The Russian author Vasily Aksyonov passed away on Monday the July 6th. I have yet to get around to reading Generations of Winter even though I’ve had it for sometime. He was one of those finds along with Platonov that I was quite happy to find when I decided to make it my mission to give my dad as many different books by Russian authors as I could. One day I’ll get around to the book, despite its size.
From the NY Times obit:
For all the torment of his background, Mr. Aksyonov, as a prose stylist, was at the opposite pole from Mr. Solzhenitsyn, becoming a symbol of youthful promise and embracing fashion and jazz rather than dwelling on the miseries of the gulag. Ultimately, however, he shared Mr. Solzhenitsyn’s fate of exile from the Soviet Union.
“Solzhenitsyn is all about the imprisonment and trying to get out, and Aksyonov is the young person whose mother got out and he actually can live his life now,” said Nina L. Khrushcheva, who is a great-granddaughter of Nikita Khrushchev and a friend of the Aksyonov family and who teaches international affairs at the New School in New York. “It was important to have the Aksyonov light, that light of personal freedom and personal self-expression.”