Nose 28

PUTTING THE S INTO LAUGHTER Compulsory Hilarity. An X in Russian is transliterated as Kh, a guttural clearing of the throat like the G in…

Nose 25

YES, OF COURSE (bust) Noses feature often in Gogol’s writing. He himself had a famous nose. A bust of him in the hermitage shows a…

Nose 23

VANITAS (the bath) Much can and has been written about artists and their mirrors. Four decades ago John Berger gave an elementary lesson in optics.…

Nose 22

COPPERPLATE Light up and hard down, was how we were taught to write—a bastardised, simplified calligraphy of ‘scribble’ writing. This was possible with an HB…

Nose 21

MIKHAIL IVANOVICH KALININ A Party member from 1898 and a member of the Central committee from 1919, he was neither tried nor shot. He died…

Nose 29

ANOTHER KHEPPI ENDING At the end of Gogol’s story, collegiate assessor Kovalyov wakes one morning and finds that his nose is back in its place…

Nose 24

AD HOC My sister collected stamps. My recollection is that from family of friends she received stamps of cosmonauts, ballet dancers and athletes, all marked…

Nose 20

VYACHESLAV MIKHAILOVICH MOLOTOV A member of the Party from 1906 and a member of the Central Committee from 1921, through the period of the great…

Nose 19

LEV BORISOVICH KAMENEV A member of the party from 1901 and a member of the Politburo from 1917. He was condemned in the first of…

Nose 18

INTELLIGENCE OF THE HAND The print is a collaboration between artist and printer. Each printer or print workshop under the direction of a master printer…

Nose 17

BAD DISGUISES 2 In the 1920s, Trotsky was airbrushed out of all photographs that showed him with Lenin. We are by now so familiar with…

Nose 16

ANGELINA BALLERINA My two daughters each had their few years at dance classes, though neither had the drive—nor the parental dedication—to make the transition onto…