By Mikhail Zoshchenko, translated by Gary Kern
Ardis, $40, January 1974, 978-0882330617
Mikhail Zoshchenko’s Before Sunrise. This is a novel that is unique in both form and content. It combines elements of autobiography, memoirs, fiction, and meta-fiction. Zoshchenko’s protagonist speaks in the first person and in the present tense. He wanted to know why depression and anxiety chased him all his life, and in his mission to decipher the underlying causes, he finds himself studying scientists like Pavlov and Freud, and applying—with caution—their theories and recent discoveries to end the misery that shadowed over the first three decades of his time under the sun.