Paperback â Польові дослідження з

Польові дослідження з українського сексу Called “the most influential Ukrainian book for the 15 years of independence” Oksana Zabuzhko’s Fieldwork in Ukrainian Sex became an international phenomenon when it shot to number one on the Ukrainian bestseller list and remained there throughout the 1990s The novel is narrated in first person streams of thought by a sharp tongued poet with an irreverently honest voice She is visiting professor of Slavic studies at Harvard and her exposure to American values and behaviors conspires with her yearning to break free from Ukrainian conventions In her despair over a recently ended affair she turns her attention to the details of her lover’s abusive behavior In detailing the power her Ukrainian lover wielded over her and in admitting the underlying reasons for her attraction to him she begins to see the chains that have defined her as a Ukrainian woman – and in doing so exposes and calls into uestion her country’s culture of fear and repression at the very time that it wrestled its way toward independence“Oksana Zabuzhko is a well known Ukrainian poet of the younger generation as well as a literary critic and translator Fieldwork in Ukrainian Sex her debut in the genre of the novel marks the emergence of a powerful new voice in Ukrainian belles lettres This work immediately strikes the reader with its novelty of form and with the original way it presents eternal issues like love life and creativity intertwining them with uniuely Ukrainian themes” — Slavic and East European Journal“Language — any language — that’s what I would call the capital love of my life nothing else has the power to synthesize music and myth two things without which the world would be a totally unlivable place” — Oksana ZabuzhkoFieldwork in Ukrainian Sex was first published in Ukraine in 1996 unleashing a storm of controversy and propelling the author to national fame It topped the bestseller list in Ukraine for than ten years making it the most successful Ukrainian language book of the nineties in every regard Today Oksana Zabuzhko is one of the few authors in Ukraine and the only Ukrainian language writer to make a living exclusively from her writing

  • Paperback
  • 168 pages
  • Польові дослідження з українського сексу
  • Oksana Zabuzhko
  • English
  • 09 March 2016
  • 9781611090086

