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Monday Begins on Saturday (1964)

de Arkadi Strugatski, Boris Strugatski (Autor)

Outros autores: Veja a seção outros autores.

Séries: Monday Begins on Saturday/Tale of the Troika (1), НИИЧАВО (1)

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446941,772 (4.02)25
When young programmer Alexander Ivanovich Privalov picks up two hitchhikers while driving in Karelia, he is drawn into the mysterious world of the National Institute for the Technology of Witchcraft and Thaumaturgy, where research into magic is serious business. And where science, sorcery and socialism meet, can chaos be far behind?… (mais)
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Inglês (7)  Russo (1)  Húngaro (1)  Todos os idiomas (9)
Mostrando 1-5 de 9 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Felt like a cross between the Master and Margarita and The Third Policeman in style. Not one of their best but entertaining enough. ( )
  SChant | Jul 20, 2020 |
Slapstick.

Think: "Slapstick theatre with themes of tech and magic crammed into a book". Oh, and not funny. At all.

"Oh, a goat! Where is my hairbrush?" "But I am real said the three headed dog" as it quickly disappeared". Oh, what a riot.

Would have been a laugh to see on some crowded theatre's small stage while half smashed on vodka. As a book? Nope. Does not work. At all. ( )
  GirlMeetsTractor | Mar 22, 2020 |
Von den Strugatzki-Brüdern hatte ich bisher nur Picknick am Wegesrand gelesen. Der Montag fängt am Samstag an erschien erstmals 1965 und zählt zu den Klassikern der Russischen Fantastik.

Ich muss gestehen, dass ich nicht wusste, was mich eigentlich erwartet. Wenn ich den Roman rückblickend vergleichen müsste, so würde ich ihn bei den Werken von Douglas Adams und Terry Pratchett einordnen, nur eben extrem russisch.

Wir folgen dem jungen Programmierer Alexander Pawlowitsch Priwalow, der kurz Sascha genannt wird durch die skurrile Welt in Solowetz. Dabei begegnen wir nicht nur russischen Märchenfiguren sondern auch so allerlei anderen schrägen Wissenschaftlern, die in noch schrägeren Forschungsgebieten arbeiten. Die Strugatzkis nehmen dabei ganz extrem die sowjetische Bürokratie auf die Schippe, was mit ein Grund war, warum einige Teile des Buches in der Sowjetunion stark zensiert waren.

Das Buch zu lesen ist ein Hochgenuss, allerdings ein sehr, sehr anspruchsvoller. Der Wortwitz und die Seitenhiebe sind schon beeindruckend, erschließen sich dem/-r Leser/in aber wohl erst so richtig, wenn man sich etwas intensiver mit den Hintergründen auseinandergesetzt hat.

Dabei helfen anfänglich die Anmerkungen am Ende des Buches schon sehr. Als Kind bin ich in der DDR aufgewachsen. 1997 habe ich ein Russisch-Englisch-Abitur gemacht und erst jetzt stelle ich fest, wie schade ich es finde, dass meine Russischkenntnisse nur noch rudimentär vorhanden sind. Ich denke, ich werde mich damit mal wieder ausführlicher befassen müssen, denn der Roman ist ein wahrer Genuss und muss im Original noch sehr viel besser sein.

Fazit:
Der Montag fängt am Samstag an ist definitiv keine leichte Lektüre, die man mal so eben an einem Wochenende weg liest. Ein besseres Verständnis der damals zu Sowjetzeiten herrschenden Bürokratie sowie Grundkenntnisse der russischen Literatur und Märchenwelt können absolut hilfreich sein. Wer thematisch die Skurrilität von Pratchett und Adams zu schätzen weiß, wird bei diesem Buch auch Spaß haben. Ich habe dieses Buch wirklich genossen und definitiv nicht zum letzten Mal gelesen. Ich freue mich bereits auf einen Re-Read. ( )
  Powerschnute | Mar 21, 2019 |


Many people outside Russia are familiar with Stalker, Andrei Tarkovsky's 1979 film loosely based on the novel Roadside Picnic by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky. But, let me tell you comrades, the brothers Strugatsky's Monday Starts on Saturday is one of the most imaginative, off-the-wall hilarious novels ever written, a work that should be better known than it is.

