“The style is the man himself,” wrote noted French academic Georges Buffon in 1763. Since then, while History has changed much in people, it has nobly preserved this axiom for the craft of writing. And today we can repeat: Vladimir Grjonko's prose is style. He can afford to imitate the style of Mr. Belkin - ironically seeing in his uncomplicated stories the fate of a small man of the great Soviet era ("Skvorlin's Tales") or illustrating Dostoevsky's bombers' conspiracy theory (“Disenchanted Wanderer”) in the night skylines of Heidelberg. Time in his work swings like a giant Foucauldian pendulum, and thus the heroes can simultaneously exist in the prehistory of Israel, in revolutionary Baku, and in the space of New York pierced by skyscrapers (“Groundhog Time”). The style of a spiral going to infinity - each turn of which is well known and at the same time frighteningly unpredictable.


Marina Adamovich,

Editor-in-chief of the New Review Magazine, New York

February 2022