WHY RUSSIANS LOVE HEMINGWAY It’s not the guileless body-puncher sentences that translate so effortlessly and well and sound like originals in Russian. It’s not the (vaguely) simpatico politics, of which way too much was made. It’s not the Cuba connection either, or the unspoken Russian need you sometimes sense for An American We Can Really Understand. All of that is real enough, sure, but it’s actually this, the sensation conveyed right here: “I knew I was quite drunk, and when I came in I put on the light over the head of the bed and started to read. I was reading a book by Turgenieff. Probably I read the same two pages over several times. It was one of the stories in ‘A Sportsman's Sketches.’ I had read it before, but it seemed quite new. The country became very clear and the feeling of pressure in my head seemed to loosen. […] “I turned on the light again and read. I read the Turgenieff. I knew that now, reading it in the oversensitized state of my mind after much too much brandy, I would remember it somewhere, and afterward it would seem as though it had really happened to me. I would always have it…” -- “The Sun Also Rises” (1926), Chapter 14
A Princeton PhD, was a US diplomat for over 20 years, mostly in Eastern Europe, and was promoted to the Senior Foreign Service in 1997. For the Open World Leadership Center, he speaks with
its delegates from Europe/Eurasia on the topic, "E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United." Affiliated with Georgetown University for over ten years, he shares ideas with students about public diplomacy.
The papers of his deceased father -- poet and diplomat John L. Brown -- are stored at Georgetown University Special Collections at the Lauinger Library. They are manuscript materials valuable to scholars interested in post-WWII U.S.-European cultural relations.
This blog is dedicated to him, Dr. John L. Brown, a remarkable linguist/humanist who wrote in the Foreign Service Journal (1964) -- years before "soft power" was ever coined -- that "The CAO [Cultural Affairs Officer] soon comes to realize that his job is really a form of love-making and that making love is never really successful unless both partners are participating."