Yuri Mamleyev

The Sublimes, translated by award-winning Marian Schwartz, the novel that revolutionised Russian literature

The Sublimes

A novel by Yuri Mamleyev

Translated from the Russian by Marian Schwartz

ISBN 978-91-981157-1-0

©Haute Culture Books / Kreell / Marian Schwarz for the English translation

dimensions of the book 12 cm x 18 cm

dimensions of the doll 35 cm x 12 cm

Can be hand made and shipped to you on demand

  • Copies numbered and signed. FIRST 50 BOOKS SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR.
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  • An award-winning translator, Marian Schwartz.
  • Bilingual edition, with English and Russian text.
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“Yuri Mamleyev’s grim and crazy novel revolutionized Russian literature.”  – Le Monde 

“This book will change your perception of the human nature. This is literature in its boldest, art in its pure sense, – uncompromising and limitless.” – Russian writer Grigory Ryzhakov

Almost half a century ago, in 1966, a book was published unofficially via samizdat in the Soviet Russia. A book that both terrified and dazzled the literary establishment. This was Yuri Mamleev’s novel, Shatuny, today published in English as The Sublimes. This comical and metaphysical novel is somewhere between Dostoyevski and A Clockwork Orange, full of philosophy, humour, esotericism and spiritualism.

Over the years, the novel became a cult classic, and Russia produced Mamleev’s literary followers like Vladimir Sorokin and Victor Pelevin who continued exploring the limits of mankind and the dark side of humanity.

Only a few extracts were published in the West in the 80s and the critics were overwhelmed with its power. At the time it was suggested that mankind wasn’t ready for such a book.

In The Sublimes, Mamleyev’s figures are mystics, absurd occultists, philosophical fanatics in search of immortality, of their own “eternal ego” and of the great Absolute. They sometimes seek evidential proof of the presence of God and the continuation of life in order to find an answer to the question: What will they meet with on the other side of death?

Translated in many languages, The Sublimes is a masterpiece that creates the purest state of mind, a moralistic tale that can be compared to a contemporary Dante’s Inferno.

Professor James McConkey of Cornell University says of the work: “On the one hand, the novel may be read as reflecting modern hell: ‘The earth has turned hell without anybody noticing it.’ However, very deep down, this book offers, in fact, a religious vision, and its comedy is earnestly lethal. Yet, in view of its ironic estrangement and dynamic lure – another remainder of Dostoyevsky – Shatuny can be read as a sort of ‘metaphysical detective story’.”

About Yuri Mamleyev

Born in 1931 in Moscow, Yuri Mamleyev began writing in the 1960s. During that time, the author led a “double life.” By day, he taught mathematics, but in the evenings he hosted a secret circle of intellectuals. Discussing Indian and German philosophy, theosophy and psychoanalysis, the members of this undercover literary and philosophical circle called themselves “sexual mystics.”

Mamleyev’s works could only be sold in Russia through Samizdat and in the 1980s began to appear in the West. In 1974, Mamleyev emigrated to the U.S., and later lived in Paris. He returned to Russia in 1993 and, today, alternates between Moscow and Paris. Younger Moscow writers such as Vladimir Sorokin or Victor Yerofeyev venerate him as “the heir to both Gogol and Dostoyevsky.”

In 2000, Mamleyev was awarded the Pushkin Prize by the Alfred Toepfe Foundation and the International PEN Club, and he was a scholar at the German Foundation, Preußische Seehandlung.

Mamleyev is considered the “most Russian” writer in Russia today. He founded a new literary current called “metaphysical realism.” Vladimir Spakov wrote of Mamleyev in The Petersburg Book Journal:

 “His prose is devoid of actual events… but it holds something else instead: an eternal thing that has forever been part of man, but which nobody likes to be confronted with. The mirror he holds up to us has turned black, reflecting our dark side. To do so, it needed a writer capable of standing at the abyss without falling and of telling the more frightful among us who pretend to be ‘civilized’: There are monsters hiding in you!”

Mamleyev’s heroes are often characterized as “idiots”, “feeble-minded”, or “dopes” – but in fact they are all in love with being and dream of immortality. They want to understand the incomprehensible, and find answers to questions beyond the realm of human reason. They have entered a prohibited area. While Mamleyev’s figures seem to emerge from a grotesque and evil fairy tale, he places them into a realistic context. And that is why his prose is both unbelievably credible and merciless.

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