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A School for Fools

Reuse this content. Most popular. The story, as such, concerns the first narrator's enrollment in the "school for fools" in "the Land of the Lonely Goatsucker," where he either does or does not romance Veta Arkadievna, the comely botany teacher, does or does not conform to the principal's strange new dress code, and does or does not discover a prophetic story called "The Carpenter in the Desert," depending which narrator you believe. An expertly researched collection of endnotes clarifies that A School for Fools is a monument to wordplay on the scale of Finnegans Wake, rife with double meanings that invoke Russian history, culture, and literature while condemning the Soviet censors who had imprisoned Sokolov and forced him to smuggle this heavily coded but brilliant novel of ecstatic absurdity out of the U.

In the end, the "fools" of the title are those who deny the joyful multiplicity of this novel. Between Dog and Wolf. Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. A School for Fools by Sasha Sokolov ,. Carl R. Proffer Translator. Hailed by Nabokov as a masterpiece, Sokolov's first novel is set at a school for "disturbed" children outside Moscow.

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Oct 14, Vit Babenco rated it it was amazing. A child within has healing ways, it sees me through my darkest days. I'm going to keep catching that butterfly in that dream of mine. View 2 comments.

Theatre review: School for Fools | Stage | The Guardian

Jan 12, Daria rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites. I believe that there is a special window of time for everyone when one can read this book and love it. You should be in a special mood. Sad and beautiful. For me it happened 5 years ago and never since. The novel challenges conventional narrative modes, breaking down the unities and time and place, and obscuring narrator s and voices, to the extent the prose becomes a wash of poetic and strange scenes punctuated with tagless dialogue and copious literary and historical references and puns.

Dreamlike and unusual and impossible to follow at times I had to exit on p. In Russian the prose is more musical according to the reviews here. Definately a favorite, a truly original piece of fiction; Sokolov's story about a schizophrenic little boy is both humorous and profoundly sad; a must-read. Jul 08, J. Sadly, another NYRB miss: an incoherent mess of stream-of-consciousness pudding. I love 20th century Russian literature and this one certainly carries some impressive backing Nabokov, especially , but it's that same sort of impressive back that drives acclaim for stuff like Joyce's more impenetrable works or pretty much anything remotely resembling William S.

This speaks to a larger issue in the arts for me: do we judge on a work's merit as an exemplar of its form? Or do we frothily submit to its prominence by sheer dint of its level of "experimentation" or "style"? Me, I read a novel for the story. I can hardly be accused of being conservative in my narrative tastes, though. I love me some experimental shit. I even like William S. Burroughs sometimes, to hearken back to that example. But I can only appreciate incoherence so far and I believe that it can only be driven so far before it loses its form and degenerates not only into nonsense, but falls into that murky world between prose and poetry where one hangs suspended, loving both, and appreciating experimentation in both, but which comes across as largely meaningless.

Sep 04, Amanda rated it it was amazing.

This ethereal, mystical view of provincial Russia through the eyes of a mentally handicapped young man is one of the most fascinating works of fiction I've ever encountered. You can wade for days through the tangled web of symbols and signs, and the Russian version is daunting but deeply satisfying. The word play sometimes, but not always, makes it into the translation, but the feeling of inhabiting another persons deepest inner workings definitely comes though in both. Apr 26, Clayton added it.

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I don't doubt the sincerity or competency of A. Boguslawski's translation so much as I doubt the sanity of the whole endeavor.

Consider the book's epigraph: To chase, to hold, and to rotate, To hear, to see, and to offend, To run, to breathe, likewise to hate, And to endure, and to depend. Get it? Well, you see, these are all irregular verbs from a well-known nursery rhyme, signaling Sokolov's intention to elevate the neglected and the irregulars of language to the status of poetry.

The I don't doubt the sincerity or competency of A.

Norrdans English

And what could complement gleefully anarchic linguistic terrorism better than scholarly endnotes? I read sixty pages and had to stop; whatever carefully controlled chaos Sokolov has seeded his novel with is indistinguishable from the translator's elisions. Without structures, plots, or characters, Sokolov has nothing to offer but the joys of language's outer limit; the problem is, his language is not ours. We have the score in our hands, but the orchestra is playing on dog whistles. Aug 03, Farhana rated it really liked it Shelves: fiction.

At first I was wondering what I'm reading but one thing was for sure I have never read any such thing before. It feels like it's not a whole , rather seems very unconnected, irrelevant pieces, each individual , each very distinct pieces - like every part is a new short-story, every image is a new short film.


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  • School for Fools.
  • Serenade in D Minor, Op. 44, Movement 4 - B-flat Clarinet 2;

But deep inside they are all connected with some invisible thread. There is a lot to unpack in here. On a surface reading it deals with a number of themes, alienation and mental illness among them. Beyond that it's an incredibly dense tangle of quotes and references from everyone from Pushkin to Kawabata.

4840.ru/components/spionage/wupo-iphone-mikrofon-spionage.php I must say it's a beautiful work, although I can't pretend to comprehend it all on my first read. The section with the short stories was excellent, almost could've been standalone in their perfection. Just not my thing. I'm impressed by the technical feat of writing a long fiction in such a challenging voice, but I'm afraid my admiration wasn't enough to carry me through the hard work of reading it.