Anton Sekisov

Krov i pochva In Blood and Soil (working title)
Novel. Il-Music. Moscow 2015. 172 pages

Young Gortov is devastated. Cheated and dumped by his girlfriend, no job, no money, no future. Driven by his crisis he runs away to the country, but by sending a text message a student friend entices him to return to Moscow. Back home he ends up in a (fictional) sloboda, a sort of free settlement behind a high fence where the "Russki Mir", the Russian World, is established. The leader is an Archimandrite, the people live in monastic cells, there are statues of Russian heroes everywhere, the organization is based on orthodox Christianity. Men in black shirts practice close-combat with knives, served by lower lackeys who wear dirty smocks. Because of his education, Gortov is put to work in the journalism collective which is to print a newspaper for "Russki Mir". Despite the fact that he is both repelled and fascinated by the coarse moral conduct of the strayed sinners and converted workers in his collective as well as by the apparent willingness to sacrifice herself shown by a girl in the cell next door with whom he falls in love, the sloboda slowly develops into Gortov's new home. The emptiness in his life seems to be filling. Suddenly, though, the project sloboda disintegrates and the supposedly sworn society is scattered by the winds. Gortov stays behind alone desperately trying to keep the newspaper going to give his life some meaning.

The book is based on experiences of the author. Sekisov worked as a journalist for the website "12", amongst others. "12" was published by the abbot of the Sretensky monastery who is the spiritual adviser of Putin and the federal security service, FSB. The website "12" was intended to be the main media organ of the "Russki Mir" and denounce "jews, liberals, sodomites" and others who make the life of Russian patriots difficult. The website existed for a month and then vanished without a trace.

The Russian press have compared Sekisov with Esenin, Marienhof and Ilf-Petrov.