“Asan” by Vladimir Makanin

Asan Vladimir Makanin “Asan wants money. Asan wants blood.” Within the emerging genre of “Chechen,” as in referring to the recent Chechen wars, prose, Vladimir Makanin’s “Asan” has engendered controversy. To a field zealously guarded by its veterans, the non-veteran Makanin has contributed two works: the novella “Caucasian Captive” (Кавказский пленный) and now the novel […]

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“Captive of the Caucasus” by Vladimir Makanin and “Captive” by Aleksey Uchitel

Kavkazskii plennyi Vladimir Makanin I have to be upfront here and say that I’ve only read Kavkazskii plennyi, not the rest of the stories in this collection, so I can only judge that. But anyone interested in the development of contemporary Russian literature and its relationship with its illustrious past will definitely want to read […]

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“Hadji Murad” by Leo Tolstoy

Hadji Murad Delphi Classics edition, with portrait of Tolstoy Decades after his time in the Caucasus, and years after he had turned his back on writing the kind of fashionable, worldly novels that had propelled him to fame, Tolstoy took up his fiction-writing pen again in order to create “Hadji Murad,” often considered to be […]

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My Chat with Veteran and Author Brian Van Reet About Literary Creation and Military Service, Part II

Recently author Brian Van Reet and I had a long chat about art, war, life–pretty much everything.  In Part I of our conversation we discussed, among other things, the process of literary creation, the military-civilian divide, and feasibility of reinstating the draft.  The continuation of our conversation is below. EPC: I think it can be hard […]

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My Chat with Veteran and Author Brian Van Reet About Literary Creation and Military Service

As I work on my research about, and prepare for my class on, contemporary war writing, a number of authors and translators have graciously agreed to talk to me.  A couple of weeks ago I posted my chat with British veteran and author Andy Owen; this time it’s American Brian Van Reet, author of Spoils, […]

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