Alex Massie

Vladimir Putin’s Eulalie Moment

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You can be dictator of All the Russias or you can be the kind of fellow who sings Blueberry Hill. In public. But not both. That's the theory anyway. It's hard to believe this is real but, yes, it is.

Which reminds me: Wodehouse is immensely popular in Russia. I'd have thought the old boy well-nigh on untranslatable but perhaps life in Russia runs to grimness so completely that novels offering music come as a welcome relief given the native scribes' fondness for delving deep into the mire without so much as even a cursory damn. Even Vladimir Brussilov admitted that Wodehouse, like Tolstoy, was "not bad". And he would know.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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