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7 article(s) translated from Ukrainian

Crow, Wheels

When the city was destroyed, they started fighting over the cemetery. It was right before Easter and wooden crosses over the freshly dug graves put out their paper blossoms— red, blue, yellow, neon green, orange, raspberry pink. Joyful relatives poured vodka for themselves and for the dead—straight into their graves. And the dead asked for more, and more, and more and the relatives just kept pouring. The celebration went on. But at some point a young man tripped over the...

Metamorphoses of Reality: An Introduction to New Ukrainian Writing

Whenever I get into a conversation regarding Ukraine’s place on the global map, I am always reminded of a cartoon I once saw in an American history textbook. In it, a confused-looking student is sitting in front of a map of the countries of the former Soviet Union, scratching his head and saying: “How in the world am I supposed to learn fifteen more of these?” Ukraine is one of those Eastern European countries which in the West are still commonly labeled as Russia. The...

Panda

“Oh well,” I said, “Then it’s probably gonna be a panda.” “We can’t really settle on ‘probably,’” said the guy. “We need a firm commitment.” “A panda.” “Now you’re talking! And may I inquire why you made your choice in favor of a panda?” “Well,” I shrugged, “I kinda like pandas.” “I see . . . Unfortunately, that’s not sufficient reason. Convince me...

The Rat

1 This is impossible, Tamara Pavlivna convinces herself, it’s impossible. I live on the seventh floor of a brick building, and the seventh floor—it’s gotta be too high for him. He couldn’t have done this. He doesn’t have enough daring and gall. For his kind, even the second floor is too high. How could he have figured it out? How did he conspire to do this? Everything pointed to him being there, though. Tamara Pavlivna surveys her kitchen fastidiously. She...

April 2045: The Hole

Bazyl the gravedigger sat on a pile of earth that he himself had created and, as usual, smoked his cheap cigarettes. His short-cropped hair was completely gray. His arms, bony and covered in thick veins, rested on his knees. His back was bent into a hump. His eyes stared fixedly downward, into the perfect darkness of the grave. Zakhar felt a burning sensation in his chest as soon as he came through the cemetery gates and saw Bazyl. The latter looked like an old angel caught in a trap. Only...

from A Short History of Dance

Listen, child, to a wise old wolf: in dance everything has its own meaning. Here we've stopped— we haven't touched, yet our breath dances in a common rhythm, always stronger and faster. We began with the foxtrot—but can you feel the pulsing of tango? Listen for a moment to the echoing stillness, and now hold out your palm, let's find the pressure points, and from here on our history begins, from here rush rivers of mania, a yellow heat flares in the red eyes of...

Girls

Darka saw her in the trolley, the sweaty, June-soaked trolley, brimming with people and their smells: sweet, almost corpselike, female, heavy, equestrian, yet oddly palatable, and even stimulating, sexual, distinctly male. Suddenly all the smells switched off, leaving only a girlish profile on the sunny side of the car, angular as a Braque: abrupt, soaring cheekbones, a fine pug nose, mulatto lips, and a sharp, childlike fist of a chin—a capricious, fragile geometry which...

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