Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Colonel Pyatnivski

I'm currently reading Michael Moorcock's book 'The Laughter at Carthage', the biography of his fictional character Colonel Pyat, a conservative Russian forced into exile from his homeland following the revolution. It follows on from an earlier book, 'Byzantium Endures', which I have not read yet. Like most of Moorcock's characters, the Colonel seems to have several names which are endlessly mutating depending on where they appear, but as far as I can glean, his full name is something like Maxim A. Pyatnivski.
From Odessa he walks to the West End
In perfectly scuffed shoes.
He smokes cigarettes; speaks English, German, and French,
And has opinions about the Jews.


Don Quixote said...

If you're interested in Russian conservatives you should read Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's Red Wheel series. Just one of many amazing stories that it contains is the account of Pyotr Stolypin, the Tsar's last Prime Minister. Stolypin was single-handedly turning around the plight of the Russian peasants through land reform and subtle attempts to curb the Tsars' decadent stupidity. The revolutionaries, of course, hated Stolypin because he was improving the lot of the people, so they assassinated him.

The Red Wheel series is heavy going, but well worth the considerable time it takes to finish.

TimT said...

Thanks for the tip! Possibly this was one of the sources Moorcock drew on for writing this novel; though seeing as his primary income for the last forty years has been writing sword-and-sorcery fantasy, the books will probably be very different. Will definitely chase that up, though.

Email: timhtrain - at -

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