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Kris' Books.

Female. Slavic mind. Avid reader.

 I read across a broad range of book genres, with an emphasis on Aus/NZ lit, Russian and Ukrainian literature, Latin-American literature and European history.


The Elder Son - Aleksandr Vampilov, Alma Law I think that no piece of writing cheered me up as much as this one in the past half year. It is based on a fairly popular topic, irony of fate, but the irony in this play was remarkably ridiculous and unprecedented. For such a short play, it was impressive how deeply each character was evoked. In most contemporary plays I find it difficult to discern the personalities of each character so that I can judge them properly, but it was not so in this case. Also, it really made me think about what it means to be part of a family, and the mechanism of lying. These are two important themes in the play

Basically, this story is about two young men, Busygin, a medical student, and Silva(real name Simon- "As for nicknaming me they nicknamed me, as for explaining they did not explain"), an aspiring businessman. They have gone to visit friends in a different town, but when they return to the train station they realise they have missed the last train for the night. Deciding they would prefer someplace warm to stay until 5am rather than freezing nearby the ticket booth, they venture into the neighbouring suburb to try their luck at sleeping over at a resident's house. After several failed attempts, Busygin has the idea of knocking at a certain door and attempting to convince a certain person that he is a long lost son. Surprisingly, it works....and from there the drama rolls.

This play is mainly funny because of play on language and cultural conventions. Therefore, I think it would be nearly impossible to effectively translate this play, since the only humour left in the play would be the irony. That being said, I would really like to find a copy of an English translation.