Yury Trifonov took a turn toward the controversial, and a leap toward greatness, with the publication of the two novellas included in this collection. "The Exchange" and "The Long Goodbye" depict the complex dilemmas and compromises of Russian life after World War II. These works, along with the short stories "Games at Dusk" and "A Short Stay in the Torture Chamber," detaiYury Trifonov took a turn toward the controversial, and a leap toward greatness, with the publication of the two novellas included in this collection. "The Exchange" and "The Long Goodbye" depict the complex dilemmas and compromises of Russian life after World War II. These works, along with the short stories "Games at Dusk" and "A Short Stay in the Torture Chamber," detail the moral and spiritual decline in Russia that resulted from the growing distance between the theoretical idealism of the Soviet state and the actual materialism and careerism that increasingly marked society....
|Title||:||The Exchange and Other Stories|
|Number of Pages||:||192 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
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The Exchange and Other Stories Reviews
I have no idea which "other" stories this edition contains, I'm just listing all the "Moscow novels" by Yuri Trifonov I've read:1) "The Exchange" is what Chekhov would write if he would live 109 years. Universal story, for all ages and nations and countries: he has a wife and she's beautiful and clever, he is soft and intelligent, she's good with him. but very aggresive and morally ambivalent when there's a goal to achieve (new apartment, new job, etc). She's much stronger then him. She doesn't like his mother. he isn't going very well with hers. She more or less consumes him, his opinion, his view on the world, his personality doesn't really exist, it was replaced by her's. Somewhere deep deep inside he understands that and struggles and sometimes even hopes to breakthrough to himself, but never can.Trifonov follows his life and shows how this whole thing happened, how did they get together, how relationships inside this families started to fall apart, how this man lived his whole life doing not exactly he was meant to do and wanted to be doing, how in the end he exchanged his mother for his wife and practically ceased to exist as a person (although literally they exchange apartments). 2) "Early Results" is somewhat mirroring "The Exchange". Told from the point of view of a run-away man. He left his wife and grown-up son, travelled far far away, to the other side of the country (USSR) and now remembers what has happened. He is mediocre translator, with a lot of fixations and neurosises about his declining career and wife's lovers. He tends to blame his family for his problems and yet we see he, himself here and there sells out his own early ideals, his work, his wife even, his son, how he cheats, how he lies and every single time finds something to justify himself. Will he get back to Moscow, to the family? That's what this novel about3) "Long goodbye" is about young actress, Ljalja. At first we see her as she is starting to get success in the theatre through all the problems and humilations. She has a husband who is young playwriter, his plays no one wants to stage, and she has a lover, very succesfull playwriter who is actually main engine for her career. She hides her husband from her theatre enviroment, she's having troubles dealing with his jealously, but still he loves her truly. Succesfull one uses her, tries to sell her to more powerfull men and all the help he had offered for her is pretty much what he is paying for sex. When she will realise that, she will have to choose between these two men and of course she will make the worst choice (for her). Trifonov is very very hard to film, close to impossible, because everything he has is in those soliloquiums of his characters and soliloquiums don't fit that well for screen. And yet "Long Goodbye" made into very good movie (2004) by Sergey Ursuljak, they got tons of prizes particulary at Western film festivals.4) "Another life" is a story of failed man, Sincere, rapt, honest he isn't able to "make career", he just tries to be what he is and do what he likes to do and life punishes him for that: his ph.D isn't happening, his old friends are turning away, his family falls apart. Told from the point of view of his wife recently widowded, she recalls her life with him and understands how empty her life now, without that broken, unlucky man.5) "The House on the Embankment" is perhaps the most well-known novel by Trifonov, yet my least favorite. The House on the Embankment literally is a huge building on the other side of Moskva-river acrss the Kremlin (see it here: http://dedushkin1.livejournal.com/107... ). All Soviet aristocracy were living in it and when Stalin in 30s was killing old bolsheviks and replacing them with new burocracy the house was like a disturbed beehive. Novel tells a story of treachery. Little one, first treachery to start a career, but the one that defines whole life. Young man sells out his proferssor and his daughter with whom he is having love affair, knowing that the profosser is about to loose his position. There is a group of young people, somewhere behind the scene Stalin;s regime commits atrocities and these young people are extended victims of what is happing with their parents and families,
The opening of Yury Trifonov’s The Long Goodbye describes to us a place where beautiful lilac bushes used to grow two decades earlier but which have since been replaced by a grey eight-storey apartment. Thus the novella’s narrative of a long-drawn out disappearance – the end of an era, the loss of familiar settings, the vanishing of persons, the fading of feelings – is foreshadowed.We are presented with a situation where two lovers who, while still having feelings for each other, are gradually falling out of love. The two sway between the two extremes of clinging and detachment. Something is amiss but they cannot bring themselves to face it. It is a deteriorating state which they try their best to prop, though with those around each their respective lives – friends, workmates, and family – not cooperating.Misunderstandings become more frequent. But they can’t bring themselves to bring it to an end. They’re always at a loss for words whenever they come close to a confrontation with the Real of their relationship. Instead, they set up an Imaginary semblance of tranquility, a sort of nothingness, which is nonetheless belied by the underlying yet inexpressible disorder that structures their relationship.It becomes a long-drawn out death. And at the end of it all, it is exhaustion that drives the final cutting of ties. They simply drift away. But when they finally got out of it they still don’t know if they’d actually feel happy for the new possibilities that now lay before them, for the freedom they now have, or feel sad for the loss of this kernel of happiness that came from that ended affair, however dim the memory of that happiness is.The Long Goodbye traces this process wonderfully. The Long Goodbye can be likened to Chekhov’s “A Lady with the Dog” but in reverse. We have the same melancholy voice, the same subdued prose, the same poetic quality, the same dreary ordinariness of everyday life. There are no grand events. The focus is on the buildup of the small things that makes up the life of any human being.But instead of depicting the course of falling in love in an affair, like in “A Lady with the Dog,” you have a gradual, slow, falling out. At the end of Chekhov’s short story, the lovers still have everything still coming before them. The reader is left to herself to contemplate on what comes next. By the end of The Long Goodbye, we have everything done and over with as memories that passed away. From The Long Goodbye
tons of historical digressions, explanations, intricate four-way conversations with the traditional sixteen forms of address, lavish descriptions of tiny gardens and crumbling soviet shorelines, and helpful advice for young bachelors and old fogies living in squalor and crippling muscovite depression. really good, even better the second or third time around.
One of the best books about Moscow: has the rythm, thoughts, even taste and smell of the daily life in Moscow