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August 2007

Dreams of Our Russian Summer


On the Use and Abuse of Letherburg for Life

You will have had no difficulty recognizing the German crib tacked onto Daniil Kharms's neologism in the title of my remarks. It is Nietzsche's essay "On the Use and Abuse of

The Beginning

I wake up at eight a.m. On the sixteenth floor every day at eight a.m. Sorokin sneezes. After that, on the fifteenth floor, Aunt Masha falls out of bed. I wake up because I live on the


A girl is sewing herself a dress for the first time. She bought three meters of cheap fabric (just over a ruble a meter), but the fabric turns out to be surprisingly pretty, black with bright

Dark Thoughts

I'm almost like that dark hallway with a few framed photos and lamps on the walls. So many visitors have walked through me, dark and light, depending on the illumination.

Pears from Gudauty

We could hear the dry coughing of our landlord, Khuta Kursua, through the partition wall, and Mother's eyes were wide with fear. I was ten, my own lesions had barely healed, and now we

The Conversation of the Hours

The first hour says to the second,   I am a hermit. The second hour says to the third,   I am an abyss. The third hour says to the fourth,   put

A Drawing Textbook

The main characters: Sergei Ilyich Tatarnikov: a dissolute and disaffected sixty-year-old historian. Roza Crantz: a middle-aged academic, an art historian and culturologist, enthusiastic

The Golem in the Mirror

I dreamed of Prague at night. It looked the way each of us to whom the words "Old City" speak at least a little would imagine. I knew the Golem had returned, and I ran through the streets


Book Reviews

Enrique Vila-Matas’s “Montano’s Malady”

Reviewed by Michael Kern Johnson

“Written Lives” by Javier Marias

Reviewed by Alex Wenger

“Paradise Travel” by Jorge Franco

Reviewed by Harry Morales

“A Heart So White” by Javier Marías

Reviewed by Samantha Schnee

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