~Epub ⚆ The Foundation Pit ♍ PDF or E-pub free

~Epub ♫ The Foundation Pit ♫ COVER DESIGNS THAT COME TO LIFE ANIMATE THE COVER WITH THE FREE INSERTED SHEETPlatonov s dystopian novel describes the lives of a group of Soviet workers who believe they are laying the foundations for a radiant future As they work harder and dig deeper, their optimism turns to violence and it becomes clear that what is being dug is not a foundation pit but an immense graveANSLATED BY ROBERT AND ELIZABETH CHANDLER AND OLGA MEERSON It saddens me when a novel especially one politically important remains unpublished during the life of the writer, a writer who ended up seeing out his days in poverty and misery And Platonov wouldn t be the first Russian to see his work disappear into obscurity Like Mikhail Bulgakov although this readslike a gloomy Kafka Platonov s novel is a scathing satire on Stalinism, in which he portrays a society systematically and regimented around a monstrous lie, one that plagues any meanin It saddens me when a novel especially one politically important remains unpublished during the life of the writer, a writer who ended up seeing out his days in poverty and misery And Platonov wouldn t be the first Russian to see his work disappear into obscurity Like Mikhail Bulgakov although this readslike a gloomy Kafka Platonov s novel is a scathing satire on Stalinism, in which he portrays a society systematically and regimented around a monstrous lie, one that plagues any meaning of hope and integrity for humanity Set against a backdrop of industrialisation and collectivisation The novel s central plot is quite straightforward Voschev, a machinist joins a group of workers digging an immense foundation pit for what most believe will be a communal high rise project to house the local proletariat Platonov s nightmare is filled with characters cut off from normal human feelings, emotions, and reality, they go about their labour like the walking dead.Layered with a brittle beauty, Platonov s totalitarianism vision is terrifying, and for the most part tremendously bleak, as we pass through the minds of various workers, engineers, peasants, and overseers as they puzzle over their dreary existence, and the gulf that separates it from their illogical hopes There is a really powerful ending that made it worth reading, but during middle third I thought it kind of lost it s way a bit Ultimately Platonov s tragic yet profoundly moving story is an anti Stalin savage analysis of an oppressive system, one that left me with mixed feelings though Considering Platonov has been hard to translate, I found this better than I expected, although, reading in the original Russian is obviously going to be greater 3.5 5 At once The Foundation Pit is a chilling view of the utopian ideal, but its themes run deep and show that the fate of humanity rests upon how exactly political and philosophical ideologies are carried out, and to what extent We often forget this when debating political views and concepts, that the reality is often dependent largely on who carries it out, regardless of how well it should work in theory We ve seen this time and time again, especially in the pursuit of equality when somehow there At once The Foundation Pit is a chilling view of the utopian ideal, but its themes run deep and show that the fate of humanity rests upon how exactly political and philosophical ideologies are carried out, and to what extent We often forget this when debating political views and concepts, that the reality is often dependent largely on who carries it out, regardless of how well it should work in theory We ve seen this time and time again, especially in the pursuit of equality when somehow there s still a group or individual higher up making all the decisions, be it Stalin or Jim Jones or any other leader you d like to fill in The Foundation Pit is the most extreme of possibilities, but all the same a very dark and intriguing one We are all equal in death.Although the prose was a little awkward at times which could simply be a flaw in translation since the book was not originally written in English , it s a simple but brutally effective story that raises timeless points about the dangers of getting too radical in the pursuit of an ideal and the toll it takes on those who seek to create it It s definitely a classic and a great piece of fiction with a lot to say 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 Each character is a ghost, or husk of itself, and moves through the narrative as a reasoning automaton, even if that reasoning is fatally flawed, and is not even properly reasoning Each character is trapped inside its own type casting, with this type casting being triple layered by the author, by the pervasive authority within the narrative, 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 Each character is a ghost, or husk of itself, and moves through the narrative as a reasoning automaton, even if that reasoning is fatally flawed, and is not even properly reasoning Each character is trapped inside its own type casting, with this type casting being triple layered by the author, by the pervasive authority within the narrative, and by the characters themselves There is very little breathing room in this book an arid completely humanly defined atmosphere pervades the book All of nature is reduced to a human apprehension of its utility, or lack thereof It is a portrayal of life on earth as a machine existence bloodless, emotionless, structured by simplistic reason Yet still I found it funny Absurdly funny.My laughter puzzles me While I think the humor was intentional, when I look at a photograph of the author I am not so sure Dour Russian the weight of the world dragging down his jowls prematurely But humorists do not always laugh themselves Sometimes the humor reveals so much that is tragic and meaningless that there is no laughter upon return the laughter so deep and meaningful, so drenched in tragic fatalism, that it can not vent itself from the depths of one s soul There is just a subsonic barely perceptible quaking This is what I suspect happened in Platonov s case 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 idealism , that 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.So my ultimate appraisal is that The Foundation Pit s absurdism, and its humor, is nothingor less than intellectual realism the product of a brain living through absurd