A Platonov blog, a review and 3 Russian events
2nd January 2017
With best wishes for 2017.
This has just been received from Robert Chandler:
“This blog by me has recently been published on the British Library website:
And there has been one review of this selection of Platonov’s plays:
Tuesday, Jan 17th, 7.30 pm at Pushkin House, Bloomsbury
‘1917: STORIES AND POEMS FROM THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION’ – Join me and Boris Dralyuk to discuss this collection of immediate literary responses to an event that shaped the last century. Boris Dralyuk’s most recent translations include Isaac Babel’s Red Cavalry and Odessa Stories (both from Pushkin Press). He is also co-editor, with Robert Chandler and Irina Mashinski, of The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry (Penguin Classics, 2015).
ANDREY PLATONOV – FOURTEEN LITTLE RED HUTS – I am looking forward to talking about Platonov’s plays, and one of his film scripts, to people who know him from other perspectives. Irina Brown has, amongst much else, directed ballets by Stravinsky and THE LETTER by Vitaly Khodysh, a short opera based on a chapter from Vasily Grossman’s LIFE AND FATE. Gerard McBurney is known both for his own compositions and for his reconstructions of lost and forgotten works by Shostakovich. Josephine Burton, as co-director of Dash Arts, has been involved with a variety of projects relating to the former Soviet Union.
Tuesday, Feb 14, 7.30 pm at Pushkin House, Bloomsbury
PLATONOV, PUSHKIN, AN OLD FIDDLER AND A DILIGENT SPARROW –
I will be talking to Julia Sutton-Mattocks about the vast scope and ambition of Platonov’s work. Though still best known for The Foundation Pit, his bleak masterpiece about collectivisation, Platonov is an astonishingly varied writer who could write equally vividly about a baby hare and a steam engine, about the lives of a glamorous member of the Moscow elite and of a railwayman in a remote northern forest. He wrote in many genres: novels, stories, plays, film scripts and literary criticism. We will focus will be on two recent English-language publications:
1) A SPARROW’S JOURNEY. Written in late 1936, as Stalin’s purges were gathering strength, the story is a profession of loyalty to Pushkin, to art and to Russia. It also includes wry thoughts about strategies for survival under totalitarianism.
http://www.housesparrowpress .com/ 2) FOURTEEN LITTLE RED HUTS AND OTHER PLAYS. “Absurd, grotesque and seemingly surreal, the topsy-turvy world of Platonov’s plays captures the disturbing reality of Stalin’s Russia in the 1930’s with precision, irreverence and verbal virtuosity. The stunning translation offers a unique opportunity for English-speaking readers and audiences to encounter one of the most uncompromising and visionary Russian writers of the last century.” — Irina Brown, Opera and Theatre Director
Julia Sutton-Mattocks is a PhD student at the Universities of Bristol and Exeter, where she is researching the impact of medical advance on Czech- and Russian-language literature and cinema of the 1920s and early 1930s. She has a particular interest in Platonov’s evocations of childbirth and what they tell us about his understanding of the possibilities and difficulties of bringing a new society into being.”