The Funeral Party by Ulitskaya

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Show Notes

This week, Matt and Cameron celebrate life, death, and cultural identity abroad in The Funeral Party by Lyudmila Ulitskaya. The plot of this book is deceptively simple: in a sweltering New York apartment, a group of Russian emigres take care of a quickly dying artist who is the nucleus of their strange little community; in another way, the book is about everything other than that. A ranging, almost ethnographic, and incisively written look into a split section of emigre life, this is a novel you don’t want to skip.

Major themes: Alcohol, The August Coup, the Labyrinth of Plots returns.

03:52 - Yes, my mind does work on free-associations like this on a regular basis. Some call it a talent, doctors call it ADHD.

07:53 - The Weight of Words by Masha Gessen

12:45 - Take a shot every time I say “interplay” on this episode.

18:46 - Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the English version of “Paradoxes of Space Time Model Transformation: Specificity of Literary Time and Space Presentation in Lyudmila Ulitskaya’s Prose,” so here’s a link to the Russian version. For what it’s worth, it reads as “The Character (or specific character) of the Creation of Artistic Time and Space in Lyudmila Ulitskaya’s Prose,” to my eye.

21:37 - 0 for 2 on those pronunciations there, bud.

24:39 - I would perhaps go even further and say the implicit and over biases that we categorize as racism are behaviors and attitudes that we see in all societies.

The music used in this episode was “soviet march,” by Toasted Tomatoes. You can find more of their work on Bandcamp and YouTube.