Synopses & Reviews
As Russian society passes through a stage of wrenching transformation, the vision of its writers has veered towards the absurd. Even those who work in a realist style enrich their stories with fantasy and a sense of the impossible. This unique collection presents the latest work of some of the modern absurdist writers, Genrikh Sapgir, Victor Pelevin, Valery Ronshin, Alexander Selin, Grigory Kruzhkov. The more realist writers Alexander Kabakov, Nikolai Klimontovich and Ludmilla Shtern contribute work that testify to the grim humor that persists throughout contemporary Russian literature.
Russian writing of the absurd. Early stories by Pelevin. Rediscovered classics.
As Russian society passes through a stage of wrenching transformation the vision of its writers has veered towards the absurd. Even those who work in a realist style enrich their stories with fantasy and a sense of the impossible. These stories testify to the grim humor that persists throughout contemporary Russian literature.
About the Author
Genrikh Sapgir (1928-1999), an avant-garde poet and children's writer, was a member of the famous Lianozovo group in the 1960s and 1970s, which brought together such dissident poets and artists as Brodsky, Zverev, Ilya Kabakov, Oscar Rabin and Ernst Neizvestny. Sapgir's "adult" poems were hardly ever published in the pre-perestroika times. Like his predecessor Daniel Kharms and other writers of the absurd before him, he made a very successful career writing for children.
To break through to his readers he started writing his poems on shirts, which he exhibited at art exhibitions together with his artist friends' paintings. These "sonnets on shirts" have remained popular to this day. Winner of the Khlebnikov and Znamya awards, he is widely published and immensely popular in Russia today.
Grigory Kruzhkov is prolific in many literary fields, he is a well-known poet, translator, children's writer, literary historian, and essayist. He compiled and translated an anthology of English fairy-tales and rhymes entitled Big Ben Tales, which was awarded a diploma of the International Board on Books for the Young (IBBY) in 1996.
Alexander Selin, born in 1960, grew up in the little town of Volzhsk on the Volga. He graduated from the Moscow Institute of Physics Engineering and worked as a physicist for eight years, leaving this profession with a number of publications and discoveries to his credit. During this time he wrote short plays, which he staged himself with theatre companies in Moscow and St Petersburg. He also writes scripts for films and television, and humorous short stories, published in literary journals and recited by comic actors.