В какой-то другой, автобиографической книге (кажется в "Девятом томе") Людмила Стефановна с горьким сарказом и даже раздражением отозвалась о критика...more В какой-то другой, автобиографической книге (кажется в "Девятом томе") Людмила Стефановна с горьким сарказом и даже раздражением отозвалась о критиках, которые, восторгаясь ее драматургией, отказывают ей в праве быть прозаиком. А я как раз огромный поклонник ее пьес - собирался даже ставить одну на диплом во ВГИКе, но на целую денег не собрал, а отрывок не захотел брать, дурак. А проза? Да, конечно. Петрушевская есть Петрушевская! В этом сборнике примерно 30 коротеньких рассказов про любовь. Про любовь женскую, трагическую, захламленную жизнью, бытом, дурными характерами, вредными детьми, общим бессердечием и неустроенностью, но всегда в итоге находящую себе дорожку. Пять вообще гениальных, десять очень хороших, остальные почти все на высоком уровне, потому что правда, потому что действительно писатель и люди настоящие, взятые из жизни. (less)
"When real life is wanting one must create an illusion" A.Chekhov "Uncle Vanya"
Here is the trap with realistic prose, American realistic prose included...more"When real life is wanting one must create an illusion" A.Chekhov "Uncle Vanya"
Here is the trap with realistic prose, American realistic prose included: if you dare to portrayt ordinary life as it is, not "to create your own world", you have to be thousands and thousands times more precise, sharp, vivid, carefull and detailed to make your text interesting for the readers, make it distinctive in a way and at the same time accumlating experiences of its readers, generalize these experiences and at the same time tell a concrete story of a unique ordinary man. It works only with the best of the best writers, maybe geniouses. Chekhov is a summit of such writing IMO. For American prose first name that pops in my head is Steinbeck. In case of "Cold Spring harbor" I'm afraid we're dealing with attempt to reach their standards, which is very praiseworthy intention, but the result is very insufficient.
On the eve of World War II young attractive Evan meets young attractive Rachel who lives with her aging mother and pubertating brother and they marry. They are forced to live with Rachel's family. Evan family also exists: that's his father, who is retired army guy and his mentally ill mother, who almost never leaves her house. All these people have absolutely nothing to do, Evan job is not something Yates thinks worthy to describe (he is a car mechanic) and (this is main distinction from Chekhov or Steinbeck) they don't sincere enough to face it and to reflect, they just fill their lives with somethings, and this leads them to betrayl, madness or drinking at best.
For me this whole thing would be really interesting if for example Evan one day started to think what is going on with him and then the most interesting part would be how he got to that point and what he will be doing about it. But it wasn't me who wrote Cold Spring Harbor :) Either way I think that to make such story or pretty much lack of it interesting author had to put A LOT more efforts in portraying these people and their lifes.(less)
As a kid I was living in a communal apartment with my parents, with 5 or 6 other families on the highest floor of an old, XIX century building. There...moreAs a kid I was living in a communal apartment with my parents, with 5 or 6 other families on the highest floor of an old, XIX century building. There were artists' workshops above us in the garret. Since my parents were dissident-like bogema art people, artists from above were hanging out in our room almost each evening and making unoffical exibitions from time to time. Among them I've remembered Ilja Kabakov kind round man with a warm smile and works I like more then anyone else's. He painted me a hare once. If I had brains to keep the picture up untill now I could sell this hare for thousands USD.
Another group of people who were hanging out in my parents's room was five of six bookish looking people who were gathering and writing essays together on some preliminary choosen topic. It was important not to make any noise while they write, so I was sitting in a chair and looking how they write. it was some kind of meditation practice for me. Among them Mikhail Epstein was the smartest and he always talked to me and had a lot of kids who also visited sometimes and played with me.
Today Ilja Kabakov is one of the most acclaimed NY artists and Mikhail Epstein is a professor at Emory and authour of many amazing books about conteporary art, post-modernism, Russian literature and other things.
So I could'nt miss this book, which is a collection of different things, ideas and concepts which play important role in Kabakov's life and art. Epstein serves the ball and sometimes express his opinions as well. Interesting book.(less)
mr. Prilepin, former russian SWAT member, now member of NBP - unregistred party, leaded by Eduard Limonov, successfull writer, former emigree. NBP pla...moremr. Prilepin, former russian SWAT member, now member of NBP - unregistred party, leaded by Eduard Limonov, successfull writer, former emigree. NBP plays with different Nazi symbols, uses Gulag as a battle-cry. The fist of the party are young members who don't want to fit in to modern consumer's world. They throw eggs at new-riches, temprarily seize different goverment bodies and use other types of protest against current (and previous) Russian regime; they fight with the police and are being jailed from time to time. The closest western example of such party are anti-globalists. What's weird though that NBP is teamed up with liberals, such as Gary Kasparov party and others, although their views are totally different. To name a few when Kasparov is getting arrested he yells and speaks with journalists in English, he doesn't even try to appeal to Russian audience or voters, Limonov and his guys are ultra nationalists, they literally hate West. This coalition looks like Michael Moore joining with Tory for elections. At same time this party NBP has never done anything serious, they impress people with their excesses but they never go too far. To break mcDonalds window is ok, to perform an act of terror is no-no.
