On turbulent nights, when the wind blows hard and the air grows cold, when the nightbirds chatter and the vixens howl, when the rats run wild with the moon in their eyes, when the bed covers shrink and the toes grow cold: when the mind refuses, however many mugs of warm milk, to settle into sleep; when confused thoughts rule the roost, pavilioned in chaotic splendour; when one fears, not for the first time, that one’s time will end without one having given anything back to the earth from which one sprung; when all this occurs, and more besides: this is when I think of all I have written about Pyetr Turgidovsky, consoling my restless soul with the fact that, whatever pap I have produced, at least I have tried to raise the profile of this much neglected Russian writer. No one has written more on this sad scribbler than I. This, alone, must mean something. This is a contribution.
To coincide with the re-publication of Heidi Kohlenberg’s review of The Lunatic, I thought it prudent to retrace my steps along the treacherous tracks of ‘all things Turgidovsky’. To what does this contribution amount? Where is Turgidovsky scholarship these days? In which direction should a Turgidovsky newcomer turn?
Here follows, then, a collection of numbered signposts to assist the weary traveller:
1. Where and when did Turgidovsky decide to be a writer? Find the answer here.
2. Of which sweet foodstuff is Turgidovsky afraid? Walk this way.
5. Turgidovsky’s second novel was called Delicious Air of Life (or The Ugly God-damned Wife). There is much to read about it here.
9. Pyetr Turgidovsky and the girls (because even miserable Russian writers have a love life).
12. Lastly, a recent news item (yet to be verified).
If in doubt, you can always employ the Turgidovsky tag.