By Sasha Sokolov
Via turns lyrical and philosophical, witty and baffling, A university for Fools confounds all expectancies of the radical. right here 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 off as a reverie (with common interruptions) involves appear a kind of fairy-tale quest no longer for gold or marriage yet for self-knowledge. The currents of attention operating during the novel are passionate and profound. thoughts of adolescence summers on the dacha are contemporaneous with the current, the lifeless 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 enthralling, tragic, and touching work.”
Sasha Sokolov used to be born in 1943 in Canada, the son of a high-ranking Soviet diplomat. Sokolov studied journalism at Moscow kingdom collage and tried to flee from the USSR, for which he used to be imprisoned. In 1975, he was once allowed to go away the rustic following a global 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 university for Fools has been translated into over twenty languages. Sokolov is the recipient of the celebrated 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 booklet of essays In the home of the Hanged.
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The colonel also kept a splendid riding equipage. His stable and carriage-house presented the appearance of some of our large city livery establishments. His horses were of the finest form and noblest blood. His carriage-house contained three splendid coaches, three or four gigs, besides dearborns and barouches of the most fashionable style. Page 26 This establishment was under the care of two slavesold Barney and young Barneyfather and son. To attend to this establishment was their sole work. But it was by no means an easy employment; for in nothing was Colonel Lloyd more particular than in the management of his horses.
Every year brings with it multitudes of this class of slaves. It was doubtless in consequence of a knowledge of this fact, that one great statesman of the south predicted the downfall of slavery by the inevitable laws of population. Whether this prophecy is ever fulfilled or not, it is nevertheless plain that a very different-looking class of people are springing up at the south, and are now held in slavery, from those originally brought to this country from Africa; and if their increase will do no other good, it will do away the force of the argument, that God cursed Ham, and therefore American slavery is right.
Children from seven to ten years old, of both sexes, almost naked, might be seen at all seasons of the year. There were no beds given the slaves, unless one coarse blanket be considered such, and none but the men and women had these. This, however, is not considered a very great privation. They find less difficulty from the want of beds, than from the want of time to sleep; for when their day's work in the field is done, the most of them having their washing, mending, and cooking to do, and having few or none of the ordinary facilities for doing either of these, very many of their sleeping hours are consumed in preparing for the field the coming day; and when this is done, old and young, male and female, married and single, drop down side by side, on one common bed,the cold, damp floor,each covering himself or herself with their miserable blankets; and Page 22 here they sleep till they are summoned to the field by the driver's horn.
A School for Fools (New York Review Books Classics) by Sasha Sokolov