They steal, hide, forget, lose. There is still no clarity over time) When it’s eight in Berlin, seven in Dresden and nine in Bremen, Russian time is in effect in the Russian zone, while the British enter daylight saving time in their part of Germany, asking how much time they mostly hear what it says I’ve lost, I mean, the clock’s gone. is it missing time? ").
Osbrink telegraphs readers from bombed Budapest, where residents rebuild the city every day for several hours, which, like much of Europe and the USSR, is in ruins. In New York, hundreds of couples oppose Christian Dior's long skirts, which replaced knee-length skirts. Winston Churchill was tired of the Arab-Jewish war in Palestine: "... because of this senseless dirty war with the Jews, which is waged in order to ultimately give Palestine to the Arabs or God knows who else."
"1947" is an accessible history textbook for those who want to feel like a citizen of the world, who is able to make a three-dimensional model from a year and look at this ball of time at a distance of decades.
"The true life of Lolita. The abduction of Sally Horner and the novel of Nabokov, which shocked the world."
The title and plot of Nabokov's most popular novel is known even to those who have not read it. The story of Lolita, according to journalist and editor of the CrimeReads portal Sarah Wyman, is inspired by the real case with Sally Horner. Nabokov read about this 11-year-old girl in the newspapers. The researcher studies the court documents, reads the memoirs of Horner’s relatives, finds the previously unpublished information from the FBI, collects the testimonies of Nabokov’s acquaintances to tell another story of Lolita.True crime mixed with literary criticism - why not.
The Venetian Recluse
Translation by Alexei Shestakov
In 1957, the father of existentialism, Jean-Paul Sartre, wrote an essay about one of the most mysterious artists of the late Renaissance, Jacopo Tintoretto. The philosopher labeled this text as part of a future book. In this work, which is first published in Russian, Sartre explores the fragmentary biography of Tintoretto, linking the artist’s conflict with Venice.