I think people are willing to exchange opinions because they have none. That’s right: what a person has, he doesn’t give up so easily.

— Sigizmund krzhizhanovsky


Arkady and Boris Strugatsky are probably the most famous Soviet-era science-fiction writers, but only recently have any of their numerous books come back into print in the US: Chicago Review Press published a new translation of Roadside Picnic (the basis for Tarkovsky’s Stalker) in 2012 and Melville House just published Definitely Maybe (translated by Antonina Bouis). CRP will also publish Hard to Be a God in June.

These scans come from the 50 Watts hoard except for the top 1979 Penguin (art by Adrian Chesterman) courtesy of David/qualityapemanRichard M. Powers illustrated the bottom Roadside Picnic and the four other covers in that style.

@WritersNoOneRds / Facebook

Grocery list left on bus on the west side of Chicago, 2014

Grocery list left on bus on the west side of Chicago, 2014

The thing we call freedom is chiefly a struggle for a cushier existence than that of earlier generations.

Frédéric Beigbeder

Everyone will sit on a little donkey.

— yugoslavian proverb

What is the purpose of a family? To grow apart. A family is the place of non-communication… The family is a series of duties, a mob of people who knew you much too young, before you had grown up - and the oldest members are well placed to know that you have still not grown up… Family life is a series of miserable meals where everyone rehashes the same humiliating anecdotes and hypocritical reflexes, where what you think of as family ties are nothing more than the lottery of birth and the rituals of communal living. A family is a group of people who cannot manage to communicate, yet loudly interrupt each other … I don’t understand how people can think of family as a place of safety, when in fact it triggers extreme panic. 

— Frédéric Beigbeder

At the ancient place of execution a mustached soldier was absolutely certain to be lathering the beard of some bumpkin, who, with eyes bulging upwards, just croaked every now and then.

— Gogol