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I am Russian, and I consider the author to be mostly right. Indeed, we hold our literature to be the most valued of all arts; there were many Russian painters, and musicians, and architects, but these classical novelists (and poets) will always have a special place in our hearts.

The French have probably the closest level of respect to their men and women of letters, but their ideal is an intellectual in general, not necessarily the novelist. For the Germans, their beacons of culture are their philosophers. For the Americans — their inventors and visionaries, nowhere else they have achieved so much respect and so many accolades. But for us, Russians, — our idols are indeed our novelists.

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