Lobskaya Hill

A visual interpretation of a story by Andrey Platonov, translated by Robert & Elizabeth Chandler and Angela Livingstone.

They stored their anger like misers, as if this anger were a necessary good and it was best not to reveal it to anyone prematurely, so as not to cheapen it.

The daughter took a bucket and set off to the well. In the depths of its darkness, in the mirror of the distant water, she saw the light blue sky of spring and the edge of a white cloud, but the wind carried the cloud away and in the mirror of the still water appeared the dead face of her child, the child she had never seen alive; bending towards this distant face was a woman, and in this woman she saw herself.

The hut door opened; probably the mistress was coming out again, to drive the strange man from her gate. The labourer got up in anticipation, wanting to go away to some empty place and spend the night there.

 “Why so sorry for yourself – has someone upset you?” asked the woman. “Come on in!”  

Sometimes, at night, the man suddenly woke up in the dark silence; his heart would be aching but his head would be thoughtless, and he did not want any thought or memory to appear in it.

“In his mature work Platonov seems to delight in eliding every conceivable boundary—between animal and human, between the animate and the inanimate, between souls and machines, between life and death. He was almost certainly an atheist, yet his work is full of religious symbolism and imbued with deep religious feeling. He was a passionate supporter of the 1917 Revolution and remained sympathetic to the dream that gave birth to it, yet few people have written more searingly of its catastrophic consequences.” (Read Chandler’s full article here.)

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