More on Roadside Picnic

November 11 2016 at 2:25 PM
Cuban Pete 

Response to Democratic German SF


The Strugatsky brothers Roadside Picnic and Tarkovsky’s Stalker are referenced in Adam Curtis’ new collage documentary on the ‘fakeness’ of modern political culture entitled “Hypernormalisation" a term which apparently originates in Alexei Yurchak’s "Everything was Forever, Until it was No More: The Last Soviet Generation”. Yurchak's book is said to be an 'ethnographic account'.

A new translation of Roadside Picnic, restoring the full original text,was published on 2012 with a foreword by Ursula K. Le Guin and an afterword by Boris Strugatsky.
The latter gives insights into the struggles against bureaucracy that the Strugatsky had in getting Roadside Picnic - which they were of course eventually successful in - but offers no succour to those wishing for evidence that the book was anti-soviet or anti-socialist. Indeed Boris states:
"And the entire time, in all our letters and applications, we took great pains to emphasise THAT WHICH TO US SEEMED COMPLETELY OBVIOUS: the novel contained nothing criminal; it was ideologically appropriate and certainly not dangerous in that sense. And the fact that the world depicted in it was coarse, cruel and and hopeless, well that was how it had to be - it was the world of "decaying capitalism and triumphant ideology".

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