BOTH SIDES OF THE OCEAN by Victor Nekrasov


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Nekrasov is an even folksier Soviet intel lectual than Ehrenburg. His impressions of flying visits to Italy and the US are remarkably warm-hearted, modest, , and skippable. They won't be, however, since what he had to say about America -- sweet nothings, really- occasioned a well-publicized Kremlin brouhaha. The : ""bourgeois objectivism""; a misnomer as mystifying as the reasons behind the denunciation in the first place, Nekrasov being nothing if not subjective, and full of pieties as well: ""thoughts spoken from an honest heart, and they find their way into my heart, into the heart of every one of us."" Aside from some postcard , it's the Rome-Florence fellow-traveller set that is covered, particularly filmmaking and literary. He prefers Pasolini's militant socialism to Antonioni: plugs Rouche's roving stop-people-ask-questions documentaries (he thinks that's avant-garde!); about the class struggle. At Washington he liked the National Gallery's (surrealism's scorned back home); at N.Y. the Camel Broadway sign; in Chicago the ""gold coast."" Above all, he loves ""the people,"" or most of the few he meets. too bloody; he appreciates Lincoln and Jefferson, the latter oddly turned into figure, and is knowledgeable of modern architecture (elitist Wright gets reversed too). There are tightrope walking swipes at Soviet insularity, pale pleas for East-West cultural understanding. The anecdotes come with aids (""An amusing story, isn't it?). Very pleasant. Gentle Marxmanship. For the man who has everything except a Good Neighbor.

Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston