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A Hunt for Optimism [Paperback]

Viktor Shklovsky

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Book Description

Jan. 3 2013

Begun in 1929 under the title "New Prose," and drastically revised after Vladimir Mayakovsky's sudden death, A Hunt for Optimism (1931) circles obsessively around a single scene of interrogation in which a writer is subjected to a show trial for his unorthodoxy. Using multiple perspectives, fragments, and aphorisms, and bearing the vulnerability of both the Russian Jewry and the anti-Bolshevik intelligentsia -- who had unwittingly become the "enemies of the people" -- Hunt satirizes Soviet censorship and the ineptitude of Soviet leaders with acerbic panache. Despite criticism at the time that it lacked unity and was too "variegated" to be called a purely "Shklovskian book," Hunt is stylistically unpredictable, experimentally bold, and unapologetically ironic -- making it one of the finest books in Shklovsky's body of work.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press (Jan. 3 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1564787907
  • ISBN-13: 978-1564787903
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 14 x 1.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #223,054 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A rambling, digressive stylist, Shklovsky throws off brilliant apercus on every page . . . Like an architect's blueprint, [he] lays bare the joists and studs that hold up the house of fiction. --Michael Dirda

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