Paris Period The quarterly magazine Kontinent was founded in Paris in 1974 to publish the works of the authors who were subject to censorship in the USSR and the countries of the Communist bloc. The founder of the magazine was […]
The quarterly magazine Kontinent was founded in Paris in 1974 to publish the works of the authors who were subject to censorship in the USSR and the countries of the Communist bloc. The founder of the magazine was Russian writer Vladimir Maksimov, who remained the editor-in-chief until the whole operation has moved to Moscow in 1992.
Among the permanent members of the editorial board were four Nobel Prize winners and many other prominent writers and public figures from USSR and Eastern Europe but the actual working group from 1974 to 1992 consisted of only five people: Vladimir Maksimov, Victor Nekrasov, Natalya Gorbanevskaya, Vasily Betaki, and Violetta Iverni.
Magazine published literary, historical, and philosophical works as well public statements presenting the ideas for the future of free Russia. With great difficulties the issues of the magazine were smuggled in the Soviet Union, where they were passed among colleagues and friends but those who were caught reading or distributing it could get a prison term.
Over the years, among the authors in the Paris Kontinent were A. Avtorkhanov, M. Agursky, V. Aksenov, L. Alekseeva, Yu. Aleshkovsky, A. Bezanson, N. Betell, Igor Birman, D. Bobyshev, I. Brodsky, V. Bukovsky, G. Vladimov, V. Voynovich, A. Galich, Geller, P. Grigorenko, T. Goricheva, M. Dzhilas, S. Dovlatov, Ven. Erofeyev, B. Kenzheev, T. Kibirov, N. Korzhavin, V. Krivulin, Yu. Kublanovsky, Mikhail Lemkhin, E. Limonov, I. Lisnyanskaya, L. Losev, Yu. Maletsky (under a pseudonym Yury Lapidus), Yu. Mamleev, A. Mikhnik, E. Nakleushev, E. Neizvestniy, Zh. Niva, D. Orwell, B. Paramonov, G. Plisetsky, G. Pomerants, A. Pyatigorsky, G. Sapgir, A. Sakharov, A. Solzhenitsyn, V. Suvorov, A. Terts, I. Chinnov, B. Chichibabin, L. Chukovskaya, A. Shmeman, E. Etkind, V. Grossmans, Yu. Dombrovsky, Georgy Ivanov, B. Pasternak, . Rozanov, A. Tarkovsky, N. Berdyaev, L. Shestov, and many others.
With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the political and ideological goals of the magazine were mainly exhausted and in 1992 Vladimir Maximov has transferred the whole operation to Moscow. Igor Vinogradov became the new editor-in-chief until his death in 2015 when the print edition of the magazine has ended but it existed for a few years in the web format.
The encyclopedia “Who is Who in Russia (M., 1998)” called Kontinent “one of the best periodicals”.
During its 40+ years history Kontinent could be found on the shelves of many world’s major public and university libraries. Besides publications Kontinent’s board had organized a number of major international conferences in Moscow, Paris, Rome, New York, and Geneva as well as Maximovs readings “Past, Present, Future of Russia” in Paris, Moscow, Washington and Warsaw.
The mission of the New Kontinent (NewKontinent.org) is to publish translations into Russian of works by Western authors, whose opinions are more objective and balanced regarding Russia, U.S. – Russia, and East-West relations. The unprecedented anti-Russian campaign in Western political circles and the media gives the Russian citizens the impression that in such conditions no dialogue is possible, but this is not true.
The current state of U.S.-Russia relations in no way reflects their real potential, nor does it serve the vital national interests of the two countries. In a world where the United States and Russia face so many common threats and challenges, they all too often view each other more as a foe than a friend.
The roots of this animosity go back to the time of the Cold War with both countries being cast as inevitable opponents incapable of finding common ground on any issue. Even today, the United States and Russia are separated not only by history and culture, but also by their geopolitical goals and domestic priorities. Contributing to the problem is the shortage of direct communication between civil institutions and business groups interested in better relations between the two countries.
No two nations can ever achieve total harmony in their world views. This, however, should not prevent the United States and Russia from trying to develop a constructive working relationship. Closer U.S.-Russia cooperation is in the best interests of both countries and the history also provides ample evidence that a coordinated U.S-Russian response to world challenges tends to reduce tension and produce positive results.
Communication is a key factor here. In order to better U.S.-Russia relations, the quality of bilateral dialog must be dramatically improved. Political and civil institutions in both countries must have a solid platform to discuss issues, exchange opinions, and resolve outstanding problems.
With this in mind, we have created New Kontinent to promote political, economic, and civil cooperation between the United States and Russia. We are committed to fighting old stereotypes, building trust and identifying areas of common interest. And while we perfectly understand that bringing friendship and genuine cooperation into U.S.-Russia relations is a difficult goal, we believe it is realistic.
Those who are interested in joining this effort or get more information please write to: Forum@RussiaHouse.org