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Andrei Navrozov


Andrei Navrozov, born in Moscow, lives in Palermo and is European editor for Chronicles.  The former publisher of the Yale Lit, he is a widely published author and translator.  His Italian Carousel: Scenes of Internal Exile was published by Peter Owen Publishers.

  • Fruitarian Logic

    By Andrei Navrozov | May 13, 2015
    The windfall after the stormy night of last week’s British general election is the success of UKIP, a modern reincarnation of Sir James Goldsmith’s Referendum Party of the 1990’s, whose main stated aim is to force the government into an early plebiscite on membership in the European Union.
  • Together à la russe

    By Andrei Navrozov | May 06, 2015
    A singer by the name of Masha Rasputina, who, when a good deal younger and not quite as surgically enhanced, used to thrill nascent Moscow bourgeoisie by appearing on stage in latex lingerie, has just recorded a new song.
  • Thus Spake Chuka

    By Andrei Navrozov | April 29, 2015
    There’s a young lad who has been called the Barack Obama of Britain, and this may be indictment enough for many of my enlightened readers, but it is his actual name, rather than what he has been called, that fascinates me.
  • My Thermopylae

    By Andrei Navrozov | April 22, 2015
    A tooth I had been neglecting lashed out at me last week like a woman scorned, and through clenched teeth I can report that only renal colic hath more fury.
  • Love’s Labour’s Lost

    By Andrei Navrozov | April 15, 2015
    As a sometime betting man, I can share the news that the Conservatives are presently at 4/9 and Labour is on 13/8, with the bookmaker Betfair putting the chances of a Conservative coalition government, such as their present arrangement with the Liberal Democrats, at 67 percent.
  • Some Dare Call It Fact

    By Andrei Navrozov | April 08, 2015
    My two score years in the West have led me to conclude that, of all the factors impeding the political thinking of its elites, few are more pernicious than the set of prejudices amalgamated with the notion of “conspiracy theory.”
  • At the Movies

    By Andrei Navrozov | April 01, 2015
    I’ve been watching, spellbound, a German documentary released in the wake of the Nazi occupation of the Sudetenland. It’s entitled Sudeten Deutschland kehrt heim (“German Sudetes Come Home”), and I’m going to gloss over the debating point of this being the crib upon which the year’s Kremlin sensation, Krym.
  • More Wittgensteinian Readings

    By Andrei Navrozov | March 25, 2015
    World War II is the dominant paradigm of an apocalyptic event in our consciousness, from which an inference may be drawn that mankind has some residual aversion to slavery.
  • A Wittgensteinian Reading

    By Andrei Navrozov | March 18, 2015
    While I tell you this wordless, almost Wittgensteinian joke, Russia’s Northern Fleet, one of the five of which the Russian navy is comprised, is on manoeuvres in the Arctic, while Lithuania announces plans for general military conscription in September in order to increase the size of its army by three thousand men.
  • Black Op, Continued

    By Andrei Navrozov | March 11, 2015
    Last Wednesday I wrote in this space that Chechnya’s strongman Ramzan Kadyrov put pay to my own feeble attempts at black humor when he said there was “not the slightest doubt” that the assassination of Nemtsov had been the work of the Western secret services.
  • Black Op, Black Humor

    By Andrei Navrozov | March 04, 2015
    What is it with people? Offing themselves like death’s going out of fashion! First Litvinenko poisons himself with green tea in a sushi restaurant in the middle of London and blames radioactive polonium.
  • Sleepwalkers Awake

    By Andrei Navrozov | February 25, 2015
    The House of Lords European Union Committee is chaired by Lord Tugendhat. I don’t know anything about the man, and it may well be that his is a noble title going back to the Battle of Hastings, but I think most people will agree it’s one hell of a funny name.
  • Non si muove più

    By Andrei Navrozov | February 18, 2015
    Being consistent has the consequence of being predictable, a quality welcome, perhaps, in husbands and dogs, but somewhat a defect in journalists – at least as far as their readers, desirous of truth yet relentless in pursuit of variety, are concerned.
  • The Barren Groves

    By Andrei Navrozov | February 11, 2015
    There once was a minor poet, writing in Russia in the 1920’s, who had been educated at the University of Heidelberg yet never acquired the airs of a German pedant.
  • French Lessons

