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Friday, 1 June 2018

Ludmilla Petrushevskaya’s Groma Kolibri

Russian writer Ludmilla Petrushevskaya’s Gromo Kolibri portable typewriter is part of the exhibition which opened on May 22 at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art on Gogolevsky Boulevard, to mark Petrushevaskaya's 80th birthday. The exhibition, curated by Kommersant literary critic Anna Narinskaya and designed by Katya Bochavar, continues until July 22. Narinskaya also curated the 2016 exhibition "200 Keystrokes per Minute: The Typewriter and the 20th-Century Consciousness" at MMOMA. The latest exhibition is sponsored by Moscow's Metropol Hotel, where Petrushevskaya was born.
MMOMA says, "The early 1970s marked the beginning of the Petrushevskaya epoch - it is then that her short-stories started to be retyped on typewriters and distributed. Her early pieces such as Cinzano, Music Lessons and Three Girls in Blue boldly depict women of the stagnation period. At that time only [a] few voiced the issue of the independence of women - although it had been declared formally by the Soviet state, it was far away from reality."
Lyudmila Stefanovna Petrushevskaya was born on May 26, 1938, to Stefan and Valentina Nikolaevna Petrushevskay. They lived at the Metropol with her great-grandfather, Ilya Sergeevich Veger, a Bolshevik, doctor and commissar. 
Petrushevskaya is both a novelist and playwright who has been compared in style to Anton Chekhov and in influence to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Her novels include The Time: Night (1992) and notable among collections of short stories is There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor’s Baby, which was published in the US by Penguin Books in 2009 and became a New York Times Book Review bestseller. The New York Times pronounced her "a contemporary Edgar Allan Poe'. Another collection followed in 2013, There Once Lived a Girl Who Seduced Her Sister's Husband, and He Hanged Himself. Last year she published a memoir, The Girl from the Metropol Hotel. 
In 1941 Petrushevskaya's father Stefan, a Bolshevik intellectual, was declared an enemy of the state and abandoned Lyudmila and her mother Valentina. The pair were forced to flee for Kuibyshev (now Samara) and Petrushevskaya spent a harrowing early childhood in group homes, on the streets, and later in communal apartments. She returned to Moscow in 1947 and went on to attend Moscow State University, graduating with a degree in journalism. With Gorbachev-era reforms, she was able to publish novels and short stories that she had previously kept to herself.


Richard P said...

More proof of the power of typewriters to spread free thought!

Bill M said...

The typewriter insurgency at its finest.