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Cloud-Brains

James Meek: Mikhail Shishkin, 22 November 2012

Maidenhair 
by Mikhail Shishkin, translated by Marian Schwartz.
Open Letter, 506 pp., £12.99, November 2012, 978 1 934824 36 8
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... notion of consecutive chronology. To find narrative comparators to Maidenhair, the first novel by Mikhail Shishkin to be translated into English, you have to reach for outliers like Tristram Shandy or Sadegh Hedayat’s The Blind Owl, where time and contingency have been disassembled. While the texture of Maidenhair is quite different from either, it ...

Eskapizm

Michael Wood: Oblomov, 6 August 2009

Oblomov 
by Ivan Goncharov, translated by Marian Schwartz.
Seven Stories, 553 pp., £15.99, January 2009, 978 1 58322 840 1
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... are better, in many cases, than what we call work and achievement. In which cases? The novelist Mikhail Shishkin says in an afterword that this is ‘the Russian paradox: if you want to live a worthy life, you’d best not get off the sofa at all.’ Oblomov, Shishkin says, is a ‘vital, dear and unlucky man’ and ...

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