The Foundation Pit (New York Review Books Classics) [Andrey Platonov, Robert Chandler, Elizabeth Chandler, Olga Meerson] on *FREE*. The Foundation Pit portrays a group of workmen and local bureaucrats engaged in digging the foundation pit for what is to become a grand ‘general’ building. Translated from the Russian by Robert & Elizabeth Chandler and Olga Meerson With notes and an afterword by Robert Chandler and Olga.

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Read it Forward Read it first. There is value in Platonov’s speaking clearly about despair.

The Foundation Pit – Wikipedia

He set out to write an allegorical satire of the horrors he witnessed, and in the playonov found himself so bound up in those horrors, horrors perpetuated by an ideology he once believed in and still did, I suspect, in his idealismthat satire itself became far too constraining, and even his own reasoning abilities could not handle the influx of emotions dredged up by his tackling of the subject through writing, that his only option was to fall back into the arms of aesthetic intuition and write a book beyond all categorical limitations.

The novel opens with the excavation somewhere in the Russian countryside of the foundation pit for a massive complex in which the collectivized farm laborers of tomorrow will reside. We’ll look back on founcation vast catalogues of best sellers and be compelled to ask ourselves, “As a great nation, was this really the best that we could do for our national literature? I haven’t compared it to Ginsburg, but I’ve read a number of novels translated from Russian and …more I just finished reading the Chandler translation.

Yet apparently he did—and failed. The dead are all special-they are important people “Telling me” exclaimed Nastya in atonishment.

The reader is left to ponder, like Voshchev, how so much death could be warranted in the effort to build a better life. Voschev roundation we meet after being fired for thinking on the job, who searches for the meaning of life through a collection of inanimate objects. Because she, unlike the working men who reached adulthood under the old regime, is literate she becomes incredibly important as a mouthpiece for the new political values that dominate the press.


His heroic efforts to earning his living as a writer, despite censorship and cruel repression, are an inspiration to unread writers of serious literature who suffer the same fate of anonymity as a result of the rampant commercialism of American publishing.

The Foundation Pit by Andrey Platonov

The freakish and fearless Zhachev makes things most clear: Nastya dies the next morning. Pashkin, who is now Kozlov’s driver, tells the group that the peasants in a nearby village are looking to collectivize their farms. Let at least some worth be retained from a person. Die Grammatik ist stets etwas daneben. Although the prose was a little awkward at times which could simply be a flaw in translation since the book was not originally written in Englishit’s a simple but brutally effective story that raises timeless points about the dangers of getting too radical in the pursuit of an ideal and the toll it takes andrwy those who seek to create it.

Nastya’s working class rhetoric, which she first used in order to fit in, is now violent in nature. In The Foundation Pitthe critique of Stalinism is unmistakable.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. View all 7 comments. His work stopped being published in the early s and only resurfaced 40 years after his death in … The Foundation Pit will stand out as his masterpiece. And what astonishing language he uses to articulate that despair.

The Foundation Pit by Andrey Platonov | : Books

Having said that, I admire Platonov’s vision, and there are definitely little gems, sometimes quite hidden away from foubdation sight, in The Foundation Pit. It is a portrayal of life on earth as a machine existence: This English translation is the first and only one to be based on the definitive edition published by Pushkin House in Moscow. Their world is a failure.


My favourite image was of the bear who worked in the forge and was brought along to root out kulaks. His name is Prushevsky and, like Voschev, he feels that something is missing in his life.

He believed that the socialist system would protect the world from fascist rule, but he was founndation sure that the human race was ready for such a task. Satire on early soviet era communism. So it’s best to love something small and living and do yourselves in with labor.

The Irish Times called the book a “hallucinatory, nightmarish parable of hysterical laughter and terrifying silences,” and The Independent referred to Platonov as the “most exciting Russian writer to be rediscovered since the end of the Soviet Union. The symbolism is clear. Chiklin and Voschev find an old man laying on the ground. Looking for More Great Reads? Soul addressed Stalin’s violence obliquely and therefore mysteriously.

Even andret a very good explanatory afterword and thorough notes, it remains mysterious. Little surprise that The Foundation Pit was kept buried in Russian archives.

The Foundation Pit

The horror comes from the logical application of this vision to life. We are all equal in death.

It’s brutal, funny, and sad. In short, I will state that it is the strangest and most disturbing novel I have ever read, but ‘strange’ and ‘disturbing’ in a unique way, not in the way th It has been two years since I read this novel and unlike all the other books I have listed on Goodreads I never wrote a review for this one. What I appreciated was Platonov’s dense and complex use of allusions and imagery throughout the story.