A School for Fools by Sasha Sokolov

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By Sasha Sokolov

One of many precise literary wonders of the overdue Soviet interval was once Sasha Sokolov's novel "A college for Fools." in keeping with the heritage books it used to be written within the Sixties, yet its book through Ardis in 1976 actually introduced it to the eye of the world.

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Sasha Sokolov - Wikipedia
Introduction for Sasha Sokolov's "School for Fools" via D. Barton Johnson from the college of California

Reviews:
by Richard Seltzer
by Barbara Heldt Monter

Synopsis from Amazon:

A university for Fools by way of Sasha Sokolov. Translated via Carl R. Proffer. advent by means of D. Barton Johnson. Hailed by means of Nabakov as a masterpiece, Sokolov's first novel is determined at a faculty for "disturbed" young children outdoor Moscow.

Vladimir Nabokov defined this novel as a fascinating, tragic, and touching publication and Nabokov used to be now not a guy handy out compliments evenly, fairly to Russian authors. even though a tough paintings, it's also hugely poetic and unique. The ebook is devoted to Vita Plyaskina, that is as regards to the Russian for the situation we all know as St Vitus' dance and should be intended to point that this paintings is uncontrolled and disjointed. The unnamed narrator is a psychologically afflicted younger guy who's on reflection on his existence years in the past in a unique university in a small village. there isn't any plot, basically a mosaic of impressions of his existence, the folks he meets and, specially, his fantasies. it's advised in a circulate of cognizance sort however the narrator additionally appears having a talk together with his adjust ego. He wanders backwards and ahead in time and position, although convinced everyone is key to the novel.

As a tender guy, he, after all, has an curiosity in a lady and, for this reason, it really is Vetka, I'm Vetka acacia i'm Vetka of the railroad i'm Vetka pregnant by means of the gentle fowl referred to as Nachtigall [German for nightingale] i'm pregnant with the arrival summer season and the crash of a freight. Vetka Akatova is the neighborhood prostitute. on the institution he has to accommodate Perillo, the headmaster, who symbolises the repression that many youth suppose bears down on them, even though his father, a public prosecutor, is additionally an expert determine. Perillo is assisted by way of the assistant director of curriculum Sheina Solomonovna Trachtenberg. eventually, there's the psychiatrist, Dr. Zauze. at the extra confident aspect there's Pavel Petrovich Norvegov, the geography instructor and the narrator's mentor, who teaches them different issues, reminiscent of intercourse and who's often referred to as Savl, with the Saul/Paul (of Tarsus) reference being transparent. Pavel sincerely additionally represents the Soviet dissident.

Though psychologically stricken, the narrator isn't in contrast to different adolescent boys. He likes girls and he hates college. he's an exceptional lover of nature and there's a lot of description of the family's summer time dacha. yet he additionally has a subject of break up character. He and his adjust ego speak occasionally as if they're one and infrequently no longer. certainly, they are often in direct competition to each other. He confuses Sheina Solomonovna Trachtenberg with a witch and lonely widow known as Tinbergen, who borrows his damaged list participant to play the one checklist she has, person who gains her past due husband. The postman, Mikheev, is the sender of the wind (a personality from Russian fable but additionally a connection with wind as a strength of nature, whatever confident within the eyes of the narrator).

But, finally, as with many novels, this can be in regards to the narrator looking for who he's and the place he's going. you notice, a guy can't disappear momentarily and absolutely, first he's remodeled into whatever targeted from himself in shape and in essence - for instance, right into a waltz, far away, faintly audible night waltz, that's, he disappears in part, and merely later does he disappear completely. What does he have left? tales, usually within the type of parables, photos, nature, tune and dance.

This is definitely now not your average Soviet novel and it's not incredible that Sokolov needed to have it released in a foreign country and it used to be now not released in Russia until good after the autumn of the Soviet Union. it really is redolent of Joyce, Faulkner and later Nabokov. It definitely is an engaging learn and should thankfully be again in print in English in 2013.
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Additional info for A School for Fools

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No restaging of Victorian life is complete without reassuring us that we are more enlightened sexually than those repressed Victorians. ) Yet many of these restagings also ruefully contrast the complexities of our sexual world against the simplicities of the Victorian (when men were men, and women were women—and they liked it that way). The film version of A Room with a View offers a perfect example. For starters, it pushes E. M. Forster's tale from Edwardian times firmly back into the Victorian.

Production for export markets is not necessarily bad, does not necessarily destroy local communities. All the grounds for judgment and decision are in the details of the particular situation. Instead of trying to hold out against modernity, or of "outing" oneself or others as already complicit in some way with the modern, the left might try to stop taking the modern as a yardstick. Certain actions (for example, rural electrification) need not carry certain inevitable consequences. Modernization does not everywhere take the same form and have the same results.

No restaging of Victorian life is complete without reassuring us that we are more enlightened sexually than those repressed Victorians. ) Yet many of these restagings also ruefully contrast the complexities of our sexual world against the simplicities of the Victorian (when men were men, and women were women—and they liked it that way). The film version of A Room with a View offers a perfect example. For starters, it pushes E. M. Forster's tale from Edwardian times firmly back into the Victorian.

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