The Bride From Odessa

odessaBy Edgardo Cozarinsky.

I really enjoyed this collection of stories. I actually thought this was a novel and admit that I was slightly disappointed when I started it and found out that it wasn’t. However, all these tales are linked by a similar tone and as a result it felt as though I was reading a novel but with a variety of scenes and characters. Also, the strength of the episodes meant that I didn’t really mind after a while that these were short stories.

There were some really strong and lyrical ideas here. Cozarinsky really knows how to evoke a setting and a time and how to squeeze the emotion from it. I enjoyed the last story the most, but that’s possibly because it is the longest. Cozarinsky’s main themes seem to be the displacement of people, and the very personal nature of history. None of these stories involve a genius – these are normal people – some are writers, artists, musicians and actor but none of them are great. They are placed in different situations and linked to a personal history and the important thing seems to be just the act of remembering. Never mind the great historical moments – it is personal history and the mysteries that are associated with these that are important to Cozarinsky.

As well as being a writer Cozarinsky is a film maker and I really need to see some of his films if they bear any similarity to his writing. This collection is very moving, without being sentimental, and well worth reading.

Soundtrack: anything by Vladimir Vysotski.

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