Happy Moscow

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Harvill, Nov 1, 2001 - Fiction - 153 pages
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Moscow in the 1930s is the consummate symbol of the Soviet paradise, a fairy-tale capital where, in Stalin's words, "life has become better, life has become merrier". In Happy Moscow Platonov exposes the gulf between this premature triumphalism and the harsh reality of low living standards and even lower expectations. For in Stalin's ideal city there is no longer a place for those who do not fit the bright, shining image of the new men and women of the future. The heroine, Moscow Chestnova, is an Everywoman, both virgin and whore, who flits from man to man, fascinated by the brave new world supposedly taking shape around her. In a variety of styles ranging from the grotesque to the sentimental to the absurd, Platonov lays bare the ways in which language itself has been debased, even borrowing slogans from Stalin's own speeches for comic effect.

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User Review  - DuneSherban - LibraryThing

Written between 1932 and 1936, Happy Moscow (Schastlivaia Moskva) remained unpublished until 1991. This work, certainly Platonov's most ambiguous and complex work from the 1930s, tends to be forgotten ... Read full review

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About the author (2001)

Platonov, the son of a metalworker and the eldest of ten children, was born in a village near the Russian town of Voronezh. He began to publish poems and stories in the 1920s and worked as a land reclamation expert in central Russia, where he was a witness to the ravages of the Great Famine. In the 1930s Platonov fell into disfavor with the Soviet government, and his writing disappeared from sight.

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