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A School for Fools

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4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  625 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
Hailed by Nabokov as a masterpiece, Sokolov's first novel is set at a school for "disturbed" children outside Moscow.
Paperback, 232 pages
Published April 1st 1988 by Four Walls Eight Windows (first published 1976)
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Vit Babenco
Oct 14, 2015 Vit Babenco rated it it was amazing
“Since it’s winter what kind of butterflies can you be speaking of, asks the pedagogue with mock surprise, what’s wrong – are you crazy? And you respond with unshaken dignity: in the winter one can speak only of winter lepidoptera, those which are called snow butterflies, I catch them in the countryside – in the forest and the field, in the mornings primarily – to the second of the questions you posed my reply is this: the fact of my existence is of no surprise to anyone, otherwise they wouldn’t ...more
Gabriele
Jan 03, 2016 Gabriele rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russa
Per farvi capire quali livelli raggiunge "La scuola degli sciocchi" mi basterebbe dirvi che questo libro, in America, è stato pubblicato dietro spinta di Nabokov — uno piuttosto rigido nel giudicare gli altri scrittori. Potrei anche aggiungere che Sokolov ha scritto un libro che difficilmente ha eguali: per la storia, per il modo di raccontarla, per il linguaggio usato. Non saprei in effetti da dove altro cominciare per questa recensione, se non con un: leggetelo. Assolutamente, leggetelo. "La s ...more
MJ Nicholls
Sokolov’s first novel has little of the verbal explosiveness of his opus Astrophobia. The novel challenges conventional narrative modes, breaking down the unities and time and place, and obscuring narrator(s) and voices, to the extent the prose becomes a wash of poetic and strange scenes punctuated with tagless dialogue and copious literary and historical references and puns. Dreamlike and unusual and impossible to follow at times (I had to exit on p.151). In Russian the prose is more musical (a ...more
Rıdvan
Sep 02, 2016 Rıdvan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Şimdi hemen söyleyeyim, çok zor bir kitap bu. İlk 100 sayfayı okudum, sonar döndüm bir daha okudum. Yavaş yavaş, sindire sindire. Ama yinede kitabın tamamına hakim olmayı başaramadım. Ama anladığım kadarıyla anlatayım.

Yazar başlarda hakikaten bir karıştırıyor kafaları. Sonra daha da karıştırıyor. Sonra yavaş yavaş aydınlanmaya başlıyorsunuz. Sonuna doğru herşey olmasa da birçok şey açıklığa kavuşuyor.

Bir çocuk var. Gerçekten kaç yaşlarında olduğunu anlayamadım ama zannedersem ya 13-14 yaşlarınd
...more
Neva
Aug 20, 2014 Neva rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Голяма, вълнуваща работа е. Просто ще цитирам едно-друго за това "разтваряне в заобикалящото" с "неистова нежност", докато "отвътре ми е неспокойно и горещо".

"...само вятърът развяваше брадата му с полепналите по нея борови иглици: вятърът, роден от скоростта, скоростният велосипеден вятър..."

"...те намятат на раменете си гоголевски шинели без копчета, излизат от къщичките си и поемат по порцелановите пясъци на брега, по дюните, по ливадите; тихите слаби сенки на тези пазачи полягат върху тръсти
...more
Giovanna
Apr 20, 2015 Giovanna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Sì, ma da che cosa si può cominciare, con quali parole?” si chiede lo studente tal dei tali all'inizio di questo romanzo. E me lo chiedo anche io all'inizio di questo commento. Forse parto con una premessa: ho preso il libro per un corso di letteratura russa all'università, ma probabilmente di mio non ci sarei mai inciampata, non avevo idea di chi fosse l'autore, non ne avevo mai sentito parlare, quindi mi è piovuto addosso, non ero preparata alla lettura (e, visto che nel libro il concetto del ...more
Daria
Jan 12, 2012 Daria rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I believe that there is a special window of time for everyone when one can read this book and love it. You should be in a special mood. Sad and beautiful. For me it happened 5 years ago and never since.
Sergey Tomson
Вообще это, конечно, потрясающая история о мальчике-шизофренике, страдающем раздвоением личности, чья болезнь страшно обостряется от созерцания прекрасного, а так как в окружающем мире прекрасного превеликое множество, то ребёнок перманентно находится в невменяемом состоянии, ловит и коллекционирует каких-то снежных бабочек, разговаривает со своим мёртвым учителем географии, хотя сам же уверяет, что «современный географ, как впрочем и монтер, и водопроводчик, и генерал, живет всего однажды». А э ...more
Amanda
Sep 04, 2008 Amanda rated it it was amazing
This ethereal, mystical view of provincial Russia through the eyes of a mentally handicapped young man is one of the most fascinating works of fiction I've ever encountered. You can wade for days through the tangled web of symbols and signs, and the Russian version is daunting but deeply satisfying. The word play sometimes, but not always, makes it into the translation, but the feeling of inhabiting another persons deepest inner workings definitely comes though in both.
Elīna
Aug 19, 2012 Elīna rated it it was amazing
Definately a favorite, a truly original piece of fiction; Sokolov's story about a schizophrenic little boy is both humorous and profoundly sad; a must-read
Clayton
I don't doubt the sincerity or competency of A. Boguslawski's translation so much as I doubt the sanity of the whole endeavor. Consider the book's epigraph:


To chase, to hold, and to rotate,
To hear, to see, and to offend,
To run, to breathe, likewise to hate,
And to endure, and to depend.