This book is Prilepin's chimera of this whole NBP thing being serious. What would happen and how if they would really try to perform terror acts, to make a revolution and overthrow the goverment. This projection is focused on one simple guy named Sasha (or Sankya as his grandmother calls him). He is real hoodlum but with a lot of ideology inside.
So basically when I've been reading the book I've been readin 4 things:
- long ideology talks by Sankya which Prilepin has no talent or desire to write dramatically - numerous scenes of violence where if violence is performed by Sankya it looks heroic, when against him it looks terrible - several porno scenes included for sales - several scenes that describe part of Sankya's life which is normal (he has relatives and friends)
I actually don't understand how this book was published (and will be adopted for screen - my film school mate is working on it) if there is such a hard censorship in Russia, as mr. Prilepin and his friends are yelling on every corner.(less)
One fine day hot real estate agent enters wrong apartment by mistake and meets not very succesfull writer. The writer quickly seduces her and she's go...moreOne fine day hot real estate agent enters wrong apartment by mistake and meets not very succesfull writer. The writer quickly seduces her and she's going home in the morning. He never calls her back. The end.
Ex-husband and current husband of a certain woman are going away fishing on their weekend. They are getting a bit drunk and the ex-husband cathes a lot of fish while the current husband cathes only 1 fish. They share some vodka with a local cow shepherd and he warns them it will be raining. They don't listen and stay and later the shepherd pulls their car by his agrimotor. The end
With about 20 stories like that mr. Zayonchkovskiy guides us through neurosises and complexes of his main protagonist (or himself, at least it reads like that).This tour is abrupted from time to time with long essay-like insterted texts about Moscow, filled with mediocre symbols and worn out metaphors.
Perhaps this is only me, but either you give me really exciting story or if you go for a sublime style - have a talent to write in a sublime style. The best thing is when one thing meets the other. But that's not Zayonchkovskiy case.(less)
Undoubtedly, this was one the most, if not the most powerfull text written in Russian language for the last few decades. It's a doc book. Svetlana Ale...moreUndoubtedly, this was one the most, if not the most powerfull text written in Russian language for the last few decades. It's a doc book. Svetlana Aleksievich gave voice to dozens of ordinary people who suffered from Chernobyl disaster. They are telling their stories without author interferense, she only gives them opportunity to speak. ...How soldier was chasing radicative cat around trying to kill it and little girl, owner of the cat was running behind the soldier, screaming: "Run away, little cat, run away"... ...How head of the city brought his little granddaughter to 1st May demonstration, so people would think everything is allright, there's no radication and later that girl died from leukaemia... ...How local girls organized several free brothel near the station for liquidators, knowing that they will have to die and liquidators will have to die too... And hundreds of others. Aleksievich was exiled from Belorussia where she lived. Authorities don't want the truth.Now she hides somewhere in Europe.
This is only one of five such books by her: others are about Afgan War, Chechen war, Women stories at war... I will read and review them later, the actual books are already on my shelf, but this reading is too strong to swallow all at once.(less)
I'm not gonna finish this one. It's not bad, there is nothing awfull or wrong about this book. Distant military base, characters, portraits, stills......moreI'm not gonna finish this one. It's not bad, there is nothing awfull or wrong about this book. Distant military base, characters, portraits, stills... I just don't see any single reason why I have or need or want to read it.(less)
this book will help you quit if you want to quit, but can't. As easy as that. If you want to smoke and think it's cool and tasty - do it. But if you'r...morethis book will help you quit if you want to quit, but can't. As easy as that. If you want to smoke and think it's cool and tasty - do it. But if you're tired of smelly fingers, two dozens of breaks a day and whining of non-smoking people around - read this, it will free you.(less)
I wonder if chinese literature will cover similar situations they're having right now - goverment turns river bed around, huge platos are being floode...moreI wonder if chinese literature will cover similar situations they're having right now - goverment turns river bed around, huge platos are being flooded forever and hunderds of thousands of people have to leave their homes. In case of Matyora it wasn't hunderds of thousands, but still a tragedy.(less)