In actual fact 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 have now disappeared into the murky ether. Titled Theater Plus, this 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. Over time I will collect all or most of these writings here in this space.
Politics increasingly encroached on Russian life after President Vladimir Putin returned to the presidency in 2012, and I found that my often previously esoteric or highly personal topics began to be pushed to the side by current events. As I look back now, I realize that some of the writing that engaged (challenged, excited) me most was done in these blogs. I believe it still deserves to be available; who knows, someone may be interested in reading it. As I began looking through old hard drives in search of the original texts, I realized that over the years I had also done a good deal of one-off writing – much more than I realized – for “stray” publications and blogs. All of this writing – what comprised my life for a decade or more – was pretty much gone. And so we have this – something called Blogs and Stray Articles. It 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.