By Viktor Shklovsky
Started in 1929 less than the identify "New Prose," and vastly revised after Vladimir Mayakovsky's surprising loss of life, A Hunt for Optimism (1931) circles obsessively round a unmarried scene of interrogation during which a author is subjected to a convey trial for his unorthodoxy. utilizing a number of views, fragments, and aphorisms, and bearing the vulnerability of either the Russian Jewry and the anti-Bolshevik intelligentsia—who had unwittingly develop into the "enemies of the people"—Hunt satirizes Soviet censorship and the ineptitude of Soviet leaders with acerbic panache. regardless of feedback on the time that it lacked solidarity and was once too "variegated" to be known as a only "Shklovskian book," Hunt is stylistically unpredictable, experimentally daring, and unapologetically ironic—making it one of many best books in Shklovsky's physique of labor.
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Additional resources for A Hunt for Optimism
I was in Russia then ... yes, I've been there, too, for the mines again, copper this time, near Novo Rossisk ... I had learnt five or six words of Russian, just enough for my work: no; yes; bread; water; I love you; come; how much? But I got friendly with a Russian, a thoroughgoing Bolshevik. We went every evening to a tavern in the port. We knocked back a good number of bottles of vodka, and that put us into high spirits. Once we began to feel good we wanted to talk. He wanted to tell me everything that had 79 happened to him during the Russian revolution, and I wanted to let him know what I had been up to ...
Then, heaven help us, they'll scamp their work, do it any old how. Heaven help them, too, you'd better realise that. When the boss is hard, the men respect him, they work. ' Another evening, after work, he threw his pick down in the shed and shouted, out of all patience: 'Look here, boss, do stop meddling. As fast as I build, you destroy. Now what are all those things you were telling them 57 tell you that? I don't believe in anything or any one; only in Zorba. Not because Zorba is better than the others; not at all, not a little bit!
Tell me about her! ' 'Another time, boss. We mustn't get them mixed up, the poor things! ' He quaffed the glass of wine. Then he leaned against the wall and said: 'All right! I'll tell you now about Noussa. I've got Russia on the brain tonight. Strike the flag! ' He wiped his moustache and poked the embers.