Liubko Deresh [Ukraine]

© Dmitri Larin

Guest 2018

Bibliography

Kult

Suhrkamp

Frankfurt a. M., 2005

[Ü: Juri Durkot und Sabine Stöhr]

Die Anbetung der Eidechse oder Wie man Engel vernichtet

Suhrkamp

Frankfurt a. M., 2006

[Ü: Maria Weissenböck]

Intent! Oder die Spiegel des Todes

Suhrkamp

Frankfurt a. M., 2008

[Ü: Maria Weissenböck]

Trochi pitmi

Klub simejnogo dozwillja

Charkiw, 2011

Golowa Jakowa

Klub simejnogo dozwillja

Charkiw, 2011

Ostannja ljubow Asuri Macharadscha

Nora-Druk

Kiew, 2013

Spustoschennja

Anetta Antonenko

Lwiw, 2017

 

Ljubko Deresh was born in 1984 in Lviv, Ukraine. He completed his studies in economics at the University of Lviv. Deresh has written a series of novels and numerous stories and is considered one of the most prominent representatives of post-Soviet Ukrainian literature, along with Yurii Andrukhovych and Serhiy Zhadan. In his second novel, »Kult« (2011; tr. Cult), he writes about life as part of the young generation of Ukrainians after the end of the Soviet Union. They experiment with drugs and consciousness expansion, trying all kinds of cults and rituals, but despite all their rejections of the past, they fail to find any values that could have meaning in their lives. Deresch mainly reflects on the experiences of the 1990s, describing the fictive Carpathian town of Midni Buky and the invasion of Western pop culture. »The American culture seemed like it was speaking only to us, it was as if we were stuck in an American age as the houses crumbled outside – and only after we were older did we notice that this culture had infected every line of communication.« Deresch’s novels follow in the footsteps of fantasy and horror stories by H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, Ambrose Bierce, and Stephen King and make reference to works by contemporary and classic Ukrainian authors.

Deresh’s début novel, »Pokloninie jaschtscherice« (tr. Worshipping the Lizard), written when he was sixteen years old and first published in 2004, is also set in 1990s Midni Buky. Inspired by Jim Morrison’s song »The Celebration of the Lizard« and Pink Floyd’s »The Wall«, Deresch tells a story of first love and the end of a carefree childhood as he allows post-socialist Ukrainian realities to clash with Western pop culture. In »Namir!« (2006; tr. Intent! Or the Mirror of Death), also set in Midni Buky, an eleven-year-old boy discovers his own phenomenal memory. His extraordinary ability not only helps him take imaginary journeys through time and space, but also turns him into a brooding outsider who immerses himself in scientific works about time and consciousness until he finally falls into everlasting love with a female artist. »›Intent!‹ is an example of something one could call ›hyperactive literature‹, which especially blooms like a wildflower in the openness of Eastern Europe. No one can want a new Cold War, because then we would not see books like ›Intent!‹, which makes Charlotte Roche’s ›Wetlands‹ seem like a fanciless, dried-up swamp flower« (»Die Welt«).

Deresch’s works have been translated into Russian, Polish, Italian and Armenian languages. He presented his novel »Kult« at the 2005 Leipzig Book Fair. He lives in Kiev.

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