By Emmanuel Carrère

In all his paintings, the severely acclaimed Emmanuel Carrère has proficient his unblinking gaze at the lives of others as they struggle a wasting conflict with that almost all fearsome of adversaries: the self. Now, decided to flee the grim visions of his narratives, he's taking on a movie venture within the middle of Russia, whereas additionally embarking on a brand new love affair again domestic in Paris; yet quickly adequate, the diversion he seeks eludes him, intimacy proves too hard and Carrère is left peering into the darkish reflect of his personal life.

Set in Paris and Kotelnich, a small post-Soviet city, A Russian Novel lines Carrère's pursuit of 2 obsessions: the disappearance of his Russian grandfather and his fascination with a girl he loves yet can't hold from destroying. based and passionate, A Russian Novel weaves the strands of Carrère's tale right into a travelogue of a trip inward. street journey, confession, emotional travel de strength, this fearless reckoning illuminates the schemes we devise to avoid ourselves and the inevitable fee they special.

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Example text

He came just when he was expected. One day as Jacob en­ tered the school staff-room he saw awaiting him there a well-dressed, elderly man, accompanied by a tall and attractive girl. After Jacob had greeted his benefactor-or perhaps even before-Susan offered him her warm, finely-shaped hand and spoke to him as an old friend, using the intimate du and looking at him as if she still saw before her the boy he had once been. And yet in her glance there was inquiry as well as remembrance, ( zs) S. Y.

But here I'm smoking, and I haven't offered you a cigar. Actually it's a sin to smoke tobacco in this wonderful fragrant air. But what can I do? It's my addiction. If I'm reading a newspaper or talking to someone, of course I smoke. ' He laughed in the way people do who make fun of their own weaknesses and yet are quite con­ rented with them. ' The Consul tasted some brandy. 'Not bad, dry land? S . Y. AGNON really,' he commented. After a second glass he gave it fuller praise. 'This brandy,' said Rechnitz, 'is from Rishon le Zion.

V As we have said, Jacob Rechnitz set out for the Land of Israel, financed in part by the prize he had won from the university, in part by the Consul's aid; for when his course was completed and his doctorate granted, Ehrlich invited him to dine out in celebration, and presented him with a sum of money which saved him from the immediate ne­ cessity of seeking a post. The gift was made to seem not a matter of financial aid but rather a token of affection and esteem. It was in keeping S. Y. AGNON with all that the Consul had done for him, and touched him so deeply that a refusal was out of the question.

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