Encyclopedia of A Life in Russia

Encyclopedia of A Life in Russia

Book - 2012
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Thelonius Monk (not his real name) travels to Russia and meets Linda Evangelista (not her real name) in Saint Petersburg. They journey to Yalta, where he promises that he will make her red hair famous in the fashion magazines. In fact, he’s drafting a novel about her—his notes for the novel comprise this Encyclopedia. Thelonious and Linda think of themselves as avatars of consumer culture, navigating the border between art and commerce during the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991. Unwittingly they parody Russian fascination with America and its fixation on beauty and celebrity. Their conversations combine advertisement copy and art criticism, their personalities are both bohemian and commercial, and their aspirations revolve around frivolity and enchantment. Encyclopedia of a Life in Russia is a novel that defies chronology and conformity, and finds the sublime in the trivial, ranging from meditations on Bach and Dostoyevsky to Italian alligator shoes and toothpaste.
Publisher: New York : Black Cat ; [Berkeley, Calif.] : Distributed by Publishers Group West, c2012
Edition: 1st ed
Description: 180 p. ; 21 cm
ISBN: 9780802120779
Branch Call Number: Prie


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Apr 26, 2013

Was it me, an awkward translation, or cultural gaps? This wasn't an awful book or anything, though the use of 'frivolous' again and again was distracting. I like the format. Perfect for bringing some kind of order and direction to an otherwise chaotic subject, and characters for that matter.

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