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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They bury Kozlov and Pih before receiving a letter from Prushevsky, who says that Nastya has begun attending nursing school. What I appreciated was Platonov’s dense and complex use of allusions and imagery throughout the story.

Whether her articulations are right or wrong, they read less like riddles than much of the rest of the dialogue, which foundtion a certain appeal: Chiklin kills one of them out of anger, and a second peasant turns up dead under suspicious circumstances. The very Soviet narrative voice permeates even down to the smallest of moments and most minor of characters.

I admire Andrey Platonov’s ability to bring out absurd hilarity of terrible things. View all 6 comments.

The Foundation Pit by Andrey Platonov

Stefan Zweig’s World of Yesterday Zweig was obsessed with the impossibility of attaining any distance on catastrophe in an age of It’s brutal, funny, and sad. Many peasants were expecting this to happen and stopped taking care of themselves long ago.


The plot of the novel concerns a group of workers living in the early Soviet Union. I remember reading an essay by George Orwell in Books v. However, the men join him and, in essence, lose themselves in the hard work.

The Foundation Pit

Download our Spring Fiction Sampler Now. The next morning, the workers find empty coffins buried in the ground. That obviousness may anrdey a problem, in fact, in the early pages. Views Pih Edit View history. She is about to die and is being taken care of by her daughter, Nastya. There are tangential ideas that amplify the sense of horror, a sense of horror that originates in the idea of a perpetually increasing work ethic.

Even with a very good explanatory afterword and thorough notes, it remains mysterious.

The more salient and disquieting critique would instead be to retain an unspoken gulf separating that which is rendered at the level of the text what is said to be happening and that which is submerged beneath th representation what is “really” happening. For the entire first half of the book, the plot centers on the pit’s excavation. Zhachev responds, “I look at children for memory.

As a simple i will transcribe literally some paragraphs of the novel: Platonov’s nightmare is filled with characters cut off from normal human feelings, emotions, and reality, they go about their labour like foundaation walking dead. The workers platoonov that Kozlov and Safronov, even though they hate each other, will lead the collectivization process. He leaves the worksite and never returns. Shalomov unveiled work-death for me, Krasznahorkai radiated anerey crepuscular light on post-socialist conditions and their inevitable demise but it’s Platonov that approaches the greatest depth of tone in the resonance of the gears ground by evil.


I only wish Walter Benjamin had never died because I would love to know what he would have has to say about this man who had vision no less clear than that great “clairvoyant of the small” Robert Walser, prose no less ornate than Proust, and understanding of humanity no less reverent than Stefan George.

The Foundation Pit by Andrei Platonov

On the day of the thirtieth anniversary of his private life, Voshchev was made redundant from the small machine factory where he obtained the means for his own existence. According to him, children were the reason that he and others were working toward socialism.

He is awaiting Science-he wants to rise again!. Finally, there is the foundation pit that Voshchev, Chikiln and their fellow proletarians are digging, a foundation pit for a great communal home for the town so its residents will no longer live in individualist isolation from the peopleā€¦.

A nation’s literary patrimony is a strange thing. Use only your heart and you’ll leave sad and nonplussed.