Science fiction held a special place within the Soviet Union back in 1964 when this novel was first published, with issues revolving around censorship and maintaining the party line. If writers wanted to express their personal creativity or share independent ideas rather than serve the cause of communism and the state, they stood a better chance of having their books see the light of day if they wrote about future, distant worlds and impossible happenings and events - in other words, if they wrote science fiction.

And we find just such a distant, impossible world in Monday Starts on Saturday. It all begins when young computer programmer Alexander Ivanovich Privalov from Leningrad, headed north to meet up with some friends, picks up two hitchhikers who convince him to drive to their destination to spend the night. As Alexander Ivanovich quickly discovers upon arrival where there's a sign reading: "N I T W I T - The Log Hut on Chicken Legs," he has crossed over into a universe where magic, myth and mayhem intersect with science and technology, a universe where, among many other extraordinary occurrences, a talking pike pops out of the water and the mirror in his room refuses to reflect his image. Alexander Ivanovich must admit, all of what he encounters "seemed to me even more interesting than modelling a reflex arc." Thus our computer programmer stays on for much longer than one night.

Working within such a preposterous literary canvas, the Strugatsky brothers throw every conceivable objects and animal and plant, not to mention gentlemanly ghost, mad researcher and buffoonish bureaucrat at programmer Alexander and, indirectly, at the reader. Powerful images and ideas are all tangled together - I can imagine Soviet men and women pouring over this novel in private gatherings, relishing every glorious sentence, coming up with associations galore taken from history and current events as well as their own knowledge of fairy tales, myths and legions.

To share a taste of the treats a reader is in store for, I've included my own comments linked to a mere handful of the hundreds of bizarre happenings generously served up in the novel's 240 pages:

Modern Soviet State's Fairy Tale Grandma: Alexander is greeted by old Nina Kievna, the prototypical ancient granny from fairy tales and folk legions; she's well over 100-years-old and wears not only the predictable black shawl knotted under her chin but "her head was covered by a cheerful nylon scarf with brightly colored pictures of the Atomium and an inscription in several languages: 'Brussels International Exhibition.'

What a scream, comrades! The traditional forms of magic usually associated with the fairy tale grandma, such things as magic pebbles or golden apples, are replaced by a symbol of the "rational" magic of physics and chemistry -as tall as a 33-story building, the Atomium (pictured below) is built of stainless steel in the shape of a unit cell of an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times - and not only does each sphere contain an exhibition hall connected by escalators but there's a restaurant on the top sphere. Whoa! An undeniable feat of engineering and scientific know-how amounting to nothing less than the magic of the modern world.

The crossover between sorcery, wizardry and magic on the one hand and modern science, technology and engineering on the other is a key theme running throughout the entire tale. In many important ways, particularly in the general public's eye, scientists and technicians have taken the place of wizards.

Computer Programmer's Dreamscape: Alexander's very first night at N I T W I T proves memorable: he moves his pillow and sheets from the floor to a couch (a magical couch, as it turns out) and is woken out of his sleep in the middle of the night by voices. He tries to go back to sleep but realizes he's hungry not sleepy. The programmer gets up and picks up a book from the windowsill - Alexei Tolstoy's Overcast Morning. He flips to a random page and reads of a character opening cans of pineapple. Then a pungent smell of food fills the room - granny Nina Kievna enters and serves him a plateful of delicious hot potatoes smeared with butter.

Thereafter Alexander lies down once again and this time hears a quiet voice speak of an elephant in scientific terms then references to Carl Jung and the Upanishads. This is followed by Vasily the cat under the oak tree outside walking like university professor Dubino-Knyazhitsky giving a lecture, referencing, among other topics, a vile monster and a snow-white swan. Meanwhile, the book by Alexei Tolstoy transforms into other works by other authors. When Alexander peers out the window again he observes a wet, silver-green shark's tail hanging from the lowest branch of the oak tree. Equally astonishing (perhaps the influence of the couch?), our computer programmer takes it all in stride.

