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Vladimir Sorokin

Autor(a) de Day of the Oprichnik

57+ Works 2,283 Membros 103 Críticas 9 Favorited

About the Author

Image credit: Elke Wetzig, 2006-03-13


Obras por Vladimir Sorokin

Day of the Oprichnik (2006) 542 exemplares
Ice Trilogy (2007) 341 exemplares
The Queue (1983) 307 exemplares
The Blizzard (2010) 246 exemplares
Ice (2002) 229 exemplares
Telluria (2013) 144 exemplares
Blue Lard (1999) 108 exemplares
Bro (2004) 51 exemplares
Der Zuckerkreml (2008) 38 exemplares
Manaraga (2017) 36 exemplares
Red Pyramid and Other Stories (2024) 24 exemplares
Norma (1983) 19 exemplares
23,000 (2006) 16 exemplares
Die Herzen der Vier (1994) 14 exemplares
De wedstrijd scabreuze verhalen (1992) 14 exemplares
Dostoievski-trip (2014) 14 exemplares
Roman (1995) 13 exemplares
Soupe de Cheval (2001) 7 exemplares
Russkii zhestokii rasskaz (2014) 3 exemplares
The Race (2008) 3 exemplares
Pir. (in Russian) (2001) 3 exemplares
Белый квадрат (2018) 3 exemplares
Ein Monat in Dachau (1992) 3 exemplares
Pervyj subbotnik: rasskazy (2001) 3 exemplares
Russian attack (2010) — Autor — 2 exemplares
Saharnyy Kreml (2018) 2 exemplares
Moskva (Russian Edition) (2001) 2 exemplares
Utro snaĭpera (2002) 2 exemplares
Cukrový Kreml (2023) 1 exemplar
පෝලිම (2019) 1 exemplar
Domany sup (2007) 1 exemplar
Tipi (2019) 1 exemplar
Monoklon: [Monoclone: ] (2010) 1 exemplar
Das Kapital 1 exemplar
Mećava 1 exemplar
Eroi (2009) 1 exemplar
Наследие (2024) 1 exemplar
De feminis (2022) 1 exemplar
Dostojevskij Trip 1 exemplar
Dostojevski trip 1 exemplar
Telurija 1 exemplar

Associated Works

The Girl From the Metropol Hotel: Growing Up in Communist Russia (2006) — Contribuidor — 138 exemplares
Read Russia!: An Anthology of New Voices — Contribuidor — 14 exemplares
Russland das große Lesebuch (2017) — Contribuidor — 3 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum



Rating: 4.5* of five

The Publisher Says: The Russian master's most infamous novel, a dystopian fever dream about cloning, alternative histories, and world domination.

Vladimir Sorokin’s Blue Lard is the most iconic and iconoclastic Russian novel of the last forty years. Thanks in part to its depiction of Stalin and Khrushchev having sex, which inspired a Putinist youth group to throw shredded copies of the author’s books into an enormous toilet erected in front of Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater, Blue Lard is the novel that tore Sorokin out of the Moscow Conceptualist underground and into the headlines.

The book begins in a futuristic laboratory where genetic scientists speak in a Joycean dialect of Russian mixed with Chinese—peppered with ample neologisms—and work to clone famous Russian writers, who are then made to produce texts in the style of their forebears. The goal of this “script-process” is not the texts themselves, but the blue lard that collects in the small of their backs as they write.

This substance is to be used to power reactors on the moon—that is, until a sect of devout nationalists breaks in to steal the blue lard, planning to send it back in time to an alternate version of the Soviet Union, one that exists on the margins of a Europe conquered by a long-haired Hitler with the ability to shoot electricity from his hands. What will come of this blue lard? Who will finally make use of its mysterious powers?

Blue Lard is a stylistically acrobatic book, translated by Max Lawton into an English idiom just as bizarre as the Russian original. Evoking both Pulp Fiction and the masterpieces of Marquis de Sade, Sorokin’s novel is a brutal, heady trip that annihilates all of its twentieth- (and twenty-first-) century competition in the Russian canon—and that annihilates Russia itself in a resounding act of heavy-metal dissidence.


My Review
: Unquestionably the weirdest NYRB book I have yet read...and the second-weirdest alternate history book I have read this century.

It requires serious effort to engage with the first third or so of the book, as you are in medias res without even the usual linguistic snowpoles showing you where the obstacles are. You are, as is so often the case in Life, in a strange place with strange people you do not know or even understand as they have conversations around you.

After that point, there is a shift in the linguistic register that brings us closer to normal conversational tones. Not normal-normal, mind you, though closer. (There is a partial Glossary at the end for the desperately confused.) Claude Simon’s nouveau roman novels, there is a difficult beginning that requires you to make an investment of concentration. We have left the normie-world of relatable plots, ordinary characters you could meet at the supermarket, sentences that start and finish in the same paragraph, and other such bourgeois fripperies. This is not a read that rewards being treated as a novel. This is writing that needs to be experienced and absorbed for itself not its meanings.

