The Commissariat of Enlightenment

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9780060501365: The Commissariat of Enlightenment

A brilliant and richly imagined first novel about a young Russian filmmaker who discovers that in the period between the death of Tolstoy and the death of Lenin is born the science of propaganda. Ken Kalfus's mesmerising first novel is about two events that become milestones in the history of the modern media: the death of Tolstoy and the murder of Lenin. One yound filmmaker was there. The story begins in 1910, as Leo Tolstoy lies dying in Astapovo, a railway station in provincial Russia. Members of the press from around the world have descended upon this sleepy hamlet to record his passing for a public suddenly ravenous for celebrity news. Cinema is the newcomer, and Nikolai Gribshin arrives to capture the extraordinary scene and learn how to wield his camera as a political tool. At this historic moment, he comes across two men - the scientist, Professor Vorobev, and the revolutionist, Joseph Stalin - who have radical, mysterious plans for the future. Soon they will accompany him on a long, cold march through an era of brutality and absurdity, as science struggles with superstition. Brimming with intellect, humour, and rich, inventive storytelling, THE COMMISSARIAT OF ENLIGHTENMENT is a novel of ideas that brilliantly evokes the tragi-comic world of revolutionary Russia as well as the birth of today's image-based society.

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Review:

'Absorbing, intelligent, witty and wry' -- The Times

'There are hip writers, there are technically innovative writers, and there are wise, moving, and profound writers. Kalfus is all of these at once' -- Dave Foster Wallace

'Wry, humane, precise and beautifully smitten with ideas' -- Jonathan Franzen

About the Author:

Ken Kalfus has lived in Paris, Dublin, Belgrade and Moscow. He is the author of THIRST and PU-239 AND OTHER RUSSIAN FANTASIES. His fiction has appeared in HARPERS and THE VILLAGE VOICE Literary Supplement.

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Kalfus, Ken
Published by Ecco (2003)
ISBN 10: 0060501367 ISBN 13: 9780060501365
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Book Description Ecco, 2003. Book Condition: New. 2003. First Edition. Hardcover. Keywords: Fiction - General - Russia. Not a first edition copy. . . . Bookseller Inventory # KHS0063360

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Kalfus, Ken
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Kalfus, Ken
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Book Description HarperCollins, New York, NY, 2003. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 8vo - over 7?" - 9?" tall. Clean and tight - unused copy - Excellent!!. Bookseller Inventory # 008326

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Kalfus, Ken
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Book Description Ecco, 2003. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: With this remarkable debut novel, Ken Kalfus gives us a stunning triumph of invention -- an epic story about the death of two Russian visionaries, the life of a radical antihero, and the birth of a new kind of power. It begins in 1910 in Astapovo, a remote Russian railway station, where Leo Tolstoy lies dying of pneumonia. Members of the press from around the world have descended upon this sleepy hamlet to record his passing for a public suddenly ravenous for celebrity news. They have been joined by a film company whose young assistant, Nikolai Gribshin, is capturing the extraordinary scene and learning how to wield a camera as a political tool. At this historic moment he comes across two men -- the scientist, Professor Vorobev, and the revolutionist, Joseph Stalin -- who have bold, mysterious plans for the future that will inevitably involve him. With the coming of the Russian Revolution, Gribshin takes on the nom de guerre Comrade Astapov and joins the Bolshevik ministry of propaganda. In league now with Stalin and Vorobev, he plots to kill Lenin and glorify his embalmed body, promoting a vision of lifeless immortality that will dominate the minds of millions. In this brutal, absurd age, Gribshin seeks to transform himself and redirect the course of history. Displaying the same mastery of form and intimate knowledge of Russian culture that distinguished his award- winning short stories, Ken Kalfus has produced a work of grand scope and ambition. The Commissariat of Enlightenment is a mesmerizing novel of ideas that brilliantly links the tragedy and comedy of the Russian Revolution with the global empire of images that occupies our imaginations today. Filled with intelligence, humor, and rich, vivid storytelling, it firmly establishes Ken Kalfus as one of our most daring and talented writers. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0060501367

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Book Description Ecco, 2003. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. First Edition. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0060501367

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Kalfus, Ken
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Book Description Ecco, 2003. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0060501367

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Kalfus, Ken
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Book Description Ecco, 2003. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110060501367

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Book Description Ecco Pr, 2003. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. signed 1st/1st. Signed by Author(s). Bookseller Inventory # 001398

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