situations encasing it like a prison ruled and structured by aberrant reason 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 is no anti Soviet tract as dry and obvious as the ideology it s attacking, but a work of art presented with all its inner conflicts intact Briefly, it is the story of a man who is starting life over after being booted from his former job for thinking too much He has nothing no family, no home, nothing but his need to survive, and drifts into an enormous state project to build a tower capable of housing all the country s workers The first order of business is to build the foundation pit a Herculean undertaking but that s as far as the project progresses 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 There is hope in the guise of a young girl, who enters the narrative as if straight out of a laborer s dreams This girl will be the only person in the book to enjoy the fruits of the backbreaking labor, but she dies, all hopes dashed.The allegorical aspects of the book did not quite win me over, especially the girl as representing hope But was the allegory even meant to be convincing, or was the use of allegory itself another layer of satire, a criticism of the communists insistence on forcing meaning onto every meaningless activity, like empty branding of itself, a self perpetuating machine of self defined meaning It s possible it was both sincere and satirical, as the tone of the book is loaded with internal conflict, and so is akin to poetry rather than logical exposition another reason why I loved it so much platonov, an atheist, believed that communism could take hold only if it met and surpassed the needs fulfilled by religion in other words, the revolution would have to fill the ol God Shaped Hole if it wanted to stick around it didn t it couldn t and platonov realized this his characters don t they sublimate themselves in communism to find some kind of spiriual answer good luck sisyphus would gladly trade spots with these suckers who devote their lives to digging a pit that will serve a platonov, an atheist, believed that communism could take hold only if it met and surpassed the needs fulfilled by religion in other words, the revolution would have to fill the ol God Shaped Hole if it wanted to stick around it didn t it couldn t and platonov realized this his characters don t they sublimate themselves in communism to find some kind of spiriual answer good luck sisyphus would gladly trade spots with these suckers who devote their lives to digging a pit that will serve as the foundation to a utilitarian superstructure of communism and, in the process, offer absolute personal and collective fulfillment.when communist Voshchev wakes from a nap out in a field, and finds a dead leaf blown from a distant tree Voshchev picked up the leaf that had withered and hid it away in a secret compartment of his bag, where he took care of all kinds of objects of unhappiness and obscurity You did not possess the meaning of life, supposed Voshchev with the miserliness of compassion Stay here and I ll find out what you lived and perished for Since no one needs you and you lie about amidst the whole world, then I shall store and remember you Everything lives and endures in the world, without becoming conscious of anything, said Voschev beside the road And he stood up, in order to go, surrounded by universal enduring existence It s as if some one man, or some handful of men, had extracted from us our convinced feeling and taken it for themselvesbleak stuff, trying to find truth in an empty room but this is our lot, eh and then late in this short novelthere was no truth in the world or maybe there had been once, in some plant or heroic creature, but then a wandering beggar had come by and eaten the plant, or trampled this creature down there on the ground in lowliness, and then the beggar had died in an autumn gully and the wind had blown his body clean into nothing in such passages platonov gets right to the core of what it means to be a human being to be part of that miserable race which knows it serves no real purpose, is driven mad with that knowledge, and so invents all kinda things to convince itself otherwise where platonov is not so successful is everywhere else the foundation pit is a chore to read in the same way the master and the margarita is both books plunge so deep in the symbolical and allegorical that one begins to feel she is reading what exists only as a coded message when the allegorical overtakes the actual this reader checks out perhaps one is, in fact, reading a coded message intended only to bypass censors nonetheless, there are different better ways to go about it i ve never bought the brechtian strategy of distancing the reader viewer in order to offer the opportunity for thought full on emotional engagement always seemed theeffective means to alter perspective and that kinda applies to what platonov s doing as well, eh maybe i ll resurrect platonov and sit him down with the great coetzee novels as instruction manuals then i ll resurrect josef von sternberg, leo tolstoy, joey ramone, michel de montaigne, marlene dietrich, thucydides, jean genet, susan sontag, george orwell, woody guthrie, norman mailer, rainer werner fassbinder, oscar wilde, abraham lincoln and rent one of those ridiculous gambling boats off the florida coast for a wild afternoon Andrei Platonov 1899 1951 was an intellectual who believed in and supported the Russian Revolution, became a member of the Communist Party and had the first hand experience of Stalin s forced collectivization of Soviet agriculture This is a novel that, despite its simplistic narrative, can be read on multiple levels Philosophy attempts to reveal universal truths, but in this case, is used to conceal the most atrocious reality A spiritual apathy has left everyone weak and powerless, farmer Andrei Platonov 1899 1951 was an intellectual who believed in and supported the Russian Revolution, became a member of the Communist Party and had the first hand experience of Stalin s forced collectivization of Soviet agriculture This is a novel that, despite its simplistic narrative, can be read on multiple levels Philosophy attempts to reveal universal truths, but in this case, is used to conceal the most atrocious reality A spiritual apathy has left everyone weak and powerless, farmers deprived of their land, idealists losing their faith, eventually humans become