• 06.12.2022
  • Russian House Brussels-Europe

Georges Simenon, Romain Gary, Gala, Henri Troyat… A new art-literary project of the Russian House in Brussels presents eminent personalities ” … with Russian roots” of XX–XXI.

The first meeting of the project took place in October 2022 with the participation of Andrey Makin, a French writer with Russian roots, member of the French Academy and laureate of the Goncourt Prize.

The second meeting of the project, held at the Russian House on December 6, 2022, was dedicated to

Alexandre ZINOVIEV

on the occasion of  100 years of his birth

Philosopher, writer, sociologist, publicist. Native of a peasant family, participant in the WWII. After the publication in the West of the sharply satirical book “Yawning Heights”, which brought Zinoviev world fame, in 1978 he was expelled from the country and deprived of Soviet citizenship.

Yawning Heights (Russian: Зияющие Высоты, tr. Ziyayushchiye Vysoty) is the first published novel by Soviet philosopher Alexander Zinoviev. Zinoviev expressed skepticism and frustration toward writings that attempted to expose and reveal the evils of Soviet communism. Zinoviev chose, instead, to satirize and ridicule Soviet society in Yawning Heights, presented as the city / nation of Ibansk. The novel has been compared to the writings of Jonathan Swift, Lewis Carroll, and others.

The title of the book is a pun on a cliche of Soviet ideological propaganda, describing communism as the “Shining heights”. The words “yawning” and “shining” in Russian are identical, except for the first letter: a Z in the case of “yawning”, and an S in the case of “shining”.

source: Wikipédia

With the participation of

Slobodan DESPOT

Swiss writer and publisher of Serbian origin. He published, among others, two rewarded novels: Honey (Le Miel) and The Blue beam (Le Rayon bleu) (ed. Gallimard).

He is the founder of the newsletter magazine Antipresse.net. Slobodan Despot translated into French and edited several texts by Alexander Zinoviev at L’Age d’Homme publishing.


President of the Alexander Zinoviev Biographical Institute, Russian public figure, wife, colleague, With her husband, went through all the anxieties and experiences of the 21-year exile from Russia and forced emigration to Germany.

Photo: Georgy Pogorelov, FinEk Agency

Meeting Moderator: Daniel GUYOT

The third meeting of the project “With Russian Roots” will be dedicated to the most “Russian” of the Belgian writers – Georges Simenon, on his 120th birthday.

Stay tuned for February 2023 Russian House events!