“May has come and brought heaven on earth”

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“Our Northern summer is a caricature of Southern winters; it will glance by and vanish…” wrote Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin. Of course, the classic poet was right, given the short duration and eternal unpredictability of the Russian dacha season. But we are used to being content with little in nature. It’s not for nothing that people say: “May has come and brought heaven on earth.” However, the new issue of Russian Mind is dedicated not to the climate features of the middle zone in Russia, but to great Russian literature. And not only to Alexander Pushkin in connection with the celebration of the 225th anniversary of his birth, but also to a whole constellation of wonderful Russian writers, whose round or milestone anniversaries are celebrated in May and June of this year.

These are Bulat Okudzhava and Viktor Astafyev, Anna Akhmatova and Alexander Blok, Yuri Bondarev and Ivan Bunin… And this issue will open with the Address of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Rus’ to Christians on the occasion of the Holy Resurrection of Christ (Easter), which falls on 5th May of this year. That’s symbolic. After all, the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church, when tonsured, took his name in memory of one of the Thessaloniki brothers, the teachers of Slavs and creators of the Old Church Slavonic script.

The main topic of this issue is focused, in particular, on Cyril and Methodius, in whose honour the Slavic Literature and Culture Day is celebrated on 24th May.

Russian music has not been forgotten either. The Culture section describes the creative work of Mikhail Glinka, whose opera Ruslan and Lyudmila was a model – not for imitation, but for conformity in the perception of young Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. One of the articles in our magazine is dedicated to the 180 th anniversary of the author of Scheherazade and Sadko.

As always, Teo Gurieli will continue talking about the history of the Russian Empire. In the History section, there will be a story of Empress Catherine II, who laid the foundation for the collection of the Hermitage, the main national museum, open to the public since 1852.

We also offer the Orthodox Messenger which is regular now. This time it will not be quite ordinary, because we will talk about Sergei Yesenin’s perception of God (you see, it will match our literary theme). Glorification of Russian nature – and sincere faith in the Saviour. Why not?

I conclude this preamble with Yesenin’s appeal to summer: “There is something beautiful in summer, and with summer beauty is in us.”

Kirill Privalov

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