(Daria Aminova’s article appeared in Russia Beyond the Headlines, 2/20; photo 5 Hot News.)

His one-man shows on YouTube gather hundreds of thousands of views, his books are read voraciously, his performances are sold out well in advance, and his talks are always well over-subscribed. Evgeny Grishkovets defies easy categorization: he is his own sub-genre in contemporary Russian art.

Daily life in detail

Following high school, Grishkovets enrolled in the Philological Department of the Kemerovo State University, where he studied drama and staged pantomimes in theaters. In his second year he was drafted into the navy and was sent to Russky Island with the Pacific Ocean Fleet.

Grishkovets put his memories and impressions from this time in his life into his first one-man show, “How I Ate a Dog” [a Russian idiom meaning to “cut one’s teeth”, which Grishkovets is also using here in a literal sense, as he describes actually eating dog meat], which he performed in Moscow in 1998. It details his feelings such as waking up in the morning and not wanting to study, and the meaningless of the military routine he experienced during his naval service in Vladivostok. He even pinpoints the exact moment he parted with his childhood.

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