I want to tell you simple truths,
Reveal important things to you.
Always open doors, step into elevators,
Go upstairs, move down corridors.
Always get into cars, start the engine,
And if it's winter, wait until it warms up.
Always spend money, but sparingly,
And only once in a while spend everything you've got.
In summer it will be summer; in fall it will be fall,
Don't get flustered; don't do anything that disgusts you.
Girls will become young women, and then you'll notice them
Crossing the street holding little kids' hands.
Men will somberly weigh the options
But then act according to circumstances, often making mistakes.
Governments are made to fall;
Ships – to glide beneath bridges.
All the same, the lights on the other side of the river
Will never – imagine that – never go out.
Still, if they do, pack your bag –
Only the essentials – and leave the city immediately.
When you arrive in a new place, look around, lean against a tree;
You can light up – if you smoke – stand around, think.
You see, here too in the evening they drink tea and in the morning, coffee.
Blame the mayor and wait for things to get better.
And if there is a river and you see lights on the other side,
That's something to cling to.
Translation from the Russian
By Kevin M. F. Platt, Bob Perelman, and Julia Bloch
In this issue of WLT, a special section devoted to Post-Soviet Literature features recent work from Russia and other former republics, twenty years after the collapse of the regime.
Table of Contents
Post-Soviet Literature: Twenty Years
After the Fall
- INTRO: "Twenty Years after the Collapse of the Soviet Union: Russian and East European Literature Today," Emily D. Johnson
- ESSAY: "Censorship in Russia: Old and New Faces," Nadezhda Azhgikhina
- ESSAY: "Poetry in the Cloud: An Experiment, Results, and n+1 Hypotheses," Kevin M. F. Platt
- FICTION: "Petrov and Markov," Oleg Woolf
- ESSAY: "Re-Visioning the Past: Russian Literary Classics in Film," Catharine Nepomnyashchy
- POETRY: "The Rock or, A Third Anecdote about Wallace Stevens," Grigory Kruzhkov
- EXCERPT: The Button, Iren Rozdobudko
- READING LIST: WLT's post-Soviet reading list
- New! VIDEO: Multimedia poetry from Orbita 4
- "Zoran Živković: A Biographical Sketch," Michael Morrison
- "Rendezvous in Front of the House," Zoran Živković
- "The Metaphysical Fantasias of Zoran Živković," Michael Morrison
- FICTION: "The Teashop," Zoran Živković
- INTERVIEW: "Fantastika and the Literature of Serbia: A Conversation with Zoran Živković," Michael A. Morrison
- A Bibliography of the Works of Zoran Živković
- "My Life as Cinema: A Conversation with Samuel Shimon," Kaitlin Hawkins
- "Literary Cairo, A Conversation with Samia Mehrez," Michelle Johnson
- "The Demon of Hunger," Tania Malyarchuk
- "Shiki Nagaoka: A Nose for Fiction," Mario Bellatin
- Three Poems by Askold Bazhanov
- Two Poems, Alistair Noon
IN EVERY ISSUE
- LETTERS/EDITOR'S CHOICE
- BOOK CLUB: An Iraqi in Paris by Samuel Shimon
- AUTHOR PROFILE: Zoe Whittall
- WHAT TO READ NOW: Zimbabwe
- CITY PROFILE: Yerevan, Armenia
- INTERNATIONAL CRIME & MYSTERY: Meet "Bo from Ro": Building Romanian Crime Writing, J. Madison Davis
- OUTPOST: Los Angeles