I have always tried my very best to avoid being boxed into a singular definition and believe in abstaining from rigid self-definition in general. As such, I have a variety of different passions and have always preferred to have multiple non-intersecting areas of interest and knowledge rather than concentrating my focus on a singular area. As per the old saying: "A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one." As such, I believe in continuing that Renaissance tradition and aiming at becoming well-rounded rather than hyper-focused. I also have a strong interest in politics and have expressed support for dissidents, contrarians, and polemicists of all stripes. On the subject of personal beliefs, I feel that I most identify with the label of retrograde that was once described by Dostoyevsky. I believe in the idea that politics is downstream of culture, and have always approached it from a philosophical standpoint, while philosophy and psychology have been my primary academic areas of pursuit.
In a 2010 interview, I stated that "cultural pursuit is likely... the most important pursuit in my life." I believe that that statement has held true, and I have come to desire an increasingly more profound and in-depth understanding of culture in a holistic manner over the years. I wish to remain a part of it, if only as a meta-cultural critic, and I believe that to participate in culture means to participate in life. My most important avenue of creation has continued to be in the written medium and I continue to work on various passion projects in that area, a sample of which is featured here.
Of the various art forms, I have been primarily focused on music and am predominantly interested in genres including noise, post-rock, post-punk, and perhaps most prominently, modern independent music, with the latter umbrella encompassing lo-fi, ambient, and electronic music. In addition, I have a permanent collection of techno hidden away to be listened to and loved properly one day. In the past, I have written about and explored phenomena such as Madchester, while my focus on independent music has been on-going since 2009.
Apart from that principal interest, I do enjoy other mediums of art, including the visual arts where I am most interested in classical expressionism, the Renaissance greats, through to some contemporary artists such as Clyfford Still. I have been impressed by a variety of other contemporary artists including the usual suspects like Pollock, as well as certain other artists including Rodchenko, Puni, Goncharova, Kandinsky, and Chagall.
In addition, I also have an enthusiasm for film and have seen about 2000 as of 2018. I have enjoyed films of very different styles, ranging from art-house and expressionist cinema to raunchy, albeit somehow charming films. Some of my favorite directors include Fellini, Antonioni, Bergman, and Tarkovskiy, amongst others, while my favorite actor has to be Marcello Mastroianni. A list of my favorite films can be found here. A notable mention must go out to Edward D. Wood. Those who know, know.
Finally, as a writer, I naturally have a deep interest in literature and I have primarily focused on classics such as The Great Gatsby, Divina Commedia, The Illiad, the work of James Joyce, and various other works and authors of high classical acclaim. My passion for literature originated with a desire to intrinsically understand the various cultural references at my parents' dinner parties during my childhood and youth. My favorite works of literature include Atlas Shrugged, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, This Side of Paradise, Pynchon's V, Tropic of Cancer, Histoire d'O. Another long-standing favorite is Philip K. Dick who was influential in inspiring my subsequent interest in the I Ching. As a native Russian, I also have a strong admiration for classical Russian literature. More recently, I have begun exploring classic banned works and surrealism, out of which I was strongly impressed by the work of Bataille.