Maroussia Klimova (the pseudonym of Tatiana Kondratovitch), the well-known Petersburg writer and translator, is one of those who has managed to play both with prose and with reality, and create a blend of the two. Such high-profile members of the postmodern avant-garde as Vladimir Sorokin, Viktor Erofeyev and Ilya Kabakov have named Klimova as the most topical, talked-about element of contemporary Russian literature.
As she herself put it, «The most topical things are those nobody has thought of a name for yet. In the Soviet era, postmodernism was topical because it was so polysemantic. These days, «topical» means being responsible about meaning and about simple truths — although even then your standard realist writers are still untopical.»
«Masses of literary movements are presented as being the «new symbolism», she said. «People throwing the word «new» around like that just shows how exhausted literature has become. All I can say is that the most topical Petersburg writer now is myself.»
This is the problem: There are as many opinions as there are writers. Which writers are really «over the abyss», only time will tell.
St-Petersburg Times, 28.05. 1999