By Dmitri Birman, Antonina W. Bouis, Bela Shayevich
Alphabet of mask is a set of brief tales and poems written on a cellular phone. it truly is an innovative foray into the modern day Russian event. Dmitri Birman indicates us how ultra-modern Russians straddle their Soviet earlier and their capitalist destiny so that it will continue to exist. The tales are wry, funny, and sexually frank; the poems lyrical and elegiac in regards to the narrator and his associates. The anti-Semitic truth of college bullies and armed forces conscription, the adolescent craving for classmates and educating assistants, the Soviet dream of worldwide trip and comfort consumption—all are a part of the publication, whereas the poetry resonates as diversifications on a subject. Dmitri Birman grew to become a brand new Russian businessman after Communism fell. A prize-winning poet, he's a member of the Russian PEN.
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In that now distant country that is always home (where you needed coupons to buy sausage and vodka), they would not let me not think about the Choice. They reminded me, prompted me … and reminded me again. But my genetic memory did not beckon me to the Near East, did not lead me through the desert, did 32 Alphabet of Masks not call me to the synagogue. The language I had never known did not awaken memories in me. People told me to think about my children and their future. During the election campaign, my mother said, ―Son!
It came to me in flash. I opened a pigeonhole in the desk, took out a small cardboard box, andhesitating for just a momentslipped my father‘s signet ring onto the fourth finger of my left hand. For those of you who don‘t know, a signet is a kind of ring that was in fashion at the time. Worn by bosses and their underlings, parolees and the unindicted, mechanics and cabdrivers. ) The bigger the ring, the more important you were. Bushy-haired, big-nosed artisans worked wonders with scrap gold, creating works of art with lions‘ heads, bulls‘ heads, serpents, or the initials of the future owner.
Just days after a general in wrinkled uniform, unshaven and not sober, came to the cemetery, ten new graves appeared along the main path for young men killed in Afghanistan. From time to time fresh graves for the fallen comrades were dug, and sometime later I began seeing photographs on monuments of fresh-faced and clear-seeing boys killed in Chechnya. Farther along, deeper inside, where the trees are thicker, lie the Tatars, and beyond them, the Jews. ‖ Even 28 Alphabet of Masks though it‘s the same territory and the people who come here resemble one another.