A funny Ukrainian writer, nothing to laugh about

I got this idea that there are thousands of people stuck between the Russian Army and the Ukrainian Army, with nowhere else to go, and want to have a voice with those people.

In the book, your two main characters are dealing with everyday life; they don’t seem to care about politics or war.

Everyone just want to exist. And people adapt to war, if it is not to destroy them personally. I’ve been there three times, and I’ve noticed that even kids can tell which rocket or mine caused the explosion, just by the sound of it. War has become something trivial, a part of life.

Given that you’ve seen close to the conflict, did you ever expect this invasion?

No, until a few weeks ago, I didn’t think it was real. And then I noticed that Putin was aging very quickly, and began to speak like Stalin before his death. Putin has a dream of recreating the Soviet Union and he considers everyone who doesn’t love Russia but understands Russian as traitors. And he loves to kill traitors.

Since 2014, what effect has the upheaval in Ukraine had on literature?

Before the war, there was no war literature. It’s mostly sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll – and crime stories of course. But this war created a parallel literature – literature written by veterans, by volunteers. Those authors were probably already on their way to the front lines.

If Ukraine existed, it would create even more warrior literature. And that doesn’t mean the literature will get better. It just means that literature will be more politicized – like Soviet literature, but with a different kind of propaganda or patriotic ideology.

It sounds like that development worries you.

It is true, because in Russia, writers are traditionally at the service of the government and its ideology. But in Ukraine, writers are serving themselves and their readers. I mean, the government never cared what writers were writing. That’s why we have a lot of books on sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, and not a lot of books on Ukrainian history.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/25/books/andrey-kurkov-ukraine-war.html A funny Ukrainian writer, nothing to laugh about

Fry Electronics Team

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