Chevengur (Hardcover)

Chevengur By Andrey Platonov Cover Image
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The Soviet Don Quixote from one of the greatest 20th-century prose writers, author of The Fountain Pit and Soul. A celebrated masterpiece available in its full version in English for the first time.

'Platonov is an extraordinary writer, perhaps the most brilliant Russian writer of the twentieth century' New York Review of Books

The Soviet Don Quixote, Chevengur is now seen by many Russian writers as Russia's greatest novel of the last century. This is the first English version to convey its subtlety and depth.

Zakhar Pavlovich comes from a world of traditional crafts to work as a train mechanic, motivated by his belief in the transformative power of industry. His adopted son, Sasha Dvanov, embraces revolution, which will transform everything: the words we speak and the lives we live, souls and bodies, the soil underfoot and the sun overhead.

Seeking communism, Dvanov joins up with Stepan Kopionkin, a warrior for the cause whose steed is the fearsome cart horse Strength of the Proletariat. Together they cross the steppe, meeting counter-revolutionaries, desperados and visionaries of all kinds. At last they reach the isolated town of Chevengur. There communism is believed to have been achieved because everything that is not communism has been eliminated. And yet even in Chevengur the revolution recedes from sight.

Comic, ironic, grotesque, disturbingly poetic in its use of language and profoundly sorrowful, Chevengur is a revolutionary novel about revolutionary ardor and despair. Unpublished during Andrey Platonov's life, it is now one of the most celebrated Russian novels, and the most ambitious and moving of Platonov's recreations of a world undergoing revolutionary transformation.

'It was from the novel Chevengur that I learned to create "literary worlds". Platonov is a self-taught literary jeweler, a true believer who built dystopias. His love for his characters is instantly conveyed to readers' Andrey Kurkov

Translated by Robert Chandler and Elizabeth Chandler

About the Author

Andrey Platonovich Platonov(1899-1951) began publishing poems and articles in 1918, while studying engineering. Between 1927 and 1932 he wrote his most politically controversial works, some of them first published in Russian only in the 1990s. After reading his story 'For Future Use', Stalin referred to Platonov as 'an agent of our enemies'. From September 1942, after being recommended to the chief editor of Red Starby his friend Vasily Grossman, Platonov worked as a war correspondent. He died in 1951, of tuberculosis caught from his son, who had spent three years in the Gulag. Happy Moscow, one of his finest novels, was first published in Russia only in 1991; letters, notebook entries and unfinished stories continue to appear.

Robert Chandler's translations from Russian include works by Alexander Pushkin, Andrey Platonov, Vasily Grossman and Hamid Ismailov. He is the editor and main translator of Russian Short Stories from Pushkin to Buidaand Russian Magic Tales from Pushkin to Platonov, and together with Boris Dralyuk and Irina Mashinski he co-edited The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry.

Elizabeth Chandler is a co-translator, with Robert Chandler, of Pushkin's The Captain's Daughterand several works by Andrey Platonov and Vasily Grossman.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781843431527
Publisher: Harvill Secker
Publication Date: June 4th, 2024
Pages: 528
Language: English