10 thoughts on “Польові дослідження з українського сексу

  1. Antonomasia Antonomasia says:

    The first full five star book I've read in 2016 a breakneck ride through twentieth century Ukrainian history the experience of writing in a neglected language and a tortured relationship between two tortured Ukrainian artists in America told in spectacular twisty turny extended sentence prose by a brilliant author and poet that of you GR experimental fans should be reading Don't just unbury books stop good ones getting buried in the first place Which I've been wanting to say in a review for a couple of years ever since someone on a forum recommended The Museum of Abandoned Secrets as one of the best things she'd read for a long time; I was blown away by the opening chapters but 700pp tomes are not my forte as they are some of yours and besides I wanted a better background in Russian lit before tackling the full thing If you're one of those who never looks beyond friend reviews please read this anyway Particular potential for burying exists because most of Zabuzhko's English translations are published by Crossing Complete Review fans will probably know that Crossing is now North America's biggest publisher of translated literature Whilst some of their genre popular stuff has found a sizeable audience the few literary and experimental texts have been starved of the oxygen of publicity unmentioned in the blogs lit journals and broadsheet reviews that cover works issued by respected ethically unambiguous independent publishers making sure at least some of the right readers are aware of them and that they aren't consigned to low star ratings from randomly selected Vine members who never liked this sort of fiction in the first place and drive by Kindle Unlimited subscribers who took a punt on it A recent exception which suggests things are changing a little for newly translated Crossing works is South Korean novella Nowhere to Be Found which was longlisted for the US PEN translation Prize and has been talked about on a couple of blogs Zabuzhko is a fantastic writer who although lauded in Continental Europe with the Angelus Prize should have as much respect and attention in English Fieldwork in Ukrainian Sex is a narrative conscious of its own psychology and I'm tempted to connect this probably financially rewarding but otherwise unfortunate choice of publisher in the current global lingua franca with a compulsion to enact the following even if you did by some miracle produce something in this language “knocking out Goethe’s Faust” as one well known literary critic by the name of Joseph Stalin would put it then it would only lie around the libraries unread for who knows how many dozens of years until it began “cooling offif the stream of public attention doesn’t pick them up in time and carry them to the surface they sink like stones to the bottom and become covered by mineral waxes that can never be scraped off just like your unsold books which gather dust somewhere at home and in bookstores this same thing has happened with most of Ukrainian literaturePresciently in fact talking of something else she says there was even a response in—wow—the Times Literary Supplement but TLS mentions of Zabuzhko including a write up of this book are paywalled and thus less influential than the lone one star UK reviewI was tired of waiting for myself to get round to Museum of Abandoned Secrets and in finishing it finally earn the licence to harangue you about it; I was tired of waiting for the optimal time to try Kindle Unlimited for a month or two so I could read the much shorter Fieldwork inclusive with that But fuck paying £799 for not very much of interest and timing things right £198 for this book alone made a lot of sense that's the right price from the readerconsumer viewpoint for a sub 200 page ebook you may only read once Yes I'd have rather paid a non retailer the same and yes I've heard the arguments in favour of novellas being as pricey as doorstops but I think publishers even those of stuff you love should be a long way down the list of charity concerns after urgent needsThis is a ranting angry digressive book so why not shoehorn a couple of paragraphs of my own rant in too?Zabuzhko's volleys of anger are set apart from a hundred other rage fuelled or less feminist fictionalised rants by the magnitude of her intellectual force and wit and her and her translator Halyna Hryn's verbal dexterity I rarely go in for this sort of very womany angry book that swampiness that scares some people as if there were going to be a gorgon's head not mere paper pages between the covers No gender has a monopoly on writing the fucked up relationship story anyway; my favourite example is Alfred de Musset's likewise under read and brilliant Confession of a Child of the Century Zabuzhko's ranting is brilliant ranting of any type and the uality of writing deserves to win out over any minor reservations over the topic And personally I'm somewhat comfortable with feminist novels from other cultures because I don't feel as if their generalisations imply I had negative experiences I never actually did unlike the Anglo American texts that have alienated and annoyed me Fieldwork's semi autobiographical narrative opens in a scuzzy kitchen with decaying detail and violent metaphor that recalls the flats inhabited by The Young Ones or Withnail boys who always had interesting things to do than housework the units' tacked on doors determined to open every time you turn your back like a loose jaw on a paralyzed face both plants have the appearance of having been watered with sulfuric acid for the last three weeks It's hard to say the unsaid these days but I kept seeing it in this twenty year old novella even when she surveys the cooking these chickens always look much happier than live ones simply radiating a deep blush of pleasure at the prospect of being eaten This blistering sarcasm creates glamour from its very absence in fact the possibilities are endless but you just need one thing—for there to be someone sitting on the other side of their fucking counter in which incidentally a colony of ants seems to have made a home because every once in a while you’ve got something crawling around on the Formica that really doesn’t belong in a hygienic American home nor in a non American one come to think of it—someone to whom you could serve all this good stuff as you smile your cover girl smile Those first few pages introduced me to a rhythm that would become familiar through the book I would feel as if in the company of a kindred spirit as if in reading I was also speaking paragraphs I wish I could have written; then appear a some new facet of the narrator's mental torment or relationship dysfunction and her downright dreadful partner far worse than my own experience or on some entire other spectrum full of its own pitchblack corners Zabuzhko's narrator switches between first second and third person as she speaks of herself creating a stream of consciousness as comfortable as a pair of worn in boots Once observed this techniue is genius of a kick oneself obviousness To many freuent readers or aspiring writers of fiction the occasional vanity thought lapse into narrating oneself in third person is as much an ingrained part of mental activity as speaking of I or of exhorting oneself or generalising about self and supposed others as you A man as muse to a female artist including when the relationship is stormy is an idea that's getting exposure now than it used to but I've never yet seen it so well described as by Zabuzhko every poem was a delightful bastard baby of one prince or another with a bright star on his forehead the star of course inevitably went out the poem remained With that metaphor she makes it sound natural than with the genders the other stereotypical way roundBut bloody hell what an awful man is this painter she falls for Her reasons for being drawn to him well beyond masturbation will give you neither poems nor children are understandable to those who've experienced a love affair as a primal fated encounter with a soulmate we became brother and sister long ago long before we met because it was in search of you my love clearly in search of you that these incomprehensibly opaue lines of poetry rushed out of me barely catching their breath