Ian Frazier’s Guide to Siberia: 6 must-see places

Em alguns locais russos chamados de "polos de frio", temperaturas de até -40°C Foto: Gazeta Russa

Em alguns locais russos chamados de "polos de frio", temperaturas de até -40°C Foto: Gazeta Russa

American writer and columnist for “The New-Yorker”, Ian Frazier presented his book “Travels in Siberia”, as part of the Krasnoyarsk Book Fair 2013 in which he described 18 years of his own travels in Russia.

The first time, Ian Frazier came to be in Russia by accident, after he met the Russian artists Komar and Melamid. Having arrived in Moscow, he received an unexpected invitation to go further into Siberia, which captured his heart for many years.

In his introduction to the book, he writes that in America, and around the world, Siberia seems like a strange, cold, faraway place, where one can be "exiled." However, at the same time, this place is romantic and mysterious, which you can even hear ringing in its name "Si-ber-ia" – a place still seemingly unknown.

In his travelogue Ian Frazier refers to the history of Siberia, and the history of travel to Siberia – for example, Kennen George’s books, which explored the area in the 19th century, and compares them with the reality he encounters. Much attention is also paid to the people who helped him during his travel. As Frazier said at a meeting in Krasnoyarsk, Siberians surrounded him exclusively with care, attention and curiosity.

We asked Ian Frazier to advise us about which main places, in his opinion, are definitely worth visiting in Siberia and picked appropriate citations from his book.

Cities like Tynda are staggering. It is a city on the Amur River, founded for gold mining; it is all buried in the taiga hills - BAM’s extreme point.

The large town of Tynda is considered to be the capital of BAM, and the Tynda train station is another modernist fandango, its many bold architectural statements cramming themselves into one structure with an energy and incoherence difficult to summarize. Much clearer in my mind is the station’s interior, which was a sort of mall of empty shops along hallways to nowhere radiating from the station’s busy and relatively crowded central area. The interior’s focal point was an improbable and elaborate fountain.

Quotes from Ian Frazier’s book Travels in Siberia

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