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Thread: St. Petersburg: short essay

  1. #1
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    St. Petersburg: short essay

    (Feel free to delete if this doesn't belong here!)

    Well, it's the common assignement: three hundred words in English about a European city. I have -of course- chosen St. Petersburg (having been there last month). However, my English isn't perfect. Could anyone please read this and comment with the most obvious mistakes?
    If it's totally beside the point, or unreadable, you may say so too. I'm not really a concrete person.

    Thank you!

    (Please don't shoot me. These are just my impressions. I sincerely love the city and just want those people to know about it, even if I can't express myself properly. I am also learning Russian.)


    "‘…To walk under this sky, along the brown granite embankments of this immense grey river, is in itself an extension of life and a school of farsightedness.’
    Joseph Brodsky, A Guide to a Renamed City

    They had not warned me about the light. It was the first thing I noticed – the kind of light that takes you to its own world. And before you realise it, you are lost. Fascinated.
    Saint Petersburg does things to the brain. It breeds literature, revolutions and other nonsense faster than Venice does pigeons. It is much more than a formal beauty. It is the most sincere truth and the most flamboyant illusion. Maybe it isn’t a city at all. Maybe it is just a state of mind. A diseased, unbalanced, potentially dangerous, irresistibly charming state of mind.

    Saint Petersburg has always been spoiled by its children. Indeed, it is much more than a city that they love. It is the heroic, rebellious, unbreakable testimony of a complex history. The timeless beauty they resurrected. Founded three hundred years ago to reinvent Russia, it has since been bruised, broken and rebuilt. It still has more dedicated enemies than you thought a city could have. Tragedy and cynicism, truth and illusion, faith and madness: the city is like its people – full of contradictions.

    Saint Petersburg does not live in our reality. Actually, it probably does not live in reality at all. Dostoyevsky calls it 'the most premeditated, most abstract city in the world'. Inspired by Paris, Amsterdam or Vienna – and yet always betrayed by something different. Something in the colours. In the Neva. Among the passers-by. Something floating all over the Nevsky Prospekt. Something that might be the very essence of the White Nights.

    Do not tell me you haven’t noticed. I would as soon believe that you have forgotten the tea and the blini, or the depth of the metro. Forgotten the cats of the Hermitage, and the Russian museum. The long walks. All those palaces. All those masterpieces. Even the passers by.
    Be careful: they are all haunted. You felt it. It’s in the skies. You don’t want to know what that kind of weather does to the human soul.
    Beware that city! The spirit that lives there isn’t natural. Such perfection cannot be real. It might deceive you. It might enslave you.
    These words are barely mine; like the city itself, I have read too much. Too many strange stories. It would, of course, have been much wiser never to have set foot there.
    But I have now done my duty. Do not pretend you haven’t been warned."

  2. #2
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    Re: St. Petersburg: short essay

    приветик, классный ессаи, вот ошибки которие я нашла:
    Quote Originally Posted by Amaranta


    "‘…To walk under this sky, along the brown granite embankments of this immense grey river, is in itself an extension of life and a school of farsightedness.’
    Joseph Brodsky, A Guide to a Renamed City

    They had not warned me about the light. It was the first thing I noticed – the kind of light that takes you to its own world. And before you realise it, you are lost. Fascinated.
    Saint Petersburg does things to the mind ("brain" is more "sergical").*Faster than pigeons breed(or "have young ones") in Venice, Saint Petersburg breeds literature, revolutions and other nonsense. It is much more than a formal beauty. It is the most sincere * and the most flamboyant illusion. Maybe it is not*( not good to use abbreviationsin essays)a city at all. Maybe it is just a state of mind. A diseased, unbalanced, potentially dangerous, irresistibly charming state of mind.

    Saint Petersburg has always been spoiled by its children. Indeed, it is much more than a city that they love. It is the heroic, rebellious, unbreakable testimony of a complex history. The timeless beauty they resurrected. Founded three hundred years ago to reinvent Russia, it has since been bruised, broken and rebuilt. It has still *more dedicated(too positive for an enemy, maybe use some other word) enemies than you thought a city could have. Tragedy and cynicism, truth and illusion, faith and madness: the city is like its people – full of contradictions.

    Saint Petersburg does not live in our reality. Actually, it probably does not live in reality at all. Dostoyevsky calls it 'the most premeditated, most abstract city in the world'. Inspired by Paris, Amsterdam or Vienna – and yet always betrayed by(a little puzzling choice of word, how about "portraited in") something different. Something in the colours. In the Neva. Among the passers-by. Something floating all over the Nevsky Prospekt. Something that might be the very essence of the White Nights.

