No Context, No Clue


An ad campaign by Penguin Random House in the UK meant to intrigue readers into purchasing classic books has instead sparked controversy for being anti-Russian. The ad features an unattributed line from the novel Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev: “Aristocracy, liberalism, progress, principles… Useless words! A Russian doesn’t need them.” Russian ex-pats living in London are questioning PRH’s motives in selecting that line instead other more well-known and less offensive lines, and a petition asking PRH to pull the ad has been gaining signatures.

Kelly Lynn Thomas reads, writes, and sometimes sews in Pittsburgh, PA. Her creative work has appeared in Sou’wester, Thin Air Magazine, Heavy Feather Review, metazen, and others, and she received her MFA in Creative Writing from Chatham University. She is hopelessly obsessed with Star Wars and can always be found with a large mug of tea. She also runs the very small Wild Age Press. Read more at More from this author →