Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

High-Brow Bestsellers

The third and final part of my survey of current bestsellers is devoted to that most Russian of inventions: the high-brow (intellektualnye) bestseller list. This is an example of Russian intellectual snobbery which argues that the pulp fiction on the ordinary bestseller list is not sufficiently nourishing for the spiritual Russian soul.

This list I can reproduce intact, confident that publishers of intellectual books are too proud to consider bribing their way on.

1. Samurai Ethics in Modern Japan (Etika Samurayev v Sevodnyashney Yaponii), by Yamamoto Tsunetomo and Yukio Misima, is published by Evraziya.

2. The World of the Soviet Man: The 1960s (Mir Sovetskogo Cheloveka) by Pyotr Vail and Alexander Genis: This collection of essays on the spiritual existence of people in the Soviet Union during the 1960s, written by two Russian Jews who emigrated to America in the 1970s, is published by Novoye Literaturnoye Obozrenye.

3. Man and His Symbols (Chelovek i Simvoly), by Karl Jung, is published by BSK in St. Petersburg.

4. The Collected Works of Yuz Aleshkovsky (Izbrannye Trudy). A three-volume edition of the work of the Russian writer who emigrated to the United States in the 1970s, published by NNN.

5. Collected Works on the Russian Language (Izbrannye Trudy), by Alexander Pyatigorsky, is published by Shkola.

6. The Origins of Myths (Proizkhozhdenye Mifa), by 19th-century philologist and Russian folklore specialist Alexander Afanasiyev, is published by Indrik.

7. The Annotated Index of Literary Memoirs Published in the U.S.S.R 1980-1990 is published in three volumes by Naslediye.

8. Biography of Peter the First (Pavel Pervy), by 19th-century court historian, Nikolai Shilder, is reprinted by Charly.

9. The Forgotten Past of the Outskirts of St. Petersburg (Zabytoye Proshloye Okrestnostey Peterburga), by 19th-century historian Michael Pylyayev, is a collection of stories about summer palaces. It is published by Leninzdat.