Art historian and critic Irina Kulik about his favourite books

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Under the HEADING "bookshelf" are we asking the heroines of their literary preferences and journals, which occupy an important place in the bookcase. Today about our favorite books says the critic, author and host of the lecture series dissymmetrical similarities in the Garage Irina Kulik.

Irina Kulik[править]

art historian and critic

I rarely return to books, as, however, and not reviewing films, especially favorite: I'm afraid to ruin the magic of old memories

I haven't read paper books, and, alas, I do not perceive reading as a separate special class. So for me, the conversation about reading — nostalgic: memories of a pastime that I indulge less and less — except in the subway and on planes. Most of the books, about which we will speak, I read a long time ago and since then not read. I rarely return to books, as, however, and not reviewing films, especially favorite: I'm afraid to ruin the magic of old memories. Nabokov wrote somewhere that when he's an adult read "Sherlock Holmes", it seemed to him that he got the abridged edition.

In my life there were two intensive period of reading. It's childhood and a time when I wrote my doctorate in Paris. In the Soviet period of binge reading was the only entertainment: movies and music would not be available anyway, not like today. I remember the joy with which parents read aloud to me — Proust, for example. They had no less pleasure than me. Following a period of binge reading was associated with learning in France, where I wrote a dissertation on literature: the poetry of the Dadaists, Surrealists and Russian zaum. My main form of entertainment in Paris was walking and the books I read in famous parks, from the classic Luxembourg gardens to the modernist La Villette, on the quays, and even in Pere Lachaise, as well as in libraries so different, as is the library of the Pompidou Center and the library of Sainte Genevieve, with its green lamps and strict librarians.

Parks and library books in Paris is free fun available a poor student in this expensive city. But I loved the world of the Parisian booksellers and book sales — the abundance was incredible. Plus the time of the writing of the dissertation — freedom for procrastination of any kind: together with all that I had read on the subject, I, of course, read very much the fact that it is not treated — for example, modernist fiction, Burroughs, Ballard, Philip K. dick, William Gibson. But in the end it also helped the thesis.

Now I mostly read the Internet — or rather, not read, and looking for information for my course. But I still sometimes take the novels as a simple consumer of literature, which needs peace where you can escape.

Still sometimes taken for novels — as a simple consumer of literature, which needs peace where you can escape

André Breton

"Nadia" ("Nadja")

The exotic character name of the founder of surrealism stuck more than usual. Breton — one of the authors with whom I spent a lot of time during the writing of the thesis. It is very important to me figure: I love the surreal perception of the world, and although Breton reputation of a charismatic tyrant who loved to exclude from the surrealist, from the party, all (Dali and Giacometti, for example), it still attracts.

"Nadja" I got them in romantic circumstances: I gave her a lovely young Frenchman, with whom we traveled together by car through Poland, Germany, Holland France. In Paris, a friend enrolled me in University, which I eventually defended his thesis. "Nadja" is a book documenting the surreal experience of penetration into a parallel reality. Following a exotic and half-mad Slavic girl drifting at her friend, the narrator gets from the real Paris, Paris dreams, phantom and surreal. And this, very importantly, illustrated, selected by the Breton images of Cartier-Bresson, Brassai and other great photographers because the camera can capture the otherworldly. Well, reading this book in Paris, I largely identify themselves with the "Nudge".

Herman Melville

"Moby Dick"

The last great classic "brick", which I read in my life. Foreign literature in our Institute taught fantastically well. In the early nineties, when still little was translated, our teacher had read us the story of classical literature through the lens of structuralism and post-structuralism, retold by Michel Foucault and Roland Barthes.

"Moby dick" struck me not as an adventure but as an epistemological novel, with all this information about whales, with a very modern and conceptual mix of adventure story, scientific literature, allegory — and very old-fashioned charm of science, still participating in the overall picture of the world. This is very similar to what some contemporary artists interpreting the nostalgia for the charm of encyclopedic and comprehensive knowledge.

HP Lovecraft

The first book of this great American author I came across on summer vacation in the Soviet South — where the worst was the great boredom of the era, when at hand was no Internet and even a normal bookstore and reading it was almost like staying without cigarettes. I managed to buy a collection of Lovecraft's monstrous printing design and the even more monstrous translation — as if it did not people, and in the eyes of the losing human form and it is quite lavrovskii monster. I was very impressed.

Then I read Lovecraft in a French translation, however, is ultimately aesthetic — he recalled some tales of Oscar Wilde. But Lavrovski the horror was inescapable. This writer is unique because it retells something terrible, and makes him experience the feeling of horror, so nothing to describe — as if in a dream, when you Wake up in a cold sweat, not seeing the horrific images, the feeling which made you Wake up.

Pavel Pepperstein, Sergey Anufriev

"Mifogennaja love of castes"

I have polusmerti memory — not sure it's true, that I became acquainted with this book in manuscript form before it came out. It was a huge notebook in the box with the figures inside, very similar to the kind of "fan fiction", which was composed at the back and last pages of the notebooks of my classmates in the Soviet school is there, I think, too, there was something about the war and "fascists". "Mifogennaja love of castes" in this form looked like a completely outsider literature.

