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MODERN RUSSIAN LITERATURE: DMITRY BORTNIKOV

Russian contemporary literature: books that are worth reading

What should I read from modern Russian literature? Ask this question in one of the online bookstores, and at best you will hear in the answer a couple of names of authors who have nothing to do with decent intellectual literature. What are these authors? Come on, these authors are known even by children, these authors are dedicated to huge advertising stands and entire cabinets in stores.Previously, such literature was contemptuously, but rightly, called consumer goods. In the past, worthy books worth reading were passed around at the speed of the wind or even illegally reprinted in a night or two. There is no such thing now. Or almost none. With the advent of bookreaders, it became much easier to find a book of interest, download it, and read it calmly, but… How do I choose it? Who can tell you which book is worth reading? The Internet is always in a hurry to help, but it doesn’t help much. The global web puts forward exactly the same positions as bookstores. Quality doesn’t matter. Unfortunately, search engines have not learned to provide high-quality filters for selecting results. Therefore, again and again we come across the same consumer goods stuck in our teeth and stuffed into our teeth.

Only the Individual, i.e. individual recommendations of an enlightened minority: blogs, personal pages, competent consultants, narrowly focused Internet resources, helps to break out of the vicious circle. It is no less difficult to find them than a good non – “media” book, but the result will cover the costs with interest. There is, however, one more noticeable nuance: 50% of the titles of Russian modern literature, which is not ashamed to hold in your hands, is not found in electronic form. Stores usually buy such publications in very small quantities; two or three books that find a place somewhere in the corner on the bottom shelf behind a layer of dust. Here, online stores come to the rescue, fortunately, leading a policy of expanding the range.

Books that are worth reading… Today I will start a story about modern Russian authors and works that are definitely worth getting acquainted with, because they are practically unknown to the reader, even if they are fairly enlightened. Recommendations – where and what you can find, as well as a study of Runet assets for the content of the Individual there will appear some other time. And now about writers, more precisely until about one writer-Dmitry Bortnikov.

Modern Russian literature: Dmitry Bortnikov

Dmitry Bortnikov has been living and working in Paris for 13 years. He is still quite young, only 44 years old. Bortnikov has an amazing, unusual style of writing, which is expressed in the practical absence of a plot, it is present only nominally, the narrative is conducted in the stream of consciousness, which is mixed and interspersed with harsh irony, sadness, ridicule, rudeness and a certain shrillness.

Bortnikov’s prose is specific against the background of the usual classics and certainly against the background of mass reading. Will everyone like it? Of course, not all and not all. But this is exactly the case when the text is worth getting acquainted with at least as a phenomenon; or, as they say, “for General development”. Having gained an idea of Bortnikov’s style, the reader may become better and somehow more voluminous to understand the Russian language, more closely contact with its written structures. And this is expensive.

Dmitry Bortnikov-Repas de morts

Here you can listen to an interview with Dmitry Bortnikov, a rare available Russian-language material dedicated to the release of his new novel in France. Yes, after “Sleeping beauty”, his little-noticed Everest in Russia, Bortinkov began to write only in French. Alas.

In Russia, three Bortnikov novels were published, all three fit into a fairly modest four-year period – from 2002 to 2005. The first two are not difficult to find, but the third is no longer available for sale.

“Fritz’s syndrome” is Bortnikov’s first novel, which can be said to be the most “hyped”, since in 2002 it was shortlisted for the Booker prize and in the final of the “National bestseller”. The only circumstance that journalists always mention in the story about Bortnikov. Of course, to give weight to the author, which in my opinion is completely unnecessary.

“Svinoburg” is Bortnikov’s second novel, an incomplete story of a rather mediocre infantile boy from a Russian province. Let me explain what the point is here. Usually the heroes of books are such “right guys” that society does not understand, does not accept… And so, throughout the author’s story, they willingly or unwittingly try to convince the reader that this vile society is to blame, or at least to prove the validity of their social point of view. The hero is not always right, but you understand and sympathize with him. And in the “Swinburne” is not so. Fritz, the main character, is not something that does not cause sympathy or understanding, but sometimes even appears disgust and a certain disgust when you follow his actions or thoughts. For example, if he talks about love, you only believe that it is a disease for him, and a disease with strange symptoms. Complexes… Everyone has them, but here the hero’s complexes are crumpled and thrown out completely without embarrassment; a kind of paranoia is also present. But, what is the paradox, it is worth reading it, it is worth reading carefully and getting intellectual pleasure as a result, because Bortnikov is also a great master of words and speech.

Bortnikov – the Sleeping beauty

“Sleeping beauty” is Bortnikov’s third (last Russian) novel, a continuous stream of consciousness in the course of childhood memories and fantasies. This work is very imaginative and airy. There are not even so-called “thin structures” here, everything has become so thin that it has turned into air that you can’t completely embrace – just feel it, just breathe it. In view of this, the book became much more difficult to read. Imagine Joyce’s Ulysses, but without the plot and dialogue. No, of course, you should not be too scared, because “Sleeping beauty” does not have such an unaffordable number of important semantic references. But again there is excellent work with speech. In this novel, Bortnikov rose to a level of harmony with the Russian language, which, as the author himself later explained, became the pinnacle for him.

I would like to believe that Bortnikov will still return to the Russian language some day. I would also like to believe that there will be a time when such authors as Dmitry Bortnikov will push low-grade fiction and Rublev’s graphomania into the mass consciousness. Wait…

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