Dovlatov's place in Russian literature remains to be decided, as does his significance in the long term. The philologist Igor Sukhikh suggests the triptych of poet – prose writer – literator (literate, writer), with Brodsky as poet, Solzhenitsyn as prose writer, and Dovlatov as the literator. All three were destined to move to the USA, where their ways parted. Solzhenitsyn lived an alienated life in Vermont, as in an enclave, whereas Brodsky and Dovlatov kept in touch with their times and surroundings. "Brodsky and Dovlatov turned exile into a point of view, alienation into a style, loneliness into freedom", as the literary critic Alexander Genis has written. But while Brodsky moved into an open cultural space, Dovlatov remained in the existential zone of the Russian diaspora. He concerned himself with earthly things. He was an eye-witness and a chronicler who described how the Soviet people moved from one era to the next. To an entirely different era. Marsh odinokikh, March of the Lonely (1983), is among his best works. The oxymoron contains the paradoxical core of the events described: in the multitude of walkers, each was alone, but they shared a common fate. Even if there were great differences...
Friday, October 17, 2014
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