If you followed TV News too much and just need something anti-militaristic and hilarious at the same time - you've found the right book! WorthlessnessIf you followed TV News too much and just need something anti-militaristic and hilarious at the same time - you've found the right book! Worthlessness and cruelty of a regime (literally - Austro-Hungarian one) towards its own people, fraud, corruption and queen of them all - the WAR. Year 1914. Josef Svejk, a dog seller, drafted into army to fight on a meaningless war, somehow knows a way around those things - he feigns idiocy. And it works! Especially when we get to see who is real idiots there - bureaucrats and army ranks....more
One of the most enjoyable books I ever read, and definitely only one distopia I really ever liked.
Main concept of this book was repeated many many tiOne of the most enjoyable books I ever read, and definitely only one distopia I really ever liked.
Main concept of this book was repeated many many times after, for example in Starship Troopers. Goverment finds a public enemy, moves it ahead, unleashes society and mass-media on it, eventually organizes a war against it...Heroes, tragedies, war crimes.. for what? Newts! (well we could find examples of this not only in literature, won't we).
BUT, as oppossed to We or 1984 this book is INCREDIBLY funny, those articles in newspapers and speeches against Newts are hillarious.
Probably it's not clear distopia, rather satire, cause people win at the end, but HOW... you better read it....more
Moscow 2042 is a perfect example of dystopia, which is not another metaphor of pubescence and funny and scary instead. The book is written in 1986. FMoscow 2042 is a perfect example of dystopia, which is not another metaphor of pubescence and funny and scary instead. The book is written in 1986. Future of Russia is depicted like that in it: - the Moscow country is ruled by Genialissimo (who is Church patriarch at the same time), former KGB general who managed to accumulate all powers by the party named Communist party of State Security-basically a group of former officials, kgb members and priests. - Genialissimo in reality has no power, the country is ruled by August (!!!) committee where Father Zvezdoniy, General of religious service plays important role. - Whole other country is separated from Moscow and works on it - Needs of people are decided by the Genialissimo and his comrades, majority of people have ordinary needs in this system, some have extraordinary, members of the party mainly, Those with ordinary needs are eating shit or starving. - One day the Slavophile Sim Karnavalov enters Moscow on a white horse and proclaims himself Tsar Serafim the First. Now we are studying religious instruction instead of science, men are obliged to wear long beards, flogging is on. One dictatorship rule changes to another and it goes on. Dystopian satire I would call it, yes, needless to say - hilarious satire, but even for satire the book was terribly prophetic. And nice work, Richard, with the translation! ...more
In the mid 90s I was surfing through radio chanells and stumbled across techno music station and 2 Djs were talking. Their i"The time is out of joint"
In the mid 90s I was surfing through radio chanells and stumbled across techno music station and 2 Djs were talking. Their idea was that Pasternak somehow prevents their music to succeed, they were convincing their listeners to quit paying attention to Pasternak "and everything like that" and start to admire something more important, which of course was their techno music. Not that I'm going to lecture those people after all these years, especially since they won't ever read this, but back then I was very surprised how they didn't see own inability to concieve their own goals without Pasternak, while bashing him. If he was that NOT important, why even mention him?
Nevertheless he was probably last genious Russian novelist after Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, although he wrote only one novel. Here is "Doctor Zhivago" concept as I understand it: the book is about gaining immortallity through art, how to live a life and stay immortal through your own work and creations. Epic story of Yury Zhivago's life is a path for creation of "his" genious poems. You read his life, you see all the turns and choices that he made and by that you see how those poems were made. The book ends with his death which opens last part - poems themselves (I have no idea if they are well translated into English, but they absolutely uneclipsed in Russian). I believe that is the reason why all the film adaptions of "Doctor Zhivago" fail so much - they just re-tell plot-lines, story as it is and loose main concept of the novel - poetry as a path to achieve immortality.
No great Russian writer was ever writing in such a simple, clear style since Tolstoy. Whole first half of XX century Russian literature was anything but simple. Symbolism, modernism, absurdism, akmeism etc, etc. Style of this book is hidden behind recognizable, common manner, which gives reader possibility to get all the ideas, thoughts and concepts without even noticing them. In simple words the book is very clever and delicate but page-turner at the same time.
Whole Zhivago and Lara story is put into epic context of our tragic history of the first half of XX century. Pasternak obviously was going to name things as they are and he knew he will be hit hard for that. You see everything that communists have done to our country through the eyes of an intellligent man, a doctor, a poet and you see that dark matter that catches those people and most of them died and those who survived - suffered and again - probably the only way for them to leave something behind themselves was to write something that will outlive them and those cruel times. Pasternak recieved Nobel for this book but was humilated in his homeland. "Pasternak is worse then a pig" - it was a motto. In USSR the book was published only in 1988, but yes, as he wanted - it outlived cruel times and provided its creator with immortality.
And I'm swithching from 4 stars to 5 of course (and yes, I know that majority of bookish intellectuals think "Doctor Zhivago" is a trash, I don't care"....more