    By Andrei Navrozov | February 04, 2015
    The French government has approved a budget of some half a billion dollars to finance new initiatives against terrorism. Among the early fruits of this campaign is an “infographic,” or poster in plain English, headlined “Radicalisation Djihadiste, les premiers signes qui peuvent alerter” (“Jihadist Radicalization: First Warning Signs”).
  • Je Suis Charlie Baudelaire

    By Andrei Navrozov | January 28, 2015
    We men of good will had a little scare last week when it was announced that the Sun – a venerable British newspaper whose prose style makes America’s National Enquirer sound like an excerpt from a late Henry James novel read by a young Laurence Olivier – would bow to political pressure and axe Page 3.
  • Parable of the Day

    By Andrei Navrozov | January 21, 2015
    Begun in 1879 under the auspices of the University of Oxford and published in 1928 by Oxford University Press, A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles, now better known as the Oxford English Dictionary, is one of the greatest events in the history of Western civilization.
  • Partisan Games

    By Andrei Navrozov | January 14, 2015
    Irony has been in the news these past few days, when a couple of guys not only refused to share a Frenchman’s joke at the expense of the Prophet Mohammed, peace and blessings be upon him, but actually gunned down the joker– along with a dozen of his cronies, for good measure.
  • Stock Taking

    By Andrei Navrozov | January 07, 2015
    All I can wish civilization in 2015 is that it continue on the slippery slope to enslavement at roughly the same speed as last year and the year before, without accelerating the pace or tumbling down precipitously.
  • Manlio on the Lightness of Touch

    By Andrei Navrozov | December 31, 2014
    A professor of engineering I knew, a specialist in reinforced concrete, was a man who showed me a great deal of kindness at what was obviously a difficult stage of my life.
  • Manlio on the Value of Introductions

    By Andrei Navrozov | December 24, 2014
    Apart from an eleventh-century Norman castle, my birthplace, latterly a town of some ten thousand inhabitants, is famous for having once had as many as a hundred churches in its precincts and for the way our people have with mutton.
  • Manlio on Conflict Resolution

    By Andrei Navrozov | December 17, 2014
    “The problem with having a car is that one gets into accidents. However trifling, these may have unexpected consequences.
  • British Bread and Circuses

    By Andrei Navrozov | December 10, 2014
    In the 1980’s my father wrote extensively of the distribution of mental resources in the West, comparing its patterns with those of the Soviet model. In my own turn I took up the subject in several newspaper articles, as well as a book, in the 1990’s.
  • …And a Little Hypocrisy

    By Andrei Navrozov | December 03, 2014
    Detecting hypocrisy, among other faults, in the conduct of another is a perilous enterprise, as Christ reminds us in the allegory of the mote and the beam. It’s a bit like reprimanding somebody for bad manners, which is worse manners.
  • A Little Misogyny…

    By Andrei Navrozov | November 26, 2014
    Mr. Blanc’s visit to Britain, like Oscar Wilde’s famous excursion in the opposite direction all those mauve years ago, was to have an educational purpose.
  • A Subtle Difference

    By Andrei Navrozov | November 19, 2014
    Four years ago, when, from the relative safety of my Sicilian bolthole, I was writing a weekly column for Snob, then still a leading organ of Moscow’s bien pendants, a strange thing happened.
  • Silk Stockings 2.0

    By Andrei Navrozov | November 12, 2014
    “Any incidence of offense or insult directed against the Soviet Union or its institutions, irrespective of where the incident may take place (in the street, in a shop, at the theater or cinema, or elsewhere), must be reported immediately to a senior supervisor at the Soviet embassy or consulate.
  • Another Manlio Story

    By Andrei Navrozov | November 05, 2014
    "When I was arrested, they brought me to the newer of the two prisons, which is by far the less comfortable."
  • Politics as Mutant TB

    By Andrei Navrozov | October 29, 2014
    My mind having regained, in the wake of last week’s contretemps in the airport queue, some of its former suppleness, I turned to the November issue of Chronicles, with its theme of “Politics as Reality TV.”
  • The Devil’s Nanny

    By Andrei Navrozov | October 22, 2014
    It was Chesterton, if I’m not mistaken, who said that nothing narrows the mind like travel.
  • manlio on discretion à la sicilienne

