The New Soviet Fiction: Sixteen Short Stories
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This volume contains sixteen short stories written by sixteen of the most prominent and promising writers in the Soviet Union today.
dislocations in time (faults, rock strata). . . . He appeared not in any way to have betrayed his knowl edge that he was talking to a poet, that he was talking to Pushkin, but the gaze from under the hat suddenly lengthened, as if it were rushing upward and into the distance; the accustomed fear of previous failures ran along Igors spine like ice, and the same coin that the poet had given him in October o f ’33 provoked a convulsive thought. He took the coin minted in ’33 out of his pocket and
butterfly that had carelessly fallen into a swimming pool. The yacht twanged to the wind like a mandolin. The sky had grown completely black. They were all seized with fear. The girls shrieked like sea gulls. Sea gulls scudded about above the yacht— white against the black background. Someone dashed into the cabin. Someone lay flat on the deck, clasping the bronze cleats around which were wound the ends of the sheets. Someone pressed up against the mast. I put my arms around Mashas shoulders, and
it. . . . I was reading Amosov today: "There’s no need to be afraid of the last moment of life. Nature, wisely, has taken care of us: consciousness shuts down before death. . . . An unjustified exaggeration of the fear of death. . . He very interestingly gauges the character of man by his ability to endure stress— by its magnitude and duration. Man improves himself by constantly developing his ability to endure intense and pro tracted stress. . . . My God, my God! What a shame that I am so seri
bright, gentle angel. And even if you go to hell, and I don’t believe you will, I’ll fly to you, a bright angel, and recognize you in the burning pitch, and hold out my hand to you. I’ll ask permission of Jesus Christ himself. I never ask God for anything for myself, I just thank heaven for everything and for your being on earth. And I really was at your place and I did take 20 rubles from you for a ticket to Moscow. Sonya. And a black light really does shine from mermaids’ eyes.” There are six
out to be a dump and the band awful, so when they got there Shurochka, wrinkling her nose, said that she didn’t dance at all— she didn’t know how. But the others were having a VLADIMIR MAKANIN good time, they were keyed up. Freedom and reunion with their fami lies awaited them in the near future, and toward evening this feeling was particularly strong in the lousy little dive. They ate well and a lot, even her Kurenkov ate as he never did at home. And Bolshakov, lounging about jauntily, was