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Archive for the ‘The New Хорошо’ Category

YTarnawsky 1 (1)

Poet, translator, and fiction writer Yuriy Tarnawsky is a founding member of the New York Group and, as the faithful reader will recall, star of the fourth “Xорошо.” His latest work, consisting of The Placebo Effect Trilogy (JEF Books) and Modus Tollens (Jaded Ibis Productions) manages to be at once fluid and oddly specific; familiar yet unsettling. Tarnawsky, as usual, unnerves the reader by leaving her half the work of assembling these subconsciously active worlds. This seventh reincarnation of “The New Xорошо,” is the product of free association, linguistic play, nightmare, and a very permissive gateway between living and dead. ~T.M. De Vos

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nazılakıtchener

Azerbaijani-born chaplain, counselor, and researcher Dr. Nazila Isgandarova is head of the Azerbaijani Women’s Support Centre in Ontario, Canada, and author of numerous publications on war violence against womenrape as a weapon of war, and new models of Islamic spiritual care and counseling. Her recent novel, The Nectar of Passion, a narrative of interfaith love, is set in modern-day Ontario and informed by Azerbaijani and Georgian history, as well as Judaic and Islamic custom. In this sixth edition of “The New Xорошо,” Isgandarova discusses female empowerment in the Qur’an, the common ground between Islam and Judaism, and why Muslim women don’t need to be “emancipated” from their headscarves .~T.M. De Vos

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Memoirist, blogger, and soon-to-be clinical psychologist Rodica Mihailis has undergone many personal evolutions since her defection from communist Romania in 1981. Her recent memoir, The Gypsy Saw Two Lives (Strategic Book Publishing), itself evolved from her popular blog, chronicles the adaptations that have characterized her life on both sides of the Atlantic with humor and perspective—and a surprising amount of empathy even for the least sympathetic characters. In this fifth edition of “The New Xорошо,” Mihailis expounds upon faith, free will, and the funny side of being ousted from an ambulance in February; under separate cover, Colman O Criodain reviews The Gypsy Saw Two Lives.~T.M. De Vos

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Poet, translator, and fiction writer Yuriy Tarnawsky is a founding member of the New York Group, a friend to the surreal, and a fond misanthrope. His newest collection, Short Tails (JEF Books/Civil Coping Mechanisms), from a festival of grotesquerie and the existential struggle, is populated by characters who, variously, absorb Lenin’s verbal and gustatory tics, shed skin and limbs and ligaments until reduced to a single eyeball, or discover that a long-dead father is pulling them into the grave by the jowls. In this fourth and long-overdue installment of “The New Xорошо,” I learn to read less deterministically and Tarnawsky invokes the absurd, leaves us with a phonological riddle, and reminds us that we’re all going to die.~T.M. De Vos

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If you must know, Paul Rogov is from Minsk, Belarus, lives in southern California, and will blog for you about war, art, and trauma. But he’s not giving up his biography. Not that it’s important. With narratives populated by men with Saussurean scars, failed fathers, and gawky boy soldiers disfigured by adrenaline, how much could any individual’s biography matter? If, as Kierkegaard describes, we become ourselves through our actions, then Rogov’s characters determine themselves, and their relationships, through their traumas—self-inflicted or otherwise. “Trauma unites people,” explains Rogov, the third author featured in the “The New Xорошо,” as he weighs in on spirituality, femininity, and the impossibility of shooting heroin like a gentleman. ~T.M. De Vos 

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Alex Pruteanu is the author of Short Lean Cuts, a novella which, amongst other topics, explores the ever-escalating narratives offered for public consumption. Fittingly, my acquaintance with Pruteanu developed online and progressed via Facebook, the ultimate forum for constructed narratives of life and self. A native of Romania, familiar of Moldova, and American of thirty years, Pruteanu isn’t waving a flag for any country, citing the natural clusters forming “villages, towns, or even cities” as the real loci of our allegiance. To quote Gogol Bordello, “Between the borders, the real countries hide.” In the following interview, Pruteanu, the second featured author in “The New Xорошо,” echoes the sentiment that “the programmed robots are buying and buying” and shares his thoughts on place, nostalgia, timelessness, and how bestand will eventually snuff the human species.

~T.M. De Vos

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English version by Valery Petrovskiy

after Russian translation by Alexei Prokopyev. 

 

Requiems (2)

1/ Eh, the miserable wide world –

There is the only sun, and the only moon.

There is at least some of the wide world around!

Eh, the miserable other world—

There are seven suns, and there are seven moons there,

But no light.

***

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