    By Andrei Navrozov | October 15, 2014
    One day I got myself lost in what was a very small town. It was an afternoon in late spring, and the sun was beginning to bake.
  • From Round Here

    By Andrei Navrozov | October 08, 2014
    Manlio Orobello, one of my oldest and truest friends in Sicily, has dictated his memoirs to me. The result is a book of some eighty stories, written in English and entitled From Round Here: Lays of a Sicilian Life.
  • Annus Felix

    By Andrei Navrozov | October 01, 2014
    The Independent Orders of Zhukov, Lenin, and October Revolution Red Banner Operational Purpose Division of Internal Troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia – yes, my friends, there is such a thing – has just been given back its old name.
  • An Island in the Aegean

    By Andrei Navrozov | September 24, 2014
    “Why go to the Greek islands? Why go to Greece? Why not sit for a few minutes under a sunlamp, nip over to the supermarket for a slab of plasticized feta, and get some sirtaki going on your iPod?” The question is not entirely rhetorical, I said to Andreas.
  • The Saxon Soul

    By Andrei Navrozov | September 17, 2014
    Russians have bragged to themselves about their souls for ages, but for the past hundred years or so – roughly since Nietzsche discovered Dostoevsky, Henry James discovered Turgenev, H. G. Wells discovered Tolstoy, and the assorted Bloomsbury folk discovered Chekhov – other European nations, Britain foremost, have been pitching in as well.
  • An Armenian Joke

    By Andrei Navrozov | September 10, 2014
    As the Russian troops, this time round with their insignia on display for all the world’s quislings to see, invaded Ukraine and seized Novoazovsk, the hallowed German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung came out with the headline “A Hopeless Struggle for the Lost East.”
  • Popping Balloons

    By Andrei Navrozov | September 03, 2014
    In one of my posts earlier this month, Pasternak’s Zhivago came up, a scandal from the late 1950’s that resulted in the poet, by then long extinguished as the once-in-a-millennium genius he had been, receiving the Nobel Prize for a trivial and pusillanimous novel.
  • Nations at Sea

    By Andrei Navrozov | August 27, 2014
    I spent last weekend in Tuscany in what was once an abandoned seaside resort, now a glittering showcase for everything that is repugnant about global tourism.
  • Madame Claude’s Forebears

    By Andrei Navrozov | August 20, 2014
    “She was vicious,” commented the Paris Match journalist Dany Jucaud. “She reduced the entire world to rich men wanting sex and poor women wanting money.”
  • Why I write

    By Andrei Navrozov | August 13, 2014
    Why do I write? The first answer that comes to mind is: “I don’t know.” On reflection, a second answer emerges with a gravelly croak, like a fat, patriarchal frog among pond lilies: “Because they pay me.”
  • The Cobbler’s Sons

    By Andrei Navrozov | August 06, 2014
    The paradox of capitalism is that, instead of selling their souls to the devil, its adepts give them away for free.
  • Marina of Arc

    By Andrei Navrozov | July 30, 2014
    Tomorrow, Sir Robert Owen, a judge of the High Court of England and Wales appointed last August as Her Majesty’s Assistant Deputy Coroner for Inner North London, opens the hearings in a public inquiry into the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, who died on November 23, 2006 at University College Hospital in London after drinking tea laced with a radioactive isotope of polonium.
  • An Immigrant’s Plea

    By Andrei Navrozov | July 23, 2014
    Perhaps because I am myself an émigré, I have never “written on immigration,” which is almost a fulltime vocation for many a political commentator whose intelligence and nous are otherwise indubitable.
  • Dateline Lilliput

    By Andrei Navrozov | July 16, 2014
    Russia’s parliament – called the “Duma” in homage to parliamentary democracy under the Romanovs, an echo as incongruous in its own way as the hearkening of America’s deliberative assembly to the Senate of ancient Rome – is, of course, a misnomer.
  • Thistles from Figs

    By Andrei Navrozov | July 09, 2014
    “Since there has never been a great civilization without poetry,” writes Tom Fleming in the current issue of Chronicles, “we can say that European civilization has ceased to exist.”
  • Freedom’s Holocaust

