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by Leonid Tsypkin,Angela Jones,Susan Sontag,Roger Keys,Angela Keys

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Author: Leonid Tsypkin,Angela Jones,Susan Sontag,Roger Keys,Angela Keys
ISBN: 0811215482
Language: English
Pages: 176 pages
Category: Genre Fiction
Publisher: New Directions; First edition. edition (September 2003)
Rating: 4.2
Formats: azw docx mobi doc
FB2 size: 1492 kb | EPUB size: 1307 kb | DJVU size: 1903 kb
Sub: Fiction

Leonid Tsypkin was born in Minsk in 1926 of Russian-Jewish parents, both physicians

Leonid Tsypkin was born in Minsk in 1926 of Russian-Jewish parents, both physicians. The manuscript of Summer in Baden-Baden was smuggled out of the Soviet Union in 1981, and the novel was first published in a Russian-émigré weekly in the United States.

Tsypkin, who had been twice denied permission to leave the Soviet Union with his family, died of a heart attack in Moscow in 1982.

A complex, highly original novel, Summer in Baden-Baden has a double narrative. It is wintertime, late December: a species of "now. A narrator―Tsypkinis on a train going to Leningrad. Tsypkin, who had been twice denied permission to leave the Soviet Union with his family, died of a heart attack in Moscow in 1982.

by Leonid Tsypkin & translated by Roger Keys & Angela Keys. Tsypkin’s ingenious juxtapositions and perfectly fashioned transitions between his own conflicted homage to a deeply flawed mentor and a richly imagined fictional past in which Dostoevsky’s runaway passions and his creations are seen in relation to the whole range of Russian literature, cohere into a compact, pellucid, and deeply moving literary experience.

Susan Sontag (Introduction).

Summer in Baden-Baden by. Leonid Tsypkin, Roger and Angela Keys (Translator). Susan Sontag (Introduction). Want to Read savin. ant to Read.

Nevertheless, as Susan Sontag observes in the introduction, Tsypkin predicament and passion didn’t require an audience. Leonid Tsypkin’s Summer in Baden-Baden is a novel about one man’s love for the literature of his country and, in particular, for the writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Nevertheless, as Susan Sontag observes in the introduction, Tsypkin predicament and passion didn’t require an audience.

Leonid G. Tsypkin, Susan Sontag, Roger Keys. Summer in Baden-Baden is Leonid Tsypkin's beautiful and original cult classic - a love story of the rarest intensity by a 20th century Russian master

Leonid G. Summer in Baden-Baden is Leonid Tsypkin's beautiful and original cult classic - a love story of the rarest intensity by a 20th century Russian master. One bitterly cold winter in the 1970s, Leonid Tsypkin's obsession with Dostoyevsky leads him to Leningrad by train, so that he can see for himself where his hero died. As the train makes its way across Russia, a journal inspires Tsypkin to conjure up the summer of 1867, when Dosteyevsky and his young wife Anna travelled across Europe to Baden-Baden.

In effect Summer in Baden-Baden has three central characters: Fyodor Dostoevsky, Anna .

In effect Summer in Baden-Baden has three central characters: Fyodor Dostoevsky, Anna and the first-person narrator whom I shall call ‘Tsypkin’. In Summer in Baden-Baden one obsessive, Tsypkin, writes about his obsession with Dostoevsky, while also re-creating imaginatively the multiple obsessions of his hero: among them gambling, literature, fame, suffering, salvation, Russia’s mission in the world, the Jews, the Poles, Turgenev and much else besides.

Leonid Tsypkin's Summer in Baden Baden is a remarkable fantasia of. .

Leonid Tsypkin's Summer in Baden Baden is a remarkable fantasia of Dostoevsky's life written in a unique and unforgettable style, says James Wood. Summer in Baden Baden is an amazing and beautiful little book that effectively invents its own genre: the l novel. There is, as the late Susan Sontag claims in her introduction, a sound - a kind of muttering, eloquent, refined pedantry - that we now associate with the work of WG Sebald, though Tsypkin, who died in 1981, could not of course have known Sebald's work. Other readers will hear the note of Thomas Bernhard, another writer fond of run-on sentences.

A lost masterpiece and one of the major achievements of Russian literature in the second half of the 20th century.

