RARA-AVIS: Re: Charyn/Babel redux

From: Duane Spurlock ( duane1spur@yahoo.com)
Date: 19 May 2006

" DJ-Anonyme@webtv.net" DJ-Anonyme@webtv.net wrote:

"But a real understanding of the tradition Charyn works in came to me after reading some of Isaac Babel's Odessa stories, particularly those about gangster Benya Krik."

Derek Raymond spoke very highly of Isaac Babel in his literary autobiography (as in it's much more about the literature that influenced him and his writing than about facts of his life) The Hidden Files. I've been meaning to read him. Where's a good place to start, the stories you mention above?
  Why I think Red Cavalry may be a good hard-boiled book:
  This description at Amazon.com comes from a reader:
  <<Before Hunter Thompson ever gave his groundbreaking firsthand account of the Hell's Angels, Isaac Babel, a Trotskyite propagandist, rode with the Soviet Red Cavalry (the Bolshevik equivilent of the Hell's Angels).>>
  The opening lines of Washington Post Book editor Michael Dirda's "Introduction:
  "The orange sun is rolling across the sky like a severed head." So writes Babel on the very first page of RED CAVALRY--but the sentence might well be a stage direction for Peckinpah's THE WILD BUNCH or Kurosawa's SEVEN SAMURAI or Coppola's APOCALYPSE NOW. The world of RED CAVALRY is one we recognize from late-20th Century film. Violence and brutality mingle with a surreal, sometimes poetic beauty. The established order of things has been interrupted, and we enter a stark theatre of wild gesture, one where a man goes into battle with a quip--"Let's go die for a pickle and World Revolution"--or meets his end with a laconic courage that the ancient Spartans might envy.....
  - Duane www.pulprack.com

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