Friday, May 20, 2005

Anybody heard of Eduard Limonov ?

I just finished reading It's Me, Eddie by Eduard Limonov , the book is, unusual, to say the least. Typically, memoirs written by Soviet era dissidents, and political refugees in general, relating their experiences in coming to America are goofy and sentimental, laced with the obligatory gratitude of wide-eyed innocents in "the land of opportunity".

In this case, the reader is taken on a journey through New York City circa 1974, written in the prose of a proud welfare recipient and ne'er do well who thumbs his nose at both "the worker's paradise" and his new found secular , Anglo-Saxon founded , Masonic nightmare:

" I am on welfare. I live at your expense, you pay taxes and I don't do a fucking thing. Twice a month I go to the clean, spacious welfare office at 1515 Broadway and receive my checks.I consider myself scum, the dregs of society, I have no shame or conscience, therefore my conscience doesn't bother me and I don't look for work, I want to receive your money to the end of my days. And my name is Edichka, "Eddie-baby."


"You don't like me? You don't want to pay? It's precious little-$278 a month. You don't want to pay. Then why the fuck did you invite me, entice me here from Russia, along with a horde of Jews? Present your complaints to your own propaganda, it's too effective. That's what's emptying your pockets, not I. "

An intellectual's literary version of Scorcese's Taxi Driver anti-hero type, this book was hard to put down.

Limonov was bounced from communist Russia to America in the 1970s, worked some dead end jobs as a mover, busboy and butler and left for France in the 1980s, became a literary celebrity and was granted French citizenship, then took off to fight alongside the noble Serbian resistance in the struggle for Sarajevo. Naturally, his French supporters soon distanced themselves and turned their backs on him, for the most part, when he was arrested by the Putin regime in Russia on some sort of arms smuggling charges surrounding his National Bolshevik Front outfit. But that's not in the book.

Good luck finding his books in Greek or English.


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