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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It goes forward in time, sure, but the characters move here and there almost without reason, and it’s never clear ho I admire Andrey Platonov’s ability to bring out absurd hilarity of terrible things. This article’s plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed.

The Foundation Pit – Wikipedia

In this way, Nastya serves as a symbol of the Soviet Union’s future. Eventually platonob science, all dead people since the beginning of time will be resurrected, their scattered molecules captured and reassembled, so that they too can be put to work, forever. You are left with empty caricatures. And Platonov wouldn’t be the first Russian to see his work disappear into obscurity. Nastya’s condition is also worsening.

Some books hit me so hard that it hurts in my chest. She was the factory owner’s daughter, and, while he regrets not stopping to talk to her, he’s sure that she has grown old by now.

My laughter puzzles me. Russia, since the late Sixties and especially since the fall of Communism, has been reclaiming the writers and artists of Stalin’s purges.

They platonoc part in the collectivization campaign, too, banishing kulaks by sending them away by raft. He wants the communist party leaders to do exactly what they claim they really want, rather than pretending while actually making life easier for themselves, and this appalling purity is the weapon or tool with which Platonov assails the Dear Father, that tarnished Man of Steel. This might be the one book, fact or fiction, I’d recommend about life in the early days of the Soviet Union.

It’s brutal, funny, and sad. But sleep required forgiveness of past grief and the peace of a mind that trusts in life, whereas Voshchev was lying there in a dry tension of awareness, and he did not know whether he was of use to the world or whether everything would get along fine without him.

The Foundation Pit

The workers decide that Kozlov and Safronov, even though they hate each other, will lead the collectivization process. Chiklin kills one of them out of anger, and a second peasant turns up dead under suspicious circumstances.


I figured that I ths go wrong with The Foundation Pitwhich his major novel and a damning allegory of the Soviet Russian state Platonov platonob one of the first Russian thinkers to criticize as inhumane Stalin’s plans for collectivization. In the end, The Foundation Pit overwhelms its abdrei. The concludes The Foundation Pit with a quick note: George Saunders and Austrian Elfriede Jelinek are two other, very divergent but likewise successful latter-day practitioners of this strategy of making the monstrous Caliban-language of the tthe culture sing its own inadequacy.

The activist receives a letter from the Soviet government stating that any peasants who seem too willing to have their property collectivized should be treated with suspicion as undercover agents. He is awaiting Science-he wants to rise again!. The bear begins to weep, feeling isolated from the group. I read great swathes of this book as absurdist black comedy, and kept imagining the events portrayed as scenes in a marginally avant-garde silent film.

The Foundation Pit by Andrey Platonov

This girl will be the foubdation person in the book to enjoy the fruits of the backbreaking labor, but she dies, all hopes dashed. Here, however, rests the substance of creation and the aim and goal of every directive, a small person destined to become the universal element. Sometimes Platonov’s satire is too easy. The reference points of s Soviet Russia are lost or deliberately concealed; criticism had to be so carefully veiled as to be inaccessible without them.

The tragic reality is so inherently and unself-consciously absurd that conscious absurdism is the only way to deal with it, but even then it can not be overcome directly and so must be confronted with a variety of tones and tactics bolstered by pure artistic instinct.

This novel is a moving foray into the theatre of the absurd as the characters deal with the heartbreak and death a Platonov writes with a minimalist style in a stark Russian landscape in the midst of the absolute absurdity of a mindless Communist bureaucracy killing its people to dig a vast foundation pit in the middle of nowhere.

Of course it is all allegorical and I understand that certain people don’t like allegory, but that’s their loss. The future is deeply uncertain, the new world is under construction. To offer just a small example: Involved in this project are a cast of misfits, laborers, engineers, and union bosses, each with his role to play, and each decaying into varying psychoses quite rapidly through the narrative; each character getting buried under the labor required to build a future that never arrives.


Chiklin, a typical worker at the site, discovers a gully that he feels the group can use for the foundation pit without having to dig so far into the earth. Ultimately, it’s too transparent a satire—absurd caricatures abruptly shift into poetic, self-reflexive monologues rendering unnecessarily explicit an apparent division between the characters’ actions outwardly directed at an emancipatory horizon and their internal thoughts in which the former are revealed as farcical performances.

They bury Kozlov and Safronov before receiving a letter from Prushevsky, who says that Nastya has begun attending nursing school. Of course, that is not exactly how things went; the problem is usually presented as Stalinism, which with its monolithism must carry some of the blame, or among some of the more astute or jargon engaged the dictatorship of the proletariat — when it might better be seen as not the dictatorship of the proletariat as such but the Leninist notion that the vanguardist Party knew what the proletariat wanted.

In telling us why and how some die – Platonov is at the same time, in my opinion, showing us what living means necessarily. She is young, intelligent, and happy, but Platonov uses her death to symbolize his worries about the country’s state of affairs.

What happens when you take out all individuality from people? I found the book too overwhelming. He tells Chiklin about a girl who spontaneously kissed him. Most have been slower to emerge from shadow.

They see the annihilation of a society as another unpleasant duty, like ditch-digging, which must be undertaken to enact socialism. And then you will find that one of the characters is actually a bear. He set out to write an allegorical satire of the horrors he witnessed, and in the process found himself so bound up in those horrors, horrors perpetuated by an ideology he once believed in and still did, I suspect, in his idealismthat satire itself became far too constraining, and even his own reasoning abilities could not handle the influx of emotions dredged up by his tackling of the subject through writing, that his only option was to fall back into the arms of aesthetic intuition and write a book beyond all categorical limitations.