Thursday, 26 July 2012

Dina Rubina "On Upper Maslovka"


Such a powerful woman character as in the book "On Upper Maslovka" (Maslovka is the name of the street in Moscow) is very rare, it is created probably once every ten years.

The main character is an old woman, a sculptor. She is a personality of a global scale. She is ninety, and is still full of creative ideas and great vitality, in her youth she mixed with Bourdelle, Modgliani, Zadkine and other outstanding artists. She is completely disconnected from material things - it does not matter what's for dinner, as long as there is something; her housekeeper is stealing - well, everyone lives as he may; she is ordered to wear a clean gown – she would wear it, but would grumble at the cult of clothing. The main thing in her life is work and only work, so many images are crowded in the brain, and time is needed to translate them into the clay, to revive, to humanize. Her hand is reliable, her eye is sharp as before, the most important is to gain time!

However, her alienation is sometimes difficult for others. She needs orthopedic shoes, but for some reason there is nothing left from her pension and royalties. A true knight of the old lady, the literary critic, Petya, her right hand, a man solving a lot of domestic problems, manages to borrow money, make a little bit of washing and boil the potatoes. He even gets an ironic remark for his efforts: “Petya is neat like a spinster." But the great power of truth, coming from a Woman-Creator draws him, makes it possible to ignore her antics and even tolerate the fact that she almost closed his way into the literary magazine by her inappropriate phone call.

Truth and Creativity are the main characters in this book, which is one of the top of Dina Rubina’s works.

There is, an uncharacteristic for Dina Rubina, way to speak about herself in the third person.
The image of the translator, Nina, - dark skin, black hair, a creative profession, the ability to resist those who try to behave arrogantly in the hope that intellectuals would keep silent - reminds very much the writer. She is not the main protagonist, but she holds up several storylines. The author of this novel for the first time tried to have a disengaged look at herself and she succeeded.

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