Georges Simenon, Romain Gary, Gala, Henri Troyat… A new art-literary project of the Russian House in Brussels presents eminent personalities ” … with Russian roots” of XX–XXI.
The first meeting of the project took place in October 2022 with the participation of Andrey Makin, a French writer with Russian roots, member of the French Academy and laureate of the Goncourt Prize.
The second meeting of the project, held at the Russian House on December 6, 2022, was dedicated to
on the occasion of 100 years of his birth
Philosopher, writer, sociologist, publicist. Native of a peasant family, participant in the WWII. After the publication in the West of the sharply satirical book “Yawning Heights”, which brought Zinoviev world fame, in 1978 he was expelled from the country and deprived of Soviet citizenship.
Yawning Heights (Russian: Зияющие Высоты, tr. Ziyayushchiye Vysoty) is the first published novel by Soviet philosopher Alexander Zinoviev. Zinoviev expressed skepticism and frustration toward writings that attempted to expose and reveal the evils of Soviet communism. Zinoviev chose, instead, to satirize and ridicule Soviet society in Yawning Heights, presented as the city / nation of Ibansk. The novel has been compared to the writings of Jonathan Swift, Lewis Carroll, and others.
The title of the book is a pun on a cliche of Soviet ideological propaganda, describing communism as the “Shining heights”. The words “yawning” and “shining” in Russian are identical, except for the first letter: a Z in the case of “yawning”, and an S in the case of “shining”.