Chris Blattman

Throwing house pets into the forest

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The Russian novelist Sergei Minaev tells the New York Times what it was like to come of age in Russia after the Cold War:

Then in the 1990s they drastically changed everything. They said, O.K., now we’re watching another channel. We’re not watching this one anymore.

They said, forget about all the heroes, forget about the entire cultural heritage, forget about everything. We’ve changed the picture. Now survive.

It’s like throwing house pets into the forest.

Minaev’s novel Dukhless (meaning ‘soulless’) chronicles the descent of a young Russian’s life into debauchery as he wrestles with the ghosts of the Communist past and materialist present. No English translation yet, but I plan to keep my eyes out for it.