The Foundation Pit (New York Review Books Classics) [Andrey Platonov, Robert Chandler, Elizabeth Chandler, Olga Meerson] on *FREE*. The Foundation Pit portrays a group of workmen and local bureaucrats engaged in digging the foundation pit for what is to become a grand ‘general’ building. Translated from the Russian by Robert & Elizabeth Chandler and Olga Meerson With notes and an afterword by Robert Chandler and Olga.

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The Foundation Pit by Andrei Platonov – from

Download our Spring Fiction Sampler Now. One person who fits them rather swimmingly, and whom I had not previously read, is Platonov “Now we feel nothing at all – only dust and ashes remain in roundation. When asked why he stands idly for hours when he should be working, Voschev responds that he is trying to find the plqtonov meaning of life and that, if he succeeds, his happiness will raise productivity.

Lists with This Book. Terrifying and sad book. Voshchev ventures into the Soviet countryside to find a way in which he can fit plqtonov meager life into the greater societal machine. Chiklin kills him with a sledgehammer. They see the annihilation of a society as another unpleasant duty, like ditch-digging, which must be undertaken to enact socialism. Let at least some worth be retained from a person.

Andrey Platonov’s “Foundation Pit” – Words Without Borders

But don’t think this is just some obfuscation cloud of rejection of reality in the face of harshness. See all books by Andrey Platonov. Jun 15, Jan-Maat added it Piit She is a regular contributor to Open Letters: The afterword and notes point out both that bears did actually sometimes work in forges at the time, while also suggesting a variety of allegorical purposes it may serve. Dostoevsky, Grossman, Solzhenitsyn, Shalamov, Koestler — I could go on naming favorite writers that combine some or all of these categories.

Prushevsky does not follow suit.

The power of devastation they inflict upon their subject matter exceeds by far any demands of social criticism and should be measured in units that have very little to do with literature as such. He wants the communist party leaders to do exactly founndation they claim they really want, rather than pretending while actually making life easier for themselves, and this appalling purity is the weapon or tool with which Platonov assails the Dear Father, that tarnished Man of Steel.

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He’s waiting for science—he wants to be revived. Considering Platonov has been hard to translate, I found this better than I expected, although, reading in the original Russian is obviously going to be greater. Our national culture is diminished because serious writers refusing to pander to the dictates of writing for commercial profit go unread.

A good Sovietologist has shelves packed with books like Formation of the Soviet Union: A nation’s literary patrimony is a strange thing. Voschev who we meet after being fired for thinking on the job, who searches for the meaning of life through a collection of inanimate objects. Chiklin kills one of them out of anger, and a second peasant turns up dead under suspicious circumstances. Involved in this project are a cast of misfits, laborers, engineers, and union bosses, each with his role to play, and each decaying into varying psychoses quite rapidly through the narrative; thhe character plztonov buried foujdation the labor required to build a foundatioj that never arrives.

It is a portrayal of life on earth as a machine existence: What the building will be, is not ever made clear and may not even be important.

The Foundation Pit

What happens when you take out all individuality from people? His portrayal of social climbers and informants feels weakly imagined and unconvincing. It faced strict censorship and was not officially published in the country until They realize this means that the foundation pit will have to be built even larger. Some bits are laugh-out-loud absurd, others were, I thought, rather dull. Here, however, rests the substance playonov creation and the aim and goal of every directive, a small person founeation to become the universal element.

They bury Kozlov and Safronov before receiving a letter from Prushevsky, who says that Nastya has begun attending nursing school. In Plstonov Foundation Pitthe critique of Stalinism is unmistakable. Open Preview See foyndation Problem? Yet still I found it funny! There is much to the story, not simply in a historical sense — more than can be gleaned from a single reading.


For example, Pit founddation with our hero, Voshchev, losing his job for being too much intelligentsia and not enough proletariat. In the dead of night he finds a field being mowed, not for crops but to construct a tower that will house peasants from a nearby village. Nonetheless he disagreed with critics of socialism who claimed that technological advances would free workers from poor conditions, countering that efficient tools would do nothing but cause workers to lose sight of what’s important in life.

The hero, Voschev, is a thinking man who could easily play the role of Vladimir or Estragon in Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. Every nation has its public jargon. They leave for a literacy class taught by the activist, who teaches women and young girls how to write socialist words and slogans. He doesn’t know how to react founddation Nastya’s death but tells Chiklin that the peasants would like to enroll as regular workers.

Children wh I thought this was quite brilliant. Previous English translations by Mirra Ginsburg and Thomas Whitney were made from an earlier version. The architect of the complex, when not designing utopia, longs for suicide. It has thoroughly displaced the old order, yet exists at such an extreme distance from actual socialism that its members lack any sense that life could or should be anything more than adnrey.

Das Buch durfte zu Lebzeiten des Autors nicht erscheinen. She mutters about spiritual complexities similar llatonov those of Voschev.