Andrei Platonov, Kotlovan [The Foundation Pit]

Philip Ross Bullock (University of Oxford)
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Written between December 1929 and April 1930,



The Foundation Pit

] was published first in the West (in London) in 1969. It finally appeared in its homeland in 1987, when it was immediately welcomed as one of the masterpieces of Soviet literature. As it was never published during Platonov’s lifetime, there is no canonical text as such: Only in 2000 was a critical edition of the manuscript published which restored (amongst other things) a number of previously censored references to Stalin. The admirable English translation by Robert Chandler and Geoffrey Smith (1996) is based on an incomplete source, although it still conveys much of the original.

Generally referred to in English as a novel, The Foundation Pit is in fact what Russians call a povest’, an extended narrative

1939 words

Citation: Bullock, Philip Ross. "Kotlovan". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 06 September 2005 [, accessed 15 June 2024.]

14435 Kotlovan 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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