Dmitri Danilov

Gorizontalnoe polozhenie Horizontal Position
Novel. Kolibri. Moscow 2011. 320 pages
Foreign rights: Italy/ Carta Canta, Netherlands/ Douane, Serbia/ Utopia
Awards: 2016 Premio Letterare Internazionale Citta di Cattolica

We experience precisely one year from 14 January 2009 to 13 January 2010, going from chapter to chapter - breathless, bored, bothered, relaxed, irritated, amused – and then one day falling exhausted into bed, together with the hero. For a brief moment of sleep in the horizontal position only to then be roused again straightaway, knowing what the daily routine will bring and yet continually full of expectations for the new day.

A day that carries us together with the hero from the Moscow suburbs into the city in search not of new intellectual adventures but simply of the paperwork with which this representative of a Russian intelligentisa turned working class tries to keep his head above water. Only to then return home in the evenings in the metro, overcrowded right up to the last stop and then standing in the jam-packed bus further to the sleepy suburb.

Danilov’s focus is on all of the things and actions that occur beneath the level of day-to-day perception, most of which are therefore no longer perceived at all. It goes without saying that this perspective also brings with it a healthy dose of humour. Is it his unconventional style or precisely the lack of style that forces what he calls the sediment of everyday life right into our consciousness as if we were directly wired to the text? Such that we start to doubt while reading: has the hero experienced this and written it down or have these lines been churned out by our own mind just before we read them ourselves? Was the short white space between two chapters the only break we had everday? Or was everything just a wonderful terrible recurring dream?

What is beyond doubt, however, is that Danilov’s book is not reading matter, Danilov’s book is an experience. With Danilov’s prose we experience everyday routine as a one big ritual.