Bild på författaren.

Sergey Dyachenko (1945–2022)

Författare till Vita Nostra

34 verk 1,243 medlemmar 46 recensioner

Om författaren

Foto taget av: Marina and Sergey Dyachenko by БережнойСергей


Verk av Sergey Dyachenko

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Allmänna fakta



Reviewers cannot resist linking Marina and Sergey Dyachenko’s Vita Nostra with Harry Potter, but they usually have to settle for something like Harry Potter as written by Tolstoy, or better, Harry Potter as written by Kafka.
Connections with HP are ready to hand. There is a girl, Sasha, who is repeatedly told she is special. And there is a magic school with teen romance. Students there learn a brand of magic, are transformed, grow wings, and learn to fly, but such connections mislead.
The Institute for Special Technologies in the village of Torpa is no Hogwarts. Its tawdry campus is symbolically located on a street named for Sacco and Vanzetti, the anarchist Italian immigrants who were executed for murder in America after a trial that was a travesty of justice.
None of the Institute students are there by choice. They seem abused, downtrodden, and desperate. The professors routinely use threats and intimidation to achieve their educational ends, which are concealed from the students until the final high-stakes matriculating exam.
The creepiness starts right away. Sasha is recruited by a Svengali who tells her she must swim naked to a buoy each morning before dawn. When she gets home, she vomits gold coins containing the Institute’s logo. Failure might endanger her or her family.
What it has to say about adolescence is darkly Jungian. As a critique of education, it suggests quite literally that it turns students into abstractions that rob them of their humanity. I am too uninformed to say what it says about Russian-Ukrainian politics.
… (mer)
Tom-e | 32 andra recensioner | Apr 24, 2024 |
È stato faticoso leggerlo, ho dovuto intervallare con altri libri per alleggerirlo, è stato un viaggio in una torbida melassa. Non so se l'ho capito appieno o se c'è una mancanza di fondo, ma... bello, a modo suo.
ravendubh | 32 andra recensioner | Dec 21, 2023 |
A reread for my book club

I loved the book the first time I read it, a long time ago. I was overwhelmed, as in ”what is this???” and ”this is the weirdest book I’ve ever read!” But you never reread the same book, because you are not the same reader. So, I am not overwhelmed now, yet the book is brilliant and I see things I hadn't seen before and my thoughts on the reread were not the same.

Your regular ordinary world is slowly turning into a strange, nightmare one. I loved how it was done in the first pages.

This novel is an ode to the power of language and symbols, the gorgeousness and the horror of it. It is about finding meaning in chaos and darkness, through language.

The horrible things done to the students and the manipulation hit me very hard this time. I wonder if only someone who has lived through oppression and experienced a totalitarian society in all its ghastliness and absurdity could have imagined this world. I kept thinking about all the beautiful young things burning so bright, and those who would step on them and twist, twist, twist, until people are remade to suit somebody else.

Towards the end of the book, I started wondering about those text fragments that coalesced out of chaos (this is the power of the reread!). So I googled one of them and found Aristotle ☺ It warmed my heart, of course.

I must confess that I did not understand the ending on the first read. That’s because I swallowed the book whole, dived into it, and then came up gasping for air, wondering what just happened. This time: the oppressors of any kind would have you believe that Love = Fear. The ending is Sasha’s answer to that, and it is full of courage and brilliance.

That quote at the end is from the Gospels. Oh.
… (mer)
Alexandra_book_life | 32 andra recensioner | Dec 15, 2023 |
I read reviews that call this book the greatest fantasy novel ever, and, while I don't personally agree with that, there is definitely a lot to like ---the gradual reveal about the Institute for Special Technologies, Sasha's emotional and physical development and the other "changes" she goes through, the deeply drawn and interesting characters that were her teachers and classmates, her connection and disconnection to and from her family, and the connection to the systems of language --- all added up to an intriguing and enjoyable book. I listened to the audiobook and the narrator was excellent.… (mer)
Bebe_Ryalls | 32 andra recensioner | Oct 20, 2023 |



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