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Post–Social Realism: Literature from Russia

November/December 2003

Post–social realism, a new crop of Russian writers indulges the ironic, the satirical, and the sardonic–anything but the earnest. Wladimir Kaminer writes of trading in all sorts of new markets in “Animal Transport” and of the demise of an iconic Russian fantasy in “Paris Lost”; Boris Fishman interviews him on writing, reading, music, and being an expat in Berlin. Vyacheslav Pyetsukh, Alexander Pokrovsky, and Alexander Selin all make merry with other icons of Russian-ness not yet defunct. Nina Kossman provides new translations of the essential poet Marina Tsvetaeva, writing intensely of nature and the emotions in a world of revolutionary change, while contemporary poets Gennady Aygi and Larissa Miller aim to chart a new course, looking backward and forward at once.