Quote of Note | Gary Shteyngart

“…Snob [is] an international Russian-language glossy that’s lavishly funded by the mineral wealth of Mikhail Prokhorov. For those who haven’t seen him breakfasting alongside Jay-Z and New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Prokhorov is one of Russia’s tallest (six foot eight) and more progressive oligarchs, the 32nd-richest man in the world and owner of New Jersey Nets (no one’s perfect). Prokhorov has been critical of the country’s sham democracy, but his criticism has been strategic and intermittent–he is unlikely to spend his next 10 years in a frozen labor camp like fellow oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who didn’t quite know when to shut up. His billions have given Snob a nice frisson of controversy, but the magazine and the endless social networks it has sparked through its well-trafficked website are more than just a billionaire’s whim. It is an attempt to bring together a strange new animal: the liberal global Russian who is fond of her voluminous culture, her beautiful language, her doting parents, and the pleasant cast of her cheekbones, but doesn’t look like she held up a Neiman Marcus at gunpoint.”

Gary Shteyngart in an essay on “The New Russia” that appears in the most recent issue of RLife magazine