#28 | February 12 - 19, 1998  smlogo.gif


In This Issue
Feature Story
Kino Korner


By Edward Limonov

In Praise of a Sick Punk Newspaper

I have met Mark few years ago, in apartment of my publisher Alexander Schatalov, or to be precise, at Schatalov's kitchen. Most of a Russian's friendships are started in kitchens, no doubts. Mark appeared to me as American should be - a huge, big man, wearing a boots of fifties size, or at least size forty eight. Mark said that he read few of my books published in the United States, and that he liked my books. Then we lost each other for a few years.

One day somebody gave me a newspaper called if I am not mistaken Novaya Gazeta with an article signed by Mark. It was entitled "Limonov is not punk, but Zhirinovsky is rotten." In his article Mark wanted to say that Zhirinovsky is more punkish than me, Limonov. I was offended at that statement, as I believe that I am most punkish person on whole territory of Russian Republic and probably on all territory of ex-Soviet Union also. Maybe Shamil Basaev is comparable with me. So, for a while I was angry at Mark, for his preferring Zhirinovksy. Then we have met again when Mark came to my party "bunker" accompanied by a man called Manfred, they together wanted to publish newspaper and they wanted me to collaborate, to write some articles for their newspaper.

I said "Yes", I will write in my broken English, boys, and you will type it, preserving my terrible Russian English style, please. Mark was surprised that I wasn't angry at him anymore for his preference of Zhirinovsky. Meanwhile, as time have passed, Mark understood by himself that Zhirinovsky is much less punk than Limonov is. To be a chairman of National Bolshevik's Party is tougher occupation than to be a chairman of Liberal Democratic Party, isn't it?

After some time Mark splitted from Manfred and started to publish eXile. For some time I wrote for two competing English language newspapers, then Manfred gave up, and now eXile is only one of its kind on the Moscow's market.

I should say that Mark's paper is probably the freest English language publication in whole world. And craziest as well. I am sure that such publication is impossible to publish and maintain in the United States or elsewhere. Only in Moscow's climate of permanent revolution of conscience is possible to publish such a sick, crazy and funny paper as eXile or my National Bolshevik's Limonka. I imagine that in ten years time some American and Russian university professors will be studying eXile as a cultural and political phenomenon. The changing of one political regime by another one is profitable to incredible freedom. Such freedom will not last for long. But I am happy to live now, to be an editor of a revolutionary Limonka and to collaborate in extravagant eXile. Your hand, Mister Mark! Troublemakers of the whole world, unite you!

But it will be fair to repeat, Mark, that Limonov is more punkish than Zhirinovsky is.

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