Saturday, June 04, 2011

First Russian Collected Works of Platonov

A Russian monument to Platonov
Update: Vremya editor Tatiana Timakova contacted me to say that the final eighth volume of the edition had just come out and is available from Wednesday this week. Great news and congratulations for this fine accomplishment. More information on their website here.

The Russian publishing house Vremya ("Время") says on its Facebook page that it is close to finishing the eight volume has finished publishing the collected works of Andrei Platonov, the first such full collection of works by the writer who is considered by many to be one of the greatest figures of Russian literature. Seven volumes have already been published.  There are eight volumes in the collection.

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.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...