Borys Fynkelshteyn

O Venice! (2023)


Translated by Michael Pursglove and Alan Morrison.

Borys Fynkelshteyn, one of Ukraine’s leading writers, brings to his extensive oeuvre wisdom acquired not just in the academy, but the wider worlds of commerce, science, politics, travel, family and the human heart. In this spritely collection of recent fiction, Fynkelshteyn responds to classic European literature, from Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice and Giovanni Boccaccio’s plague epic The Decameron to poetry and fairy tale, with a suite of thoughtful and entertaining tales for modern times. As Europe again faces war, pandemic and rising intolerance, O Venice! invites the reader to consider how the continent’s cultural complexity has long provoked, not just a troubled history of persecution and forced migration, but also a rich interchange of ideas, experiences and faiths ‒ explored here in stories that build bridges of understanding.

ISBN: 978-1-915241-16-0 Category: Tags: , , , ,

Praise and Poems

An introspective novella concerning nostalgia, disillusionment and hope, O Venice! presents a journey that bridges time, space and emotions. The number ten births a new Decameron; the coronavirus becomes a new name for the old plague; social attitudes evolve. In a work that moves fluently between fictive and reflective modes, Fynkelshteyn reminds us: ‘Knowledge is not absolute; it does not contain the whole truth […] it contains the part of the truth that we need at the moment.’     Dr Lorenza Gianfrancesco, Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History, University of Chichester

In O Venice! Borys Fynkelshteyn creates distinctive, captivating narratives in which it is difficult to draw a demarcation line between what is fictional and real, imagined and authentic. At a time of global conflict and apocalyptic fear, his post-postmodern consciousness roams over literature from the Early Modern period to Romantic and Modernist classics, integrating these literary phenomena in an insightful and original approach to Ontological Being. In O Venice!, myth is reality in its ontological form.    – Dmytro Drozdovskyi, PhD, Shevchenko Institute of Literature of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

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