    Do not tell me you haven’t noticed. I would *immediately *"suspect" or "think" that you have forgotten the tea and the blini, or the depth of the metro. Forgotten the cats of the Hermitage, and the Russian museum. The long walks. All those palaces. All those masterpieces. Even the passers by.
    Be careful: they are all haunted(?)maybe "troubled". You felt it. It is in the skies. You don’t want to know *how that kind of weather *effects the human soul.
    Beware of that city! The spirit that lives there is not natural. Such perfection cannot be real. It might deceive you. It might enslave you.
    These words are barely mine; like the city itself, I have read too much. Too many strange stories. It would, of course, have been much wiser never to have set foot there.
    But I have now done my duty. Do not pretend you haven’t been warned."

    cool essay, really poetic!

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    Re: St. Petersburg: short essay

    Quote Originally Posted by RussianHoney18
    ..., классное эссе,...
    Я так думаю.

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    "I would as soon believe" is not an error, and it communicates a totally different thing than "I would immediately belive/think".

    RH, I think you simply didn't understand what Amaranta meant here.

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    However, my English isn't perfect.
    I have to disagree. That is beautiful English that would shame many English people.
    One day, when I write brilliant Russian I will put some Russian text here. However, I can't promise that it will be in anyway witty.

    Please correct my Russian. I implore you fellow human.

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    Re: St. Petersburg: short essay

    Quote Originally Posted by Amaranta

    They had not warned me about the light. It was the first thing I noticed – the kind of light that takes you to its own world. And before you realise it, you are lost. Fascinated.
    Wow. This is really quite beautiful and moving. It gives a very tangible sense of the place -- no doubt much more so than the usual prosaic sort of essay one might expect to read for an assignment of this nature. I also like what you wrote about the light. It reminds me of something I wrote once about Albuquerque where the light is as much a part of the landscape as the yuccas, chollas, mesa and mountain.

    Fantastic work!

    ~жанет~
    "It's better to die on your feet than live on your knees."

    Ernesto "Che" Guevara

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dagest
    However, my English isn't perfect.
    I have to disagree. That is beautiful English that would shame many English people.
    ITA. Many, many American native speakers do not write this well.
    "It's better to die on your feet than live on your knees."

    Ernesto "Che" Guevara

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    Завсегдатай kalinka_vinnie's Avatar
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    This line was intersting: "It breeds literature, revolutions and other nonsense"
    Hei, rett norsken min og du er død.
    I am a notourriouse misspeller. Be easy on me.
    Пожалуйста! Исправляйте мои глупые ошибки (но оставьте умные)!
    Yo hablo español mejor que tú.
    Trusnse kal'rt eturule sikay!!! ))

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    Quote Originally Posted by kalinka_vinnie
    This line was intersting: "It breeds literature, revolutions and other nonsense"
    Such as literary essays
    I've got a TV, and I'm not afraid to use it

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    спасибо everyone! that was really encouraging!
    i'm glad you liked it.
    still, st petersburg deserves the credit more than i do.

  11. #11
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    This painted pictures in my head. I wish I could write this well.
    You can never be truly wise if you havn't been a fool first.

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    Founded three hundred years ago to reinvent Russia, it has since been bruised, broken and rebuilt
    I think one hardly can use "bruised" in this context. I can't imagine bruised sity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirill2142
    Founded three hundred years ago to reinvent Russia, it has since been bruised, broken and rebuilt
    I think one hardly can use "bruised" in this context. I can't imagine bruised sity.
    It's a metaphor, dude.
    "It's better to die on your feet than live on your knees."

    Ernesto "Che" Guevara

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    Завсегдатай chaika's Avatar
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    There are no mistakes in that. So-- who wrote it?

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    You don't want to know.
    «И всё, что сейчас происходит внутре — тоже является частью вселенной».

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    Quote Originally Posted by chaika
    There are no mistakes in that. So-- who wrote it?
    А почему Вы это спросили? Вроде понятно, что Амаранта написала.
    "...Важно, чтобы форум оставался местом, объединяющим людей, для которых интересны русский язык и культура. ..." - MasterАdmin (из переписки)



  17. #17
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    Отлично. Ты пишешь лучше, чем носители языка!

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    Quote Originally Posted by basurero
    Отлично. Ты пишешь лучше, чем носители языка!
    спасибо!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amaranta
    Quote Originally Posted by basurero
    Отлично. Ты пишешь лучше, чем носители языка!
    спасибо!
    Точнее, "чем некоторые носители...".
    "...Важно, чтобы форум оставался местом, объединяющим людей, для которых интересны русский язык и культура. ..." - MasterАdmin (из переписки)



  20. #20
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    Я сказал бы, "чем большинство носителей..."

    Если бы только я мог так хорошо писать на каком-нибудь языке.

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