Law and Order: The following day Alexander is in the town square and is surprised to find the five kopecks in his pocket mysteriously reappearing after he hands over his coins to a merchant. According to a young lieutenant on duty at the time such behavior is completely unacceptable. The programmer is interrogated and the lieutenant informs him that he will have to draw up a report.

Alexander reflects: "What is the essential point here? The essential thing is whether or not a person thinks of himself as guilty." Readers back when Russia was the Soviet Union must have hooted when reading this brothers Straugatsky scene. During those Soviet years, millions of honest men and women were sent off to forced labor camps for trifles. To judge oneself as guilty was nothing short of laughable.

Wizards Go Bonkers: Turns out, N I T W I T stands for National Institute for the Technology of Witchcraft and Thaumaturgy. Alexander enters the main building and is put to work in a laboratory where he comes in contact with a string of remarkable departments and offices - to list several: Department of Linear Happiness, Department of the Meaning of Life, Department of Predictions and Prophecies, Children's Laughter Distillation Unit, Department of Defensive Magic, Department of Absolute Knowledge.

As I'm sure any reader will appreciate, with such a list the tale's social and cultural satire kicks into even higher gear. What are the consequences when technicians attempt to calculate society's highest happiness using mathematical formulas? How effective and efficient can such departments become? Are research projects and experiments being conducted here at all practical or useful?

Such questions fan out to even larger questions: What value is there in academic and scientific institutes around the world when subjects addressed have nearly zero relevance to the general population? What if researchers become so specialized they lose sight of what is beyond their specialty? In this way, the novel speaks to our modern world well beyond 1960s Soviet Russia.

There is even consideration at the institute of the ways to use vampires and magic carpets in modern warfare. And how will future research be done when such important components are added to the equation? I've just touched the surface here. Many more astonishing discoveries and ideas and memorable scenes await a reader opening the pages of Monday Starts on Saturday.



One can only wonder if old Nina Kievna has to travel to Moscow and stand in line on a mile-long queue to receive her Atomium scarf made from that modern synthetic fabric - nylon. Incidentally, the Soviet Union participated in the Brussels International Exhibition with its major contribution: a replica of Sputnik.


Authors Boris and Arkady Strugatsky

"I was woken by the flapping of wings and an unpleasant screeching. The room was filled with a strange, bluish half-light. The vulture on the stove was rustling its feathers, screaming repulsively and ganging its wings against the ceiling. I sat up and looked around. Floating in the air at the centre of the room was a big tough-looking bozo in tracksuit trousers and a striped Hawaiian shirt." - Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, Monday Starts on Saturday
2 vote Glenn_Russell | Nov 13, 2018 |
Funny and crazy book, a first person narrative of a "programmer" (Saşa) that ends up involved in a so called "research institute". The mix of real and fantastic elements is very well done, and reproduces the feeling that could be found in a (less than ideal) university or research centre in a comical and satirical way. The books frames several scientists archetypes and uses for that a lot of "tongue-in-cheek" expressions and ideas. In the process it humanizes the scientists and makes science look magic. The first part is less interesting and well done than parts two and three. ( )
  vladmihaisima | Feb 8, 2018 |
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» Adicionar outros autores (6 possíveis)

Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Strugatski, ArkadiAutorautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Strugatski, BorisAutorautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Bromfield, AndrewTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Buchner, HermannTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Roberts, AdamIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Strugatsky, BorisPrefácioautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Womack, JamesTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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When young programmer Alexander Ivanovich Privalov picks up two hitchhikers while driving in Karelia, he is drawn into the mysterious world of the National Institute for the Technology of Witchcraft and Thaumaturgy, where research into magic is serious business. And where science, sorcery and socialism meet, can chaos be far behind?

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