By Sasha Sokolov

Via turns lyrical and philosophical, witty and baffling, A university for Fools confounds all expectancies of the unconventional. the following we discover now not one trustworthy narrator yet “unreliable” narrators: the younger guy who's a pupil on the “school for fools” and his double. What starts as a reverie (with common interruptions) involves appear a type of fairy-tale quest now not for gold or marriage yet for self-knowledge. The currents of awareness operating throughout the novel are passionate and profound. thoughts of adolescence summers on the dacha are contemporaneous with the current, the useless are alive, and the liked is found in the wind. here's a story both of insanity or of the lifetime of the mind's eye, in dialog with cause, straining on the limits of language; within the phrases of Vladimir Nabokov, “an spell binding, tragic, and touching work.”

Sasha Sokolov was once born in 1943 in Canada, the son of a high-ranking Soviet diplomat. Sokolov studied journalism at Moscow kingdom college and tried to flee from the USSR, for which he used to be imprisoned. In 1975, he used to be allowed to go away the rustic following a world human rights scandal. The manuscript of A college for Fools, his first novel, used to be smuggled out of the Soviet Union that very same 12 months, and released to nice acclaim within the west. A college for Fools has been translated into over twenty languages. Sokolov is the recipient of the distinguished Andrei Bely Prize in 1981, and of the Pushkin Prize for Literature in 1996. he's additionally the writer of novels Astrophobia and Between puppy and Wolf, and of a publication of essays In the home of the Hanged.

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Least of all does he question why his new companion, evidently a man of high birth, refuses to exploit his family’s position to keep his own larder stocked. Carlson, he has come to understand, prefers life beyond his father’s influence. Carlson himself sees no contradiction of character when requesting a helping or two from Abrams. In doing so, he once claimed, he was 34 LANDSMAN graciously enabling his young comrade-in-arms to perform the timehonored ritual, once so prevalent in Classical Greece, of xenia, or hospitality.

Until that time, his gambling had been able to maintain a fairly regular supply of coffee. Professor Carlson, offering his services as tutor to some of the regiment’s most ignorant, if earnest, men, had also been contributing the odd tablespoon of grounds to their pooled reserve. At present, however, coffee has become among the camp’s most prized commodities. Hyams takes a good long look at his private. ” Hyams grunts. ” 49 Peter Charles Melman Abrams shrugs. ” The lieutenant colonel laughs at this.

He cuts short his thieving to look down at Wolfe—the slick, pomaded hair, the handsome Hebraic nose, the full lips and penetrating eyes—who is now crouching beside the man on the floor. Abrams watches him stroke the man’s head lovingly, while whispering to him perverse indulgences. “Aw honey, hush,” Wolfe is whispering. “Everything’s fine, just as fine as can be. ” He quits his fussing to meet Abrams’ gaze, where far more than silence is exchanged between them. The entirety of their lives together inhabits that stare: their introduction at the Jewish Widows and Orphans Home five years before, the shared months there, their dreams of wealth and wine, their first drunks, first fights, and first fucks, their joint decision to tempt New Orleans’ streets.

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