“The point was to declare the cosmos invalid” – Learning from "The Foundation Pit". Andrzej Stasiuk in Conversation with Volker Weichsel
Platonov Readings III
“My copy of The Foundation Pit has, as a rough estimate, travelled around twenty thousand kilometres. A rather plain edition from 1990 with a reproduction of an image by Hieronymus Bosch on the cover. Considering this distance, the steppes and deserts, it’s still in pretty good condition. I have read the book on aeroplanes, in trains, at stations, and by the campfire. I imagined that when I take it on these journeys, the story will be given its due weight. I wanted to have Platonov with me when I look at all this.” The tattered book accompanied the Polish writer Andrzej Stasiuk on his travels through Russia and Mongolia and on to China. In his opus magnum Wschód (2015, The East), he measures this enormous historical and natural space scarred by catastrophe. Platonov saw the greatest undertaking in the history of humanity fail, which is why he makes indispensable reading for Stasiuk. Volker Weichsel, editor of the Osteuropa journal, will ask him to tell more.