Friday, May 27, 2011

Crazy Story

When I was a freshman in college I signed up for a Russian Lit course in Russian. When I got there, I realized that it was a mistake, as it was intended for students of Russian and not native speakers. However, I managed to befriend many of these guys and began hanging out with them. It was a fair trade - they got to practice Russian with a native speaker, I was a minor with access to lots of free beer. Most of these guys were there on the GI bill, having learned Russian at DLI, and now getting college credit for it - I could never drink them under the table despite my Russian bona fides, but that is beside the point... I also got to drink with the professors from the Dept of Slavic and Eastern European Languages.

So last week I was reading a New Yorker article about Joseph Brodsky and how his best friend wound up sleeping with his girlfriend while Brodsky was running away from the KGB to avoid being arrested. What actually happened is a bit murky as according to the best friend, she came into his room and basically seduced him. A whole sordid and dragged out affair...

Anyway, Brodsky was exiled to the US, became a US poet laureate (which means nobody has heard of him) and died of a heart attack about fifteen years ago. His best friend also emigrated to the US a few years after Brodsky, and wound up teaching Russian literature at an American university.

And was the drinking partner of a kid who had no idea who was sitting across the table from him.


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