Sorokin, like so many truly inventive folk, is a natural iconoclast. At twenty-five, in 1980, he was baptized into the Russian Orthodox Church, at that time still under Communist-Party suspicion. The nature of iconoclasm is always to resist, so in this era of Church/state rapprochement, he opposes Putin’s war against Ukraine. It is not as though his work work was ever popular with the regime, what with Hitler raping Stalin’s daughter, Stalin and Khruschev sexing it up (ewww!), and a variety of body-horror tropes, that Little Vladdy Pu-Pu just could not ever be on board with. This, among other not-socialist-realist flourishes, will mean no invite-to-dinner from the Kremlin. Now, being good little bourgeois decoders, we too like our novels to Mean Something, like socialist realist work...but that is not on offer here.

Sorokin does not Make Sense, he makes you think about how a story is more than just the beginning-middle-end structure we are ingrained to expect. He offers not one kind of Sense, but multiple ways to experience words and ideas forming into stories. This, and the transgressive nature of the words and ideas he does present us, makes a lot...A LOT...of people really, really angry. This being a feature of the Sorokin brand. I do not get the point of their outrage and negativity being performed. Giving the man the thing he tried to get from you? The point of that is...?

A read that demands effort, does it an awful lot of the time, and allows you to decide for yourself if it means anything at all.

Like Life itself, it makes you the Author’s apprentice. You can decide if that is your jam, but I am here to say that it is a read very much worth my time and effort and could be for you as well. Remember how mad it made the Russian overlord. Buy it to be ornery, to oppose the banning/forbidding/controlling ethos that increasingly envelops the information-delivery world.

I bet lots of y’all end up liking it.
… (mais)
richardderus | 1 outra crítica | Feb 28, 2024 |
My second Sorokin of the year took me through a snow storm of biblical proportions. ‘The Blizzard’ tells the tale of a Doctor’s struggle to reach an out-of-the-way Russian town to which he must take an antidote for a mysterious plague that has made its way there from Bolivia (apparently). He hires a baker with a sled and a countless band of fantastical mini horses to help him navigate the storm and reach his destination, but upon the way, various events crop up (namely illicit liaisons with a midget’s wife, Kazakh drug merchants selling 3-dimensionally shaped hallucinogens, a garage/cocoon device, a huge snowmen and giants) impeding and delaying their progress.
Having read Day of the Oprichnik, I guess I anticipated a reasonable amount of bizarreness but this novel-come-fable felt like a purposefully strange piece of writing and in hindsight, reminds me of a Studio Ghibli production (albeit with a lot more realism) crossed with budget 1980s cartoon films adaptations. Despite there not being a clear discernible meaning in the work, after various discussions it seemed that the struggle of life offered by a buddy reader was a good punt as to the message of the novel. Furthermore, the Odyssian overtures to their quest to deliver the antidote, left us wondering if Sorokin ever really intended ‘The Blizzard’ to be passable.
I can’t say I loved ‘The Blizzard’ but I didn’t particularly dislike it either. It provoked good discussion, reminded me of the work of Lazslo Krasznahorkai and made me think a lot about those tiny horses and whether they were warm enough!
… (mais)
Dzaowan | 17 outras críticas | Feb 15, 2024 |
Andrei Danilovich Komiaga is a KGB-esque operative of the new Russia in the not so distant future. The Oprichniks are devout and ruthless protectors of His Majesty in this imagined theocractic state rife with subversion that must be stamped out in order to preserve the holy motherland. Killing, raping, taking drugs, bribery, smuggling, vicious games and homosexual orgies are all in a day’s work of these honoured protectors of the realm so this is not a read for those particularly offended by such debauchery. This is a blunt and grim novel, not without merit and cleverly assimilated.

Speculative fiction deems to be as much about the present as the future and despite my ignorance to contemporary Russian society there is a definite feeling that Sorokin builds on and exaggerates all that Russia is currently, to great effect. Is this brutal, patriarchal, insular and corrupt theocracy too different to what Russia is now? The book neither admonishes nor celebrates this future State but in a country synonymous with censorship, I’m surprised more hasn’t been made of how anti-Russia it can be perceived to be. With more knowledge on Russia I think I would have enjoyed this more but it was interesting and skilful and I’ll definitely return to Sorokin - perhaps his Ice triology or the Blizzard which are on the shelves.
… (mais)
Dzaowan | 29 outras críticas | Feb 15, 2024 |
This is a serious satire of Putin’s Russia. It is mean and filthy and a portrayal of a deeply corrupt society. The historical oprichniki were a secret police force of Ivan the Terrible, the Streltsi was a paramilitary force from the same period. Sorokin revives them in 21st century Russia, and makes Putin Emperor of the dirty tricksters.
MylesKesten | 29 outras críticas | Jan 23, 2024 |



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