– How the current situation and the hype around the fashion industry influence your work?
– fortunately for me, just a week before the start of the quarantine I finished a new novel, who wrote for many years, and in these weeks still had not planned to do anything serious. Another thing that we all worry about the future, my age, about the future of children. The novel is also my baby, and I’m not sure that in a changed world waiting for him a happy life. And actually can repeat the words of the great Polish writer, recent winner of the Nobel prize for literature Olga Tokarchuk: “for a long time for me the world was too much. Too much, too fast, too loud. So I have no injuries to privacy and I do not suffer from not seeing people. I don’t regret that closed the theaters. I don’t care what don’t work shopping malls. I worry only when I think about all those who lost their jobs. The virus showed us that our feverish mobility threatens the world. And he asked us a question that we ourselves rarely have the courage: what are we actually looking for?”
You publish on your page stories of your students from the 1980s. How does it help to overcome the current anxiety for a coronavirus?
– Like many, I use the quarantine to make out of old paper, to put in order your files. Among the drafts and sketches found in the manuscript called “Scary stories told to me by 13 may 1982 6 students “b” class of school № 9 in Perm”. In this school, I taught history from 1975 to 1983 May is the end of the school year, the program, basically, is passed, and in Sunny weather to get kids to learn is quite difficult. One of the lessons I asked them to tell me scary stories, which were told in the yard or in summer camps after lights-out. My sixth graders enthusiastically agreed, in the end, I had this manuscript. I wanted to use it for a novel about the school but the novel was never written, and the history remained. They are not so much scary as funny. This is a great source for the social psychology of the late USSR, and in the current situation have the same therapeutic properties – it’s nice to break out of his time and carried away during their own youth or youth parents.
– One of the main themes of your books – the Civil war in Russia. The current pandemic capable to lead Russia to a new fratricidal war or, on the contrary, unite people?
– do Not believe in a new fratricidal war, nor that the coronavirus will unite people. In the twentieth century, mankind went through two devastating world wars, but its nature has changed little. However, I think we, in the West, some social institutions and norms will disappear or be changed. This is the usual result of all social upheavals, whatever they were called.
In your novel “Cranes and dwarfs” the action takes place in several epochs, which are somehow related to each other. One of the Central becomes the image of the impostor. To what extent are today in terms of increasing panic we can talk about the emergence of new adventurers?
– I wrote it on the impostors and they appeared in such societies, where the main source of information is hearsay, word of mouth. When Emelyan Pugachev proclaimed himself Emperor Peter III, there was no Internet, no television, and Newspapers were available only in the capitals, the insignificant circulation and to the province almost did not reach. The only available image of the Emperor was the king’s profile on a silver ruble. During Falsdmitry was not and that, before the reign of Peter the portraits of kings on Russian coins were not minted. In addition, the intruders usually pretend to be the rulers or their descendants, who ruled for a short time and did not, as was believed in the people to fulfill their good intentions. This is a special kind of adventurers belong, mostly, history. Swept Russia last wave of imposture – 1990s. Then singingwound several hundred grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Nicholas II, but they were more of a parody of imposters XVII-XIX centuries. Today, the dominant type of adventurer – a swindler. And weak acting talents. He does not venture even to personal contact with his victims and is valid by phone or on the Internet. I do not think the pandemic is something here would change.
did You write the script of the series “death of the Empire”. Is it possible to compare the current situation with the pre-revolutionary years of the First world war?
– I think such an analogy is counterproductive. Man always sees around him what he wants, and certainly there are people ready to see in the current situation, similarities with the pre-revolutionary time. Perhaps there are those who would like to use it to their advantage, but their success, I do not believe. Revolution ripen of hatred and despair, not out of fear and anxiety for the future.
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