Russia's cosmonauts of dystopia | Claire Armitstead

Friday, April 8, 2011 - 14:30 in Astronomy & Space

The spirit of Yuri Gagarin will launch a new breed of Russian writers in London next weekOne of the more surreal moments in the literary history of planet Earth will occur on Tuesday when Russian cosmonauts in orbit in the International Space Station will answer questions from visitors to the London Book Fair in Earls Court. The live link-up marks the 50th anniversary of that supreme Soviet moment when Yuri Gagarin became the first human to travel into outer space, circling the earth for 108 minutes in his Vostok 1 spacecraft.The reason the event is being celebrated in London is because of a newer expansionary vision: as this year's guest of honour at the book fair, Russia will be introducing 50 writers, critics and academics, many untranslated into English. Among them is Lev Danilkin, one of Moscow's most admired and feared literary critics. He has spent the last few months...

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