Anatoly Mariengof in B O D Y

“Of all things, I am most likely an epicurean.
‘Death has no bearing on us,’ Epicurus had said, “For when we exist, death is not yet present, and when death is present, then we no longer exist.”
And that is, roughly speaking, also my attitude toward ‘non-existence’ (to use the euphemistic philosophical term). But, when a dearly beloved being — a very dear, and much beloved one — dies, I am made entirely powerless, and then any and all clever or smug expression of succor evokes in me a reaction of rage and fury.”

One of the aphorisms of the great and woefully unappreciated and unknown early 20th century Russian writer Anatoly Mariengof, a collection of whose Aphorisms, Anecdotes, And Other Literary Trifles was translated by Alex Cigale for this week’s Saturday European Fiction.

A close friend of the poet Sergei Esenin, Mariengof wrote a novella about the poet, Novel Without Lies – definitely not your typical novel about a legendary poet nor about a friend. His other novella available in an English translation by Andrew Bromfield is Cynics, which takes place during the Soviet New Economic Policy of the 1920’s and the famine that claimed millions of lives. I’ve reviewed the book here.

Read more Saturday European Fiction.

Photo – Anatoly Mariengof and Sergei Esenin (l to r)

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Categories: Saturday European Fiction


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