By Yuri Izdryk
Izdryk's Wozzeck is one of the masterpieces of contemporary Ukrainian literature and a cult classic for the Ukrainian 1990s generation. Discerning at the dusk of romanticism the thickening gloom of an ever more godless age, in 1836 Georg Buchner dramatized the story of the hapless and homicidal barber Woyzeck. On the ruins of an old Europe destroyed by the First World War, Alban Berg gave Buchner's hero voice in the shrieks and moans of his atonal opera, Wozzeck. In the 1990s, Yuri Izdryk, in turn, has made Wozzeck the Everyman of the turn of the third millennium. Anguished and disoriented, betrayed by love and the frailties of his body, Izdryk's Wozzeck is a victim of the phantoms of his mind and of the grotesque society that excludes him. In a world where nothing is certain but pain, he gropes vainly for an Other and for the solaces of knowledge and belief. Fortunately for the reader, his tragedy and his comedy play out in a tour de force of a novel that gleams with dark satire and revels in ingenious metaphors for the modern human condition.
About the Author
Yuri Izdryk was born in Kalush, Ukraine, in 1962, and lives in Lviv, where he has edited the avant-garde literary journal Chetver since 1990. A prominent figure in Ukrainian alternative literature and culture, Izdryk is the author of four novels in Ukrainian: Wozzeck (1997), The Island of Krk and Other Stories (1998), Double Leon (2000), and AM (2005).