This is less a blog than an archive. For approximately six years, from 2009 to 2015, I wrote a blog on Russian culture when I was the theater critic for The Moscow Times. Most of those entries disappeared into the murky ether fairly quickly. Titled Theater Plus, that space gave me room to stretch out and cover many things I wouldn’t have been able to touch on otherwise. It was a wonderful time and it renewed my faith and interest in writing at a time when I was turning the corner into my third decade as a critic. Many of those pieces were near and dear to my heart, and some happened to capture historical moments in freeze-frame as Russia began entering its most difficult days in 20 years. I believed that most of these pieces still deserved to be available, and so I started this blog space up as a place to park them, along with some new commentary. All of those pieces can be found here now, more or less – although not strictly – in chronological order.
But there is, and will be, much more to this space than just those Theater Plus blogs. As I began looking through old hard drives in search of the original Theater Plus texts, I realized that over the years I had also done a lot of one-off writing – much more than I realized – for “stray” publications and blogs. All of this writing – what comprised my life for a couple of decades or more – was pretty much gone. And so now I continue to fill out Blogs and Stray Articles with these old, “recovered” writings. Even when I use up the old stray texts, I will have material enough to keep Blogs and Stray Articles alive as long as I am. One of the great side effects of beginning to write the Theater Plus blogs was that I had to have art work ready to go with each piece. That made something of a photographer out of me. I began carrying my camera with me everywhere and I used it on as many people and places as I could. As a result, I have a monstrous archive of photos. When the texts run out, the photos will take over. So, if you’re interested in Russian culture, keep an eye on this space. It will grow and morph as the material I draw on changes. Blogs and Stray Articles is a companion piece to my Russian Landmarks blog and my personal website, which provides a good deal of information going far beyond my own work.