MUDD UP BOOK CLUBB: VLADIMIR SOROKIN – ICE TRILOGY

sorokin

For the January edition of Mudd Up Book Clubb, we will be reading an epic and incandescent piece of contemporary Russian fiction: Vladimir Sorokin’s Ice Trilogy. It’s ambitious, totally nuts, capable of generating new emotions, perhaps the first “21st Ct” novel I’ve read.

Ice Trilogy is like a joke without the relief of a punchline. I regret recommending it to friends because suddenly I need to explain what it’s about, and end up sounding crazy… The book opens as a 19th century Russian novel. Then comes a trip to Siberia and an encounter with the Ice. It’s best if you read it. Let’s just say that the traditional arc of 20th century history is left intact but superimposed with a much more urgent momentum: the Brothers and Sisters of Light’s search for blond, blue-eyed people to smash in the chest with an Ice hammer, in hopes that the heart inside will awaken, and speak the language of the heart.

Pulpy, “literary”, and unrepentantly other, Ice Trilogy is a book you read with and against, a work that lingers.

icetrilogy

The NYRB translation collects Sorokin’s three books — Bro, Ice, and 23,000 — into a single volume. 700 pages long, and entrancing.

The Mudd Up Book Clubb will meet at 5pm on Sunday January 22nd (TBC) in Manhattan for lively discussion followed by popsicles.

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Past Book Clubb selections:

December 2011 NYC: Lauren Beukes – Zoo City

November 2011 NYC: Samuel R. Delany – Times Square Red, Times Square Blue

September 2011 Tangiers: Juan Goytisolo – Exiled from Everywhere

August 2011: Madrid: Cesar Aira – How I Became a Nun

June 2011: Casablanca: Maureen F. McHugh – Nekropolis

3 thoughts on “MUDD UP BOOK CLUBB: VLADIMIR SOROKIN – ICE TRILOGY

  1. There’s another Eastern European book called “Ice”, by Polish writer Jacek Dukaj, and it also starts and reads as a XIX cent. novel, but then gets very very weird. I’d recommend looking out for a translation (if one happens), or betting on Google Translate getting very good at what it does. Here’s some wiki-info on the book: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_%28Dukaj_novel%29

  2. Thanks so much for this Alek! Wow, this looks incredible… Fascinating that both Dukaj and Sorokin take the Tunguska incident as trigger for massive visions of the 20th ct.

    This is the best sentence I’ve read in awhile: >>Moreover, the Ice freezes History and Philosophy, preserving the old political regime, affecting human psychology and changing the laws of logic from many-valued logic of “Summer” to two-valued logic of “Winter” with no intermediate steps between True and False.<<

    & I love that his name is Jacek.

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