Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky: Странствующее Странно (Stravaging Strange)

The latest addition to my website is Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky‘s Странствующее Странно (Stravaging Strange). Stravage is an old Irisih/Scottish word meaning wandering aimlessly. This book consists of three stories (plus a few extras) written in the 1920s but not published in Russian till the 1990s. The first story, the title one, tells of a man who gets a potion that can make him very small and of his adventures, in particular spying on his professor’s young wife to whom he is attracted. the professor dies and he starts an affair with the widow but suspects her of infidelity and use sthe second set which makes him even smaller. He gets caught in an envelope and is posted and enters the blood stream of the recipient of the letter. The second, least interesting story is about some ruminations of the philosopher Immanuel Kant. In the third we follow a naive and not very bright Russian who studies yawning, gets accidentally involved in a duel and walks every street in London. Krzhizhanovsky mocks him throughout but also has grudging admiration for his persistence.

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