Recreations by Yuri Andrukovych
The book, “Recreations” by Yuri Andrukovych throws light on the state of Ukrainians after the downfall of communism. Though originally written in Ukrainian, it was later translated into English and other languages. It succeeds in highlighting the situation that was prevalent in Ukraine at that time. It tells the hopes and aspirations of people who were in a transition period. There is a huge motley crew who are vividly described by the author. Their tastes, opinions, likes and dislikes are explained in a subtle fashion and do not fail to grab the reader’s attention. This novella is both amusing and informative.
The book “Recreations” is an intriguing novella set against the backdrop of the post-Soviet period in the country of Ukraine. This happened during the 1990s. The downfall of communism heralded a new beginning for Ukraine which was a part of Soviet Union. This was a testing and a tiring time. The economy became weak. People had to bear the brunt of the transition period. While some of them nurtured great plans, others were bewildered and had plenty of doubts lingering in their minds. One thing was certain and that was nobody knew what was in store for them. People contemplated different outcomes and possibilities.
The story revolves around four main characters who were all poets. They had been invited to the festival of Resurrecting Spirit at Chortopil, a place created by the author himself. The place was a happening place. A large crowd had gathered to celebrate the festival with gusto and as a result there was a carnival-like atmosphere. People hurried through the streets talking with their friends. Others sat huddled in restaurants. They ate the food of their choice and drank plenty of wine. They were eager to share their ideas and get an idea about the future. They wanted to know how they could contribute to help in building a new nation. A stable government had to be formed in the first place. Policies aiming at the welfare of the people had to be framed. Hence, they chatted and gossiped hurriedly. People talked about nationalism and tradition. They were eager to find love that helped in the betterment of their lives. Women had different perceptions about life. The children had to be provided with good education and molded as worthy citizens. To put it in a nutshell, each person had his own views.
To sum it up, the author succeeds in bringing out the mood of the people at that time while adding a sense of humor to it. Generally, the poets had poetic views and differed from the general views of common folks. The people had enormous tasks to undertake. They had to fulfill their immediate needs as well as tackle economic, political and social problems. The available resources and services needed to be pooled and utilized for creation of wealth. This would aid in the growth and development of the country. People had to welcome the change that had already taken place. They had to understand the past and plan for the future. The author’s adeptness at combining stark reality with surreal imagination makes the reading of the book worthwhile.