    By Andrei Navrozov | July 02, 2014
    Last month the British government made the scholiastic doctrine of “theory of evolution” compulsory in all state schools, making it impossible for teachers to corrupt young minds with such freethinking alternatives as the Biblical account of Creation.
  • Exit Timianus

    By Andrei Navrozov | June 25, 2014
    There is an Arabic condiment called zatar, a mixture of dry spices which is delicious on toasted bread sprinkled with olive oil. I buy it in the Edgware Road, an oasis of the Middle East in the gastronomic desert that is London.
  • WWIV, naturally

    By Andrei Navrozov | June 18, 2014
    When did World War II start? An American is entitled to think it started with the attack on Pearl Harbor, as, clearly, the world without the United States is only a world in part. But ask an Englishman, and he will say the world war began some two years earlier, when Britain declared war on Germany.
  • Hotel Chesterton

    By Andrei Navrozov | June 11, 2014
    I fell in love with Claridge’s long ago. It was not a passion based on intimate contact, as I was never rich enough to stay there habitually, but rather a platonic yearning for the unreachable ideal, a poet’s misty-eyed vision of the eternal beloved.
  • Where folly bleats

    By Andrei Navrozov | June 04, 2014
    I was passing the Sephora near my house when my eye was drawn to the posters displaying images of its current advertising campaign. The tagline runs as follows: WHERE BEAUTY BEATS. What the hell does that mean? Where does beauty beat?
  • Pigheads unite

    By Andrei Navrozov | May 28, 2014
    An evident characteristic of the neoconservatives is that they are forever seeing the light.
  • A miracle of science

    By Andrei Navrozov | May 21, 2014
    Beware fields of endeavor with the surname “science” tacked on to their names.
  • How I exposed corruption

    By Andrei Navrozov | May 14, 2014
    One of the advantages of living is that, as some of those around you pass on, you get to tell funny stories about them – stories they wouldn’t necessarily have wanted told when still alive, vain, and touchy.
  • Make arms, not war

    By Andrei Navrozov | May 07, 2014
    Some years ago a friend of mine in Venice, whose family had been too influential during the Fascist years for anyone to doubt the source, told me a funny story about Vittorio Cini, an intimate of Mussolini’s.
  • Putin on the Ritz

    By Andrei Navrozov | April 30, 2014
    It is by now a truism that, in politics today, opposites are converging.
  • Art Ho!

    By Andrei Navrozov | April 23, 2014
    When you hear of something happening in the art world, what comes to mind? What vision does that combination of words, “art world,” conjure up?
  • Adam’s Myth

    By Andrei Navrozov | April 16, 2014
    Every civilization is measured not by the culture it offers its denizens, but by the one it imposes upon them.
  • Your Name is Bogus Now

    By Andrei Navrozov | April 09, 2014
    My sole-begotten son, who is midway through Oxford, is visiting me over the Easter holidays. He has brought along a friend from Brown, a classical archaeology major, and basically what the boys do all day long is get plastered.
  • Murder in Wikipedia

    By Andrei Navrozov | April 02, 2014
    The duplex apartment overlooking the Trevi Fountain in Rome, where I spent a year in the 1990s, belonged – I say this without so much as a droplet of irony – to a very kind man by the name of Ernesto Diotallevi.
  • The Annexed Generation

    By Andrei Navrozov | March 26, 2014
    Ukraine annexed? Rubbish. Europe as a whole is what is to be annexed, indeed what has been in the process of being annexed for nearly a generation.
  • Tony I Hardly Knew Ye

    By Andrei Navrozov | March 17, 2014
    Tony Benn, the politician formerly known as 2nd Viscount Stansgate, died last week at the reasonably ripe age of 88. He was one of the last honest men in a country regarded by her foes as perfidious and by her own people as steadfast, and lately described by a Russian cad as “a small island that nobody pays any attention to.”
  • The Wall of Contentment

    By Andrei Navrozov | March 12, 2014
    Reading all the various, though scarcely varied, opinions on the Ukraine “crisis” – after nearly 100 years of Russian misrule in Europe, one may think the word would be safely devalued, but no, they use it like St. James’s clubmen circa 1855 discussing the latest from Balaclava.
  • Quod splendet ut aurum

    By Andrei Navrozov | March 06, 2014
    The Holy Grail of modern political journalism is a fallen dictator’s gold taps.