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Uova fatali

Uova fatali

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Uova fatali

valutazioni:
3/5 (131 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
111 pagine
Pubblicato:
14 dic 2015
ISBN:
9788865962503
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

QUESTO LIBRO E' A LAYOUT FISSO

Uova fatali narra le vicende di Vladimir Ipat’evic Pérsicov, geniale scienziato, che scopre il misterioso ‘raggio rosso’, capace di accelerare tutte le funzioni vitali. Ben presto la portata della scoperta viene amplificata e Pérsikov ne diviene inconsapevole vittima.

Per porre rimedio a un’inspiegabile morìa di galline, il Governo sovietico decide di utilizzare il raggio, seppur ancora non sufficientemente sperimentato, in una fattoria, allo scopo di velocizzare la nascita dei pulcini e la loro crescita. Un clamoroso scambio di uova metterà in pieno pericolo la città di Mosca.

“Nel Sovchov non fu più udito alcuno sparo. A sovrastare ogni cosa, rimase solo un barbaro ronzio, a cui rispose in lontananza, portato dal vento, un urlo proveniente dal villaggio, forse umano, forse ferino (…)”.
Michail A. Bulkakov (1891-1940), scrittore e drammaturgo russo, è considerato uno dei maggiori novellisti del Novecento. Tra le sue opere, Cuore di cane (1925), Uova fatali (1925), Il maestro e Margherita (pubblicato postumo nel 1967).
Pubblicato:
14 dic 2015
ISBN:
9788865962503
Formato:
Libro

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Uova fatali - Michail A. Bulgakov

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  • (5/5)
    Overjoyed to find this book at Eighth Day Books on my bookstore tour of Wichita when I was home for Christmas. I thought I'd put every Bulgakov book on my to-read list, but I'd never heard of this one. It felt very apt to have found it at Eight Day.

    This book is perfection and I could not have not bought it. I mean, it's a novella, it's Bulgakov, it is a lovely edition with French flaps and a beautiful frog on the cover. And it's science fiction - that particular mad scientist type of science fiction like the terribly delightful A Dog's Heart.

    This book, of course, can be read as a critique of the perils of Soviet communism, but I think it is all to easy to imagine the central tragedy unfolding under any government with a lack of respect for science. Of course, the tragedy seems inevitable under Soviet communism.

    A scientist discovers a ray. Not a death ray this time, no! But a ray of life! A ray that speeds the replication and growth of life. When a sudden plague kills off every chicken in the Republic, do they ask the scientist (Persikov) to study how to use the ray to restore the chicken population? Of course not! Instead, a party bureaucrat (Faight) writes a proposal to seize the ray and save the country, and the party leadership green-lights it. Faight, of course, has no scientific or animal husbandry experiment, only party loyalty and a good reputation from the war. What could possibly go wrong?