Ha! Get it? No? Well, you see, these are all irregular verbs from a well-known nursery rhyme, signaling Sokolov's intention to elevate the neglected and the irregulars of language to the status of poetry. The
...more
Katerina Bazhenova
Одна из самых необычных книг, которые я прочитала в своей жизни. Теперь я уже не удивляюсь тому, что в институте мне удалось прочитать лишь фрагмент. Скорее всего, это "удалось" связано не с тем, что не было времени или материала, а с тем, что не было достаточного жизненного опыта, чтобы понять ее смысл, равно как и филологической искушенности, чтобы оценить и сюжет (если его можно так назвать), и звукопись соколовского языка. Я, кстати, совершенно не понимаю, как можно было перевести это произв ...more
Farhana
Aug 03, 2016 Farhana rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
At first I was wondering what I'm reading but one thing was for sure I have never read any such thing before. The writer has really unorthodox & paradoxical form of writing. It feels like it's not a whole , rather seems very unconnected, irrelevant pieces, each individual , each very distinct pieces - like every part is a new short-story, every image is a new short film. But deep inside they are all connected with some invisible thread. It feels like you lie down & imagine various snapsh ...more
Gints
Jan 09, 2013 Gints rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mana galvenā kļūda bija lasīt šo nekrieviski. Kad grāmatas beigās saproti, ka vārdu spēle citās valodās vienkārši nestrādā personvārdu došanas tradīcijas dēļ, tad ir jā. Žēl.

Bet vispār, traģiski, skaisti, haotiski bet sakarīgi. Galvenā vēstījuma virzība nav saistīta ar laiku nekādā mērā, tā ir tiešā veidā pakļauta kognitīvajiem lēcieniem. Un tādēļ to ir grūti lasīt, bet viegli lasīt. Šai grāmatā regulāri ir mirkļi, kur es kā lasītājs domāju "tas ir nebūtiski un ļoti svarīgi". Piemēram, kad stāst
...more
Carly Pollard
This is not an easy read (stream of consciousness of a schizophrenic with two personalities and no concept of time), but definitely a worthwhile one — particularly the narrator's moments of lucidity, which are heartbreaking in how quickly they flow back into his overall disjointed perception of his life.
Simfusha
Mar 20, 2017 Simfusha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Не пытаюсь умалять достоинства Соколова, но не осилила. Не могу сказать, что не понравилось, а что понравилось. Что запомнилось, а что забылось. Будем считать, что время еще не пришло.
Zane Bērzleja
Jan 08, 2013 Zane Bērzleja rated it really liked it
Saša Sokolovs
“Muļķu skola”

