Harvey Pekar RIP

‘If you intend to pursue work’ by Harvey Pekar

A while back some of you were asking about Russian authors. Then yesterday I found a note on a shelf in my Man Room. It made me wistful and sad. It was from a genius and gracious man, Harvey Pekar. We had dinner a couple years ago. (He had onion rings, I had veggie nachos—neither of us eat meat in restaurants.) He talked jazz. I talked bow hunting. Then we discussed Russian authors. The next day Mr. Pekar walked into my office and handed me this exact note:

Here’s what I think it says, though maybe you could help. I couldn’t find some of these Russians, or figure out what exactly to look for, but possibly I just couldn’t decipher Mr. Pekar’s handwriting. Any help would be appreciated. (I found Andrey Bely and Khlebnikov–I mean the others.) I respect Mr. Pekar’s opinion, and following up on these authors would help us all who love Russian lit.

Sean, If you intend to pursue work, Belyo, check out Petersburgh or St. Petersburgh (don’t get the old translation) and The Silver Dove, which are considered by many his best. More daring are Kotekhetaev and his eary early short stories (1900).

Here are some other Russian writers: zamyotin (“We”), Ivanov, Olyesla or Olesha, Pilnyok, Ilb and Petrov (a team). And the poets Khlenikov.

Good to meet you


* Update: just figured out IlF and Petrov.

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May 26th, 2011 / 3:27 pm