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Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky Published by: NYRB Classics, 2009 Strony / Pages: 256, soft cover ISBN: 978-1-59017-319-0
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"These dystopic Stalin-era like dream diaries..."
The New York Times

Fantastically imaginative, darkly ironic and marvelously crafted, these seven tales written in the 1920s were unpublished during Krzhizhanovsky's lifetime.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.

"For anyone enthralled by the satirical avant-garde that briefly shone on the fringes of Soviet culture in the 1920s, here’s a revelation. Krzhizhanovsky somehow scraped a living in post-revolution Moscow as he wrote stories infused by a disturbing surrealism. Joanne Turnbull’s fine translations of seven won the Rossica Prize, and this edition should gain them a flock of new fans."
Boyd Tonkin, The Independent