Glas 21: The Face-Maker and the Muse (Glass Innactive Series)

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9781566632751: Glas 21: The Face-Maker and the Muse (Glass Innactive Series)
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An anti-utopian novel about a society where success depends on the degree of a person’s likeness to the Model Face. Changing from time to time, the Model Face overturns the entire social structure. Latynin’s novel predicted the Gorbachev era and subsequent social turmoil. Throughout, Latynin demonstrates a faithfulness to high moral ideas despite the cruel society he depicts. “One of the most original of the post-realists of Russian Literature since the mid-1980s.”—Claude Frioux, Flammarion.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Part of Glas's series of Russian writing newly in English translation, this fable about an artist living in a bizarre dystopic society was written in 1978, but it wasn't published in Russia until 10 years later, after perestroika. Latynin's dense and challenging novel is set in a nameless "City," where the inhabitants themselves receive names only if they are among the privileged few. All other residents are known by their numbers, and ranking depends on how closely a person's face resembles the official model visage, "The Image," which is crafted by the Great Face-Maker. After the latter is ousted in a political rift, his apprentice, Face-Maker, is promoted to take his place. His advancement forces the Face-Maker to question his "art" in performing "Likeness Operations," unanesthetized plastic surgery intended to help the unfortunate improve their lot in society. Latynin's concise text describes this frightening world in matter-of-fact prose, though the details are often nightmarish and outrageous. There are public gardens where citizens may strangle the bird of their choice, and eerie descriptions of sex both mechanical and brutish. In an introduction, Latynin claims that his thought-provoking work is not an Orwellian condemnation of a particular economic, bureaucratic or political system but rather of people enslaved by their own lifelong, oppressive endeavor to improve their "future prospects." Latynin points out that he is "interested less in society's denial of the individual than in a free individual's denial of society." Intrigued readers who take on this slim but demanding novel will be rewarded by its depth and originality. (Mar.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review:

Russia remains a country of distinguished writers, and Glas, provides a welcome overview of the current state of Russian literary affairs. (Montreal Gazette )

If you can't find Glas in the shops, ask for it. This journal deserves wide distribution. (The Irish Times )

Nobody who purports to be interested in Russian literature should be without Glas. (Moscow Times )

Glas is first rate...well planned and well translated. Anyone interested in Russia and good writing should seek it out. (London Observer )

The writing in Glas offers startling evidence that the great Russian literary tradition lives on. (American Bookseller )

Glas has become almost disturbingly indispensable. The texts and voices out of Russia come through with formidable insistence. (George Steiner )

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9785717200479: The Face-Maker and the Muse (Vol.21 of the GLAS Series)

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ISBN 10:  5717200471 ISBN 13:  9785717200479
Publisher: Glas, 1999
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