Night Train to Kaliningrad — Night Flight to Vladivostok: A Journal of Travel and Recovery (Paperback)

Night Train to Kaliningrad — Night Flight to Vladivostok: A Journal of Travel and Recovery By Andrew Weeks Cover Image
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This book is the memoir of an inner and outer journey across the Eurasian landmass from Vienna to Vladivostok, undertaken in order to regain confidence in my mental and physical powers after a harsh cancer treatment. The first third of the book consists of reflections and memories prior to departure, while the latter two thirds recount my experiences, encounters, and observations in route through the cities of Austria, the Baltic states, Russia, and Siberia. The memoir incorporates reflections on German mysticism, Russian and German literature and philosophy, as well as observations of people and places. Cities visited include Salzburg, Vienna, Gdansk, Kaliningrad, Svetlogorsk, Vilnius, Riga, St. Petersburg, Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk, Vladivostok, and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatski. Authors reflected upon include Boehme, Goethe, Kant, Herder, Schopenhauer, Thomas Mann, Chekhov, Tolstoy, Pushkin, Leskov, Dostoyevsky, Berdyayev, Tolstaya, Alexievich, Lomasko, Petrushevskaya, and Ulitskaya. Travel across Russia became the occasion for reflecting on life, death, the threatened culture of reading, literature, and the comparative study of national character.

About the Author

Born in 1947, Charles Andrew Weeks grew up in small-town Southern Illinois (Carmi) and studied philosophy, literature, and German at SIU (Carbondale) and the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign), where he received his PhD in Comparative Literature in 1979. He lived for a number of years abroad as a student in Hamburg (1967-68) and West Berlin (1972-73) and a researcher, Fulbright scholar or invited visiting professor or academic program director in Mainz and Marburg, Germany, and in Graz and Vienna, Austria, where he met his wife Veronika Strotzka. Retired from Illinois State University, he lives with his wife and son in Bloomington, Illinois. He has traveled widely in Europe, Mexico, and Russia, where the inhabitants of lesser known regions interest him more than the famous tourist centers. As a scholar of German literature, his research has focused on editing, translating, and interpreting the writings of the so-called German mystics (Hildegard of Bingen, Meister Eckhart, Paracelsus, Jacob Boehme, Valentin Weigel, and their successors), whom he interprets as voices in defense of the lay people who long for a less specialized, more comprehensive knowledge of the human condition than academic knowledge could provide. Upon completing a draconian cancer treatment in 2017 and anticipating retirement at age 71, he returned to an adolescent love of Russian literature, rereading classical authors and new voices, reviewing his forgotten college Russian, and traveling alone across the Russian Federation from Kaliningrad to Kamchatka, a journey which is the main subject of this memoir. He is currently researching the people and conditions of his native Southern Illinois, traditionally known as "Little Egypt," for a project that bears the working title "Egyptian Darkness." He expects to share the not uncommon fate of dedicated but underemployed humanities scholars by becoming a taxi driver with a PhD, which he believes is not the worst vantage for the further study of humanity.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781543972023
ISBN-10: 1543972020
Publisher: BookBaby
Publication Date: June 20th, 2019
Pages: 262
Language: English