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Quadraturin

Maya Feldman On:

Quadraturin by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky

“Quadraturin” was the first story I chose for Maaboret, over a year ago. For some reason, its publication was delayed, until now. I wanted to publish his collection of short stories, “Memories of the Future,” in Hebrew when I worked as an editor at Kinneret Zmora-Bitan Publishing House, but I left the publishing house before it came to fruition. The irony of this course of events becomes somewhat apparent when reading the biography of this remarkable writer, whose stories, for various and odd reasons, were never published in his lifetime. In Krzhizhanovsky’s dark and surreal stories, of which “Quadraturin” is probably the most renowned, the oppressive Soviet world reflects with greater force. “Quadraturin,” the miraculous substance that enlarges the meager dimensions of the cramped rooms in the Soviet apartment building, enables Krzhizhanovsky to do with language that which cannot be done in real life. Nevertheless, the story presented here succeeds not only in creating a unique, original and powerful metaphor, it is also an outright horror story—apart from the Kafkaesque dread it evokes on a philosophical level, it actually leads the reader with terrible fear from that which lurks in the darkness behind the closed door, to the bone chilling fate awaiting him on the other side.          

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