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Requiem for the Living

Authors: Alan Cherchesov

Published by Glas New Russian Writing

ISBN: 9785717200707

£8.99
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REQUIEM FOR THE LIVING is the life story of an orphan boy who grows up alone in a mountain village in the Caucasus and then leaves his home to find fame but not happiness. Wherever he tries to settle down he seems always to cause chaos and despair in a hitherto peaceful community, and end by leaving the inhabitants changed and resentful, living with the consequences of the events that he has set in motion, questioning the nature and the basis of their former existence. No matter how rootless the boy may seem or wish to be, human contact and bonds of love and family are inescapable and catch up with him in the end.

This novel is a philosophical parable in which the hero's unique abilities and alienation underscore the distinctive Caucasian culture and their strict code of honour.

The opening of the novel, which some critics have likened to Garcia Marquez’ One Hundred Years of Solitude, sets the tone for the entire highly eventful narrative: “Maybe time in itself does not exist at all, and there exists instead only a spider’s web of endless histories and tales tracing patterns in the boundless and deafening deep of eternity? Maybe Time is but a means of retelling them and listening to them?”

The German Press about Cherchesov:

“This Ossetian author skillfully blends the European and the Oriental thinking to create a ‘divan’: a complex Eastern literary genre, bringing to mind a Tibetan carpet. His story about the search for a lost time creates a polyphonic chorus of memories, inspiring vague associations with Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky and Gogol.”,Die Welt

“An exciting flow of gripping imagery conveys a mythical history through a chorus of village voices led by a strange boy nicknamed Alone. The boy takes the center stage in the village community, trying to turn its fortunes but he meets with failure.”Die Zeit

“Cherchesov’s novel is a completely new phenomenon in contemporary literature. The author has the courage and the talent to go against the grain, disregarding fashionable trends and well-trodden paths, to create a highly original work. The Western reader will soar with this narrative to the summits of classical modernism.”Neue Presse

“You are carried off on an exciting trip into the unknown, into the very depth of an ancient world that impresses you with the wisdom of its view of life, that is naive in its collective thinking and therefore doomed to destruction.”Mitteldeutsche Zeitung

"Cherchesov's novel does not allow you to get distracted for a minute, you are drawn irresistibly into the changing flow of the narrative."Suddeutsche Zeitung

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Alan Cherchesov, born in 1962, lives in Vladikavkaz, the capital of North Ossetia. A graduate of the North-Ossetian University, he lectures there on world literature and edits a university journal of cultural studies. He is the founder and director of the Institute of Civilization in Vladikavkaz, which provides alternative education in the humanities.

An Ossetian writing in Russian, Cherchesov has two novels and a number of short stories to his name. His novel Wreath on the Grave of the Wind was awarded the prize of the Russian Academy of Critics. Requiem for the Living was published in Germany by S.Fischer.
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