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The Portable Platonov

Translated and with commentaries by Robert Chandler

ISBN 5-7172-0046-3
256 pages, illustrated

"In this century the best Russian prose has been written by our poets and Platonov, but he is an exception... Platonov speaks of a nation which in a sense has become a victim of its own language; or, more precisely, he speaks of this language itself which turns out to be capable of generating a fictive world and then falling into grammatical dependence on it." — Joseph BRODSKY

This collection presents a number of different facets of Platonov's genius. It includes newly-found excerpts from The Foundation Pit, three chapters from the novel Chevengur, his best play Fourteen Little Red Huts, two folktales, and the story "Among Animals and Plants". All pieces have been newly translated for this volume.

"No work of literature conveys this yawning gap between aspiration and reality, between truth and falsehood, as powerfully and succinctly as The Foundation Pit by Andrei Platonov." —
Geoffrey Hosking

After a lifetime of persecution Andrei Platonov (1899-1951) has emerged as one of the greatest writers of this century, an artist of profound genius, integrity and clarity of vision. Today he is venerated in Russia, and his major novels, Chevengur and The Foundation Pit, have been published in numerous editions. His influence on contemporary Russian writing is enormous, and he marked a new era in Russian literature, his language and style being so distinctive that for a long time his work defied translation. Platonov vividly presents the dreams of the builders of socialism in all their inarticulate confusion, with a sympathy not lessened by an unparalleled awareness of their tragic consequences.

Joseph Brodsky looked on him as the equal of Joyce, Kafka and Proust.