Literature

Envy by Yuri Olesha

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By Yuri Olesha

A brand new York overview Books Original

One of the delights of Russian literature, a journey 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 rich person of the foodstuff who intends to revolutionize smooth existence with industrially produced sausage. Nikolai is a loser. discovering him under the influence of alcohol within the gutter, Andrei offers 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, no matter if 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 within which not anything is certain other than the incorrigible human center.

Marian Schwartz’s new English translation of Envy brilliantly captures the power of Olesha’s masterpiece.

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Sample text

Narratologically, Miller takes advantage of the telegraph company, for the service-oriented organization proves an excellent setting for his embryonic spiral techniques because of both its hectic pace and its diverse subject matter, two of the principal methods Miller eventually adopts in the mature version of spiral form. ” Miller thus transforms Moloch’s life into a series of anecdotes. Like the telegrams that Moloch’s messengers deliver or throw down the gutter, Miller tells only part of the “inexhaustible story” of his life with his anecdotes about Moloch and his friends, and thus represents only one spiral twist of the supraself’s story (1941e: 20).

While neither Moloch nor Crazy Cock strictly belongs to the genre that Miller referred to as the autobiographical romance, Miller firmly grounds them in the soil of his experience. In fact, Miller wrote to Nin in a letter of March 1935 that he “was erecting a monument to past sorrows” in his earliest narratives (Nin and Miller 1987: 297). In these texts, Miller draws heavily from material that would eventually infiltrate his more mature work. 1 Although Miller later asserted that “they were no good,” citing the novels’ conventionality—“the ‘Writer’ with a capital ‘W’”—he locates neither Moloch nor Crazy Cock in any Brooklyn dawn 2 27 definite tradition or subgenre (1994i: 176).

As spiral form places a premium on motion—because of its 30 Brooklyn dawn metaphoric significance to the supraself’s quest for identity—Moloch functions in the context of what Ihab Hassan calls the spiritual quest. The novel’s preponderant concern with movement represents a formal manifestation of the abiding thirst for self-knowledge that consumes not only Moloch, but all of Miller’s selves. Miller’s concentration on the kinetic elements of Moloch’s quest leads him toward the extreme fragmentation of character he would later exploit more fully in the autobiographical romances.

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