|A Russian monument to Platonov|
The Russian publishing house Vremya ("Время") says on its Facebook page that it
Platonov came out of the brilliant crop of post-revolution writers of 1920s. He has a unique voice that employs Soviet newspeak, professional engineering jargon and folk motives to construct inimitable images and situations.
He survived the purges, virulent official criticism and front line service during the second world war – to succumb to tuberculosis he caught from his son who got it while in the gulag.
|Platonov's 8 volume cover|
Platonov was always known for his short stories, but since perestroika he has made a slow but steady return to Russian and international readers also as the author of major novels.
Brodsky referred to him as one of the all time greats. Robert Chandler, who translated Chevengur and The Foundation Pit (Kotlovan) said, after finishing work on an anthology of Russian short stories, that 'there were only two writers whom I was still able to read with real wonder: Pushkin and Platonov. Even at this late stage I was still able to find new and surprising perceptions in Pushkin's The Queen of Spades and Platonov's The Return. This didn't happen with any other writers'. (Read Languagehat blogs on Chevengur and Kotlovan here.)
Vremya's Facebook says they 'speak' Russian, English and Spanish and they have a blog here.
And this is the song scene from Maria's Lovers, the 1984 American film with Nastassia Kinsky based on Platonov's story 'The River Potudan' ("Река Потудань"). Andrei Konchalovsky had dreamt about making it since he was working on 'Andrei Rublev' with Tarkovsky in the 60s. (Maria's Lovers DVD on Amazon here)
Photo by Shalin, from here.
Platonov's cover image by permission of Vremya Publishers.