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July 2007

The Russians are Coming

Yes, the Russians are coming. Prepare to be carried off to a new and surprising Russia where cybersex coexists with calligraphy, the traffic police steal cars, and Brezhnev can make time stand still. And do keep coming back: the landing continues throughout the month. Special thanks to intern Rohan Kamicheril for his help in discovering these jewels of the new Federation.

Estuary
Knee deep in mud. For centuries, we have stood where the bog waters suck. In the grasp of the inanimate, there are no straight lines. A sack race is good for a laugh. And like the Lord's own trumpets,…
Translated from Russian
Zaporozhets
My family has always had complicated relations with cars. Our first car was a beige Zaporozhets made in the USSR, which had a Beetle-like design. I was eligible for a model with manual controls because…
Translated from Russian
Akiko
By Victor Pelevin
Greetings, noble stranger! Your appearance is unfamiliar, as if you were not from these parts. Are you perhaps newly arrived from the distant lands of the North?My name is Akiko. What glorious name do…
Translated from Russian by Andrew Bromfield
Calligraphy Lesson
By Mikhail Shishkin
Translator’s Note: Like much of Mikhail Shishkin’s writing, “Calligraphy Lesson” is highly allusive and attentive to the formal qualities of a story both inventively told and steeped…
Translated from Russian by Marian Schwartz
Joan
By Andrei Gelasimov
He just loved that little gizmo. Actually, he didn’t like it much at first, because he was hot all over and was running a temperature, while that thing was cool, and he shuddered when it got pressed…
Translated from Russian by Alexei Bayer
The Man Who Couldn’t Die
By Olga Slavnikova
It had been Marina's idea. Keep Alexei Afanasievich from finding out about the changes in the outside world. Keep him in the same sunlit but frozen time when the unexpected stroke had cut him down.…
Translated from Russian by Marian Schwartz
Quasi Sonnet
By Paulo Henriques Britto
There is nothing that leads to nothing.Even to sit in a room, quiet and nudeas Blaise Pascal, will have some effecton Tanzania maybe, or on New Guinea,just as the beating wings of a lepidopter—according…
Translated from Portuguese by Idra Novey
Avatud!
On April 27th the Estonian government took down a statue of a Russian soldier in a small park next to the national library in the capital city of Tallinn. Local Russians, nearly a third of the 1.5 million…
Crimean Sojourns to the Movies
susan sarandon from the family felidae doesn't like to cry and never cries we aren't let into the movies but they write, that it'll be fun in the same green chairs like it was 40 years ago…
Translated from Russian
well hell then what
well hell then what what hell what then wax with one hand leaning with the cheek rubbing with a leg she's a dyed in the wool pioneer perfect pallor, not a drop of tan not a gram of conscience in a…
Translated from Russian
The Coat
By Uwe Timm
She was on her way up the stairs. Where the steps got wider in the corner of the stairwell, on the side toward the wall, she halted for a moment and waited till she caught her breath. Her knees were trembling…
Translated from German by John K. Cox
Melting Sun
"Things fall apart," Tide not turning. Melting away profoundly In darkness The sun. And I, Like every other day A global world-sized wreck Glaring white, A hollowed art Flattened pastures, Facing…
Translated from Arabic