Books

why books are republished and which reprints deserve attention

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Change of circumstances

Olga Kushlina, “Passion Flower”

This book on the connection between houseplants and the literature of the Silver Age was first published in 2001. Charming and ironic text, wonderful material, the whole world, cozy and strong, in which the known and unknown figures of the Silver Age – Valery Bryusov, Taffy, Innocent Annensky, Peter Potemkin – open from a new angle. The book has another side – it was published in memory of her husband Kushlina, one of the key figures in the unofficial poetry of Leningrad poet Viktor Krivulin.

It is not surprising that good, smart books have been looking for a reader for a long time. Despite all the virtues, the wonderful people who worked on it, the intellectual publishing house, the wonderful cover, which refers to the old cover of Potemkin’s collection, “Passionflower! remained almost unnoticed – copies of the first edition could be found in stores a decade and a half after its release. This year, the Ivan Limbach Publishing House decided to republish the book and received permission from Kushlina. It turned out to be very useful: in the 20 years between the first edition and the second, a lot has changed. A new generation has grown up, a new interest in the literature of the Silver Age has emerged, largely due to the success of “Polka” and supported by publishing projects (especially “Elena Shubina’s Editors” – “My Italics”), a new fashion for houseplants no interior – no restaurant, no apartment), and new media, especially Instagram, ensure its popularity now – the new cover is no worse than the old, and its a sin not to take pictures after reading and not to write a review. Now everyone is talking and writing about the book, the publishing house is processing orders, bookstores have it on display, and the main miracle is happening – many years later, a book with the potential of a literary superstar is finally in demand, read and needed by readers.

The author is dead, long live the author

Eduard Limonov, “This is me – Edichka”

Published in 1979, “This is me – Edichka” brought Lemon fame. A novel about the difficulties of emigration, despair and rejection, timelessness and anger, internal prison and internal liberation, it was liked by readers and critics also in beautiful language – Limonov’s recognizable style was remembered immediately and for a long time. A breath of fresh air for the stuffy seventies.

The novel, which was first distributed in Russia in a samizdat, was finally published in perestroika Russia and was a resounding success. However, soon Limonov, engaged in political activity, stopped giving permission to republish it. Perhaps it was the scandalous image of the book, which Limonov wanted to level – inside the naturalistic scene of oral sex between the protagonist and an African-American, and because, despite all the refutations of Limonov, the public identified the narrator with him, he could get tired of answering endless questions , distracting from the image and rhetoric of the ardent revolutionary. However, the interrogations did not end – already being a seriously ill man, he gave an interview as a living classic and, answering a million times the question about this scene to Yuri Dudy, said: “Not your dog’s business.” After his death, with the permission of his widow, the Alpina publishing house planned a large-scale reprint of Limonov’s major books – and first of all, “It’s Me – Edichka.” Thus, the book, which was not republished for more than 20 years at the will of the author, found a reader again after his death – and became a bestseller. As sad as it is to admit, the author’s death always fuels interest in the book, it becomes an occasion to turn to his works – probably in the near future the name of Limonov will sound even louder than before.

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