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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She writes, “Liquidate the kulaks as a class. Many peasants were expecting platonovv to happen and stopped taking care of themselves long ago. Use only your heart and you’ll leave sad and nonplussed.

Julia tells her daughter to never reveal her family’s wealthy origins, lest she be punished by class enemies. Some bits are laugh-out-loud absurd, others were, I thought, rather dull.

The Foundation Pit by Andrei Platonov

They round up rich peasants, seize founration land, murder recalcitrants, ship whole populations down the river into slavery—all with the same combination of boredom and confused hope that animates their every other activity.

As discussed above, the book has a self-defeating intricacy, in which the emotive strangeness of the one tone continually breaks the depersonalizing, mindless spell of the ipt, and vice versa. Layered with a brittle beauty, Platonov’s totalitarianism vision is terrifying, and for the most part tremendously bleak, as we pass through the minds of various workers, engineers, peasants, and overseers as they puzzle over their dreary existence, and the gulf that separates it from their illogical hopes.

The novel did not appear publicly in Russia untillong after his death in in one of Stalin’s final purges.

I only wish Walter Benjamin had never died because I would love to know what he would have has to say about this man who had vision no less clear than that great “clairvoyant of the small” Robert Walser, prose no less ornate than Proust, and understanding of humanity no less reverent than Stefan George.


That critique is front-and-center in the first pages of The Foundation Pit when the novel’s big titular symbol is laid before us.

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

Yet apparently he did—and failed. The reader is left to ponder, like Voshchev, how so much death could be warranted in the effort to build a better life. Chiklin walks through an old tile factory and finds Julia, the boss’s daughter whom Prushevsky — and he, too, it is realized — kissed so many years earlier.

Their platnov is a failure.

The Foundation Pit by Andrey Platonov

Despite all the image of it being a dull, glum place, the Soviet Union produced a fair number of satirists — although few if any of the really good ones were published in the USSR. More so, Platonov was living in the Soviet Union at the time. The subject is the arbitrary brutality of collectivisation, which receives closer focus in the second anddei.

Some books hit me so hard that it hurts in my chest.

While I think the humor was intentional, when I look at a thw of the author I am not so sure. A girl asks him to teach her knowledge, and he leaves the worksite with her. Instead we get a hyper-sensitized and often animistic reshuffling of the deck of signification.

As the notes at the end point out, the oddness in the novel actually underplays how surreal life under Stalinism could be, citing the ppit example of a campaign to collect pond slime for paper making.

A smattering of other Platonov titles have turned up in recent times, and one can hope he will penetrate the American literary consciousness. Out oit a large cast, no main character emerges; the novel passes through the minds of various workers, engineers, peasants, and overseers as they puzzle over their boredom with life and the gulf that separates it from their incoherent hopes for socialism.


Soul addressed Stalin’s violence obliquely and therefore mysteriously.

View all 7 comments. By defining animal nature as para-human reality – he doesn’t allow such conditions to be merely classified as the will of nature. Here, however, rests the substance of creation and the aim and goal of every directive, a small person destined to become the universal element.

The Foundation Pit

The gigantic house being built by the workers to house the proletariats. It goes forward in time, sure, but the characters move here and there almost without reason, and it’s platojov clear ho I admire Andrey Platonov’s ability to bring out absurd hilarity of terrible things. When Nastya goes to sleep, the men resolve to start working early in the morning so that the housing complex foundaation be completed for any other underage visitors in the future.

Quite the contrary, it is about a vision, about a political program, about a love of the future, about foundatioh deification of a utopian system. Though he pursued studies in electrical engineering, when brought drought and famine he went to work as a specialist in land reclamation, plahonov hundreds of well- and pond-digging projects, as well as the draining of thousands of acres of swampland.

Kay Ryan and Marianne Moore More than most contemporary poets, Kay Ryan listens to words as seasoned concertgoers listen to