Summer in Baden-Baden was acclaimed by The New York Review of Books as "a short poetic masterpiece" and by Donald Fanger in The Los Angeles Times as "gripping, mysterious and profoundly moving." A complex, highly original novel, Summer in Baden-Baden has a double narrative. It is wintertime, late December: a species of "now." A narrator―Tsypkinis on a train going to Leningrad. And it is also mid-April 1867. The newly married Dostoyevskys, Fyodor, and his wife, Anna Grigor'yevna, are on their way to Germany, for a four-year trip. This is not, like J. M. Coetzee's The Master of St. Petersburg, a Dostoyevsky fantasy. Neither is it a docu-novel, although its author was obsessed with getting everything "right." Nothing is invented, everything is invented. Dostoyevsky's reckless passions for gambling, for his literary vocation, for his wife, are matched by her all-forgiving love, which in turn resonates with the love of literature's disciple, Leonid Tsypkin, for Dostoyevsky. In a remarkable introductory essay (which appeared in The New Yorker), Susan Sontag explains why it is something of a miracle that Summer in Baden-Baden has survived, and celebrates the happy event of its publication in America with an account of Tsypkin's beleaguered life and the important pleasures of his marvelous novel.
Comments (7)
avanger
I bought this book by mistake for something else, and so was surprised to discover this imaginative study of Fyodor Dostoevsky over the last fourteen years of his life. In her brilliant introduction (certainly readable in advance), Susan Sontag explains why this 1981 novel by a virtually unpublished Russian doctor is a masterpiece; there is little I can add to what she says. I can only admire both the introduction and the book itself, albeit from a slight distance, since I found it a difficult experience. Unfortunately, I have read much less Dostoevsky than, say, Tolstoy, and am still easily confused by the parade of proper names, patronymics, and diminutives that seemingly pepper any book about Russian literary circles. But this is my problem, not Tsypkin's; a reader more familiar with Dostoevsky's world would get a great deal more out of this.

The moving death scene at the end reminded me of THE LAST STATION, Jay Parini's 1990 novel about Tolstoy's final days. But that is a somewhat romantic novel, traditionally told. Tsypkin embeds his story within a modern narrative of a writer journeying from Moscow to Leningrad, on a pilgrimage to Dostoevsky's old haunts and to look up friends of his own, like a Russian equivalent of W. G. Sebald. I also thought of Julian Barnes' 1984 novel FLAUBERT'S PARROT, which approaches the French novelist in a similar way. Probably less than a sixth of the book is devoted to this modern frame, but it has the effect of moving the Dostoevsky story into a world of imagination and even nightmare rather than cold fact. Tsypkin writes in an extraordinary style in which every paragraph is a single sentence, sometimes several pages in length, shifting without pause between description, dialogue, inner monologue, past and present. He even places Dostoevsky's fictional characters alongside the real ones, as though all occupied the same imaginative space -- as in a sense they do.

The summer in Baden-Baden was the centerpiece of Dostoevsky's honeymoon with his much younger second wife, Anna Grigor'yevna, in 1867. The novelist was a compulsive gambler, and went there for the casino. The middle sections of the book verge on the excruciating, as he repeatedly returns to their lodgings penniless, throwing himself at his wife's feet to beg forgiveness. She has to sell jewelry and pawn clothing to pay their debts, but (and this is the truly amazing thing) never ceases in her love for her husband. Tsypkin has a lovely metaphor for their conjugal relations: "That evening, as always, he came to kiss her goodnight, and they swam so far that the coast disappeared from view as though it had never existed...". In the end, this is a love story.
Yggfyn
In this novel-dream, the narrator (Tsypkin himself) interweaves the story of the time spent by Dostoevsky and his second wife, Anna Grigoryevna, in Germany, with his own trip to Saint Petersburg (then called Leningrad, in the 70's) in search of the footsteps of his favorite writer. Based on Anna's own diaries about that time and about the last days of D. back in Russia, the author gradually builds a vivid and faithful portrait of D.'s and his wife's characters. In long paragraphs, many of them in the form of "stream of consciousness", Dostoevsky is revealed as a tormented man, with profound emotional imbalances. Epilepsy, chronic poverty, and especially the terrible vice of gambling, cause in him acute periods of euphoria and unfounded hope, mixed with deep depressions who lead him to moments of abject repentance before the stoic, loyal, and resigned Anna. Meanwhile, through jumps in time interwoven without previous notice with the narrative about D., the author-narrator reveals something about the sad and somber life in the last decades of the USSR.

Of course the depiction of gambling and its consequences is very sad and hallucinating, in paragraphs where Tsypkin accurately pictures the nightmare of hopeless delusion. There is always one last coin to beg from Anna, the one that will finally make their fortune. And always, the last disappointment comes about, since everyone that gambles out of necessity, necessarily loses.

Finally, D. and Anna return to Russia, where he goes on writing and they have their children. In the last part, the last days of D. are narrated. The story of his final agony and death is masterful, almost as good as that of The Leopard in the eponymous novel by Lampedusa. In spite of the hurried, hallucinated and Joyce-like style, the book is very readable and little confusing. It is written with good poetic qualities and is highly recommended.
salivan
A tremendous, relatively unknown little novel by the Soviet-era writer Leonid Tsypkin pulsates with a beautiful, baroque prose style. Tsypkin's novel is at once about a day in the life of Dostoevsky as he takes his trip to Baaden-Baaden. And yet it is also the simultaneous story of Tsypkin's own investigation into the life of his literary icon--we are given an intricate representation of Tsypkin's visit to Dostoevsky's flat, as well as long ruminations on the work and the great artists' tortured sensibility. The novel works in much the same way as Thomas Bernhard's finest novels work--it is structured by the sort of long, winding sentences that take on a rhythm and life all their own. A beautiful little book that Susan Sontag had pushed to disseminate--it needs further circulation.