Autors Saša Sokolvs, krievu rakstnieks, dzimis 1943. gadā, Kanādā. Zināms kā valodu burvis un stilists, kas aizrauj amaranths vārdu spēlēs. Pats savu rakstniecības stilu sauc par “poēziju” - prozas un poēzijas apvienojums. Grāmatu “Muļķu skola” sarakstīja 1976. gadā. Grāmata ieguva kritiķu atzinību un vēljoprojām ir lasītāju iecienīta lasāmviela.
Rakstnieks ar šo grāmatu mūs iepazīstina ar zēnu, kurš mācās “specskolā”. Viņš uztver pasauli savādāk kā citi, saskata lietas
...more
Marina
Russians and their obsession with time....But really, what did I just read? This book was such a complete nonsense to me..... If you don't like it from the first page stop reading it...just stop...it won't get better, it will be exactly the same till the last page. I rarely feel that I lost my time reading something...this is one of those rare times.
I don't know...maybe it's the translation (I read that in russian it all sounds poetic and melodic). I really tried my best to like this book, but
...more
Fellini
Aug 13, 2014 Fellini rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Очень мирная какая-то книга. Текст насыщен людьми и событиями, главный герой и вовсе един в двух лицах, а всё же после прочтения думаешь только о спокойствии. Как дачная река Лета, на берегу которой можно сидеть и наблюдать, как мимо проплывает учитель географии Савл, прекрасная женщина Вета, какой-то почтальон и старушка-соседка, ученики специальной школы и учителя их, снежинки и бабочки...
Albena
Dec 19, 2013 Albena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
много уау
Laura Wetsel
Feb 15, 2013 Laura Wetsel rated it it was amazing
If every book is a drug (the pharmakon!) then this one is fast-acting, long-lasting, and produces unpredictable reactions. Highly addictive.
Rdt
Feb 16, 2017 Rdt rated it it was ok
This book was not for me. I don't love stream of consciousness writing, but I can enjoy it where I find the central character compelling as in Henry Miller's "Tropic of Cancer" or Clarice Lispector's "Near to the Wild Heart" or where the universe draws me in as "Last Exit to Brooklyn," but "School for Fools" did not have those redeeming qualities for me. I am sure that the use of language must be wonderful in the original Russian, since it was admired by Nabokov, but it was either lost in transl ...more
Marsha
Dec 18, 2016 Marsha rated it it was amazing
I had the honor of meeting Sasha Sokolov in the late 1970's in Ann Arbor, Mi. He is a remarkable writer and an unforgettable person. I haven't read this book in a long time, but was stunned by the emotional reaction I had to reading it. He's special
Romualds Grīnvalds
Не моё, но стоит прочесть.
Zoe Brooks
Mar 15, 2016 Zoe Brooks rated it really liked it
Shelves: magic-realism
As I read this book I was reminded of a formative time in my life. I had left university only to become ill and as I waited for an operation I spent my time reading and watching films on television. One of the books I read was One Hundred Years of Solitude and so began my love of magic realism. One of the films I watched was Tarkovsky's film The Mirror. I was in the right state of mind for both book and film. I had time. I was willing to let go of expectations and experience these remarkable wor ...more
Anton Shanaurin
Хотел написать коротко "роман-невроз", но для меня это была игра слов большого объёма. Не моё, хоть и местами занимательно. Или как написано в самом романе: "...и скажет: знаете, мол, какой о нас с вами пасквиль состряпали? Нет, скажет прокурор, а какой? Антинаш, скажет директор." Антимоя книга.
Barak
Nov 04, 2016 Barak rated it it was ok
Nah...

Was extremely difficult for me to read the 170 pages or so of this novella to its conclusion; not as bad as The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, one I could not finish at all at the time, despite it being described by Schopenhauer as one of the greatest novels ever written, and by Shklovsky as the most typical one.

Getting back to the novel under review, I suspect the stream of consciousness of the author and/or narrator and that of yours truly belong to distinctly different
...more
Denise
Sep 05, 2013 Denise added it
This book was profoundly disturbing.
I abandoned it once and then I picked it up again. I still didn't manage to finish it and I still am highly ambivalent about it. There were times when I had to force myself into reading and there were times when I couldn't put the book down. I'm not sure if there was any point to the plot of the book (if one existed at all) or it was just like a point of view display, but I think I caught the overall feeling and some splinters of story here and there, some hum
...more
Ramona
May 18, 2013 Ramona rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Mă așteptam să fie romanul descris de cei de la The Guardian: ”Splendidă, nebunesc de irațională și perfect logică, asemenea unui vis. O reprezentație pe care o trăiți stând în fotoliu și o puteți înțelege doar cu inima”, dar s-a dovedit un roman tipic rusesc, în care degeaba spune autorul la începutul cărții că pune accentul pe limbaj, jocuri de cuvinte și fantezia textului căci:
- textul este execrabil (cel puțin din punctul meu de vedere, chiar dacă totuși poate am folosit un cuvânt prea dur),
...more
Bookaholic
Am luat romanul lui Saşa Sokolov crezând că voi citi o satiră şi am dat peste una dintre cele mai sensibile mărturii din perspectiva unui elev înscris la şcoala specială, Şcoala pentru proşti, ai cărei elevei nu vor deveni niciodată ingineri.


Elevul Cutare fantazează, de la cărţile citite una după alta pe iarbă, în grădina tatălui său, i se trage. E incapabil să-şi ducă temele până la capăt, uită şi se pierde în poveştile sale. Are o mamă răbdătoare, un tată procuror care-l pune să copieze ce scr
...more
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Sasha Sokolov (born Александр Всеволодович Соколов/Alexander Vsevolodovitch Sokolov on November 6, 1943, in Ottawa, Canada) is a paradoxical writer of Russian literature.

He became known worldwide in the 1970s after his first novel A School for Fools had been published by Ardis Publishing (Ann Arbor, Michigan) in the US, and later reissued by Four Walls Eight Windows. Sokolov is one of the most imp
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“My love and my joy, if I die from illness, madness or sadness, if before the time allotted me by fate is up, I can't get enough of looking at you, enough joy in the dilapidated mills on the emerald wormwood hills, if I don't drink my fill of the transparent water from your immortal hands, if I don't make it to the end, if I don't tell everything that I wanted to tell about you, about myself, if one day I die without saying farewell—forgive me.” 3 likes
“I don't know why it so happens in life that one absolutely can't do something simple but important.” 2 likes
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