dehumanised, unable to map out what being human is about and go on living without a purpose or vanish into oblivion A brilliant, heartbreaking story based on true historical events A small fanfic silly collage inspired by this excerpt Prushevsky looked quietly into all of nature s misty old age and saw at its end some peaceful white buildings that shone withlight than there was in the air around them Prushevsky did not know a name for this completed construction, nor did he know its purpose, although it was clear that these distant buildings had been arranged not only for use but also for joy With the surprise of a man accustomed to sadness, Prushevsky observed the precise tenderness and the chilled, comprised strength of the remote monuments He had yet to see such faith and freedom in composed stones, nor did he know of a self luminous law for the gray color of his motherland Like an island, amid a remaining world that was being newly in some places they possessed blue, yellow, and green colors, which lent them the deliberate beauty of a child s depiction But when on earth was this built asked Prushevsky with bitterness, ,,, Andrei Platonov 1899 1951 , Platonov , , , , ,Nastya1928 29 Bednyaki serednyaki koulaki ,, ,Platonov , , ,, Platonov Andrew Platonov s The Foundation Pit is a brutal novel He shatters any illusions one might have about the virtues of Soviet communism Platonov s deadpan style makes the hunger and death he depicts that muchempty And while appearing to favor class struggle and scientific socialism, he subtly demolishes collectivism and any claim to nobility it might claim. 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 The net effect, like the writing of Samuel Beckett, is vulnerable characters searching without hope for meaning, which is absent or unfathomable or beyond their reach 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 The net effect, like the writing of Samuel Beckett, is vulnerable characters searching without hope for meaning, which is absent or unfathomable or beyond their reach This novel is a moving foray into the theatre of the absurd as the characters deal with the heartbreak and death and the utter absence of opportunity of their everyday lives as peasants They are merely worked to death by a dehumanizing government machine intent upon killing them with meaningless labor and driven by petty party leaders who demand loyalty despite the overwhelming poverty they perpetuate The hero, Voschev, is a thinking man who could easily play the role of Vladimir or Estragon in Beckett s Waiting for Godot It seems to me all the time that there is something special in the distance, or some splendid unattainable object, and I live in sadness He lives like the stranger of Camus, without hope, and yet he navigates as best he can Voschev becomes a collector of rags, the lost remnants of dead souls All the poor and middle peasants worked with such zest of life as though they wanted to find salvation for themselves forever in the abyss of the foundation pit Platonov is a man who knows well the abyss having spent a lifetime futilely trying to publish under a repressive Marxist regime His heroic efforts to earning his living as a writer, despite censorship and cruel repression, are an inspiration to unread writers of serious literature who suffer the same fate of anonymity as a result of the rampant commercialism of American publishing Our national culture is diminished because serious writers refusing to pander to the dictates of writing for commercial profit go unread Those who embrace commercial writing produce work astonishing in its vast, vapid mediocrity We ll look back on our vast catalogues of best sellers and be compelled to ask ourselves, As a great nation, was this really the best that we could do for our national literature This novel takes its readers to the abyss of the foundation pit and yet somehow, decades after his death, Platonov finds that he has managed to climb out of the pit by virtue of the staunch and dogged and staggering will to write serious literaure, which his own generation suffered never to read As millions inside and outside Russia have discovered, Platonov is a real writer he is a writer s writer I urge you to discover him, too This might be the one book, fact or fiction, I d recommend about life in the early days of the Soviet Union.A group of builders are digging out the foundations for a building The symbolism is clear What the building will be, is not ever made clear and may not even be important The men are struggling, down in the foundations, with the implications of the new regime, which is under construction and which therefore has turned the way of life, the way of thinking and all relationships upside down This might be the one book, fact or fiction, I d recommend about life in the early days of the Soviet Union.A group of builders are digging out the foundations for a building The symbolism is clear What the building will be, is not ever made clear and may not even be important The men are struggling, down in the foundations, with the implications of the new regime, which is under construction and which therefore has turned the way of life, the way of thinking and all relationships upside down The future is deeply uncertain, the new world is under construction That unknown, unvisualised future is not a source of hope or optimism but rather an ominous, looming presence over the novel.A stray young girl, a survivor from a bourgeois family, is taken in and fed by the men Because she, unlike the working men who reached adulthood under the old regime, is literate she becomes incredibly important as a mouthpiece for the new political values that dominate the press An amazingly raw and bleak novel beautiful even in its own way Highly recommended Beware though reading it is like grating your own heart with a food grater The most amazing thing is the language, just as Soviet foreign minister Molotov, while not drinking his cocktail, observed that peace is indivisible, change and struggle are also indivisible everything is political so the choice of words, the use of language itself is deeply political and like Orwell s New Speak seeks to render certain ideas impossible and others inevitable Of course it is all allegorical and I understand that certain people don t like allegory, but that s their loss The Foundation Pit AfterwordAcknowledgements and Further ReadingAppendixNotes