Category Archives: russian

I cannot find “The Invisible Book”

In her LRB review of Sergei Dovlatov’s Pushkin Hills and The Zone, Sophie Pinkham referes to another of Dovlatov’s novels, The Invisible Book. It looks like it contains interesting comments on Soviet publishing, but, as I cannot find an affordable … Continue reading

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Unfinished business

Charles Kinbote, opinionated editor of John Shade’s final and longest poem, “Pale Fire”, distrusts publishers and editors immensely. Having stolen the manuscript of Shade’s unfinished poem from the recently widowed Sybil Shade, Kinbote believes he is the sole gatekeeper and … Continue reading

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We hold a dead book in our hands

In Vladimir Nabokov’s The Real Life of Sebastian Knight being published is what the narrator yearns for, when, in Paris, he first sees his half-brother’s new book “The Doubtful Asphodel announced in an English paper”. “And as I sat there … Continue reading

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Crime fiction for the journey to Odessa

The publisher in Chekhov’s early story wonders if readers of crime fiction are becoming bored by the formulaic plots on offer, and tells the budding author, Ivan Petrovich Kamyshev, so. ‘It’s not a question of truth…You don’t necessarily have to … Continue reading

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