Friday, 30 December 2016

Lyudmila Ulistkaya returns

Once more on Vlad’s blog
I discovered Lyudmila Ulitskaya’s writing by pure chance. A happy one, I would add. In the spring of 2016, I was lucky enough to put my hands on the short story collection, Childhood and other stories. I really enjoyed reading it so I recommended it on this blog. 
A while ago, in the show Guaranteed 100%, Lyudmila Ulitskaya was invited. A beautiful interview that you must not miss, you can access it here. I had to read the new novel, published at Humanitas Publishing House under the name of Imago, even if the original name of the novel (as it was published in Russian) is The Green Tent.
The action is gently narrated, in short chapters (maybe it’s a way of keeping the readers interested and not boring them with long chapters, and thus motivating them to keep reading despite the large number of pages; I have seen it also in another writer’s novels - Joël Dicker), just like removing one onion skin after another. After each skin, one sees the actions presented before from another point of view. I find it done very masterly, and the readers get to feel omniscient, just like the writer must have felt when writing it, for she makes small notes regarding future happenings.

The novel Imago tells the story of three boys’ friendship, from school to late in their lives. Family liaisons, school problems, dreams about the future, teenager issues, professors-mentors, didactic environment, professional life, personal life, all are dominated by one thing – the iron fist of communism. Fortunately, the fist is put into antithesis. With various ideals. And from the two, threads start. Threads that fight, that attract themselves, that cohabit and live to tell the story.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

'The Three Jolly Tiddlekins' by Vlad Mușatescu

Excerpt from the chapter 'Everyone ... jogs!':

Everyone ... jogs!

Actually, I had reasons. Multiple ones.
Firstly, well because jogging is the ultimate sport, invented by the Americans, to keep fit through great speed runs.
In my case, my last run (in forcing) had happened more than thirty years ago, when two shepherd dogs chased me.
Secondly, a very serious reason, was the fact that, at dawn, when I was about to go to sleep, a mutt started barking. Just in front of my apartment. Initially, I thought I was dreaming. But when the beast started intensifying its yelping, I was forced to notice the cruelest reality.

When I opened the door, being very brave though, I was attacked by the dog that had burst out into this recital of barking. It was pop Mishu-Falconetti, the Jimblas’ dog. Accompanied by Tilică Boieru. Mishu launched into my arms, making a jump like they do in the circus shows, and, extremely excited, started licking my face. I totally got it why. Because, upon going to bed, my face was dry and sore from the sun and so I applied a great deal of Nivea moisturizing cream on it. How was I to know that the cream was also eatable?