Ex-Teacher Kills Friend Who Refuses to Admit Poetry is "Real" Literature!

Ex-Teacher Kills Friend Who Refuses to Admit Poetry is "Real" Literature!

Gone are the days when a line of poetry could move a man to tears—or so I thought. Now the Russians are killing each other over prose. Viva la present.

[Photo Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images]

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Original post by Adam Weinstein on Gawker

Poetry-vs.-Prose Argument Leads to Stabbing Death in Russia

Poetry-vs.-Prose Argument Leads to Stabbing Death in Russia

At risk of being somewhat reductionist, here is a bit of advice: Russians love poetry. Fuck with that at your own risk. If, for example, you tell a learned Russian that "the only real literature is prose," don't be surprised when he shivs you in the face.

According the the Russian news service RIA-Novosti:

A former teacher was detained in Russia's Urals after being accused of stabbing an acquaintance to death in a dispute about literary genres, investigators said Wednesday.

The 67-year-old victim insisted that "the only real literature is prose," the Sverdlovsk Region's branch of the Investigative Committee said.

The victim's assertion outraged the 53-year-old suspect, who favored poetry, and the dispute ended with the ex-teacher stabbing his friend to death, investigators said.

Both of the men were purportedly drunk at the time.

What can be said about this? In one sense, since it leads to a murderous dispute, the pen proves itself mightier than the sword. On the other hand, screw that noise: Dude with the blade won this round. All we can really say for sure is 1) the real truth of genres is that comedy and tragedy coexist easily; and 2) these assholes are lucky Lukács wasn't there to murder them both for decadent subjectivism and a failure to privilege the realist novel.

Relatedly, one Russian man shot another repeatedly with rubber bullets after they had a dispute over the philosophy of Immanuel Kant while waiting on line for some beers. That attack, in Rostov on Don last September, was categorically wrong. But sublime nonetheless.

[Photo credit: danilobiancalana/Shutterstock]

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