    Everything, of course. And it does so in spectacularly gory B-movie fashion. Even as horrifying as it is, somehow, it's still so fun. A wonderful discovery.
  • (4/5)
    I thought this was better than his Heart of a Dog and not quite as good - of course different - than Master and Margarita. The story is about a professor in Stalinist Russia that discovers a scientific invention/phenomenon, and how that invention changes him and the country and intersects with the current governmental model. Many put this as a veiled critique of the Stalinist regime - this book did not put Bulgakov in the gulag, but I've heard that's partly because the Supreme Leader liked Bulgakov when he met him.The writing is stark and urgent and parochial - the writing itself reminded me most of his book White Guard. However this was like a moving detective novel or modern thriller in the pace of it. I liked it.
  • (3/5)
    The satire and references would be tough to follow in this one unless you were studying, or for some reason were really familiar with, early 20th century Russian history. But if you are, funny. Surprised he wasn't sent to a gulag straightaway.
  • (4/5)
    I liked this book, which is a cross between a political satire and science fiction. On the surface it is the story of a Russian professor, Persikov, who discovers a mysterious ray of light that seems to accelerate the development of life. Meanwhile, a strange virus wipes out the entire chicken population of Russia and the country is left without chicken or eggs. A government representative decides to use Persikov's untested discovery on a collection of imported eggs, to give the chicken industry a quick re-start. But it all goes horribly wrong when two deliveries of eggs get mixed up!The story is a satirical comment on the growth of socialism, with Persikov as the misunderstood Lenin. It is a scathing attack on the establishment, the media and mob culture. At the end, the mob turns on the only man who may have some understanding of what has gone wrong. The country is only saved by an uncharacteristic cold snap in May, the freezing temperatures killing off the giant snakes that have taken over.
  • (4/5)
    In this science fiction tale with political overtones, Bulgakov tells the story of a scientist that, by chance, discovers a new form of light (a "red ray", the title of the originial russian edition of the book) that enormously acelerates growth. The use of it for the reconstruction of the country's poultry industry, decimated after a terrible epidemic, turns terribly wrong by a slight burocratic oversight. Interpreted by some as an alegory to the Soviet regime and to Lenin himself in the role of the inventor of the red ray, this book is still very enjoyable to read almost eighty years after its original publication in 1928.
  • (4/5)
    Back in 2006, we read The Master and Margarita by Bulgakov in our book group and I loved it. This novel about the devil coming to a town of non-believers in 1930s Russia and spreading mischief paralleled against the a writer in mental hospital who has written a Pilate’s eye view of Jesus is a delicious satire on Stalinism and the repression of religion and art. It wasn’t an easy book to get into – I’d previously tried to read it and failed, but this time it did click with me and I loved it. The Master and Margarita, not published in his lifetime, is arguably Bulgakov’s masterpiece, but when I came across a new translation by Roger Cockrell of one of his earlier novellas written in the mid-1920s, I had to give that a go. The Fatal Eggs was originally published in the West in a collection of novellas called Diaboliad.Bulgakov was a fan of HG Wells, and this novella owes much to Wells’s The Island of Dr Moreau amongst others, which involved a mad scientist doing experiments on animals.Set in 1928 – just into the future at the time of writing, Bulgakov’s Professor Persikov is a classic mad scientist. The ageing academic is consumed by his passion for zoology, and amphibians in particular. He is a difficult man, and makes the lives of those around him hell, including his assistant Pankrat, and all the students he teaches in Moscow whom he persistently fails in their exams. One day he makes an accidental discovery after having left a microscope on; when he returns the combination of light and lenses has created a red ray which focused on the amoeba under the scope has accelerated their growth immensely. He builds a larger apparatus, and tries it out with similar success on his beloved frogs.At the same time as Persikov’s discovery, and unbeknown to him, a fatal disease is rampaging its way through Russia’s poutry stock, and all chickens have had to be destroyed. Persikov’s invention by this time has come to the attention of journalists and the secret police – who step in to confiscate his large machines, planning to use them to speedgrow new chickens – but there’s a mix-up with the eggs, and as you might guess, things are going to go badly wrong!Mad professors, bungling secret agents and mob rule make a heady mix for some broad comedy and swipes at all things red and Russian – nothing escapes his satiric pen, although I’m no expert in the October revolution and what came after it. The ending of this novella is somewhat weak, using a conveniently Wellsian construct that I won’t divulge to save spoiling the plot for anyone else that wants to read it – however, getting there is rather fun, and I’m keen to read more of his other works.The extra material was also very well worth reading (Oneworld edition 2011). In the introduction we meet Bulgakov, and find out about his influences and some of the references in this novella. After the story, we get the translators notes which include explanations of the puns in the text, and lastly a thirty page biography and survey of Bulgakov’s work. Bulgakov died young at 48 in 1940, and it was thanks to his third wife’s efforts after his death that we got to read his works in the West, although it took until the early 1970s for the first uncensored translations to appear.
  • (4/5)
    “I wonder if that great writer of realistic fiction would have used allegory and disguise at all, had it not been for the censorship?“ – These words were found in the Foreword to describe writers such as Mikhail Bulgakov whose creativity blossomed under political restrictions. We, the readers, are treated to clever gems, big and small, such as this short story.In “The Fatal Eggs”, the eccentric zoologist, Professor Vladimir Ipatyevich Persikov (name played off Lenin) discovers the red Ray of Life. Meanwhile, an unknown disease has decimated the chicken population in the entire country, the “Fowl Plague” (much more creative than the Avian Flu I might add). The little-tested Ray of Life is confiscated by the government to accelerate the re-population of the chicken industry. Due to a mix-up, catastrophe befalls the whole of Moscow and neighboring countryside. It’s pretty easy to dismiss “The Fatal Eggs”. It’s a straight forward mini-not-quite-horror that one might say ripped off “War of the Worlds” (Bulgakov is a fan of H.G. Wells). But it’s so funny(!), even when the horror starts. And like a good Bulgakov read, clues of the Stalin regime sneak into the pages – the Moscow housing shortage in the 1920’s, the fear of Western criticism, saving face tactics, the mockery of “comrade”, etc. With nuggets such as “Plenipotentiary Head of Trade Departments of Foreign Representative Bodies in the Soviet Republic”, it’s hard to not smile. Despite the humor, Bulgakov keeps it real, and the ending made me sad. After Bulgakov presented this story at a literary event in 1924, he wrote in this diary: “Is it a satire? Or a provocative gesture? ... I'm afraid that I might be hauled off ... for all these heroic feats.” I’m glad he wasn’t; his masterpiece is yet to come. One Quote:On the portrait of an intimidating genius: “Judging by his eyes, he was struck first of all by the cabinet with twelve shelves which extended to the ceiling and was jam-packed with books. Then, of course, by the chambers, in which as in Hell, there glimmered the crimson ray, swollen in the lenses. And in the semi-darkness, in the revolving chair, by the sharp needle of the ray that thrust out from the reflector, Persikov himself was odd and majestic enough.”