Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Seven Stories

This is a little book cover design I created for Krzhizhanovsky's Seven Stories. 

My favourite of the 7 stories contained in this collection is called Quadraturin, about a man who lives in a tiny room, in a building of tiny rooms (which, faithful to the regulations in Russia in the 1920s when the book was written, are regularly measured to check that they are the specified 9 metres by 9 metres). He buys a mysterious substance called Quadraturin from a salesman which, when applied to walls and floors and ceilings, causes them to grow. Unfortunately he forgets to dilute the Quadraturin, and becomes terrified someone will discover his endlessly growing room, which becomes ever darker and cave-like.

I love Krzhizhanovsky's writing, it reminds me of Kafka and Bruno Schultz, and maybe even a smidgen of Roald Dahl too. It crackles with imagination. And he kept writing it even though the censors prevented his work from being published in his time. Even now, I really think it deserves a wider audience.

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