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Literary Matrix: Writers on Writers. Oleg Pavlov on Andrei Platonov

Language: in English

Oleg Pavlov will talk about life and work of Andrei Platonov, one of Russia’s greatest 20th-century prose writers. Platonov’s most famous works include the novels The Foundation Pit and Chevengur . Platonov’s incomparable language style is noted for its unusual linguistic constructions, which create a unique atmosphere in his prose.

Oleg Pavlov is one of the most highly-regarded Russian authors working today, writing firmly in the tradition of great Russian novelists such as Dostoevsky and Solzhenitsyn. Born in Moscow in 1970, Pavlov spent his military service as a prison guard in Kazakhstan - this formative experience later influenced many incidents portrayed in his fiction. He later became Solzhenitsyn’s secretary and was inspired to continue the great writer’s work. He was only 24 years old when his first novel, Captain of the Steppe , was published; it is available in English. This blackly comic novel shows the unsettling consequences of thinking for yourself under the Soviet system and was immediately praised for its chilling but humane and hilarious depiction of the Soviet empire’s last years. His other novel Asystole (soon to be available in English) is a modern, deeply thoughtful and heartfelt examination of the physics of the human soul. All Pavlov’s novels have been acclaimed by the critics and readers alike and have been recognised by major literary awards such as the Russian Booker and Solzhenitsyn Prizes.

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