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Memories of the Future
by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky and Joanne Trumbull and Nikolai Formozov


Overview - Written in Soviet Moscow in the 1920s--but considered too subversive even to show to a publisher--the seven tales included here attest to Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky's boundless imagination, black humor, and breathtaking irony: a man loses his way in the vast black waste of his own small room; the Eiffel Tower runs amok; a kind soul dreams of selling "everything you need for suicide"; an absentminded passenger boards the wrong train, winding up in a place where night is day, nightmares are the reality, and the backs of all facts have been broken; a man out looking for work comes across a line for logic but doesn't join it as there's no guarantee the logic will last; a sociable corpse misses his own funeral; an inventor gets a glimpse of the far-from-radiant communist future.  Read more...

 
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More About Memories of the Future by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky; Joanne Trumbull; Nikolai Formozov
 
 
 
Overview
Written in Soviet Moscow in the 1920s--but considered too subversive even to show to a publisher--the seven tales included here attest to Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky's boundless imagination, black humor, and breathtaking irony: a man loses his way in the vast black waste of his own small room; the Eiffel Tower runs amok; a kind soul dreams of selling "everything you need for suicide"; an absentminded passenger boards the wrong train, winding up in a place where night is day, nightmares are the reality, and the backs of all facts have been broken; a man out looking for work comes across a line for logic but doesn't join it as there's no guarantee the logic will last; a sociable corpse misses his own funeral; an inventor gets a glimpse of the far-from-radiant communist future.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781590173190
  • ISBN-10: 1590173198
  • Publisher: New York Review of Books
  • Publish Date: October 2009
  • Page Count: 228

Series: New York Review Books Classics

Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Short Stories (single author)

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 37.
  • Review Date: 2009-05-18
  • Reviewer: Staff

Fantastically imaginative, darkly ironic and marvelously crafted, these seven tales written in the 1920s were unpublished during Krzhizhanovsky’s lifetime. Set mostly in Moscow, where the toilsome workdays sap spiritual strength, the stories are about the strange, wondrous and alarming things that can result from a chance encounter. In “Quadraturin,” the most straightforward story, the resident of a “matchbox”-size flat is proffered an experimental formula for “biggerizing rooms,” which, when applied, expands the space and doesn’t stop until the room becomes a “black wilderness.” In “Someone Else’s Theme,” a writer meets a down-on-his-luck seller of “philosophical systems,” while the protagonist of “The Branch Line” is directed to a train that spirits him into a disorienting dreamscape. The long title story is the biography of a brilliant, lonely scientist, Max Shterer, whose obsessive pursuit of “making time dance in a circle” proves prescient and chilling. Turnbull’s translation reads wonderfully, capturing the isolation and strangeness of Krzhizhanovsky’s startling stories. (July)

 
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