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Other titles in the Glas New Russian Writing series:
The Lair (New Russian Writing)by Leonid Latynin
Synopses & Reviews
in a society governed by propaganda and false icons (and this could be the modern West as much as Soviet Russia) reality has become cosmetic and everybody, artist and functionary alike, is subject to its corroding influence.
Readers who take on this demanding novel will be rewarded by its depth and originality.
Based on pagan rituals, folklore, and mythology, this book is a chronicle of one thousand years of Russian history.
About the Author
Latynin was born in 1938 in the Volga River industrial town of Privolzhsk, 200 miles northeast of Moscow. His father was a petty Soviet official; their house had been requisitioned from a priest, who had left his library behind. The grip of the Soviet system of surveillance and conformity was a little looser in the provinces; his grandmother dared to read to the young Latynin from the Bible and the lives of the saints. She also marked his consciousness with vivid tales of pre-Christian Slavic gods and goddesses.
Later, he was able to find refuge from the stale exhortations of officially approved writing when he was welcomed into the private library of another priest, Father Arseny, whose shelves held not only forbidden religious works, but also copies of such renowned pre-revolutionary journals as Apollon and The Golden Fleece. There he discovered the poetry of Alexander Blok and Anna Akhmatova, the fiction of Andrei Bely (author of the pioneering stream-of-consciousness novel, Petersburg), and the art of Leon Bakst and Mikhail Vrubel. Their voices and visions helped him create, and preserve, an independent spirit amid the impoverished life of the Stalin years, and of the 20-year period of stagnation” that followed the brief cultural thaw of the early 1960s.
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