Unwitting Street by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky

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'These philosophical, melancholic, darkly funny tales merit a place beside those of Kafka, Borges and Calvino' – Kirkus Reviews

When Comrade Punt does not wake up one Moscow morning – he has died – his pants dash off to work without him. The ambitious pants soon have their own office and secretary. So begins the first of eighteen superb examples of Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky’s philosophical and phantasmagorical stories. Where the stories included in two earlier collections (Memories of the Future and Autobiography of a Corpse) are denser and darker, the creations in Unwitting Street are on the lighter side: an ancient goblet brim-full of self-replenishing wine drives its owner into the drink; a hypnotist’s attempt to turn a fly into an elephant backfires; a philosopher’s free-floating thoughts struggle against being “enlettered” in type and entombed in a book; the soul of a politician turned chess master winds up in one of his pawns; an unsentimental parrot journeys from pre-war Austria to Soviet Russia.