through all the years of my chaotic youthit would be only with someone as screwed up as herself no far screwed up—in a plaster cast with draconian debts and trails of police summonses my sorcerer brother we are of the same blood you and Ithis guy was digging the same grounds as I was and the only one I’d ever known to do it better than me deeper powerfully and damn just plain fearlessly he simply floated along in the stream that I could access only occasionallyThe first one ready made—whom she did not have to teach Ukrainianthis was the first man from your world the first with whom you could exchange not merely words but simultaneously the entire boundlessness of shimmering secret treasure troveshe’s one of yours yours—in everything a beast of the same speciesSuch heights of intoxication often lead the lover to ignore what in the absence of potent chemistry would have been major reservations but here there were than most from my list of highlighted uotes the word warning jumps out again and again Even to one who has ignored such things on a smaller scale and who knows the process well the magnitude of what can be disregarded is at first glance astounding But through the author narrator's analysis of her origins in a sexist violent culture and family she later explains it This story dispels another assumption or over generalisation about such fiery relationships it's very much not the case that the narrator is overwhelmed by continuous sexual desire for her paramour it is not that wanting him physically becomes for a time almost synonymous with consciousness as in many experiences and narratives of the madly in love That early use of the word brother perhaps was telling Though he is hardly brotherly of course becoming hectoring and occasionally violent and there are rows verbally vicious on both sides about plenty else as well as sexI've no idea how common is the following commonality but I was taken aback here seeing set down in someone else's writing for the first time something said to me several times from decent people and from rotters I thought that by now I'd know if men telling their girlfriends they were brave was considered a widespread phenomenon where there is no birth involved but there are always conversations and rubbishy articles one can miss “You’re a brave woman”—and“I see in you an ability to survive under any circumstances” exes say to her at different times in her lifeJoy and fear America and Eastern Europe are invoked and mingled in their dealings lovers galore a wonderfully high bouncing trampoline echoes Gatsby's epigraph; yet he passed through her territory like the Tatar hordes and too often the latter and fear leading to a physical exhaustion a feverish nauseous trembling scattered over her entire body that hadn’t subsided for over a week draining than the typical physical overwhelm of falling in loveIt's interesting to finish writing this review whilst reading Elena Ferrante's uartet Zabuzhko is explicit in connecting violent relationships and automatic assumptions about reproduction that though near in history may be alien to the twenty first century secular Anglo American to her national history and culture; Ferrante almost never generalises simply telling her characters' story she shows without telling but the same principle invades their relationships as soon as they get married as described by Zabuzhko “take me” always means “take me together with my childhood”Oksana than the sensible Elena coolly analysing her environs knows gothically passionate love as a literary meme that infected her They never taught us all our literature with its entire cult of tragic love—Ivanko and Marichka Lukash and Mavka my students were enthralled and declared Forest Song superior to Midsummer Night’s Dream you bet—they somehow forgot to warn us that in reality tragedies don’t look pretty That death no matter what form it takes is first and foremost an ugly businessThat allusion apart I was so taken with Zabuzhko's writing that I forgot I must be missing references to books I hadn't read until her fellow Ukrainian Bulgakov was invoked in a dreamlike scene near the end the demonic assembly constituted no clear threat rather it gave the impression of a ritual somewhat reminiscent of a Brezhnev era party meeting and in fact treated her with a kind of friendly acceptanceonly a gigantic cat turning into a neon blue shadow of a cat hopped around from pedestal to pedestal for some time still before he too went up in smokeWhilst I daresay some Ukrainians in the years between Communism and the Crimean crisis preferred not to dwell on their country's near chronic history of living under a yoke or threat of one stuck between the Russian bear and Europa Zabuzhko's account of it and mirrored in family and relationship is anything but cowed expressed with an irresistible vigour and what is there in Ukraine Ukraine is Chronos chomping away at his children tiny fingers and toes I’m supposed to sit and wait for what to suck a frog’s tit or rather that of a menopausal diaspora gramps—the Antonovych prize?Eastern fatalism oh yes—the Russians have it; we’re in worse shape we actually are neither here nor there Europe has managed to infect us with the raving fever of individual desire faith in our personal “Yes I can”—however we never developed a foundation for such faith those structures that might support that “I can” and thus have tussled about for ages at the bottom of history The lucky Americans she meets on her 90s writer in residencies although they probably manage to allude to race with tact than this denizen of a very white country that previously had little contact with culture outside the Eastern Bloc are unfamiliar with subjugation to limitless metaphysical evil where there’s absolutely nothing in hell you can do—when you grow up in a flat that is constantly bugged and surveilled and you know about it so you learn to speak directly to an invisible audience at times out loud at times with gestures and at times by saying nothing or when the object of your first girlish infatuation turns out to be a fellow assigned to spy on you In four years of owning this Kindle I'd never before encountered the message you have reached the clipping limit for this item That's how much I liked and wanted to uote this book And that's why I don't have uotes from late in the book where the author narrator's father appears a brutalised former prisoner like his father before him a man who tries to be reasonable but has dodgy physical boundaries that have the effect of sexual abuse even if they don't fit its legal definitions And well Ukraine boundaries obvious The narrator in her early thirties at the time of her emotionally destructive yet artistically inspiring relationship evidently sees herself as an adult who did something stupid in which history had its role like an addict who has now uit; she has too much strength and insight to be just a victim if and when I get round to her later books it'll be interesting to see how her themes developed in the ensuing years but it was hard not to see this girl another Ukrainian in the states for less edifying reasons as emblematic a very young scarcely eighteen year old prostitute with flowing chestnut colored hair attractive in that puppy wet bright untarnished folk song beauty that you can still find among girls in Volyhnia and Podillia—and the poor thing dead drunk “She’s still a child and has no idea what’s happening to her”The premise underlying this book sounds potentially defeatist especially with the country continuing to wrestle its demons but there is such strength and skill in the writing that it feels anything but I found it positively invigorating because surely there is hope if one can express oneself as Zabuzhko doesA Kingdom Of Fallen Statues essay and poetry collection appears only to be available in a handful of American university libraries and are scheduled to publish a book of Zabuzhko's short stories Oh Sister My Sister in 2017 There are also bits and pieces in anthologies which she alludes to in FieldworkIndebted to two recent LRB reviews by Jenny Turner when I was flailing about for inspiration on how to write about raw personal books without getting enmired in lengthy comparisons with one's own experience Didn't manage it uite so smoothly but they helped

