"Writers are professional killers of conceptions. The logic of the Letter Killers Club, a secret society of conceivers who commit nothing to paper on principle, is strict and uncompromising. Every Saturday they meet in a fire-lit room hung with blank black bookshelves to present their pure and unsubstantiated conceptions- a rehearsal of Hamlet hijacked by an actor who vanishes with the role; the double life of a medieval merry cleric derailed by a costume change; a machine-run world that imprisons men's minds while conscripting their bodies; a dead Roman scribe stranded this side of the River Acheron. The overarching scene of this short novel is set in Soviet Moscow, in the ominous 1920s. Known only by pseudonym, like Chesterton's anarchists in fin-de-si cle London, the Letter Killers are as mistrustful of one another as they are mesmerized by their despotic president. Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky is at his philosophical and fantastical best in this extended meditation on madness and silence, the word and the soul unbound."
A quirky, exploratory novella. Glasgow Herald Joanne Turnbull and Nikolai Formozov have impressively captured the philosophical, pithy, occastionally folksy and profoundly poetic character of Krzhizhanovsky's prose Times Literary Supplement