Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Andrei Platonovitch Platonov

Haven’t read him but it seems he was the New Great Russian Writer

Andreï Platonov

When dinner engagements half-slice a long-weekend what should you do? Risk anyway the engorged autopistas? Or, rather more sensibly, dive into the backlog of books to read? I choose the latter. Quite productive long weekend on that sense, I must say. A fully russky interlude. Nina Berberova’s “Alexandre Blok Et Son Temps” (it looks he never did it to his love-object of eight hundred (!) poems eight hundred, even though he married the Muse of his “To a Beatiful Lady”…); Andreï Makine’s “La Femme Qui Attendait” (about the myth/gold standard of the “Absolute Faithfulness” in a woman..) and “Loin de Byzance”, collected essays by Joseph Brodsky (a must read if you like “Piter” (St. Petersbourg) and what that liquid, classical palace waterfronts have done to Russian poetry and to Ms. Akhmatova, in particular). These essays deserve a full blogtext but I’ll stick to just one point. Brodsky says that the only true successor of Doestoevsky in terms of greatness is Andreï Platonov, whom, I must confess, I’ve never read a line of.
I took the step to essemessing an acquaintance of mine, a Russian writer with whom I’ve spend some great talk-drink epiphanies in both Moscow and Paris, to ask him his opinion. He confirmed the judgement on Platonov’s greatness.

So, let’s do some amazonedotcoming, and get to Platonov. What are we waiting for?

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