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Rein Raud

Forfatter af The Brother

36+ Værker 176 Medlemmer 4 Anmeldelser

Om forfatteren

Rein Raud is Professor of Asian and Cultural Studies at Tallinn University, Estonia. He has published widely on Asian philosophy and cultural theory, and is the author of several books including Meaning in Action: Outline of an Integral Theory of Culture, which unites textual and sociological vis mere approaches to culture based on examples from around the world. vis mindre

Værker af Rein Raud

The Brother (2008) 35 eksemplarer, 2 anmeldelser
Rekonstruktsioon (2012) 19 eksemplarer, 1 anmeldelse
Täydellisen lauseen kuolema (2015) 18 eksemplarer, 1 anmeldelse
Ratsanik Melchior (1990) 9 eksemplarer
Kaupo : [romaan] (1990) 9 eksemplarer
Hotell Amalfi (2011) 7 eksemplarer
De dood van de perfecte zin (2023) 4 eksemplarer
Pisiasjad, mis omavad tähtsust (2000) 4 eksemplarer
Vanem Paksem Tigedam (2013) 4 eksemplarer

Associated Works

Nyt liv (1292) — Oversætter, nogle udgaver; Forord, nogle udgaver2,207 eksemplarer, 23 anmeldelser
Best European Fiction 2015 (2014) — Bidragyder — 22 eksemplarer, 6 anmeldelser

Satte nøgleord på

Almen Viden

Tallinn, Estonia
St. Petersburg University



Investigating a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma
Review of the Dalkey Archive english language translation (2017) of the Estonian language original "Rekonstruktsioon" (Reconstruction) (2012)

Rein Raud's The Reconstruction is a two-fold examination of the narrator's life & marriage and then the life of his daughter who had died by suicide. The narrator's early life had been under the Soviet Union's post-World War II occupation of Estonia. His life during this time is portrayed as a struggle against adopting the expected path of the nomenkultura (the privileged class of officials promoted by the Communist Party) as personified by his father-in-law. In contrast, his daughter mostly grows up in a post-Soviet free Estonia where her options and freedoms seem limitless, even the choice to die.

The plot structure is somewhat along the lines of a detective investigation as the father interviews his daughter's friends and associates in both France (where she studied and worked) and Estonia (where she joined an artists' commune). There is an increasing tension and mystery that grows in the story as we apparently are getting closer to the solution of what happened and yet are still at a remove from being able to totally understand. Along with the father we are left with the knowledge that you can never totally understand another person. Our best path forward is to do good where you can as you will never know what secret torments another may be going through.

The translation by veteran Estonian translator Adam Cullen flowed very well and I was especially pleased that Dalkey Archive did an excellent job of copy-editing in the final published book. I find that often the latter effort is sadly lacking in many international Estonian translations.

Links and Trivia
Added to the list of books with Fictional Characters Who Love Arvo Pärt.
… (mere)
alanteder | Oct 14, 2019 |
From Estonia With Love

The title of Rein Raud's "The Death of the Perfect Sentence" derives from a passage ending with "Then he whispered the perfect sentence into her ear." We are not told what the sentence is but we are given a moment to ponder it because the very next page reads "This page intentionally left blank." Based on the preceding romantic set-up, the most likely guess would be "I love you."

That is a good example of the type of meta-fiction that the novel contains. Author Raud regularly makes interjections into the text, sometimes writes page-long footnotes commenting on the action and providing context or just stops the action entirely to make you take a pause to think. The style won't necessarily appeal to everyone, but does have its charms. Certainly the context is necessary for those who aren't familiar with the history of the end of the Soviet Union in 1991. But those who are familiar with it will still find quirky bits of nostalgic dark humour along the way. Case in point, remember those bitter anecdotes about the incompetence of the Soviet regime? There is one I never heard before:

Winnetou gathers his tribe and says: "I've got one piece of good news and one piece of bad news. Which would you like to hear first?"
"The bad news, oh Winnetou."
"The bad news is that we've used up all our food, so we have to start eating bison shit."
The tribe grows despondent and starts to wail, then one of them asks what the good news is.
"The good news is that I know a place where we can get hold of bison shit."

As Raud then observes, people who lived under the Soviet regime would totally understand this bitter humour and know that it was a joke about their own system.

Raud takes us back to those times of hope which existed alongside the continuing paranoia of a totalitarian regime that many did not know was teetering on the point of collapse. He sets this all up with a group of Estonian dissidents acting as an amateur spy network to smuggle information to the west and builds quite a lovely bitter-sweet romance story into the mix. It truly takes us back to when we lived in interesting times.

Trivia that perhaps only an Estonian might recognize
On pg. 164 A Soviet intelligence officer suggests that agent files should be seeded with Estonian nationalists in a disinformation campaign: "You could start with that damned Lennart Meri."
On pg. 167 the description of the files includes: "a photo of a man who was getting on a bit, with a long face and thinning hair, and a big hearty smile," which is a good description of former Estonian President Lennart Meri.

The book's official publication date is set for June 21, 2017. but pre-orders made directly at the publisher's web-store at https://www.vagabondvoices.co.uk/bookshop-changelings/the-death-of-the-perfect-s... will be shipped as of April 2017.

#ThereIsAlwaysOne (or Two)
pg. 167 "the person sitting the other side of the table" should presumably be "the person sitting on the other side of the table."
pg.186 "Properity" should presumably be "Prosperity."
… (mere)
alanteder | Apr 20, 2017 |
This short novel is dubbed a "spaghetti western" by its Estonian author. Although I have seen movies of that genre, I've never really studied them as a fan so I may have missed some of the references. (There is a brief mention in the acknowledgements for those of us who missed things.) But we used to watch them at parties in the 1980's. Maybe those viewings left something buried in my sub-conscious because I really enjoyed this book without really knowing why. Take away any knowledge of "spaghetti westerns"and it is still a darned good read.… (mere)
seeword | 1 anden anmeldelse | Nov 3, 2016 |
Tundub, et peatselt loeks uuesti ja veel. Ja siis juba koos muusikaga ;)
KristiSiimon | 1 anden anmeldelse | Apr 5, 2013 |



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