A man travels to the central Asian desert in order to bring his nomadic people into the Communist fold.
This edition contains seven additional stories by Platonov.
TRANSLATED AND WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY ROBERT AND ELIZABETH CHANDLER
'For the mind, everthing is in the future' Platonov once wrote; 'for the heart, everything is in the past'. The protagonist of Soul is a young man torn between these opposing desires, sent as a kind of missionary to bring the values of modern Russia to his childhood home town in Central Asia. In this strange, haunting novella, as well as in the seven stories that accompany it, a rediscovered master of twentieth century Russian literature is shown at his wisest and most humane.
WITH AN AFTERWORD BY JOHN BERGER
“I squint back on our century and I see six writers I think it will be remembered for.They are Marcel Proust, Franz Kafka, Robert Musil, William Faulkner, Andrey Platonov and Samuel Beckett…They are summits in the literary landscape of our century”
“Rarely does literature come this close to music”
“Soul towers above anything else I have read this year. Translated beautifully... It is dark, ascetic, innocent, humane and mystical”
George Szirtes, Irish Times
“Andrey Platonov is the most exciting Russian writer to be rediscovered since the end of the Soviet Union. Born in 1899, one of a railway worker's 10 children, he was an engineer, a party member and a model proletarian writer before doubts about Communism, and his literary imagination, landed him in trouble with Stalin. His work stopped being published in the early 1930s and only resurfaced 40 years after his death in 1951...The Foundation Pit will stand out as his masterpiece”
“'The Chandlers have brilliantly dealt with the challenges of rendering into readable English the extraordinary quality of Platonov's prose... Overall it is hard to see how we could get a better English version of Platonov's prose-nor one more likely to win him the readers he deserves'”
New York Review of Books, Orlando Figes
“In Platonov's prose, it is impossible to find a single dull or inelegant sentence... For Platonov's work testifies to the only political responsibility owed by any writer to any reader: to describe the world as faithfully, and as compellingly, as possible. Platonov deserves to be published; he rewards being read”
“Acclaimed by Joseph Brodsky as one of the great Russian writers of the twentieth century, Andrey Platonov comes with a formidable reputation, matched only by his relative obscurity”
“Among the greatest Russian prose writers of this century”
New York Times
“These books are indescribable. The power of devastation they inflict upon their subject matter exceeds by far any demands of social criticism and should be measured in units that have very little to do with literature as such”