Literary roundup: Anxious, dark and scary

The ongoing Anxiety series at The New York Times features a contribution from László Krasznahorkai that might be described as a bit beyond anxious. “I’ve been living in complete silence for months, I might say for years …” it starts out, and gets worse (or better) from there.

Russian Vampires

Russian Life’s Chtenia 21 is out and devoted to Russian horror writing past and present, with extracts of work ranging from Pushkin’s poem “Vurdulak”, Gogol’s short story “Viy”, a gothic novel written in French in 1839 by Alexei Tolstoy (second cousin of Leo) to early 20th century contributions by Korney Chukovsky and Zinaida Gippius and a contemporary story “Burning” by Anna Starobinets along with folk tales.

Russian stories straight to your ears

Russia Beyond the Headlines has begun an audio book series of contemporary Russian fiction. The current installation is a story by Russian Booker Prize-winner for 2017  and finalist this year for her novel Light Head, Olga Slavnikova with a story titled “Chanel №5”. Slavnikova is also the director of the Debut Prize for young writers. You should also go to the site to see the awesome illustration that goes with the story by Natalia Mikhaylenko.

Photo – Boris Karloff as the vampire in “The Wurdulak”, based on Alexei Tolstoy’s novel, one of three stories that make up Mario Bava’s 1963 horror classic Black Sabbath.

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