Month: August 2022

Salvador Elizondo: El hipogeo secreto (The Secret Crypt)

The latest addition to my website is Salvador Elizondo‘s El hipogeo secreto (The Secret Crypt). The novel is about a writer called Salvador Elizondo who is writing a book called The Secret Crypt. We start with a disparate group called Urkreis and we gradually learn that they are, possibly, the characters of this novel. Gradually, Elizondo, the real author but also the author who is the subject of the book, who may or may not be the same person and may or may not exist, tries to come to terms with his characters (and they with him), himself as both author and subject, the reader, who is reading the book in which she is one of the subjects and where the book has not actually been written yet, as we are reading it as it is being written. If you are lost, you will be further lost as all these conundrums get more and more complicated as the book progresses. It is very clever, very original and fun to read if you are not looking for a clear outcome.

Sergey Kuznetsov: Хоровод воды (The Round Dance of Water)

The latest addition to my website is Sergey Kuznetsov‘s Хоровод воды (The Round Dance of Water). This is a novel that tells the story of an extended family, from the Revolution to the present day, though with the main focus on the post-Soviet era. Kuznetsov himself stated that he wanted to write about my contemporaries who are trying to understand themselves by looking at the past of their families and their country. Several of the extended family do not know who their father is or have little or no contact with him. For many of the modern ones casual sex and alcohol are important in their lives. However, we gradually learn about their ancestors and their roles in the Soviet era – from a NKVD member to a couple who helped build the Moscow Metro. The modern ones struggle with life but, by the end, the main ones are starting to realise that family is important and that there is more to life than booze and sex. It is superb a novel, quite unlike many of the other modern Russian novels you may have read.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén