Wings by Mikhail Kuzmin

IMG_3383Set in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Reviewed on 2018/08:

As I’ve said before, my IG account is not here as a propaganda machine to make you feel better about your country, city, tribe. That is the main reason why I’m interested in the location of the story and NOT in the writer’s nationality or citizenship. It’s also the main reason why I strive to read books portraying #theother. Today’s book for my mini review and this weekends’ are perfect examples of the type of stories I want to feature in this account. This mini spiel is important because in the same way I chose only stories by black female writers set in the United States, I’m only featuring #lgbt stories set in #russia . Believe me regardless of how much evil power hungry Putin wants you to believe otherwise, LGBTQ has always been a part of the Russian soul. When #kuzmin published #wings in 1906, it became a hit, unsurprisingly #controversial , and it rivaled other examples of #gayliterature in modern Europe such as Wilde and Gidé. While reading this tiny yet exhilarating book, you need to keep that context and era in your mind. #mikhailkuzmin did not write this story for you or for me probably with no one in mind. So there’s an element of inconsequential lines and plots peppered throughout the story. However I interpreted it as a poetic way to convey the feeling of living #duallives , pretending you’re someone on the outside while riddle with questions and doubts and yearning for freedom on the inside. That’s how you should read this book. We need to let the story and the characters speak for themselves and tell us their own stories. A convoluted, tragic and deadly story which still reverberates to today’s #lgbtqcommunity in Russia. We also need to stop fetishizing #russianliterature for the #opression it has endured as if their suffering is there for our literary entertainment. These writers, these stories are real and they have paid a horrible price for leaving this testimony behind. They wrote them primarily to bear witness. If you are able, please do support @voices4_@lyosha_gorshkov @mashagessen and their work! #highlyrecommended#saintpetersburg #hesperus #Кузмин#Крылья #volga #silverage

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