COVER FEATURE

Post-Soviet Literature: Twenty Years After the Fall

  • When we first began work on this special section devoted to post-Soviet literature, what we were trying to commemorate seemed very clear. We wanted to take stock of all the ways in which East European literature and culture had changed since the collapse of the Soviet Union in late December 1991. As a result of this truly transformative political event, new nation-states had arisen, many of which...
  • The seven poems published on the following pages are the offspring of a happy, twenty-first century union—between the ancient art of poetry and the Internet. In March 2011 twenty or so Russian and American poets, scholars, and translators assembled virtually—via a document cloud—to work on new translations from Russian into English and vice versa. This group brought together individuals from acro...
  • NB: Karlsson on the Roof and its sequels, the children's books by Astrid Lindgren (best known in the English-speaking world for her Pippi Longstocking), are immensely popular in Russia, where they served as the basis for a beloved cartoon series. Their main characters are a little boy called Lillebror ("Junior") and a chubby little man named Karlsson who lives on the roof. Karlsson flies...
  • why did I keep yelling I'm an electricianI'm no electrician what came over me I gestured at outletscozied up to the circuit box, held the meter close no one is buying it here's my license, look, my certificatewires sticking out of all my pockets they just look at me in silence give me five minutes and I'll close any circuitI'll get soldering you won't be able to stop me what kind of people are yo...
  • to V. L. Where were you led by the keyword searchfor your own name, following the links,you suddenly find yourself twenty years laterin an apartment without a single book,without bookshelves.Your town has completely gone to seed, and never(you can watch the weather forecast to the end)never on a single channelwill it be mentioned by the meteorologist.(Weather takes shape at random.)Yet the heatin...
  • four Canadians have saved the world from genetic catastropheone Armenian has invented a new form of rocket fueland medicine to cure cancerone Russian sacrificed himselfunplugged a reactor and saved the international space stationone Englishman gave up his liver to a wounded journalist a womanwho returned after the Gypsy coup in Californiaone Tatar in the midst of ethnic violencein Southeast Asia...
  • I want to tell you simple truths,Reveal important things to you.Always open doors, step into elevators,Go upstairs, move down corridors.Always get into cars, start the engine,And if it's winter, wait until it warms up.Always spend money, but sparingly,And only once in a while spend everything you've got.In summer it will be summer; in fall it will be fall,Don't get flustered; don't do anything th...
  • The city as though laid out in my palmAnd I passed through all my old hauntsI took off easily in youthThoughts hung in a beat of easy doubt Like shades of Aladdin's would-be uncleRun in four directionsLike spectral American werewolvesYour ice floe roof is splitting And when you pull the lever of the fire alarmThe elevator will descend releasingInto the ranks of your Chaldean armiesInto our full-d...
  • 1that red wasn't forever-redthey never taught us to tell colors apart –those that were real from those that were not the ship was sailing, the cargo launched,goblins recited a sonnet by heart –rowing their midnight oars the ship sailed and sailed and grew,goblins laughed behind closed doorsRuskin heard them and clutched at his chest and gold dust drifted away in the airand you caught it in your o...
  • Discover new authors to read from Armenia to Uzbekistan in WLT's post-Soviet reading list. Links to read or purchase each book are provided. Armenia • Azerbaijan • Belarus • Estonia • Georgia • Kazakhstan • Kyrgyzstan • Latvia • Lithuania • Moldova • Russia • Tajikistan • Turkmenistan • Ukraine • Uzbekistan Armenia Violet Grigoryan and Vahan Ishkhanyan Deviation: Anthology of Conte...
  • Neither tomorrow nor today Poem by Semyon Khanin. Video by Edmunds Jansons.   When we run out of jazz Poem by Sergei Timofeyev. Video by Artur Punte and Sergei Timofeyev.