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Stephen Fry Has An Amazing Beard And Talks About Russian Lit In This New Documentary

He (fittingly) looks JUST like Anton Chekhov.

1. Russia’s Open Book: Writing In The Age Of Putin is a PBS documentary where Stephen Fry talks about modern Russian literature.

While walking through birchwood forests because OF COURSE.

2. It explores the writing and lives of six contemporary Russian writers who may be hailed as classic writers in the future:

Igor Ishankov / WNET

Igor Ishankov / WNET

Igor Ishankov / WNET

 

Igor Ishankov / WNET

Igor Ishankov / WNET

Genna Nemykh / WNET

 

4. Like Zakhar Prilepin, who’s life oddly parallels Tolstoy’s and whose war novels have been compared to Hemingway’s:

Igor Ishankov / WNET

 

5. Or Ludmila Ulitskaya, who was heavily influenced by Nabokov’s books, which she had to buy off the black market during the Soviet Union:

Igor Ishankov / WNET

 

6. There’s Dmitry Bykov, who won Russia’s National Bestseller Award twice and is a highly respected writer, poet and professor.

Igor Ishankov / WNET

 

7. And there’s Mariam Petrosyan, who wrote a can’t-put-it-down fantasy bestseller…as a teenager.

Genna Nemykh / WNET

 

And the story behind it getting published is as crazy as J.K. Rowling’s with Harry Potter.

8. Acclaimed author Anna Starobinets is also featured, and cites everything from Ray Bradbury to anime as the inspiration behind her horror/fantasy/dystopian stories.

Igor Ishankov / WNET

 

9. And underground experimental writer and artist Vladimir Sorokin (whose books were banned during the Soviet Union) talks about how he twists famous Russian literary works to make them have a modern context.

Igor Ishankov / WNET

 

10. It also has Stephen Fry excitedly reading excerpts in front of spooky animated backgrounds:

WNET

(Possibly the best part.)

11. Russia’s Open Book premieres on PBS on Saturday, December 28, at 1pm EST.

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