By Sophie Pinkham
A particular writer’s interesting trip into the guts of a stricken region.
Ukraine has rebuilt itself again and again within the final century, affected by an analogous conflicts: corruption, poverty, substance abuse, ethnic clashes, and Russian aggression. Sophie Pinkham observed all this and extra during ten years operating, touring, and reporting in Ukraine and Russia, over a interval that integrated the Maidan revolution of 2013–14, Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and the resultant conflict in jap Ukraine.
With a willing eye for the darkish absurdities of post-Soviet society, Pinkham offers a dynamic account of latest Ukrainian lifestyles. She meets―among others―a charismatic health practitioner aiding to gentle the transition to democracy while he struggles along with his personal drug habit, a Bolano-esque artwork gallerist susceptible to public nudity, and a Russian Jewish clarinetist agitating for Ukrainian liberation. those attention-grabbing personalities, rendered in a daring, unique variety, carry an indelible influence of a rustic at the brink.
Black Square is critical analyzing for an individual who needs to profit not just the political roots of the present clash in Ukraine but in addition the non-public tales of the folk who dwell it each day.
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Extra info for Black Square: Adventures in Post-Soviet Ukraine
We left Irkutsk the next morning, seen off by Tanya’s tears and professions of love, and spent the next four days in Moscow, at an expensive hotel in the center of the city, gorging ourselves on fresh fruit and vegetables at the breakfast buffet, taking frequent hot showers and baths, lying spread-eagled in queen-size beds, and telling everybody about how horrible our trip had been. The other Americans seemed to have had a pretty good time. When we reported back to the program coordinator, she was appalled.
One day my Czech-speaking roommate came home and told us that while walking down the street, she’d tripped over a guy who had overdosed. His friends were so high that they couldn’t dial the ambulance number on their phones, and they asked her to do it. That night we were awoken by screams and crashes above us; our neighbor was beating his wife. When we went out in the morning, there was a used syringe lying in the vestibule. It was so cold that the inside of the metal front door was covered in frost, and the lock was frozen.
During his ascetic-pacifist phase, Tolstoy was impressed by Fyodorov, though mainly because Fyodorov was a vegetarian who gave away all his money and slept on a humpback trunk, covered with newspapers and using only a book as a pillow. ) Fyodorov’s special appeal for writers made sense, because he loved books above all else. For him, the preservation and rediscovery of a book was a sacred task, a first step toward universal resurrection. ” Fyodorov was in the vanguard of the “immortality myth” that preoccupied twentieth-century Russian writers, philosophers, and scientists alike, in an era when the line between truth and fiction became exceptionally thin.
Black Square: Adventures in Post-Soviet Ukraine by Sophie Pinkham