I feel happy and privileged that my article, Russian and Me, has just been published by the European Literature Network:
Russian and Me by Katia Gregor
Congratulations, Katia, on your wonderful post, so rich in feeling and memory. I loved it.
Thank you ever so much!
I have heard several accounts of the trauma and penury of early 20th century Russian immigration to Western Europe. I do like your clear storyline of the ebb and flow of how you wrestled with your multiple identities. If it is of any interest, Jasmin Khan, the cookery writer, talked about a similar shame, but how she came to see them
now as a “badge of honour”.
Thanks. I’m glad you liked it. Speaking for myself, I don’t see this a a badge of honour – or not a badge of honour. After all, we can’t claim any kind of credit for our background or be blamed for it. It’s simply a form of inheritance.
Like the concept of inheritance – it’s the way it viewed by you and others, and how that may change over time.
It is still a very powerful piece. Thank you.
Thank you very much for commenting – and for liking my piece.
What a tremendous post, Katia: beautifully written, heartfelt and consistenly engaging. Thank you for sharing it. I was utterly bereft by your last full stop, and hope you’ll write more about this in future!
How very kind of you! Thank you! It means a lot to me that you like it.
Congratulations, Katia, and thanks for this. I teared a little. There is pain in language, and maybe more of it in Russian. Good luck with your lessons.
Congrats, Katia. That’s wonderful.
Thank you very much, Nan.
Oh my God Katya!! My heart is with you! You know I live in Russia. I have been reading your wonderful stories for quite a while, and they always relate to me. Many times I wrote my comments under your texts. This article got me right in the feelings…. A few days ago I came back home, to the city where I live (Smolensk, Russia) from Italy where my daughter has lived for 7 years as of now. I enjoyed my stay there with her and her would-be husband and his family so much. The only thing that made me feel uneasy at times was that I didn’t want to speak Russian loudly in public: I was not sure if people would like to hear the language of the country that unleashed a bloody war and was killing and destroying Ukraine (honestly, destroyng the lives and destinies of their own people here, too). But then one day, my daughter said, “No, I don’t want to speak English with you inasmuch as we can speak Russian. I don’t want to be ashamed of my mother tongue.” And we started speaking Russian. The beautiful language and the great Russian literature are not guilty for the crimes of the criminals who happen to speak this language. Many more who are against all this horror also speak Russian, as well as me, and my daughter, and many of my friends and relatives. Thank you so much for this very interesting, sincere and honest text.
You come up as Anonymous, but I think I know who you are. If so, it’s such a pleasure to hear from you – and many thanks for your kind words! Let’s hope and pray for peace soon!
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