Posts Tagged ‘gary shteyngart’

Quote of the day: PUTIN

November 16, 2015


This may sound weird, but I actually find Putin rather dull as a character. Hitler was a vegetarian. Stalin was a passable poet. Idi Amin ate people. What does Putin do that’s so surprising? He’s just your standard bully with a bad childhood who’s robbing his country blind. Bo-ring.

–Gary Shteyngart


In this week’s New Yorker

June 9, 2010

The New Yorker‘s Summer Fiction double issue includes half the editors’ picks of 20 writers under 40. For me the highlight is a new story by Gary Shteyngart, the Russian-born author of the hilarious novel Absurdistan. The story, “Lenny Hearts Eunice,” is another crazy love story set in a not-too-distant future high-tech dystopian Manhattan and features a typically Shteyngartian protagonist — nerdy, horny, physically self-deprecating — who works for a company selling Eternal Life. The futuristic elements are deeply embedded into a hilarious mash-up of diary/blog/e-mail entries with one beautiful striking image after another:

Passing a playground, Lenny notes: “I relished hearing language actually being spoken by children. Overblown verbs, explosive nouns, beautifully bungled prepositions. Language, not data. How long would it be before these kids retreated into the dense clickety-clack…world of their absorbed mothers and missing fathers?”

He describes NYU as “that indispensable local educator of bright enough women and men.”

And an ominous military vehicle is described thusly: “An armored personnel carrier bearing the insignia of the New York Army National Guard was parked astride a man-size pothole at the intersection of Essex and Delancey, a roof-mounted .50-calibre Browning machine gun rotating a hundred and eighty degrees, back and forth, like a retarded metronome….”

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