A book blog about Russia in English-language fiction

Tag: Michael Wallner

The Russian Affair by Michael Wallner (2011) – part two

Part one of this review is here.

The Russian Affair alights on themes of Moscow life in the high Soviet years of the Brezhnev era.

Just as Soviet authors of the late 1960s and early 1970s did, Michael Wallner frames his story around everyday problems —multi-generational living in cramped apartments, the ‘double burden’ carried by Soviet women, access to essentials in a time of shortages, the importance of social connections, the ubiquity of the vlasti (the authorities), and the treasured pleasures and freedoms of normality around the ‘kitchen table’ inner circle of family and friends.

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The Russian Affair by Michael Wallner (2011) – part one

Part two of this review is here.

Are you familiar with the notion of nostalgia for a time or place that you have never known? Anemoia is the term.

Or perhaps, as we are dealing here with a novel translated from German into English, the German word Sehnsucht is appropriate; often simply translated as nostalgia, it has a sense of wistful vagueness that the more common German word Nostalgie does not have.

Michael Wallner’s novel prompted anemoia in me.

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