“Reports from an Absurdist” —An Analysis of Artistic Features of Ukraine Diaries

Yang Jing


With 13 published novels and 5 children’s literature books, which have been translated into 25 languages, Andrey Kurkov has been recognized as one of the most renowned Ukrainian writers in the world of literature, and Ukraine Diaries is his first non-fiction literary work. This paper attempts to focus on Kurkov’s unique literary characteristics in the unusual combination of deceptive simplicity of style and the profound insights, coupled with acrid ridicule and subtle narration, which can all be attributed to the characteristics of “the Absurdist School”. The writer regards his living condition, as the report from Kiev shows, as kind of dilemma, or paradox: on the one hand, he feels frustrated with Russia intellectually despite the affinity to traditional culture in emotion; on the other hand, he feels more indignant about the European Union who brought painful experiences to his country and his people, in spite of his closeness to western culture and political system.

Keywords: Ukraine Diaries, Andrey Kurkov, Absurdist

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Kurkov, A. (2015). Ukraine Diaries: Dispatches from Kiev. London: Random House UK.

Hoyle, B. (2014). Ukraine Diaries: Dispatches from Kiev by Andrey Kurkov. The Times, August 2.

Thornhill, J. (2014). Ukraine Diaries by Andrey Kurkov. Financial Times, August 1.

Pomerantsev, P. (2015). Diary. London Review of Books, 37(4), 38-39.

Jing, Y. (2014). Reports of an Absurdist: A Review on Ukraine Diaries by Andrey Kurkov. Recent Development in Foreign Literature, 258(6), 48-50.


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