Today at Necessary Fiction I reviewed The New Moscow Philosophy by Vyacheslav Pyetsukh and translated by Krystyna Anna Steiger:

There is a wonderful layering of thematic project in this novel, deftly smoothed together by the chatty omniscient narrator. Beyond the meaning of the actual events which transpire in the apartment and Chinarikov and Belotsvetov’s philosophical examinations, the novel spends many a word on an intertextual reckoning of the complicated bond between life and literature…

This (preoccupation) proclaims with unabashed joy that literature and life have become equal sources of human memory, of human thought. To a convinced reader, this is nothing extraordinary except for the thrill of the thought being written down and thus sanctioned. That a fictional conversation between Raskolnikov and Sonia might carry as much truth, or better yet, a greater, more perfect truth, than one between a real-live Russian student and his impoverished prostitute sweetheart is something all committed bibliophiles believe with something as powerful as religious faith. In literature, life is refined, perfected, distilled.

Click here for the full review.