Memories of the Future

memories-of-the-future-sigizmund-krzhizhanovsky By Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky

Half-way through this book after reading six of the seven stories I thought this was ok – and only just. However the last and longest novella that makes up half the book was excellent. There were quite complex scientific principles espoused with humour and a dollop of intrigue – at least they seemed complex to me. If the ideas wern’t complex then Krzhizhanovsky did a good job of making them seem so. It’s a real pity some of the other stories are a bit patchy. Also a real pity there are no longer works like Memories of the Future in translation. There is another collection of stories but given my lack of affinity with the ones in this book I may just leave it. Should another novella appear I will definitely read it. As I said, a couple of the stories were fine but some just seemed deliberately zany with no real point to the absurdity. Absurdity can give form to a story ala Gombrowicz but here something just didn’t ring true. Perhaps I am being unfair and am happy to be persuaded otherwise if anyone has  a different take on it. I might even try a re-read on some of the stories due to the strength of  ‘Memories’ and its strange atmosphere. If my opinions change I will do a separate post. This is worth reading for the ‘Memories of the Future’ novella.

Soundtrack: Anything off  ‘Distortion’ by the Magnetic Fields.

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  1. That website is actually a mad kind of genius …. the more time I spend on it the more confused I am about if it’s horrible or fantastic. It’s hurts my brain and gives me feelings …

  2. The stories in the collection can be read as complex criticisms of the world in which Krzhizhanovsky lived, Russia in the wake of revolution. His work was considered too subversive and dangerous to be published during his lifetime and I think that alone gives ‘point’ to his ‘absurdity’.

  3. Yes, that makes sense. So my lack of connection with some of the stories could be stylistic – or I didn’t understand them fully. Thus, if I was a Soviet censor Krzhizhanovsky would have been published in his lifetime.

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