Igor Vishnevetsky - Closing the gap between the contemporary Russian novel and the masterpieces of the early Soviet avant-garde, this masterful mixture of prose and poetry, excerpts from private letters and diaries, and quotes from newspapers and NKVD documents, is a unique amalgam of documentary, philosophical novel, and black humor
Igor Vishnevetsky, Leningrad, Trans. by Andrew Bromfield. Columbia University Press, 2013.
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Closing the gap between the contemporary Russian novel and the masterpieces of the early Soviet avant-garde, this masterful mixture of prose and poetry, excerpts from private letters and diaries, and quotes from newspapers and NKVD documents, is a unique amalgam of documentary, philosophical novel, and black humor. Revolving around three central characters—a composer; his lover, Vera; and Vera’s husband, a naval officer intercepting enemy communications—we are made witness to the inhuman conditions prevailing during the Siege of Leningrad, against a background of starvation and continuous bombing. In their wild attempts to survive, the protagonists hold on to their art, ideals, and sentiments—hoping that these might somehow remain uncorrupted despite the Bolsheviks, Nazis, and even death itself.
The book is a documentary novel on the human condition in the first months of the German-Finland siege in Leningrad, that lasted 827 days.
Besides the bombs and the large number of victims, the citizens were confronted with hunger and coldness, and according to the official reports.
"The literature critics estimate this novel as a psychological mixture of poetry and prose where the main characters are similar to the Dostoevsky characters. All the intellectuals, scientists, professors, writers, linguists, musicians and journalists after the October Revolution were repressed by the Soviet secret service KGB. There are some parts in the novel that remind of some contemporary events in Eastern Europe. At the same time, this novel represents a warning for today's and next generations on the importance of maintaining peace.
Igor Vishevetsky has won the Russian award Nova Slovesnost. The novel is translated in English and many other languages. The translation from Russian to Macedonian was made by Mirjana Naumovski. "The novel is not easy, the style is complex because that is the only way to uncover the deep messages and warnings. A lot of patience, knowledge and careful reading are needed in order to understand the whole meaning of the novel", says "Bata press". - www.independent.mk/articles/14197/Russian+Novel+%22Leningrad%22+Published+in+Macedonian