Magazine article Russian Life

Limonov

Magazine article Russian Life

Limonov

Article excerpt

LIMONOV

Emmanuel Carrere (FSG, $30)

Translated by John Lambert

From the outside, the life and adventures of an audacious, charismatic personality like Eduard Limonov--radical, poet, drifter, National-Bolshevik - seems attractive, interesting, intriguing. And even if people don't agree with his politics (few do), "they like his fiery personality, they admire his talent and audacity ..."

Born on the Volga just days before the German surrender at Stalingrad, Limonov was the son of a Chekist, and at various points in his colorful life: a street punk, a radical underground poet, an emigre, a lionized writer, a notorious fighter alongside heinous Serbs, and a jailed faux revolutionary. Today he is a more or less tolerated radical oppositionist. He has lived 10 lives in the space most people reserve for one, yet has never attained the power and notoriety that he sought. He wanted to be a soldier or lead a revolution. Instead, he was merely a colorful sideshow. …

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