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Little Nips

Penelope Fitzgerald

26 May 1994
The Moment between the Past and the Future 
by Grigorij Baklanov, translated by Catherine Porter.
Faber, 217 pp., £14.99, March 1994, 0 571 16444 7
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The Soul of a Patriot 
by Evgeny Popov, translated by Robert Porter.
Harvill, 194 pp., £8.99, April 1994, 0 00 271124 9
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... another month.’ Five days later, at the state funeral, Andropov is observed to be the first to scatter a handful of earth. But nothing is certain. The future is still terrifyingly open to history. Baklanov’s novel, then, is the life of an apparatchik written in the traditional strongly ironic narrative mode which ‘crept out from beneath Gogol’s Overcoat’, tightened up at certain points by ...

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