Tuesday, 14 October 2014

The Fierce and Beautiful World by Andrei Platonov (5/5)

First published: 1970
Original title: -
Original language: Russian
Translation to English by: Joseph Barnes, 1970

Page count: 252

The back says: This collection of Platonov's short fiction brings together seven works drawn from the whole of his career. It includes the harrowing novella Dzahn ("Soul"), in which a young man returns to his Asian birthplace to find his people deprived not only of food and dwelling, but of memory and speech, and "The Potudan River," Platonov's most celebrated story.

I say: It took me over a month to finish this collection of 7 short stories because of the emotional turmoil and heartbreak I went through while reading. Each story is more touching and devastating than the next, and even though some of them do have somewhat happy endings, they still broke me entirely. I was literally gasping, clutching my heart and trying my hardest to blink the tears away.

To no avail.

The genius of this collection lies in the prose; the beautifully warm and tender prose that veered into poetry at almost every turn. Platonov lulled me into his Russia full of broken and destitute people that were all hanging on by a thread – some because they had no choice and others because they were trying to survive.

It was perfection.

5/5 and I look forward to reading more by Platonov and re-reading this when I have the strength.

Favourite Stories: Dzan (Soul), Homecoming and The Fierce and Beautiful World.

*The stories in this collection have been reprinted under the title Soul.

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