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Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky: Autobiography of a Corpse

Over the past few years, NYRB Classics has released two books of tales (we can call them science fiction, philosophical, political —  from the Soviet writer Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky: Memories of the Future (my thoughts here; our podcast covering it here) and The Letter Killers Club (my thoughts here). It’s remarkable that these books have…

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Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky: Memories of the Future

Written in Moscow between 1926 and 1930, in the decade following the October Revolution, the seven pieces that make up Memories of the Future (tr. from the Russian by Joanne Turnbull, 2009) are surprisingly critical of Soviet life, even bitter. Consequently, they, along with most of Krzhizhanovsky’s works, were never published during Krzhizhanovsky’s lifetime. Most were not…

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Episode 4: Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky’s Memories of the Future

Though not officially state policy until 1932, socialist realism had been the unofficial type of art in Russia since the October Revolution of 1917, when the Bolsheviks sought to put art into the service of the state. Art had to be easily understood and should convey a positive message about…

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Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky: The Letter Killers Club

A couple of years ago, NYRB Classics introduced most of us to Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky when they published Memories of the Future.  Krzhizhanovsky died in 1950 having lost most of his battles to publish his work to the Soviet censors (of his hundreds of stories, plays, criticism, etc., he published only nine stories in his lifetime).  His…