The Foundation Pit
Translated from the Russian by Robert & Elizabeth Chandler and Olga Meerson
With notes and an afterword by Robert Chandler and Olga Meerson
In Andrey Platonov’s The Foundation Pit, a team of workers has been given the job of digging the foundation of an immense edifice, a palatial home for the perfect future that, they are convinced, is at hand. But the harder the team works, the deeper they dig, the more things go wrong, and it becomes clear that what is being dug is not a foundation but an immense grave.
The Foundation Pit is Platonov’s most overtly political book, written in direct response to the staggering brutalities of Stalin’s collectivization of Russian agriculture. It is also a literary masterpiece. Seeking to evoke unspeakable realities, Platonov deforms and transforms language in pages that echo both with the alienating doublespeak of power and the stark simplicity of prayer.
This English translation is the first and only one to be based on the definitive edition published by Pushkin House in Moscow. It includes extensive notes and, in an appendix, several striking passages deleted by Platonov. Robert Chandler and Olga Meerson’s afterword discusses the historical context and style of Platonov’s most haunted and troubling work.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - DieFledermaus - LibraryThing
In the introduction to the NYRB edition of The Foundation Pit, Platonov is described as “doing violence to language” and that is an apt description of the book. It has a disjointed, surreal plot and ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - Narboink - LibraryThing
The Afterward in the 2009 edition (which I recommend reading as a Forward or Introduction) includes this bullseye assessment: "The Foundation Pit is probably the work in which Platonov does most ... Read full review
the fouNdatioN pit
acknowledgements and Further reading