Robert Chandler's picture

Dear all,

Twenty years ago I translated Igor Golomstock's TOTALITARIAN ART - the first serious study of the similarities between the official art of Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany.

A few years ago first ZNAMYA and then AST published his Memoirs of an Old Pessimist. They contain a great deal of interesting and unusual material: Igor’s account of his several years as a child in Kolyma (his mother was a doctor); insights into what it was like to work at the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in the 1950s; Igor's long friendship with Andrey Sinyavsky, and with the artists Boris Sveshnikov and Oleg Kudryashov; a brilliant analysis of the conflict between Sinyavsky and
Solzhenitsyn; and much more.

Two chapters, about the years Igor spent in Kolyma as a child, are
already available in English, translated by Boris Dralyuk:

I have found a publisher who is seriously thinking about publishing an English translation of Igor’s memoir.  But this is not yet definite.  If there are any among you who admire Igor’s work, who know any of his many books about Russian and English art, who teach courses about the Soviet dissident movement, and who might possibly use this memoir in your teaching, do please write me a line or two, on or off list.  Anything you can say that might help me convince the editor, or that the editor may be able to use in future publicity, will be immensely helpful.

Igor is now 88, and his health is declining rapidly.  He is, in fact, in hospital now.  All this makes it especially important to get this project moving.

All the best,

Robert Chandler