Shklovsky’s Zoo Or Letters Not About Love

Finalist, National Book Awards 1972 for Translation

cover of Shklovsky's Zoo Or Letters Not About Love translated by Richard Sheldon
ISBN 9780801406560
Cornell University Press
Richard Sheldon
Richard Sheldon

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While living in exile in Berlin, the formidable literary critic Viktor Shklovsky fell in love with Elsa Triolet. He fell into the habit of sending Elsa several letters a day, a situation she accepted under one condition: he was forbidden to write about love. Zoo, or Letters Not about Love is an epistolary novel born of this constraint, and although the brilliant and playful letters contained here cover everything from observations about contemporary German and Russian life to theories of art and literature, nonetheless every one of them is indirectly dedicated to the one topic they are all required to avoid: their author’s own unrequited love.