We're searching for an eastern European city for our Geo Quiz today. The city we seek figures in Russian history, but it's no longer in Russia. It lies on the banks of the Dnieper River.
This former Russian city is the setting for Mikhail Bulgakov's historical novel, The White Guard. It's a saga of the Russian civil war. The six year conflict pitted the Bolshevik Red Army against the White Army.
Here's a bit of Bulgakov's description of the city as it appeared in 1918:
You could see the fog, needles of frost like shaggy paws, no moon, dark and then the pre-dawn snow far outside the city, the domes of blue churches scattered with gold leaf stars and in the bottomless heights above the city Vladimir's Cross which shone, by morning the cross had gone out , so had the lights over the land, but the day did not blaze up particularly and promised to be gray, with an impenetrable curtain above Ukraine.
So can you name this city .... where the domes of blue churches and a statue of Saint Vladimir the Great are shrouded in fog?
If you can't name the city, that's ok.
Marian Schwartz can. She recently translated The White Guard into English.
She also visited the city that bore witness to Russia's civil war. It's now the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, also spelled Kyiv.
Kiev is largely unchanged..There are superficial changes now with construction along the river, but Vladimir's cross is still visible, the churches are still there, and the fog, if you're there on the right morning, also hangs over the city.
Marian Schwartz recently spoke with The World's Bill Marx about the fog over Kiev, Bulgakov, and the art of literary translation.
It's all in a latest podcast we just posted on our world books page.