From Daniil Trifonov, Tchaikovsky Competition gold medallist:
I don’t often express myself on non-musical topics, but what has happened in London Underground has forced me to speak out.
Penguin’s latest ad campaign has unattributed quotes from classic books and includes this one by Turgenev. Taken out of context and with its original meaning changed I find this offensive and nothing short of racist – of course Russians need liberalism, progress and principles as much as any other nation. Please visit change.org here to add your name to the petition calling for the ad’s removal and official apology:
It’s a shame that established publishing house tries to make money in such cheap and pitiful way.
From the petition:
A set of posters have been placed in London Underground by Penguin Random House, which read:
“Aristocracy, liberalism, progress, principles.. Useless words! A Russian doesn’t need them!”
Penguin Random House took a quote from the novel “Fathers and Sons” by Ivan Turgenev and disgracefully twisted the original meaning of it. The original quote is:
“Aristocracy, liberalism, progress, principles … what a lot of foreign … and useless words. A Russian would not want them as a gift”
Penguin Random House has intentionally cited the quote to take a true meaning out of context and have intentionally chosen NOT to include the author and the name of the book on their poster.