Books

All this removes death: the books of the week

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Radius under every bush, surpassed by Ionesco and Beckett, the hyper-chaos of Mozart and Merzbau, reflections on the morals of Satan and the drunk Alexander Bashirov: successive editors of “Gorky” recommend the books of the week.

Since February 24, 2022, we have all been faced with impending barbarism, violence and lies. In this situation, it is extremely important to preserve at least the remnants of culture and uphold the values ​​of humanism – including for the future of Russia. Therefore, the editors of “Gorky” will continue to talk about books, reminding our readers that the world remains a place of thought and fiction.

Michelle Serr. Contract with nature. SPb .: Publishing House of the European University in St. Petersburg, 2022. Translated from the French by Sergei Ryndin. Contents

There is interesting non-literary news that will have consequences in all areas, including culture: inspections and departmental activities of Rosprirodnadzor were ordered to freeze until the end of the year, so that Russian companies, organizations and ordinary citizens can now at least radiate under every bush.

The results of the wise decision of the Russian government from 10.03.2022 № 336 are directly related to the topic of the book by French philosopher Michel Serra, which now looks somewhat anachronistic, because “Treaty with Nature” is a statement from the public sphere where emission reduction and destruction could be discussed the infrastructure of the Far North, not the one that puzzles over whether or not people can be killed. At the same time, these circumstances make this book sound particularly sharp.

The themes raised by Serr are closely related to Bruno Latour’s reflections: both compatriots try to redefine humanity’s relationship with nature by proposing a conceptual model in which both elements are not engaged in mutual destruction. The book was written in the early 1990s, a classic of the philosophy of ecology.

A new edition book series of the STS EUSPb Center, is preceded by a fresh author’s preface. In it, the scholar admits that if he wrote now, the text would be colored more tragically, because “the powerful of the world are deaf” to the “dramatic appeals of some” and “reassuring proposals of others.”

“Cities, ports, shelters, walls – all this removes death.”

Arthur Adamov. Man and child. SPb .: Jaromír Hladík press, 2022. Translated from French by Anastasia Zakharevich. Contents

French playwright of Armenian origin Artur Adamov is a figure with an unclear status in the world literary canon. On the one hand, no one denies that he was at the origins of the theater of the absurd along with Beckett and Ionesco (Adamov himself vehemently insisted on his unconditional championship), on the other – at least in Russia, the interest of readers and researchers to him flashesthen disappears, then flashesthen disappears, then flashesthen disappears.

Hopefully, this flicker will finally stop with the release of the book of memoirs “Man and Child”, first published by Galimar in 1968, shortly before the author’s death. Outwardly, this is an emphasis on dry memoirs, written in telegraph style, but filled with extremely gloomy content. This is not surprising – all his life Adamov suffered from depression and general disorder. He spent his childhood in the Caucasus, where the Armenian pogroms were in full swing, then fled with his family to France, where he also found nothing good: his Paris is a Paris of slums, heroin, ethnic segregation and vulgar white immigrants, whom young Arthur angrily teases Soviet .

He sees the rest of Europe (and the world as a whole) through the prism of impending fascism: Spain, Portugal, France, Brazil – everywhere there is only the coming catastrophe, in the epicenter of which he really will be, eventually landing in the concentration camp Argeles.

The second half of the book consists of diary entries on the futile fight against alcoholism, tuberculosis and mental disorders. Once again, even in such circumstances, Adamov, a staunch left-wing internationalist, is more concerned about right-wing revenge and the Vietnam War. In general, in these pages the writer appears as a typical intellectual of his generation, which is distinguished only by radical pessimism. In this respect, he certainly surpassed Ionesco and Beckett combined.

«К. does everything to achieve my release.

Introduces me to the camp commandant. He started: “Do you think I like you here? If you still do not dream, so dream. Do you know what you dream of? That you will all die here. You will die anyway, and here you have to watch it all night … All because of Vichy, they put me in this madhouse ”.

The commandant bargains from under the floors. Turnips disappeared from our plates – one water. He sells turnips.

I’m losing a tooth, then another, and another. “

Tales of rebellions and truffles: unprecedented Russian fiction of the XVIII-XIX centuries. M .: VAC Press, 2022. Compiled by Vitaly Babenko. Contents

Writer Vitaly Babenko is fascinated by the history of Russian fiction (in the broadest sense of the term) and fascinates others: in 2016, the publishing house “Boslen” released his collection of “Russian mysterious prose of the XIX century.” In the new book, the works are selected on the principle of “creating fairy-tale worlds” – although the genre varies from a pamphlet to an anti-utopia. The authors are also very different: from stars of the first magnitude, such as Gogol and Odoevsky, to half-forgotten names like Yevgeny Pavlovich Grebenka.

The pleasure of reading, which is not without success spoiled by claustrophobic layout, can be derived from at least two things. First: the outdated syllable, with its pace and beauty, has to fall out of time. Second, the experience of the present as a historical turning point suddenly brings the modern reader closer to people of other eras, so reflections from the nineteenth century on the morals of Satan or wiped off the face of Europe sound almost universal.

“For a long time mortals were content to tear each other’s heads for wives, fields, huts, mountains, valleys, domination and power: the time had to come when they began to fight for nothing».

Christoph Cox. Sound stream. Sound, art and metaphysics. M .: New Literary Review, 2022. Translated from English by Nikita Safronov. Contents

It seems that the “History of Sound” series could have started with this book, which is important for everyone who deals with the ephemeral sphere of sound studios. Most often, sound researchers approach their object from the point of view of phenomenology; the American art critic, on the other hand, proposes an “extra-subjective” approach based on the achievements of Deleuze, Delanda, and even speculative realism. Sound for Cox is an autonomous and material thing-in-itself, beyond human experience and capable of creating constellations according to its own laws.

The critic illustrates his reasoning with examples from contemporary art, so that’s quite fair notices editor of the series, the book can be considered as a guide to sound art, starting from the second half of the twentieth century. All in all, if you wanted to find out what John Cage or Florian Hacker were talking about, you’re here.

“Hyperchaos agrees with any contingency <...> Mozart provides no less evidence of this than Merzbau.”

Yuri Saprykin. Sergey Solovyov. SPb .: Session, 2022

Another untimely book, published under the curtain of a bygone era, and with the era just beginning, it is in stark contrast: it is difficult to explain why these days read Yuri Saprykin’s guide to films by Sergei Solovyov, and yet we highly recommend to get acquainted – at least to remind ourselves that calm, prudent and non-aggressive people still exist and will exist. However, Sergei Alexandrovich was lucky, he did not live to see it all, but managed to communicate for this nice and meaningful book with Yuri Gennadyevich.

“Shooting” Alien White “becomes something like a workshop for a newly completed course: future directors are interns on the site and even appear in the frame. One of the most prominent figures of the nightingale world first appears in “Alien White” thanks to students: the future author of “Needles” [1988] Rashid Nugmanov shows an actor’s sketch about a glass container collector, Soloviev praises a student – a good man, they say, found the main role of a textured drunkard, it immediately turns out that a drunkard – not a drunkard, but also a student of VGIK. That’s how Alexander Bashirov gets on the big screen. “

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