New PDF release: 50 Writers. An Anthology of 20th Century Russian Short

By Frank Miller, Valentina Brougher, Mark Lipovetsky

The biggest, such a lot finished anthology of its variety, this quantity brings jointly major, consultant tales from each decade of the 20 th century. It contains the prose of formally famous writers and dissidents, either recognized and ignored or forgotten, plus new authors from the tip of the century. the choices replicate a few of the literary developments and techniques to depicting fact during this period: conventional realism, modernism, socialist realism, and post-modernism. Taken as a complete, the tales catch each significant element of Russian lifestyles, heritage and tradition within the 20th century. the wealthy array of issues and kinds can be of large curiosity to scholars and readers who are looking to find out about Russia during the enticing style of the fast tale.

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Needless to say, these almost “abstract” short stories with their concentrated, grotesque content and form are meant to convey the cultural and social atmosphere of the Great Terror in the 1930s. A story written in the same period as Kharms’ miniatures, “Lake, Cloud, Tower” (1937) by Nabokov, who emigrated in 1919, uncovers the same kind of “normality” and, indeed, universality of violence, that leads to manifestations of diverse and not necessarily negative feelings, like collectivism and sense of purpose, etc.

In her prose Petrushevskaya argues convincingly that those “dark ages” have never left but can always be found somewhere nearby—in villages such as the one in her story, as well as in communal apartments and trashfilled city neighborhoods. On the other hand, in Ulitskaya’s “The Queen of Spades” (1998), violence does not come from the mob as in Petrushevskaya’s story, but from a refined representative of the Soviet cultural elite. Mur, or “the queen of spades,” exploits the people close to her as a matter of habit.

And again he would demonstrate to the silent Lavrenty Petrovich and the smiling student how he had bowed first to Dr. Aleksander Ivanovich and then to Dr. Semyon Nikolayevich. He had an incurable illness and his days were numbered, but he did not know it; he talked enthusiastically about making a trip to the Trinity-Sergiev Monastery6 when he got well and about an apple tree in his garden called “white ripening,” which he expected to bear fruit in the coming summer. ” His voice, a weak and delicate tenor, would begin to tremble and, in his emotional state, which he tried to conceal from those around him, Father Deacon would raise a handkerchief to his eyes and smile.

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