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Set in Moscow among the 1982 celebrations for the October Revolution and the dying and funeral of Brezhnev, this epistolary novel, throughout the narrator's said makes an attempt to go to numerous neighbors at the day of the funeral, creates a rumbustious social historical past of Russia because the Revolution.

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I rem em ber that happy me very much on the time. Dmitry Alexandrovich and that i plunged into an archway. A soldier used to be smoking lazily within the backyard. And one other soldier was once sitting within the cab of a lorry. And there has been an aerial at the lorry. W e w ent as much as Teodor’s position. Teodor was once surely astonished, and maybe even overjoyed. Teodor is, after his personal model, additionally a modernist, yet whilst, like D. A. Prigov, he's additionally a m em ber of the Artists’ Union of the USSR. “ great paintings in the event you can get it,” I mumble enviously into my beard, and my litbro E. helps me . . . Teodor had a brand new photograph on his easel, and also you may possibly bet that the buyer, the top of a few establishment, manufacturing facility, collective farm, or nation farm, wouldn’t pay for it, and the good artist might back be left with out his funds. It used to be w ritten everywhere in the photograph and all around the couldn’t-care-less face of 154 the artist. Teodor’s puppy, nam ed easily Beetle, used to be gnawing an outdated bone and growled menacingly every time a person people went previous. She used to be in basic terms pretending, simply because she too wouldn’t have minded major a run-of-the-mill lifestyles within the artwork international. We began speaking approximately . . . Teodor stated that his watch was once damaged, and he had grew to become at the transistor radio within the morning to get the time, because the home windows in his studio have been positioned such that he couldn’t see a road clock, simply the theatre’s stage-door front, which celebrities of the opera and ballet went out and in of. He had became at the radio, heard the French phrases “ l. a. m ort” , and stuck on instantly, regularly having been an innately vivid lad. Teodor stated that he hadn’t visible any of his neighbors for 2 days now, and for 2 days now hadn’t had whatever right to consume, considering he was once fearful of going outdoors the partitions of the studio, and had merely been taking the puppy out to accomplish its physically features within the backyard, the place the soldier with the aerial sat bored. That he used to be frightened of now not having the ability to come back into his studio, after which he must move domestic to stay in his communal apartm ent, w right here he was once registered for place of abode, yet w right here he used to be to be came across purely tremendous hardly simply because . . . Teodor paused and stuffed his pipe with “ C apstan” . We requested him for anything to smoke, clarify­ ing that we had run out of cigarettes, yet he refused us, explaining that he by no means smoked cigarettes, whereupon D. A. Prigov, as have been his rights as an outstanding buddy, lightly yet firmly instructed that he supply us a few “ C apstan” tobacco. Teodor fetched a few pipes with lengthy stems. The tobacco fairly did grow to be “ C apstan” . We acknowledged: “ Ooh-ooh. . . ” “ We don’t preserve any outdated crap here,” spoke back Teodor proudly. . .. simply because Teodor’s neighbour within the communal aside­ m ent bought milk directly from the barrel. He acquired up at five one hundred fifty five o’clock within the morning and w ent “ to w the following he had his stall” The barrel was once brought by way of 6 o’clock, after which he did a roaring exchange . .. via eleven o’clock, while the wine shops opened, his operating day used to be thoroughly over, seeing because the barrel was once thoroughly empty.

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