Grand Tour of Europe

From May 22, 2006 to August 16, 2006 I will reside in Moscow, Russia. In my series abroad, I published in 2004 the series Notices from Berlin. Apart from some professional projects, some travels to Europe, and starting to work on The Shield of Achilles, I will post my impressions of Russia under the working title Le spleen de Moscow, after the poem by Baudelaire ‘Le spleen de Paris’. This poem signals the beginning of Symbolism. The Russian symbolist Andrei Bely wrote a prose-poem about the then capital of Russia Saint Petersburg and my notes will reflect the spirit and intention of Bely’s classic novel.

From Dostoewski, Trotsky, Bulgakov and Lenin, Brodsky, Nabokov to Solzhenitsyn, many Russian intellectuals were banned from their motherland. Although my exile is voluntary, the effect on my soul will not be less disturbing, because the causes may not be confused by its effects. In addition, being denied a homeland, a home, is not always purely a matter of physical removal, for what if the soul has been uprooted from the earth it was seeded in? Travelling to Russia, like Kazantzakis before me, will be in many ways the report of a continueing quest for that holy grail in which a soul comes home to a lost golden state.

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