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. Written at the height of Stalin’s first “five-year plan” for the industrialization of Soviet Russia and the parallel campaign to collectivize Soviet agriculture, Andrei .

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The symbol of the pit is perhaps too easily read. At no point in the thee do his socialists possess depth; they never depart from their revolutionary rhetoric and simplistic self-concern. Chiklin gazed for a long time into the exultant thick of the people and felt, in his own breast, the peace of goodness; from the height of fohndation porch he could see the lunar purity of the distant scale of things, the sadness of light that had gone still, and the submissive sleep of the entire world—a world that had cost so much labor and pain to organize that this had been forgotten by everyone, so that they would not know the terror of living on further.

A gust of wind blew from an unknown place, so that people would not suffocate, and a dog on the outskirts let it be known, in a weak voice of doubt, that it was on duty. Every nation has its public jargon. All of the workers meet Nastya. Yet apparently he did—and failed. The rest of the peasants spend the night involuntarily vomiting.

Chiklin and Voschev find an old man laying on the ground. That critique is front-and-center in the first pages of The Foundation Pit when the novel’s big titular symbol is laid before us.

Such an approach would thereby take up the oblique language of censorship and invert the very logic of immanent self-determination—as in Julien Gracq’s Opposing Shorewhere the narrative marches inexorably towards a dissolution that was always already present. As a simple i will transcribe literally some paragraphs of the novel: Despite all the image of it being a dull, glum place, the Soviet Union produced a fair number of satirists — although few if any of the really good ones were published in the USSR.


The Foundation Pit

In short, I will state that it is the strangest and most disturbing novel I have ever read, but ‘strange’ and ‘disturbing’ in a unique way, not in the way th It has been two years since I read this novel and unlike all the other books I have listed on Goodreads I never wrote a review for this one. George Saunders and Austrian Elfriede Jelinek are two other, very divergent but likewise successful latter-day practitioners of this strategy of making the monstrous Caliban-language of the mass culture sing its own inadequacy.

Yet a peasant named Yelisey tells the group that the coffins belong to his village. The prose is a wild combination of the degraded bureaucratic and the weirdly personal. He tells Chiklin about a girl who spontaneously kissed him. Voschev explains the bear feels that way because he has no purpose in life except to work. The activist rounds up all of the peasants but is terrified to make a mistake.

Chiklin spends 15 hours digging a grave for Nastya in order to ensure she will be disturbed by neither worms nor human beings.

The novel opens with the excavation somewhere in the Russian countryside of the foundation pit for a massive complex in which the collectivized farm laborers of tomorrow will reside. Some works from the period, such as Mikhail Bulgakov’s Master and Margarita and Isaac Babel’s short stories, have gained canonical status.

Voschev who we meet after being fired for thinking on the job, who searches for the meaning of life fonudation a collection of inanimate objects. The plans for the building keep getting bigger and bigger, and so the foundation pit must get bigger too.

It has been two years since I read this novel and unlike all the other books I have listed on Goodreads I never wrote a review for this one. A nation’s literary patrimony is a strange thing.

Andrek happens when you take out all individuality from people? There is value in Platonov’s speaking clearly about despair.

Views Read Edit View history. Here, however, rests the substance of creation and the aim and goal of every directive, a small person destined to become the universal element.

Dostoevsky, Grossman, Solzhenitsyn, Shalamov, Koestler — I could go on naming favorite writers that combine some or all of these categories. The workers steal Nastya’s empty coffins and bury the men in them. The bear reaches out and touches Nastya one last time. Thr few days later, the activist announces that the kulaks will be exterminated as a class, and then their bodies will be sent down the river on a makeshift raft.


The fact that the English was often awkward, and — to my mind — straightforward to corrected so as to read more smoothly, without apparent loss of meaning, points towards a poor translation; so I’ll give Platonov the benefit of the doubt. In each case, there is no awareness of contradiction. The Foundation Pit is the most extreme of possibilities, but all the same a very dark and intriguing one.

He learns that the group will be digging an enormous foundation pit in which they will later construct a housing complex for the country’s proletarians. An voundation raw and bleak novel beautiful even in its own way.

Andrey Platonov’s “Foundation Pit” – Words Without Borders

He links his arm with the arm of ghe regime and says, “Come on, we are going this way, let’s get a move on! She is about to die and is being taken care of by her daughter, Nastya.

His famous works include the novels The Foundation Pit and Chevengur. There is too much vision here, too much strength in the poetry, too much strangeness. His name is Prushevsky and, like Voschev, he feels that something is missing in his life. Foumdation realize this means that andfei foundation pit will have to be built even larger. But the happiness of childhood friendship, the realization of the future world in the play of youth and in the worthiness of their own severe freedom signified on the childish faces important gladness, replacing for them beauty and domestic plumpnes We always believe that the bright future is just around the corner and we wait for it to come… …on the face of each andrwi Pioneer girl there remained a trace of the difficulty, the feebleness of early life, meagerness of body and beauty of expression.

I’ve never seen the word “boring” used so strangely and to such effect.