Washington Independent Review of Books

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In Translation Book Club - BLUE LARD

Location Lost City Books 2467 18th Street Northwest Washington, DC, 20009 United States
Date Thursday, May 16, 2024 at 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Duration   1 hours
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On Thursday, May 16th at 7 pm, Lost City Books in Washington D.C. will host their In Translation Book Club to discuss the controversial and avant-garde novel Blue Lard by renowned Russian author Vladimir Sorokin, newly translated into English by Max Lawton. For readers seeking a truly unique and boundary-pushing literary experience, this event is an absolute must. Blue Lard, first published in Russia in 1999, was immediately denounced as an abomination and desecration of the country's revered literary canon - so much so that angry Putin supporters publicly shredded copies of Sorokin's books. However, the novel has since cemented itself as a seminal work of Russian literature for its uncompromising, ferocious takedown of nationalist ideals and reexamination of the nation's cultural identity. The bizarre, avant-garde plot follows genetic scientists working to clone famous Russian writers like Dostoevsky and Tolstoy to harvest a mysterious substance called "blue lard" from their bodies as they write pastiche texts. This blue lard, with reality-bending powers, becomes the target of a nationalist sect aiming to alter the Soviet Union's history. With its seamless blending of science fiction, satire, and experimental prose, Blue Lard represents a shocking, visceral, and grotesquely imaginative vision that defies all conventions. Attendees can expect a lively discussion unpacking the novel's bold commentary on Russian identity, the ethics of genetic engineering and cloning, and the malleable nature of reality itself. For readers tiring of the conventional or those simply seeking an audacious, mind-bending literary journey, this book club event is not to be missed. Sorokin's daring, transgressive work will likely inspire polarized reactions and impassioned debates over the boundaries of art, making for an undoubtedly memorable evening.

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