By Yuri Olesha, Ken Kafuls, Marian Schwartz
A brand new York evaluation Books Original
One of the delights of Russian literature, a travel de strength that has been in comparison to the easiest of Nabokov and Bulgakov, Yuri Olesha’s novella Envy brings jointly slicing social satire, slapstick humor, and a wild visionary streak. Andrei is a version Soviet citizen, a swaggeringly self-satisfied multi-millionaire of the foodstuff who intends to revolutionize glossy existence with heavily produced sausage. Nikolai is a loser. discovering him inebriated within the gutter, Andrei supplies him a mattress for the evening and a task as a gofer. Nikolai takes what he can, yet that doesn’t suggest he’s thankful. Griping, sulking, grovelingly abject, he despises every thing Andrei believes in, whether he envies him his each breath.
Producer and sponger, insider and outcast, grasp and guy struggle from side to side within the pages of Olesha’s anarchic comedy. it's a contest of wills during which not anything is certain other than the incorrigible human middle.
Marian Schwartz’s new English translation of Envy brilliantly captures the strength of Olesha’s masterpiece.
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Additional resources for Envy
The widow Prokopovich is old, fat, and podgy. You could squeeze her out like liverwurst. In the morning I used to catch her at the washbasin in the hallway. She’d be half dressed and would give me a womanly smile. By her door, on a stool, was a basin, and in it floated the hair she had combed out. The widow Prokopovich is the symbol of my male degradation. Here’s how it works: Please, I’m ready, make a mistake with the doors at night, I’ll leave it unlocked on purpose, I’ll take you in. We can live and enjoy ourselves.
He’s a great sausage and pastry man and chef. And I, Nikolai Kavalerov, am his jester. 2 HE’S IN charge of everything that has to do with eating. He’s greedy and jealous. He’d like to cook all the omelettes, pies, and cutlets, bake all the bread himself. He’d like to give birth to food. He did give birth to the Two Bits. He’s raising his offspring well. Two Bits is going to be a giant of a building, the greatest cafeteria, the greatest kitchen. A two-course dinner’s going to cost two bits. War has been declared on kitchens.
The early readers’ sympathy for Olesha’s sad sack (and the resentment he directs toward a prominent Soviet official) indeed ran contrary to a regime that cast itself as a republic of heroes. Nikolai’s recalcitrant, essentially human psychology would eventually doom the Soviet experiment and compromise other social engineering projects of the machine age, whoever owned the means of production. In this respect, Envy reworked familiar contemporary themes. ” Virtually all searched for a definition of the new Soviet man.
Envy by Yuri Olesha, Ken Kafuls, Marian Schwartz