By Sally Laird
Voices of Russian Literature provides in-depth interviews with ten of the main attention-grabbing figures writing in Russian this day. those figures diversity from demonstrated authors corresponding to Andrei Bitov and Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, who started their careers within the post-Stalinist thaw of the Fifties, to rookies like Viktor Pelevin, hailed as some of the most unique writers of the current period. This assortment bargains an insider's account of the destiny of Russian literature during the last 4 many years.
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Additional info for Voices of Russian Literature: Interviews with Ten Contemporary Writers
Just the other day I read this piece at a theatre institute, and afterwards a woman came up to me, a psychiatrist, who said that I’d actually given a very precise description of a certain kind of psychological state. That was a nice compliment! Though when I was reading it people found plenty to laugh about... Once—in your story ‘The Beginning’‡—you reproached your readers for the fact that they always expect laughter from you. That was meant as a joke, although there’s a certain truth in it.
But I think he somehow cheapened his extraordinarily rich world, and—well, it’s too late to speak of it now, but I think it would have been better for him simply to write something like his ‘past and thoughts’—reminiscences about his life. Considering the spiritual energy he put into Doctor Zhivago, he could so easily have done it. I suspect that we lost a great book there. But as regards my participation in any kind of protest, that came a great deal later. I think the first letter of that kind that I signed was in connection with Solzhenitsyn’s letter to the Fourth Writers’ Congress in 1967, protesting against censorship.
Since glasnost Aksyonov has again become a respected literary figure in Russia and a regular visitor to his former homeland. Q2 1/20/1999 11:04 AM 16 Page 16 Fazil Iskander an absolute uproar—not really because of its contents, which even then, as I say, seemed rather inoffensive, but just because we’d dared to break the rules, we’d refused to submit it to the censors. The whole affair was discussed at the highest level, more or less in the Politburo. They examined the whole train of events and came to ridiculous conclusions, comparing our little group with the Petöfi circle in Hungary, and the writers in Czechoslovakia who’d supposedly been responsible for 1968, and deciding that we’d have to be dealt with severely, or else ...