Эссе: Alexander S. Zinoviev

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Английский язык
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... The other two parts of the book consist of a series of commentaries and reflections on Ibanskian life by a narrator who writes in the first person and whose voice we may take to be that of Zinoviev himself. It is a brilliant voice, quite unusual in Russian letters, not least in its hilarious use of antonyms, puns, and other word games hard to translate. Zinoviev, the author of such books as Philosophical Problems of Many Valued Logic, mocks various kinds of logical thinking--Wittgensteinian, mathematical, structuralist, but above all Marxist dialectical materialism. Indeed the tone of the book is that of a mordant logical mind reassembling from shards of evidence the mad yet brutally effective logic of a closed society&. Zinoviev shows us many characters who "contribute nothing to society" but who precisely because of that "are indispensable." (p. 8) Constructive results are much denigrated in Ibansk society. That is why a positive indifference is the dominant mood. The essence of things becomes absolutely unimportant, and a great fuss over trivialities essential&. Beneath this irony are hidden the bitterness and sorrow of the author over his country's wasted possibilities. But his sorrow neither obscures the underlying reality nor flattens his comic sarcasm. He sees clearly what has taken place, and the tiny group of characters such as Pravdets, Masila, and to a degree Shizofrenic who have somehow managed to survive with their critical powers intact sometimes speak for him. (p. 9) It would seem to me that, under the special circumstances of Ibansk society, we might find precisely here some of those who still think critically. Zinoviev ridicules everything such intellectuals do, because in his view their real function is to camouflage the full horror of Ibanskian reality. ...