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A Russian Guide

by Georges Godeau

translated from the French by Kathleen McGookey

She is twenty, wears jeans, and up there, she sleeps like a log, like Natacha Rostov. She doesn’t know anything about her, she refuses to talk about Russian writers. Besides, since they don’t belong to me, she is willing to loan them because I have paid, to extricate herself. She keeps her distance, I help her liberate herself, I walk alone on Russian soil in the footsteps of the great men I love. They are there, I saw their statues, their houses, their cemetery. That must suffice.


Georges Godeau was born in 1921 in Villiers-en-Plaine, France, worked as an engineer, and published sixteen books before his death in 1999. His work won the Prix du Livre in Poitou-Charentes. Though he is widely translated into Russian and Japanese, almost none of his writings have appeared in English.

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