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Tag: Russia

Doctor Zhivago: From White to Silver

Doctor Zhivago: From White to Silver

In some ways it is unfortunate that I saw the film first. Having finished the reread of the novel, I now see the book as suffering, at least in translation, from the mouthpiece syndrome at times, and in need of some editing. As in, at several points in the novel, characters engage in extended dialogue that seem out of place, given the circumstances. That extended dialogue strikes me as more about Pasternak and his views than something organic, growing out…

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The Foundation Pit

The Foundation Pit

One of the most magical and strange books of the 20th Century is Andrei Platonov’s The Foundation Pit. It is magical and strange both in its execution and context. His context being something we can barely imagine, living in the West, living in the 21st Century. Everything Platonov (1899-1951) wrote was risky. Every time he put pen to paper he was risking his future, at times even his life. In the Soviet Union of his day, even relatives were endangered…

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