Trafika Europe 13 - Russian Ballet

Editors’ Welcome

Igor Sakhnovsky ’s character-driven and acutely observed work, both novels and short stories, carries on one of the best-loved traditions of Russian literature. His two lyrically inspired and satirically charged stories included here offer the best evidence that the farcical style and substance of such writers, in each successive generation, as Nikolai Gogol, Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin, Nikolai Leskov, Anton Chekhov, Ilf and Petrov, and Sergei Dovlatov, is not just a guilty pleasure, but a mainstay of Russian prose. Naum Vaiman ’s tightly plotted yet discursive longer short story, “Judeophile,” a miniature novella really, manages to represent the decline of the Soviet Empire with an epic scope that spans not only its final decades, but the context of millennia. Its true subject is History, written grand. Vaiman’s most recent and substantial contribution to Russian letters is his The Black Sun of Mandelstam (2017), a book-length study of the great 20 th -century Russian poet.

Val Votrin is a Belgian Russophone writer who is an environmental consultant by profession. Like most


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