by Brandon Wicks.
One thing that immediately interests me about “Sovetskoye Shampanskoye” is the numerical form, counting from 0 to 9, building key moments and images that create the arch of your main character’s life. What inspired you to structure the story this way?
I wanted the story to feel measured and analytical, since the descriptions are external and focused on the setting and the environment, instead of on bodies and emotions. I tried to imagine what the rooms and places and external environment would tell about scenes from a life, because even when we have a strong emotional response to events, most of our external environment is still and quiet. I wanted to explore that contradiction.
The story is also a look at the recent past, the Cold War. I can vaguely remember news footage from Eastern Europe and Russia, and the fall of the Berlin Wall. As a child I couldn’t understand the motivation behind the Cold War and the actions of the governments and agents that we heard about in the news. The story is a little like going back to that. I imagine that government agents had to be quite analytical and calculating in their work and covert lives behind the Iron Curtain, and the numbers’ structure reflects that too.