  2. Jen Jen says:

    This book is amazing It took a little bit to get into I struggled in the first 50 pages You can not skim this book Don't even try The prose style is rather unforgiving but that really is the point The point is to chew it To go slowly To go back and forth over sentences and phrases This is a painful occasionally hard to follow narrative of the grotesue end of a love affair punctuated with small and devastatingly perceptive mini treatises on writing art trust in other humans the state of being a writer trapped in a native language that no one speaks the state as Zabuzhko describes it of being trapped between non existence and an existence that kills you In another review someone else wrote Мабуть цю книжку було варто читати років 10 назад бо зараз не про українців ця книжка я не знаю таких українців як в цій книжці Oh but I do I know all of them They are all people I have met They are all people I recognized from my life in Ukraine They are all people I recognize from my life in the US They are all people I recognize in myself I think I won't be satisfied until I read this at least 2 times

  3. Sofia Sofia says:

    I'm stalled I seem to have lost my desire to loose myself in her wordsShe is sarcastic sharp and unfortunately rambling in her tug of war with the love and hate she feels for her country her man her life It was one of those times that I kept looking forward to a full stop or oh yes the end of a paragraph What kept me reading was the flashes of insight which I cherished and wanted ofstopped at 50%half a BR with Ira

  4. H.A. Leuschel H.A. Leuschel says:

    This is a painful occasionally hard to follow narrative because it alternates between the first second and third POV However it is also strangely addictive and because of the author's honesty and the use of a continuous stream of consciousness I found myself wanting to turn the pages Zabuzhko talks about the end of a love affair with angry emotion and desperation weaving in her thoughts on writing poetry Ukrainian nationalism the creation of art and the difficulties of being an artist along the way '''u'as tu fait u'as tu fait de ta vie?'' a faraway voice will ask ah let's drop it this topic's as old as life itself you're always waiting dreaming thrashing about hoping for something up ahead and then one day you discover that this indeed was your life better for that pain to shut its mouth and not poke its nose out again'

