At some point in the early 2000s, Sorokin became worried about how civil liberties were being eroded and how isolated Putin was becoming. He thought this was a return to brutality in medieval Russia.
They made him write his most politically charged book, “Day of the Oprichnik,” which is set in a near-future Russia where the Tsarist regime is still in power.
Sorokin said that he saw signs of change in Russian society that made him think of the Middle Ages. A lot of people thought I must have been very drunk to write this. Then a few years went by, and they stopped laughing and started to smell this medieval smell in their everyday lives, too.
It’s so hard to predict how the world will change.
In the years since, Sorokin has written more books about his vision of a “new medieval” Russia that has become more authoritarian, militaristic, and backward. These books include “The Sugar Kremlin,” “Telluria,” and “Manaraga.” During the pandemic, he finished the last book in his medieval series, “Doctor Garin,” which is about a doctor.
The book is set in a dystopian future where nuclear war, military dictatorships, and genetically modified super soldiers rule the world. A doctor who works in a sanitarium takes care of a group of “political beings,” which include mini-versions of Boris Johnson, Angela Merkel, and Vladimir, who can only say “It isn’t me.” Cyberpunk, fantasy, satire, sci-fi, and Soviet-era dissident literature are all mixed together in this book by Vladimir Sorokin. It’s hard to classify it because it’s a wild mix of these things.
Sorokin says he’s drawn to futuristic and fantastical settings because they seem like the best way to look at the chaos and uncertainty of the world today, so he likes them.
This is how he said it: “The world is changing so quickly that realistic prose can’t keep up.” In this case, “it’s like trying to shoot a bird that’s already flown away.”
“This is why I like complicated optics,” he said. There must be at least two telescopes in order to see what is true.
“One from the past and one from the future.” He said this slowly.