SoulAnd Other Stories
by Andrey Platonov, introduction by Robert Chandler, afterword by John Berger, translated from the Russian by Robert and Elizabeth Chandler with Katia Grigoruk, Angela Livingstone, Olga Meerson, and Eric Naiman
The Soviet writer Andrey Platonov saw much of his work suppressed or censored in his lifetime. In recent decades, however, these lost works have reemerged, and the eerie poetry and poignant humanity of Platonov’s vision have become ever more clear. For Nadezhda Mandelstam and Joseph Brodsky, Platonov was the writer who most profoundly registered the spiritual shock of revolution. For a new generation of innovative post-Soviet Russian writers he figures as a daring explorer of word and world, the master of what has been called “alternative realism.” Depicting a devastated world that is both terrifying and sublime, Platonov is, without doubt, a universal writer who is as solitary and haunting as Kafka.
In Soul, Platonov weaves together Sufi philosophy, Persian travelogue, socialist realism, and the language of Soviet bureaucracy into a magical tissue with the luminous, universal quality of myth. Soul is an unforgettably weird retelling of a familiar story: the struggle of an educated young man to assimilate his present with his past.
—Elif Batuman, The Daily Beast
Soul (New York Review Books) gathered eight works from another Slavic giant, Andrey Platonov. Works of great tenderness and insight in the face of oppression, they're brilliantly rendered by one of the great translators of our time, Robert Chandler, and his team. It features a striking afterword by John Berger...
— The Guardian
Platonov is an extraordinary writer, perhaps the most brilliant Russian writer of the 20th century.
— Tatyana Tolstaya, The New York Review of Books
Soul, like all great works, proceeds out of experience and yearning....The yearning is so intense it glows through the language.
— George Szirtes