• Авторский лист

  • Литературная биография
    The short version:

    Pavel Lembersky was born in Odesa, Ukraine and emigrated to the United States in 1977. After receiving his BA in comparative literature from The University of California at Berkeley, he did graduate work in film at San Francisco State University and worked in New York City on a number of film projects such as Jonathan Demme–Spalding Gray’s cult classic Swimming to Cambodia and Steven Wright’s Oscar-winning short The Appointments of Dennis Jennings, among others.

    Pavel authored five story collections in Russian, most recently, Here’s Looking at You, Kid (Kyiv, 2018) and De Kooning (New York, 2019) and two novels, Aboard the 500th Merry Echelon (2015) and the yet unpublished 200 Brand New Shiny Cadillacs (2022). His short stories have been translated into English, German, Finnish and Vietnamese and have appeared in literary magazines such as Little Star, Words Without Borders, The Brooklyn Rail, Trafica Europe, Fiction International, Gargoyle, Inostrannaia Literatura, Novy Mir, Teatr, Colta, Novy Bereg, Textonly etc. Lembersky’s short story collection Fluss Nr. 7 was published in Frankfurt. For years Pavel hosted a radio talk show in New York City. His most recent story collection in English,The Death of Samusis, and Other Stories came out in 2020. Pavel Lembersky lives in Brooklyn.

    please check out Pavel's most recent piece of art-writing. https://artfocusnow.com/people/komar-and-melamid-the-subjunctive-moods-of-history/

    The long version:
    I was born in sun-bathed city of Odesa, Ukraine, along with Anna Akhmatova, Isaac Babel, Yuri Olesha, Vladimir Zhabotinsky, and other greats. Following in my father’s footsteps, I enrolled at the Odessa College of Refrigeration and Food Industry, more out of necessity than choice: the science of food preservation being the lesser of two evils next to an otherwise compulsory stint in the Soviet Army. Emigrating to the United States in 1977, I quickly discovered that the canned food market was hopelessly cornered by Andy Warhol, so I decided to concentrate on a career of a foot messenger.

    I took multiple stabs at the Arts at The School of Visual Arts, while supporting myself as a cab driver, garment district shipping clerk and speed reading program salesman.

    Following a cross-country move, I studied comparative literature (Russian and English) at UC Berkeley, where I was lectured by the likes of Czeslaw Milosz, Rene Girard, Claude Levi-Strauss and Michel Foucault. In my undergraduate thesis I applied Mikhail Bakhtin’s concept of polyphony to Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov and Faulkner’s The Snopses Trilogy.

    In the mid-80s I studied Film Theory and Production at San Francisco State University under the benevolent gaze of Dean August Coppola, who, nevertheless, could not countenance my proposal for a 3 minute MTV-style mini-rock opera “Oedipus Redux” (libretto by Sophocles, noise-music and camerawork by Pavel Lembersky).

    Back in New York, I supported myself as a computer programmer, while writing screenplays and working in the film industry on such projects as Jonathan Demme and Spalding Gray’s Swimming to Cambodia and the Oscar-winning “The Appointments of Dennis Jennings,” written and starring the comedian Steven Wright, among others.

    After a two-year stint in the business jungle of Yeltsin’s Russia, I entered the 21st century as a co-host of a classic rock program on New York’s Russian radio and occasional curator of downtown art shows. One such show, entitled Living With It, had me sharing my apartment with some 30+ artworks by 27 New York artists, the kitchen and bathroom both turned into installations.

    Each of the twenty-seven stories that comprise my first book in English, The Death of Samusis, written and translated over the period of two decades, takes its origin and inspiration in the patchy fabric of my experience, however fictionalized or amplified the final product may be. Their moods range from mildly transgressive, experimental, darkly surreal to fairly conventional, even ‘realistic’, though never without a tinge of irony, and, on occasion, a smear of sarcasm. The shifting subjectivity of the narrative voice owes a debt to Bakhtinian polyphony, and, to some degree, Flaubertian neutrality. Thus the storyteller in some texts may appear ill-informed or confused, his perspective is likely to change from story to story, and his first person privilege suspended. My youthful fascination with the chiseled prose of Isaac Babel or the profound flamboyance of the Russian Dadaist Daniil Kharms could not help but put its stamp on my early writing, just as the American postmodernists, Donald Barthelme and Robert Coover, or – at the opposite end of the spectrum – John Cheever and Richard Yates, in one way or another, have affected my more recent output. But then so did Kierkegaard, Musil, Kafka, Sylvia Plath