Tuesday, 12 July 2011
Tales from Ukraine
Isaak Babel (1894–40) is remembered this year at the Odessa Literary Festival in the Odessa Museum on July 7, when a statue of him will be unveiled. Participants in the festival are being accommodated in the Hotel Bristol. Babel, the author of Odessa Tales, claimed that Odessa had 'more charm than any other city in the Russian Empire'. According to Lonely Planet: "That's probably still true in modern Ukraine. The course of this charm is the Odesans themselves: a breed apart, they're stylish, cultured, funny, savvy, and not easily impressed.' Odessa Tales describes the lives of Jewish gangsters in the city before and during the Revolution, which brings to mind George Soros, who once said that Ukraine gave corruption a bad name.