Monday, December 18, 2006
16 December 2006. Cold night, bright morning sun. "The Blue Sky Foundation"--Pasha Ivanov. Arkady Renko again, sardonic, unfailing...the telling is in all the gaps... Faulknarian almost, except that the plot (and only the plot) follows crime story requirements: who knew what when, the reader also alert to cues... But the characters here--or is it Russia itself--transcend the genre. And the central event, of course--which is Chernobyl. He becomes disconsolate in the spring--around May Day to be precise. Children of Kiev in street parades, carrying bouquets of flowers. Chornobyl in Ukrainian--wormwood. How that very word? As if the meanings of folktale and legend were somehow less real. Baba Yaga--a book of fairytales, carried under a boy's arm, along with a well-worn chess set. The poles of knowledge, poles of truth.