Utter and monumental first volume struck me to the core because of its inspired absurdity, the desire to ignore at least some literary rules. But without "Mifogennaja love of castes" there would be no Pelevin or Sorokin late. It is indeed a great literature — and, as becomes clear in the second volume, the most significant generational novel for my generation. It's not curiosity, not psychedelic "cart" and Russian analogue of "gravity Rainbow" by Thomas Pynchon — on a scale and connecting the unconnected.

Philip K. Dick

The "clouding"

The experience with this novel is reminiscent of a hallucination or a false memory. I could not believe I did read it in the magazine "Youth", which was, I think, in the evening school, where he studied. And then to find out that this "bug" was a few of my peers, I was convinced that the amazing novel by Philip K. dick and the truth was published in a Soviet youth magazine, apparently, as anti-drug propaganda.

Published also with illustrations — in a strange way similar to appeared much later, rendered the film "the Clouding" by Richard Linklater, although, of course, adjusted for the aesthetics of the magazine "Youth". I didn't know yet of any of Philip K. dick, or the great tradition of literature about drugs — this experience was experienced by me from scratch. I must say that this is a good anti-drug propaganda: the paranoid badriah dikovskij heroes no psychedelic romance.

William Gibson

"Mona Lisa Overdrive"

I take a very Baroque design on the border of real and unreal. And Gibson, as a true postmodernist, invents a world in which this mixture is not scary, but exciting — as it should be.

Gibson I read in French (English is not my first language). In those translations, it was clear that this is no ordinary science fiction, a deliberately modernist prose, referring to Pynchon and Ballard. And yet Gibson I like that it's the only science fiction writer who creates for their future — and in the last novels already for our present — very convincing and very original contemporary art, which could be the main event in many of the Biennale, if it were implemented by artists and not composed by the novelist.

Simon Reynolds

"Get Hugo retro mania. Pop culture captive to its own past"

Rock music plays a big role in my life — including for the reasons so brilliantly analyzes Reynolds, linking music and nostalgia. Each song is a little bit of cake "Madeleine": a book I read and loved in youth, not awakened memories of those that loved the album.

Reynolds ' book is written very well and with a lot of information — and this is very connected, personal, focused look at the generation. Reynolds writes how we missed the idea of utopia — the idea of a happy future is absolutely gone and it is now actively involved in contemporary art.

Gilles Deleuze

"Francis Bacon. The logic of sensation"

A rare combination: this software is a philosophical text, Deleuze, and very precise and detailed art historical analysis of Francis bacon. I love bacon, and love sincerely — I remember his major retrospective at the CHA in the early nineties that I came, not knowing about the artist nothing -- and "flew". Deleuze clearly explains the method of bacon has a really interesting analogy with the literature, with Beckett and Burroughs, and wrote his philosophical opus as experimental prose, very reminiscent of the special drive of the same burrows (by the way, a friend of Francis bacon).

Leonora Carrington

"Auditory tube"

A newly translated novel by a wonderful artist-surrealist, the book, which seemed to be all the time the genre is undergoing a metamorphosis: it starts as a sad realistic story about an elderly lady sent to nursing home, then becomes a detective in the spirit of Agatha Christie, and then in a conspiratorial fantasy in the spirit of Umberto Eco.

This is a very feminine and not afraid to say feminine prose: whimsical, fun, light, and unobtrusive subjective insisting on the female perspective and the female characters there where we used to read about the male figures. The prose is still delicious in its free inventiveness — such weaving and flipping friends, it would seem that the myths and stories would envy Borges and Neil Gaiman.

Yuri Khanyutin

"The reality of the fantasy world"

First favorite book about the movie, which I have read. This critic, who worked in Soviet times, the Institute of cinema and wrote one of the most detailed apology of science fiction films, which was possible in the seventies: from méliès to "Solaris." Great set of works — including "a Clockwork orange" and "Devils" and dozens of dystopia. Inevitable made this book "Soviet" ideological approach — with quotations from Marx in the Preface — there does not prevent.

Khanyutin wrote about fiction as a critique of capitalist society — but would agree and Directors themselves, and Western colleagues, left-wing, as most intellectuals. In childhood, when these films seemed completely inaccessible, the book Khanyutin gave not only information about them but also surprisingly passed on the charm. Soviet film critic, wrote for readers, who have hardly had the opportunity to see all these pictures, and had mastered are now lost for unnecessary gift movie description — just wonderful did except Mikhail Trofimenkov. This book is guilty in my cinephilia, that the whole institution I've skipped then opened the cinema Museum is delighted to learn the shots and scenes are familiar not by photos and texts Khanyutin.

Aleksandr Vadimov, Mark Trivas

"From the sorcerers of ancient times to the illusionists of our day"

Favorite book of childhood, a detailed history of the art of magic — from ancient Egyptian priests, Indian fakirs and the medieval marketplace of ideas to Harry Houdini. One of the authors of the book — a famous Soviet illusionist, under the exotic pseudonym alli-VAD in the image of a mysterious Indian man in a turban.

The author writes from the "inside" of the profession — and therefore not losing colleagues and never fully exposes the tricks. But results amazing descriptions of the magic tricks of all times and peoples, and biographies of the great masters of illusions: Cagliostro, méliès, Houdini. One of the incredible true stories of magician, apparently, also formed the basis of the novel by Christopher priest, "the Prestige" and shot them. Christopher Nolan's. For me, this book is probably tied to contemporary art, also forcing us to question what we see and who and what is showing us.