Anna Berseneva, writer
All who are waiting with bated breath for Pelevin to exhaust his creative bins (and last year's novel "Invincible Sun" with its semantic locality made us suspect that this moment is not far off) can exhale in disappointment. Their expectations this year did not come true: the author's imagination not only did not fade, but blossomed in even brighter colors.
At the heart of this fantastic diversity, as always with Pelevin, are themes, ideas, problems and acute issues of the time in which we all now live. But only those of the problems that, according to his assumptions, will not lose importance in the future.
So, in his new book, life on the planet in general and in Russia in particular has finally reached an ecological ideal.
This is how it looks in the vastness of the country:
“The transparent air made it possible to see far away in all directions, but the panorama was monotonous: human habitation did not protrude from nature, but merged with it. In the evening, rare lights of villages and estates shone through the foliage. There were few sounds - a nearby windmill creaked, a horse was neighing somewhere, or a distant business jet was flying in the sky".
And like this - in Moscow:
“There was height and beauty outside the window. Moscow was drowning in sunset glory. Domes of churches - how many there were! The forty-forties looked at the sun with golden eyes and blazed with it, promising everyone a magical heavenly jar - just like a thousand years ago. Even the skeletons of the carbon era, from black to purple and pink, were beautiful now. <…> These rocks of the carbonic evil with black empty windows, absurdly sticking out among the two-story wooden Moscow with its taverns, cozy piles of dung and horse trams, fascinated and frightened".
Carbon, that is, our era ended three hundred years ago. Former Russia is now called the Good State. Then, three centuries ago, the revolution of the Serdobols put an end to the Mikhalkov-Ashkenazi dynasty. Pelevin would not be himself if he did without trolling. Already in the annotation to the novel it is said:
"In connection with the moral revival of our society, the book does not contain obscenities, but the author still manages to tell the truth about the most important thing".
He does not deny himself the pleasure of mocking the proteic family. His Mikhalkovs, who ruled the country forever, did not reproduce in a natural way, but cloned from several hairs of the director's left mustache, but the correction of the genome turned them into Halachic Jews and at the same time people of color.
School lessons on the topic “Tragedy and feat of the Russian people as the fodder base of the Mikhalkov family”, as well as the fresco “The Murder of the Maid of Honor Bondarchuk” and the annual public holiday called Carrying Out the Brain, remind of the great times of the Serdobol revolution in the Good State. Lenin is brought to Red Square ("whose brain continues to live with us today - in our dreams and hopes, in our transcendent Eurasian desire for justice, will and truth!"), Stalin ("a micro-monument to the genius of mankind floats in wine "tsinandali", which the leader loved very much during his lifetime") and raise the Serdobol flag - a red background, a white circle, in a circle there is a black-eared rabbit in a bow tie.
There are so many such details, sparkling with cheerful imagination and caustic satire, in the novel that they are enough to describe literally all aspects of everyday life in the bright future.
As boasting to each other of fashionable control cuckoo-collars ("Golderstern is everything"), smokes a high-pitched "fog" and at the word Zhitomir feels "sweet longing for Europe and unattainable heights of spirit" Moscow youth of the Frumer generation ("Witness of the Beautiful").
What gambling ("Duel") and sexual entertainments ("Kitty") prefer the happy inhabitants of cans - special devices to maintain eternal life.
How is the home paradise of Sheikh Ahmad, the ruler of the East, and the bro kukuratora, the ruler of the Good State, holding his hand on the button of an all-destructive weapon called a cobalt geyser and thinking:
Hitler, he thought grimly, is always this Hitler. <…> They compare with him no matter what you do. And to do nothing, they will say, is a criminal Hitler's inaction ... But after all, this Hitler, if you look at it, got into a mess only with the fact that he lost the war. Because if he won it - truly, globally - those he killed would be guilty. And all corporate truth-tellers would spit on their graves from their screens every day, just like they spit on Hitler today. The kids would be accepted as Hitlerites, and everyone would keep their mouths shut, because goodness, light and food would be on the other side of the aisle. The only crime on our planet is weakness. Lost - you are a war criminal and a mass murderer. Alexander the Great won. So it was, is and will be ... "("Bro maurator").
How bleak is the life of provincial landowners who have no chance of saving up for a posthumous jar and the pleasures attached to it, and therefore forced to have fun with their servants, as the old-fashioned helpers are called - biorobots based on the human genome, deprived of human identity ("Mitina's love").
It is neither necessary nor possible to retell all these details. They are scattered throughout the novel and form the dense background of its seven chapters, each of which describes some aspect of the transhumanist future. The very principle of transhumanism, on which life in this future is built, "indicates going beyond the limits of the usual human mode of being." The word "transhumanism", according to the Okipedia, was first mentioned by Dante Alighieri, but it came into wide use in the twentieth century, when "it was about overcoming human limitations, improving our breed and getting rid of disease, old age and death". In reality, all these good intentions led to the fact that an implant was implanted into the brain of every inhabitant of the earth of the future, and through such implants, humanity is completely controlled by Transhumanism Inc. (Oh, vaccine fighters and 5G towers, you will definitely read this book!) This corporation is controlled by its owner Goldenshtern.
But the answer to the question of who Goldenstern is, to what extent he controls humanity and how he is connected with the higher forces of being is multi-layered, multi-valued, permeates the entire novel and constitutes its upward force. And when it is said that Viktor Pelevin did not disappoint with his new book, it means not only a scattering of brilliant details of life or well-aimed observations over it (“The best way to avoid a problem is not to go where it arises. all worldly wisdom"; "From a certain moment, thought the cucurator, in the life of a successful brain there is nothing left but health procedures. What is then success if not a disease?", but it is a jerk beyond the plot, characters, everyday details - generally beyond the limits of everyday life.
In nineteenth-century literature, this leap came almost exclusively from realistic soil. Pelevin's soil is his vivid fantasy, connected with reality indirectly, or at least in his own way. But the principle of the existence of a meaningful text - flying upward from its own limits - has not undergone any changes. It is fully inherent in Pelevin's new novel.
He, probably, is the essence of art.