Monday, April 10, 2006

Mikhail Zoshchenko



(Mikhail Zoshchenko)

There are few things in life as sweet and as enjoyable as discovering for oneself a previously unread author. These moments are all too rare. How many us, after all, routinely discover for ourselves "new" authors that we will read and re-read over and over again throughout the course of our lives? I would guess that the number is relatively small. I know it is with me. And that is why I was so happy yesterday, when I finally got around to reading the latest issue of The Paris Review (which finally came - thank you much).

In it, I read for the first time three short satires by Mikhail Zoshchenko (1895-1958). The selection, which was translated by Jeremy Hicks, was only five pages long - but it quickly set me off on a buying spree of some of Zoshchenko's works, and I have been growing increasingly impatient - throughout the day - for the release of "a new collection of his short fiction, The Galosh and Other Stories, which will be published this year by Overlook Press."

This issue of The Paris Review, despite its tardiness, now has al-Nawadir's highest seal of approval. And I highly recommend that any literate readers go out and buy some of Zoshchenko's work. It is good. Trust the might al-Zanabiya.

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