Saturday, 12 March 2016

Empire V.

First book by a Russian author I have read in some time. Some time being a euphemism for first time. Oh yes, how lazy and bizarre is that. Consider the relevance and plain existence of the massive world that is all things Russian. The three most famous Russians as far as I am concerned are Mister Chekov (of star Trek and Mop-top fame.) Rasputin the Mad Monk and Colossus the X-Man( Whose surname is also Rasputin: Pietr "Peter" Nikolaievitch Rasputin) Shameful,aint it.
             Even the Kremlin only has cultural relevance to me because it is the name of Belfast biggest Gay Bar. Not even ironic given that countries inhumane record of human rights violations with regard to Gay Men and Gay Women.
              I fully accept the limitations of my Russian cultural references, my quite severe lack of them, is entirely my own fault. Since I am thinly read and completely self regulating with regard to my reading choices who else can I point the finger at and blame? I am attempting to address this and have chosen a genre piece with which to take my first stumbling Soviet steps.
               Victor Pelevin has written a sort of very modern Screwtape Letters using vampires as opposed to devils or demons. Actually that is me being lazy again. It is so much more than than that and literally distanced by time space and the gravity of Russia's present situation.
                A book steeped in metaphor is probably not the best introduction to a new cultural experience and a genre book at that. It is however a sly witty read and I have learned a thing or two since reading it. A rewarding and entertaining method of learning something new disguised as something old.
                Please forget the timorous apologetica of the first paragraph, just trying to down play my own ignorance. This man's work deserves so much more. Victor Pelevin is a respected literary figure and the recipient of many awards including the impressive Russian Little Booker. His pop cultural references bloom within the text like the welcome buds of maybe. He pokes fun and insight at the shared cultural zeitgeist with a post modern wit and understanding of the monstrous deceptions we practice upon ourselves. Through fanged mythical teeth he whispers with conviction "Culture is not your friend."
               You ought to listen. It is not too late. we are just about nearing the end of the beginning.