  5. Sarah Sarah says:

    Whoa Full on but short a ranting gallop through Ukrainian nationalism and feminism fully realised uite painful throughout and also because for a moment I wondered if it was really just a version of 50 Shades of Grey which it definitely isn't but let's say it's the very distant other end of the spectrum from that but indeed on the same spectrum A little confusing in parts 2nd person 3rd person missing time references but ultimately illuminating and it merits another readI read it in Lviv Ukraine where Sacher Masoch was born he of the Masochism and my guidebook is a bit coy about why Lvivians are proud to claim him this book might explain that

  6. Michelle Lawrence Michelle Lawrence says:

    This is a really dense heavy novel It's a sort of confessional stream of consciousness memoir of an romanticabusive relationship that fell apart There's a lot in there about the artistic process Ukrainian culture and human relations in general; how this relationship reflects larger Ukrainian societal and cultural patterns This book is overbearing and it can be too hard to follow it jumps around so much There are some real gems in here though and the experimentation with narrative form is appreciated but I can't recommend this to the casual reader I'm probably the intended audience outside of Ukrainian readers and even I found this novel hard to like

  7. Elen Tkacheva Elen Tkacheva says:

    Woman's emotions and feelings as they are Oksana has nothing to hide from her readers and you could be sometimes shocked by her honesty Very bright and vivid modern Ukrainian language

  8. Heta Heta says:

    I don't usually do well with stream of consciousness It usually feels too messy for me even for a style that is supposed to be somewhat non linear and fragmented But there is something about Fieldwork in Ukrainian Sex that sucked me in from the beginning A massive success in its native Ukraine Fieldwork in Ukrainian Sex is one of those novels that despite their short length pack in so much punch that they feel larger than lifeOur main character is a poet and a professor of Slavic Studies at Harvard who is haunted by a violent relationship from her recent past She was with a man who at first seemed perfect a tortured passionate artist but over time turned out to be oppressive rough physically and mentally abusive It wasn't until after she moved to the United States and gained a sense of distance from him that she was able to slowly break out of the relationship though she is still agonized by his memory trying to figure out if he is still alive out thereFrom the framework of this relationship raises a larger national concern as our main character grapples with the attitudes social roles and social structures of her native Ukraine She begins to see her abusive relationship not only as an isolated incident but a larger result of the oppressive gendered politics and social structures of her home country She begins to understand the women and men around her and the relationships they are in as largely similar to what she had with her partner The term domestic violence takes on a larger societal meaning in the novel Domestic violence is no longer limited to the domestic environment of a home or a close personal relationship but to your domestic land your home country which in this instance is Ukraine a country with a blurry past Fieldwork in Ukrainian Sex is however not a slander of Ukraine or a book that sets out to infantilize demoralize or paint an entirely negative picture of Ukraine Our main character still looks at her home country very fondly is a strong advocate for keeping alive the Ukrainian language that is seeing a decline and shuns the notions that Ukrainians are less than This dichotomy of feelings gives another layer of depth to the idea of domestic violence and relationship to your country This mixture of love and hatred violence and comfort is very central to Fieldwork in Ukrainian Sex and Zabuzhko writes about it brilliantly It really is no wonder for me why this book became the massive hit it is

  9. Kathrin Kathrin says:

    Typically stream of consciousness writing is not my cup of tea and I struggled with the book in this respect Nevertheless a pick for me because some of the writing while harsh is beautiful so harsh content but beautiful writing I am not surprised that this book was considered revolutionary at the time and still is

  10. Yooperprof Yooperprof says:

    A brilliant Eastern European poet learns the hard way that it can be hell to be a relationship with a painter Not a conventional novel a prose poem rant with aspirations to be the Ukrainian Second Sex Zabushko riffs on Ukrainian history men and women and the neglible place of poetry in today's society Perhaps of a three star than a four star book but it's unusual and Crossing deserves credit for publishing a bold book in translation

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