Aleksei Ivanov

Geograf globus propil The Geographer has drunk the Globe. Novel. AST. Moscow 2003. 413 pages
Foreign rights: France/ Fayard, Italy/ Voland

 

In the Russian province of the 90s a young teacher fights with the children of the new generation. He has been assigned to the most rebellious class. The "geography teacher" and the teenagers, who are ready to break him, first sit in the walls of the classroom, but then outside the walls they together experience an adventure of comradeship and initiation. They learn geography more or less badly when they go on a kind of raid on primitive rafts into the widely ramified rivers of the Taiga.

The geographer is an educational novel, the story of a multiple love: for a woman, for a region, for true friendship, for shaky but sincere evenings, for a gentle smile, for quickly forgotten regrets with vodka and for a life which, despite daily sufferings, is the only one to be entrusted to.

Alexei Ivanov, himself a former teacher in his hometown Perm in the Urals, presents with this book a kind of educational novel, describing the social drift of the society after the collapse of the Soviet Union. An entire generation of Russian thirty-year-olds, who spent half their lives in and half after communism, recognized themselves in this novel.