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The Matiushin Case by Oleg Pavlov

The Matiushin Case RGB

Author:
Oleg Pavlov

Translator:
Andrew Bromfield

Price: £10 / $15.95 (print), £5 / $8 (ebook)

Format:
B Format Paperback with French flaps

ISBN:
9781908276360

eBook ISBN:
9781908276377

Original language:

Published by:
And Other Stories

Publication date:
8 July 2014

From the winner of the Solzhenitsyn Prize 2012 and the Russian Booker Prize 2002

 

The Matiushin Case is one of the darkest and most powerful works of fiction to appear in Russian in the last twenty years. Deriving, like Captain of the Steppe (And Other Stories, 2013), from the author’s own traumatic experience as a conscript in the last years of the Soviet Union, it follows the experience of Matiushin, a young, sensitive, disoriented man, damaged first by violence in his family then by the brutality of army life in Central Asia. Indebted to the different traditions of ‘labour camp prose’ pioneered by Solzhenitsyn and Shalamov, the novel is, however, much more than an expose of societal ills, shocking enough though these are. Its literary achievement lies elsewhere: in the way that the horrific realities of conscript life are steeped in the unique mood of dreaminess and timelessness created by the setting and by Pavlov’s prose-style and in the unique type of tension that this mood creates. Matiushin’s ‘crime and punishment’ emerge from this tension with compelling inevitability; the victim turns killer. The hell that Oleg Pavlov describes is physical and societal, but above all psychological, and, as such, no less universal than that described by Dante or Dostoevsky.

 More Information

  •  Oleg Pavlov is the author of Captain of the Steppe (And Other Stories, 2013), shortlisted for the French Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger 2012
  • The Matiushin Case is the second volume in the Russian Booker winning trilogy, Tales from the Last Days.

Praise for Oleg Pavlov

  • ‘Pavlov imbues his world with a very particular flavour: the mixture of tragedy, absurdity and black comedy that runs in the veins of Russian literature as far back as the work of Nikolai Gogol … Pavlov fashions a disquieting and comic elegy.’ Marcel Theroux
  • ‘Captain of the Steppe combines a traditional Russian faith in the humanising power of literature with a boisterous energy and imagination. Pavlov wrote two further army novels which, along with Captain of the Steppe, have become known as the Tales of the Last Days trilogy, and we can be grateful that both are due for publication by And Other Stories.’ Michael Nicholson, The Times Literary Supplement
  • ‘Pavlov skillfully navigates the razor-thin gap between dark comedy and tragedy’ Words without Borders
  • ‘A comedy as dark and bitter as ersatz coffee.’ Daily Mail
  • ‘An extraordinary portraitist, with a nose for trenchant, black humour, Oleg Pavlov delves into the shadowy outer edges of existence.’ France Culture
  • ‘Poetry, sensuality, humour, metaphoric genius’ Philippe Delaroche, L’Express Culture avec Lire

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