chapter  5
19 Pages

Between Fantasy and Reality

WithNadya L. Peterson

The dichotomy of real-unreal is one of the central philosophical themes of Nikolai Evdokimov's works in the fantastic vein. If Evdokimov's hapless urbanite vacillates between rational and supernatural causes of inexplicable occurrences, Anar's protagonist, also a city dweller, is unable to entertain anything but rational explanations for the miraculous events in his life. Anar, like other writers in this strand, is concerned with human propensity for creating cultural, scientific, and political myths. If Anar in his work primarily questions the idea that the world has one indisputable meaning and purpose, Kim's work is more complex, subverting in a number of ways the narrative paradigms rooted in the teleologies of Marxism-Leninism. In the works of the mature Makanin it is generally a conflict, situation, or human condition that is supposed to elicit an ironic or a sympathetic response.