Rapture: A Novel by IliazdRapture: A Novel by Iliazd

Rapture: A Novel

byIliazdTranslated byThomas Kitson

Paperback | May 16, 2017

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The draft dodger Laurence yearns to take control of his destiny. Having fled to the highlands, he asserts his independence by committing a string of robberies and murders. Then he happens upon Ivlita, a beautiful young woman trapped in an intricately carved mahogany house. Laurence does not hesitate to take her as well. Determined to drape his young bride in jewels, he plots ever more daring heists. Yet when Laurence finds himself casting bombs alongside members of a revolutionary cell, he must again ask: is he a free man or a pawn of history?

Rapture is a fast-paced adventure-romance and a literary treat of the highest order. With a deceptively light hand, Iliazd entertains questions that James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and Thomas Mann once faced. How does the individual balance freedom and necessity, love and death, creativity and sterility? What is the role of violence in human history and culture? How does language both comfort and fail us in our postwar, post-Christian world?

Censored for decades in the Soviet Union, Rapture was nearly lost to Russian and Western audiences. This translation rescues Laurence's surreal journey from the oblivion he, too, faces as he tries to outrun fate.
Thomas J. Kitson is a freelance translator in New York City. He holds a Ph.D. in Russian literature from Columbia University.
Title:Rapture: A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:248 pagesPublished:May 16, 2017Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231180837

ISBN - 13:9780231180832

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Golden Excrement of the Avant-Garde

Editorial Reviews

A closely guarded secret of Russian literature, the prose of Ilia Zdanevich, better known by his artistic pseudonym Iliazd, has never left the narrow coterie of literary connoisseurs. Censored in the USSR, thanks to the author's dissidence from the official Soviet ideology and aesthetic, and spurned by Russian émigrés because of his leftist politics and unapologetic stylistic and narrative experimentalism, Iliazd's work has been rediscovered only recently, challenging received wisdom about twentieth-century Russian literature and its place in transnational modernism. Now, for the first time, this rapturously narrated parable mythologizing the life of the Russian avant-garde is available to Anglophone readers. This tale of murder, kidnapping, passion, betrayal, treasure hunt, and political terrorism is set against the backdrop of a fantastic land inspired by the author's native Caucasus. The novelistic repertory of modernism grows richer and more diverse as Rapture joins contemporary French, Italian, and Anglo-American experiments pushing the limits of the genre.