What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos


Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
With rendition switcher


Question: How have Russian attitudes toward poetry changed?


Yuli Gugolev: I think that whether it’s relation or attitude, to the poetry, has changed. Now, it’s different. But it’s difficult for me to compare it to Pushkin’s time. I’d rather compare it with ‘60s of last century, 20th Century, because at that time, poetry in Russia wasn’t poetry in itself. Maybe, those of your readers, I don't know, part of the audience, who read in Russian, they remember this fabulous line by Yevtushenko [?], poet in Russia is more than a poet. Or the poet in Russia, I don't know.

And I remember that generations were fascinated with this expression. But in a sense, it’s quite silly, because a carrot in Russia more than a carrot. Or I don't know, a bread in Russia more than bread, and the star in Russia more than the star east. So to date, poetry is not more than poetry should be. Probably, it’s first fear [?] enduring [?] whole Russian history, when poetry occupies its own place. Quite modest, I guess. Like, in different culture, it is. So from my point of view it’s normal, because one poet stands on the stadium, and the crowds shout, like, I don't know, they look at the gladiator. It’s strange situation, because, probably, it’s gladiator, not a poet.


Question: Is this because of a less repressive regime?


Yuli Gugolev: In a sense, yes. Well, it happens because poetry today shouldn’t bears [?] not its own load. As I said, it shouldn’t substitute free newspapers, as it could be free, in general. It shouldn’t, how do you say it, entertain people. It shouldn’t talk about, I don't know, something not illegal, but something forbidden-- no. It has to do it’s own job.

Wow. Probably, at least, as far as I could suggest, the main aim go, I don't know. And duty of poetry is to figure out what poetry is. In practical way, it is searching of the language, always. Each poetry, in progress, I mean, each poetry, the poet is working on, it is part of these general and quite ambitious search of the language which give [?] maybe, in case of success. And thiscould give to the poet, him/herself, and to the audience, possibility to stand, be closer to the understanding or suggestion what the poetry is.


Question: Does poetry risk reverting back to an unnatural social stature?


Yuli Gugolev: Probably, I wouldn’t describe the situation like this. Because today, in today’s Russia, the poets aren’t so dangerous for those who keep power in their hands. So it is with one hand. With the other hand, those who have power in their hands, they understand that there are many of much more effective ways of moderation of the relations with people, and people of art, as well. And it’s not so necessary to repress people. So unfortunately, I cannot answer directly to your question, as you asked me. So I don't think that the poetry will-- in 10 or 15 years, the poetry will be the only possibility to say the truth to people. No. There are different institutions. And not only poetry develops, everything is developing.

Recorded on: March 4, 2008



How have Russian attitudes ...

Newsletter: Share: