Our third week in St. Petersburg has been filled with excitement. We are all so glad that it’s Sunday and that we can finally work on our long papers on Gogol’s Dead Souls.
On Thursday we went to visit the Russian Museum, and I have to say its definitely one of the best Museums we’ve seen so far. The museum was filled with paintings and monuments created by Russian artists. A lot of the paintings reflected on the author’s thoughts and how they viewed life in Russia. You could see a lot of paintings that mainly depicted the landscape of Siberia, and so a lot of them used different strategies on how they portrayed life in Siberia and the culture. Other different styles of painting included cubism. This type of painting was very interesting as we had to guess what the painter was actually trying to show. But of course, only with the help of our tour guide, we were able find a reasoning behind them. We were a little unfortunate as a lot of the famous paintings were bought by the Hermitage, however still this museum had a huge selection of art.
On Friday we basically discussed one of the books which we had to read for class, Heart of a Dog. This was a very hard book to understand, as a lot of it is a criticism towards the Soviet Union and how things were not heading towards the way they should. This book was not released for over 40 years, It was banned for the main part of the Soviet Union, only until the late 80’s it was released. It is a strong depiction of how a dog is transformed into a human, however he is incapable of conforming to the ways and manners of which humans behave.
Saturday was a very interesting day. We woke up early, and by 8 am we were on our way to Novgorod. This was a 3 hour journey from St. Petersburg. Novgorod was once the capital of Russia, and was the place where the Tzar used to live. It is also one of the earliest cities to be founded in Russia. We visited a fortress, and we learned a lot about how during WW2 the city had been severely damaged by the Nazis. Till today there is construction going on. This city is also located on the way to Moscow. It was nice to leave St. Petersburg for a day, and see what a traditional and authentic city looks like.
In Novgorod we basically took a lot of pictures, and also ate authentic Russian good, which I thought was really good. We also visited a couple of the local houses, and got to admire the architecture, and learned especially how the houses were designed to protect the people from the winter.
After Novgorod we basically got back around 7, and so from then I believe a lot of members from the group are working on their papers which are due soon. Next week should be very interesting as we are visiting a lot of local businesses. Some of them include the manager of the hotel we are staying in, the Marriott Courtyard. Then we are also visiting the manager of Citibank in St. Petersburg. So yeah, Im sure a majority of us are looking forward for next week.