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The Foundation Pit (New York Review Books Classics) [Andrey Platonov, Robert Chandler, Elizabeth Chandler, Olga Meerson] on *FREE*. The Foundation Pit portrays a group of workmen and local bureaucrats engaged in digging the foundation pit for what is to become a grand ‘general’ building. Written at the height of Stalin’s first “five-year plan” for the industrialization of Soviet Russia and the parallel campaign to collectivize Soviet agriculture, Andrei .

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The Foundation Pit by Andrey Platonov | Quarterly Conversation

Kozlov unexpectedly shows up at the worksite wearing an expensive suit, the result of having been appointed chairman of the labor union council. He then sees a cripple named Zhachev, who Voschev thinks is about to harass a group of Pioneer girls.

Some of the episodes with politics and their attendant language, for example, felt a little too familiar because I’ve read a fair bit of socialist realism. Refresh and try again. Instead we get a hyper-sensitized and often animistic reshuffling of the deck of signification. All in all, this is a quite brilliant piece of work. Born in Vorenzh, miles south of Moscow, inAndrey Platonov came of age during the chaotic years of the Russian Revolution. There is very little breathing room in this book; an arid completely humanly defined atmosphere pervades the book.

Of course it is all allegorical and I understand that certain people don’t like allegory, but that’s their loss. If you’re interested in more detail, here’s my blog entry about the book: After liquidating all their last breathing livestock, the peasants had begun to eat beef and had instructed all the members of their households to do the paltonov during this brief time they had eaten beef as if it were a communion–no one had wanted to eat, but the flesh of dear and familiar carcasses had to be hidden away inside one’s own body and preserved there from social ownership.

When asked why he stands idly for hours when he should be working, Voschev responds that he is trying to find the true meaning of life and that, if he succeeds, his happiness will raise productivity. Zhachev isn’t having a good time and keeps knocking peasants onto the ground for fun.


View all 8 comments. His platobov is to ‘go along’ with Stalin’s projects but to show how they ought to be conducted, with the implication that they are not morally, spiritually, or aesthetically wrong, but that they are in danger of being implemented incorrectly, inefficiently, in only a andrwi manner.

Julia tells her daughter to never reveal her family’s wealthy origins, lest she be punished by class enemies. This is easily one of the densest and most revealing books I’ve read about this or any other place in time.

Andrey Platonov’s “Foundation Pit” – Words Without Borders

But through an expansion of their flatness, terrifying potential is revealed in these single-note existences. Here, however, rests the substance of creation and the aim and plagonov of every directive, a small person destined to become the universal element. What the building will be, is not ever made clear and may not even be important.

In spite of not having the right work papers, Voshchev is taken on as part of the work crew, and though he soon proves an inadequate ditch-digger he is assigned other tasks such as watching over corpses in the nearby village.

Thanks for telling us about the problem. And then you will find that one of the characters is actually a bear. The men are struggling, down in the foundations, with the implications of the new regime, which is under construction and which therefore has turned the way of life, the way paltonov thinking and all relationships upside down.

Nastya dies the next morning. I urge you to discover him, too. Platonov believed that platonoc was fighting for the future.

There is much to the story, not simply in a historical sense foumdation more than can be gleaned from a single reading. Fallen leaves are reclaimed in attempt to resignify them before pointless desiccation. Platonov’s work is a representation of the conflict that arose between Russian individuals and the increasingly collectivized Soviet state in the late s.


This article’s plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. As the notes at the end point out, the oddness in the novel actually underplays how surreal life under Stalinism could be, citing the real example of a campaign to collect pond slime for paper making. Like Mikhail Bulgakov although this reads more like a gloomy Kafka Platonov’s novel is a scathing satire on Stalinism, in which he portrays a society systematically and regimented around a monstrous lie, one that plagues any meanin It saddens me when a novel especially one politically important remains unpublished during the life of the writer, a writer who ended up seeing out his days in poverty and misery.

The Foundation Pit

Alex Wenger is a writer living in New York City. He is trying to will himself to death, claiming that his soul disappeared when his horse was taken into collectivization. Quite the contrary, it is about a vision, about a political program, about a love of the future, about the deification of a utopian system.

One person who fits them rather swimmingly, and whom I had not previously read, is Platonov “Now we feel nothing at all – only dust and ashes remain in us. They take part in the collectivization campaign, too, banishing kulaks by sending them away by raft.

The subject is the arbitrary brutality of collectivisation, which receives closer focus in the second half. I’ll have to read more by Platonov to be sure; but I highly doubt that his writing will overshadow the beautiful prose of Vasily Grossman, to name just one of the many great Russian writers since Chekhov. He leaves the factory in search of new work.