Quick Study: Alexander Arkhangelsky is a cultural commentator and observer, novelist, and journalist who hosts an issues-based TV talk show, Meanwhile.
The Arkhangelsky File: Alexander Arkhangelsky’s diverse list of writing credits includes 1962, a book about his birth year that blends history and memoir; The Price of Isolation, a novel about contemporary Russia; works about Alexander Pushkin; and literary reviews. Arkhangelsky’s 2012 novel, The Museum of the Revolution, involves love, war, politics, and other forms of conflict that swirl around a museum; the book was first released in electronic form complete with an "outtake" chapter. Since 2002, Arkhangelsky has hosted Meanwhile, a TV talk show on the Culture channel that looks at cultural, political, and historical issues. Arkhangelsky’s long resume also includes teaching in the Media Communications department of the Higher School of Economics and editing and writing for the newspaper Izvestiia.
Psssst………: Arkhangelsky has been known to write under the pseudonyms Arkhip Angelevich and Angelina Arkhipova. He served on the Russian Booker jury for the 1996 award.
Arkhangelsky’s Places: Moscow. Geneva University, where he has served as a lecturer.
The Word on Arkhangelsky: Liza Novikova recommended Arkhangelsky’s The Price of Isolation in a Kommersant review, noting a dynamic narrative and calling the book “sensible,” a novel that “chooses a needed coordinate system for these times.”
Arkhangelsky on Arkhangelsky: When he received an award from the journal Znamia for his 1962, Arkhangelsky said he wrote the book for his children and his friends’ children, to show history “through my eyes. This isn’t a historical work, it’s merely a family version of history… Strictly speaking, a homey discussion of history is one of literature’s main tasks…”
On Writing: In a 2009 interview, Arkhangelsky discussed the difficulties of literary criticism, saying it’s hard work and that he wants to read what he enjoys and be able to stop reading a book if he doesn’t like it. He then adds, “But writing about politics is something else. Political commentary is a perishable product, and that suits me very well. I understand how to write about politics without burning up inside. But I don’t understand how to write about literature without self-sacrifice.”
Arkhangelsky Recommends: In a 2011 interview with Russia Behind the Headlines, Arkhangelsky spoke of Boris Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago as the most recent Russian book that “made an incredible impression on Western readers, and turned the mentality of a whole generation upside down.” He has also praised Vladimir Sorokin’s Day of the Oprichnik.
Photo credit: Dmitry Rozhkov, Creative Commons