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Old 11-21-2017   #1
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Soviet Weird?

As there appears to be a positive glut of Soviet Science Fiction out there, I was wondering if there were any great examples of Soviet Weird or Soviet Horror fiction?

I'm aware that there is an anthology called 'Red Spectres', featuring Soviet Gothic Fiction, but other than that, my knowledge of Russian/Soviet fiction extends mostly towards the Decadent and the more famous examples of Russian literature.
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Old 11-21-2017   #2
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Re: Soviet Weird?

Mark Samuels gives high praise to Leonid Andreyev's work, including "The Red Laugh: Fragments of a Discovered Manuscript." Based on his recommendation, I purchased this one but have not yet read it.




Then there is always the classic, "The Master and Margarita," by Mikhail Bulgakov.




I have also enjoyed Victor Pelevin's work, including "The Life of Insects."




The late Avalon Brantley praised the work of Aleksei Remizov in Tartarus' Wormwood 25.

http://www.tartaruspress.com/wormwood-25.html

After reading her review, I found a copy of "Russian Tales of Demonic Possession: Translations of Savva Grudtsyn and Solomonia," which contains two of Remizov's stories, both excellent.




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Old 11-21-2017   #3
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Re: Soviet Weird?

Plenty for me to look into there. Many thanks.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #4
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Re: Soviet Weird?

Quote Originally Posted by In A Dark Light View Post
I was wondering if there were any great examples of Soviet Weird or Soviet Horror fiction?
Unlike Science Fiction, fantasy genre was discouraged in the Soviet Union so there isn't really much horror written there and the closest thing would be "accidental slips", that is, works in other genres that got close to the weird, or weird fiction written in that period but unpublished or published non-officially. I don't know either, unfortunately.

What interests your more here, weird fiction written in the Russian culture or weird fiction written in the socialist countries? I hear most European socialist countries didn't have such a hard stance on fantasy, but again don't know any names. I remember some very good short stories by a female Romanian author that seemed from that time, but I don't remember her name.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #5
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Re: Soviet Weird?

Quote Originally Posted by Ruina View Post
Quote Originally Posted by In A Dark Light View Post
I was wondering if there were any great examples of Soviet Weird or Soviet Horror fiction?
Unlike Science Fiction, fantasy genre was discouraged in the Soviet Union so there isn't really much horror written there and the closest thing would be "accidental slips", that is, works in other genres that got close to the weird, or weird fiction written in that period but unpublished or published non-officially. I don't know either, unfortunately.

What interests your more here, weird fiction written in the Russian culture or weird fiction written in the socialist countries? I hear most European socialist countries didn't have such a hard stance on fantasy, but again don't know any names. I remember some very good short stories by a female Romanian author that seemed from that time, but I don't remember her name.
Anything written in the socialist countries would be of great interest.
I have certainly encountered the lack of 'weird' fiction brought about by its being discouraged. Sci-Fi appears to be plentiful, whereas horror is almost entirely absent.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #6
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Re: Soviet Weird?

There was a Soviet parallel to the US underground zine and comix movements known as Samizdat, but I've only started learning about it myself. These writers were political dissidents, but their fiction was often grotesque and fantastic. Yuri Mamleyev wrote both short horror stories and at least one horror novel:

http://www.ryzhakov.co.uk/metapysics...y-thesublimes/

The blog's link to the translation of his novel The Sublimes is broken, but the book is available on Amazon. There's also an out of print short fiction collection called "The Sky Above Hell & Other Stories", but used copies seem plentiful.

Andrei Sinyavsky aka Abram Tertz is another author who might be promising, although his translated writing seems to skew towards fantasy and science fiction. I have read Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky, who has quite a few translations available through NYRB, and enjoyed his work quite a bit, although I'd consider it more dark fantasy/magical realism rather than outright horror.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #7
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Re: Soviet Weird?

HFH,

Many thanks for introducing Mamleyev.

In a Dark Light,

I second Krzhizhanovsky. If you are on the fence, a short summary I wrote for Autobiography of a Corpse might help you decide.

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Old 1 Week Ago   #8
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Re: Soviet Weird?


'I believe in what the Germans term Ehrfurcht: reverence for things one cannot understand.'
― Robert Aickman, An Essay
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Old 6 Days Ago   #9
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Re: Soviet Weird?

James, oh, you reminded me where one can find really a lot of horror material made in the socialist countries - cartoons! There was a lot of bleak, bizarre or surreal cartoons made in the Soviet bloc.

Also, I remembered the name of the Romanian writer I mentioned, it's Ana Blandiana. I'm not sure whether her stories are translated into English, though some of her poetry is.
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